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A Tale of My Generation!


There have been remarks made lately about us older people and why we thought different that the younger set. I don't mean this to be anything but informative! I was born March 14,1939 at my grandfathers house in rural McCracken County. My mothers family was 4 girls and 6 boys plus their parents and us 3. The house had no plumbing (but it did have a 4 seat outhouse) There was heat in the kitchen during meal preparation and a fireplace in the living room. You would back up to the fire and get as warm as you could, then grab a warm brick and head for bed. Once snuggled in the feather bed under so many quilts you couldn't move you got warm. Many mornings you awoke to a light dusting of snow on the top quilt. Most of you don't know or have never used a "chamber pot' or "slop jar" This was in case you had a call during the night and didn't want to go outside. One on my first jobs was emptying the many "pots" and cleaning them. the kitchen stove burned wood as did the fireplace-lots of wood-and we had to chop it and carry water fro the well. The farm produced most of our food. They milked 40 cows and sold milk, cream and butter. The milk was useless in springtime because of green onions. The milk was kept in a spring house. Grandpa had a battery powered radio. It played for a short time after supper before the lamp was turned off. We had a big breakfast,all produced on the farm. Country Ham, Sacked smoked sausage and the biggest best biscuits you ever tasted. The left over food was covered on the 10' table and you could drop by for a snack later. There was a big dinner and it was left on the table to have later for supper. When electricity came there was a single light bulb with a pull string  hanging from the center on each room(usually 60watts) The wiring was ran around the wall and there were lots of extension cords. The first running water was to the kitchen. The pump set in the floor and was started when you wanted water. I was in high school when electricity came to rural McCracken County. When the telephone came, we had a "party line" And sometimes it was really a "party" as people listened in on every call. Our first was 9 party. It was serviced by a local switchboard operator. She called you and said you had a call and put them through.
We walked to school( 2miles,uphill both ways) just kidding. When snow was deep mama wrapped burlap bags around our legs. We had no indoor gym,outhouses and a gravel yard to fight in. In '48 Dad moved us to Detroit for work. It was the thing to do at the time. We rented a house in a neighborhood full of Kentucky and Tennessee folks.I saw my first indoor plumbing and took my first bath without using a #2 wash tub. We left Michigan in 1950. Dad bought a new 1949 Ford and we came home. By then there was some indoor plumbing around but we didn't have anything but water. We still had "4 rooms and a path" In 1953 Dad bought a TV. It had a 10" screen and got Memphis,Nashville and St Louis stations(sometimes) mostly it was snow and static. Every Time a car came down the road we lost everything to the static roar. To get these three stations we went outside and turned the pipe that held the antennae until someone yelled to stop. My Grandfather on Dads side was a mechanic and Dad built our first car out of scrap. I don't write this to show anybody how we had it bad. We didn't know we had it bad ! We were just living like everyone else. Did this make us better people-NO! This did make us appreciate things that came later.

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