Published in the July, 2020 edition of The Community Chronicle:
I’ve heard people say, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.” I’m not sure if you’d call us poor, but we lived in a five-room house with a single-car carport, pine and linoleum floors, one bathroom, no built-ins, and no air conditioning. Dad worked two jobs, and Mom went to work when the mothers of most of my friends stayed home. But I never missed a meal, I wore the latest fashions the Sears catalog offered and we had a black and white TV that we watched in the kitchen because Mom didn’t want us sitting on the “good” furniture. I had all I needed, a few things I wanted, and all the love a child could hope for – and I was content.
Summers were a little bit difficult, though. My brother and I weren’t allowed to go outside or to have visitors when Mom and Dad were at work. Vacation Bible School and Church Camp filled a few days, and an occasional sleep-over or trip to the local swimming pool with a friend was allowed. But mostly the long, hot days of summer were spent reading, watching TV or doing chores, and I wasn’t quite as content then.
On rare occasion Mom took pity on me, especially after my older brother took a summer job, and broke the monotony by taking me to work with her. We had to get up at the crack of dawn, but riding the Continental Trailways bus from Mesquite to downtown Dallas was an adventure worth losing a little sleep. The hours while she was actually working were pretty boring, but on her coffee break I was allowed to choose a treat out of the vending machine, and we ate lunch in a restaurant. (more…)