Thursday, March 02, 2006

All the "-mans"

Back when and where I was growing up there was no such thing as "pre-school". We were at home until we were about five when we went off to Kindergarten. During the summers we were home all day long. Oh, some rich kids went off to camp, but most of us were home full time. Of course, our Moms were home full time also. Working Moms were a rarity. We kids all liked the arrangement, but then, we knew nothing else. We found lots to do and managed to get in trouble with some regularity. My folks had no car until I was well up in my teens. This meant that all sorts of delivery men came door to door. We would tag along with the breadman, the laundryman, the eggman, even the scissor-grinder. The paper boy ran all the way so he was no fun. In the summer, the iceman was a favorite of ours. His horse knew where to stop like the other delivery horses did. When he stopped down at the bottom of our hill, Mr Hirsh, the iceman, would chip off pieces of ice for the kids to suck on. Nice man, but probably very dirty ice. We lived. The milk man came on the days when he was collecting his bill. The same day he would take orders for the next week and sell butter and such off his wagon.He would also supply pieces of ice to the kids when he was there in the daytime, but he made his deliveries before dawn.

One day the vegetable man's horse lost control of the wagon. It rolled down the hill after the horse fell. At the bottom it crashed and turned over . Obviously, Mr. Lewis, the vegetable man was more concerned for his horse than for the veggies. The neighbor ladies came out and each scooped up all the vegetables they could possibly use from the ground, then paid Mr. Lewis a little more than they were worth. Nice people in those days. The horse was OK, but Mr. Lewis rested him a few days while the wagon was repaired. Mr. Lewis was one of the first to convert to a little truck. Wish I had a picture.

I have a hunch little children knew more random adults then than the children of today do.


KDunk said...

I think you might be right. I was the first child out of my parents group of friends so I was often around a lot of adults. My mother said I liked to sit at the table with them and draw while they talked. I think it was an important way to raise a child instead of catering to their needs like some parents spoil their kids.

Marilyn said...

I love this post. My paternal grandfather died when I was six, so I don't have many memories of him...but in the 30's, he built the house my grandmother lived in until her death in '84. And there was a 'cooler' cupboard in the had open-air vents at the top. We (grandkids) always thought it was very cool...and used to try to imagine how they could have possibly relied on it for refrigeration before they actually had a refrigerator. But then Nanny had a wringer washing machine until I was in my teens. And her kitchen STOVE...oh god, we loved that stove. I have fond memories of her building a fire in the side think she could use it to heat the room AND cook on. Sometimes I think the old ways were better...and healthier...even if the ice wasn't perfectly clean. ;)

Anonymous said...

I came here through a link from my daughter's blog. Your blog paints a picture of what is happening in the small towns of India (where I live) even today. Though there are still bullock darts drawing a load of fruits or vegetables for sale in some places, the other vendors have switched to tricycles which they pedal and stop in front of every few houses to sell their wares. Though there are supermarkets too in India where you can shop for fruits and vegetables, we ladies prefer to buy from the vegetable vendor as he gets them at dawn from the main market every day and brings it to our doorstep. Same goes for the fruits lady who sellls a variety of fruits from her basket. I think we are in the phase which you had undergone in the U.S. quite a few decades ago. Once we become a 'developed nation' maybe I shall also be writing nostologically about the present time, in a few more decades!