POOR? NOT ME!

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

I only worked one day last week and Mrs. A. called me yesterday and said she didn’t need me this week either.  So I guess you are going to have to order me some shoes and some underclothes.  I am completely out.  I was going to go wash yesterday but I only had 11¢ and couldn’t.  Novetta had already gone to work so I couldn’t get any from her.  I’ll get by alright only I guess you’ll have to send me about $5 to buy my new shorthand and typing books with.”    *************

I had no idea I was ever such a poverty stricken college student!  I didn’t think I was poor!  This excerpt is from a letter I wrote to my mother on January 20, 1953.  I remember my daddy (Pete) bringing me to Bible school, paying my bill, taking me to the store to buy an iron and telling me goodbye.  I think he left me with a few dollars; I’m not sure but I know he would not have left me penniless.  I probably was one of the few who started off with my bill paid, so that might have made me feel rich. I walked about 3/4 mile to do some house cleaning about two or three times a week. I think I got 75¢ for three hours work.  (Mrs. A was the one who worked later in my behalf to get me a good job with the state.  I was so thankful.  She liked me.  You can’t beat that!)

I hope you all will enjoy a peek with me into my college days as shown by letters I wrote to my mom (Amy) in 1952-54.  She kept the letters.  I have had them since her death in 1994.  I can’t believe I have had them so long without reading them!

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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10 Responses to POOR? NOT ME!

  1. shoreacres says:

    Your letter reminds me of some of the postcards I have from my family. They always were sorting out the difficulties of life in such simple correspondence — open for all to see, as a matter of fact. I’ve wondered a time or two whether the postal clerks read those postcards, just to see what was going on. Of course, in their small town, there probably was no need to read postcards. Everyone knew, anyway.

    • oneta hayes says:

      It is interesting to see myself so long ago. No way would I have believed some of the things if they were not my own words! I was much more open with my mom than I remember..more reason for me to like “olden days.” Stuff I can hold in my hands, not try to retrieve from the clouds. But I do like to pull stuff out of the clouds when it is convenient for me. I seem to have the best of both words.

  2. calensariel says:

    That will be quite the trip down memory lane!

  3. I was like you – not exactly poor because my dad paid my tuition. But I do remember needing to scrape up quarters to do laundry every week – some weeks were harder than others! I was able to save money in later years by not using the dryers, but by being able to hang my clothes in the attic of the upper apartment I rented in a rundown part of my college’s town.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Sounds like you have some good “remember when” stories. I don’t remember the details of my laundry experience. I know I would never have believed this story except for the fact it was my own letter! I do remember washing Mrs. A’s dishes and believe washed her clothes also. I know I did not have to wash her bed linens. I wonder who did that. Maybe I washed them but I did not change her bed.

  4. Deb says:

    Wow that sounds poor!! Funny when we look back what we discover. How wonderful that you have those letters to read and relive those days. It is something that you haven’t read them until now…I do look forward to enjoying more of them with you! I found you at Jackie’s party, so nice to meet you!! 🙂

    • oneta hayes says:

      I did such a quick run through at the party; indeed I am blessed to have someone pick up my calling card. I’m awkward with this kindle but I’m going to see if I can follow you home. You’ll know I found you if I leave a follow. 😀

  5. judyjourneys says:

    Oneta, a decade later I was making 60 cents an hour working in my college cafeteria.

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