Mama Remembered: Buying Coal by the Bushel and an Ill-Gotten Chicken Dinner!

When Mama was 10 or 11 years old her older brother got married and lived about an hour away.  So Mama talked her parents into letting her go on the interurban to visit him and his new wife and stay with them for a week or so.

Here in an excerpt from Mama’s book, I Remember, are a couple of her memories of that visit.

I remember how Gene and Blanche kept their place warm.  I must have been there to visit in the winter, because it was cold.  They had a heating stove in the front room.  Every morning we had to watch for the coal man.  The man came down the street with a wagon full of coal pulled by a horse.  We would go out with our bushel basket and get it full for 25 cents.  That had to last us until he came by again the next morning.

There was a shed on the back of the lot the house was on.  Gene and Blanche lived upstairs and the owners lived downstairs.  Some people in the neighborhood had chickens.  One day we saw one of the chickens go into the shed.  Blanche said, “Let’s have chicken for supper.”  She went out and closed the shed door.  Then she caught the chicken and killed it.  After she cleaned and dressed it, we had fried chicken for supper.

I knew that wasn’t right and I felt very guilty.

Even though Mama had a very poor childhood, she always had a strong sense of right and wrong and I can picture the conflict she must have felt when her new sister-in-law (whom I’m sure she was inclined to idolize) served someone else’s chicken for dinner!-

4 Responses to Mama Remembered: Buying Coal by the Bushel and an Ill-Gotten Chicken Dinner!

  1. Suldog says:

    This is great stuff. My Mom (still with the living, thank you God) gave me a copy of a couple of months worth of her diary, from when she was perhaps 11 or 12. The innocence, in and of itself, makes for great (and humorous) reading. I’ll have to publish that someday soon.

  2. Hmmm, so what more do you know about Blanche? It makes me wonder!

  3. Sandra says:

    Suldog — I will watch for some excerpts from your mother’s diary. I find that sort of stuff just fascinating. Mama’s stories themselves aren’t really remarkable, what makes them good reading, I think, is that they are in her own words. After baseball season, you’ll probably have more time to publish your mom’s writings. 🙂 (AND I bet she would get a kick out of being “published”!)

  4. Sandra says:

    Oh, V. I so wish I knew more about Blanche, but as you’ll see from my next Mama Remembered story that I’ll publish next week, Blanche wasn’t in the family very long.

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