Friday, May 02, 2014

More from Dad

Personal hygiene?  Dad remembers a lot less about that than the power system, but I suppose that is typical of 10 year old boys. 

They would wash their faces and hands at the kitchen sink. They would brush their teeth with either salt or baking soda - because it was cheaper and because Grandma thought it did a better job.

My grandma was a tightwad jedi master - I'm sure she cut all the kids' hair.

They got indoor plumbing around the time they got connected to the grid, but he does remember his uncle carrying a tub - 'heavier than any man should carry' on his back up to the second floor. Dad vaguely remembers carrying water up to that.

Several years ago we visited a historical home of about the same period. A metal bucket that had several holes punched in it was suspended over the tub for 'a shower'.

Grandpa was a well driller by trade. He also built their house and dug the well by hand.

Grandpa was born in 1895. He quit school after the fourth grade and went to work. He had an ox and a cart and he would haul gravel to various building sites - particularly bridge constructions. Can you imagine a 10 year old doing that today?

My auntwas disabled. She didn't go to school, but took care of all the family's mending/sewing and was a great help to Grandma in the kitchen. One day she told Grandpa, "I don't mind the fact that I'm crippled, but I don't want to be stupid." Grandpa went right out and hired a tutor, a woman who came to the house several times a week to tutor Aunt D.

The folks had a hand pump in the kitchen in order to get water up to the sink. They hauled water to the second floor. And every bedroom had a chamber pot under the bed.

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