To look back when I was ten (10) years old.
When I was 10 years old, I was in “Parochial” aka “Catholic”. My father had died the year before, which made me 9 years old. Hey, I can still do math pretty good. I’m seventy (70) now.
- My mom was a waitress which back then just didn’t mean serving people. It also included stopping at the bakery, start up the huge coffee machines, wipe down all the counters, utensil setups for customers, washing dishing.
- Wow! All that for .50¢ or .75¢ an hour. Tips back then are nothing like they are now. If she made $2.00 for one (1) day that was a huge, huge, huge, huge!
- Remember tips could range from .1¢ to maybe .50¢.
- Thank you to all that helped my mom out with their tips. We wouldn’t have survived without them.
- One day a man left her a penny – YEP you heard me a penny – aka – cent piece – aka .1¢. One of the men that worked with him said “you have to be kidding”. With everything that waitress does for you everyday of the week and you only left her a penny. Thank you to the gentleman that said that. My mom told me that was probably all he could afford.
- “Mom! You know where he works, I think he could leave at least .2¢. We both laughed.
- Out of my mom’s salary she had to pay rent, food, my education, weekly donations to the church. After my father died she had hospital bills, funeral, cemetery, headstone costs. My dad was buried in the poor side of the cemetery.
- The church told my mom she didn’t have to pay for the plot.
- But my mom insisted she would pay them back, so one could be donated to a family that really needed it.
- That was my mom!
I remember after church on Sunday we were stop at the little deli in our neighbor, pick up a loaf of round rye bread, go home have some coffee, cut a slice of bread, add butter and jelly. Yum! I can taste it now. That was our meal for the day.
We had good times and of course not so good times.
When someone dies you find out a lot of how people felt about them. What I found out about my relatives and how they felt about my dad, I wanted nothing to do with them. But over the years it started to change. They realized what they did. It wasn’t easy for me, but I knew it was making my mom happy.
- Mom I sure do miss you!
- Love your loving daughter, Hope