There's an old saying "Use it
up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do Without."
We practiced that well in the 1940's. Oil prospectors
came thru Hughes Co. paying two dollars a hole, to search your property.
Now for two dollars you could buy a battery for your car, so Dad let them
sink a hole. They did not find oil, but we got a new battery. The old
battery was exchanged for a six month subscription of the Capper Weekly
News paper, which had recipes, patterns and a continued story to keep you
buying the paper. The old papers were used to start a fire in the stoves.
Grandma had a shoe last. It was a metal leg of sorts,
that you could fit a metal piece the size you needed on top. Then with
leather and tacks she would resole or repair her shoes. Tacks would work
thru and into your feet at times. Finding a hammer to flatten the tip of
the tack, would become very necessary. If beyond repair, pieces of leather
were used as a hinge or to make a sling shot holder.
Ladies would make quilts from scraps of any material
they had. Old suits of the men in the family were usually wool. When worn
beyond repair, the legs were cut off the britches and made into squares or
rectangles and sewn together, then (tacked) with yarn. Too tough to quilt,
the yarn would be threaded thru the blocks to hold the cotton batting and
backing together and tied into knots. Very itchy, but also very warm. The
cotton for the batting was home grown, picked and carded to make it flat.
Grandma had a ball of twine (string) , the size of
which was between a soft ball and a basket ball. Every little piece from
bags of flour or feed was wound around this ball. She tied each new piece
to the end of the old one. Tin foil was saved, made into balls and sold.
Never saw a rubber band, except for the old cut up
inner tubes, which also made sling shots. Dad has a small box of patches
that he would heat press onto the old inner tubes. After patch on top of
patch, the old tires would go thumping down the road.
No oils were available. Breads, gravies, pies, or
vegetables that were cooked used either butter, bacon drippings or lard
rendered from the hogs.
I remember once the wheel bearings on the Model A went
dry, we were on a long trip and no place near to buy grease, Ponds face
cream came to the rescue, Dad packed the bearings full and we made it to
the next town.
Egg shells were baked in the oven, crushed and fed back
to the chickens. Bent nails were straightened with a hammer and used over
and over. Flower petals were dried, put into small bags to make a nice
smell in the house.
We ate wild blackberries, huckleberries, mulberries and
picked hickory nuts and black walnuts.
Scrumptious flavors, still remembered.
Lou Anne Allen, Attended Moss Schools from the 3rd. - 6th. Grades.