11/13/2008

An Old Letter


My aunt called me yesterday asking if I would go through the family album to see if I could find a picture of her and my mother as young teenagers at a beach on the Mississippi gulf. So, as I was going through the family album, I came across a letter from my father while he was at VA hospital in Montgomery, AL in 1953. I was all of two years old on this letter dated, October, 12, 1953. While serving in the U.S. Navy, during WWII, my father contracted tuberculosis. He was in the hospital from 1945 to 1947 as a result. From that point on, he had go to back once a year for a medical checkup which lasted about a week. This went on until 1955 as I recall my mother saying.

I saw some amusing things in that letter. He was complaining about gas costing $.21 a gallon and didn’t know how folks were going to survive on that. A pack of cigarettes (Pall Mall) $.25! He then complained about stamps now costing an outrageous $.03 to send the letter he was writing! He said he was going to have to get another job if prices kept going up. He did not know how he was going to support Mama and me on $195.00 a month, which included a VA check for $22.00 a month! Admittedly, my father was a frugal man. But, I suppose he would have a stroke if he saw how much a gallon of gas would cost now, how much a postage stamp would cost him to send that letter now.

I know we are in an economic meltdown. But, it seems people have always complained about the economy. I’m not sure I would call 1953 the “good old days” based on my father’s income at the Coca Cola Bottling plant here in Mobile. But, the cost of living was, far, far less. In 1953, times were much simpler. But, the problems of that day still exist today in a much more complicated world.

1 comments:

I think this has relation to inflation. Inflation will grow every year at certain rate as the result from rising consumer product price along with the wages. I m no economist but I think i have read about it somewhere that the govt should maintain inflation at the rate no more than 5 percent in order for the economy to grow positively.
Anyway I enjoy your writing..keep it up.. :)

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