We all bought savings stamps (in 10 or 25 cent denominations) and pasted them in a stamp book. When we saved $18.50 worth, we traded them in for a $25 war bond.
Many people, especially the wealthier ones, amassed large amounts of war bonds simply because there wasn’t much else to spend money on.
New houses were rare — no one to build them. New cars were non-existent. (One friend’s sad bought a 1934 Ford in 1946 and the next year moved up to a 1939 Oldsmobile.)
Almost any luxury item was also unavailable during the war. Most foods, especially meats, were rationed, as were gasoline, tires, tobacco, soap, nylon stockings and other items.
Each person was issued a ration book and a family with lots of kids ate like kings.
The “Black Market” — selling rationed items under the table — thrived just as much as bootlegging in Prohibition.
The “big three” auto makers were represented in town by Mr. Anderson, Mr. Barron, Mr. Noble, Mr. Guest and the Kelly brothers.
Almost everyone in town “dressed up” and paraded around the Square on Halloween Night.
Thank goodness that practice had just about stopped by the time of the Atherton Drug Store explosion.
Two of the most memorable fires in town happened years apart, but across the railroad tracks from each other — the Stephens Lumber Co. lumber yard and St. James Episcopal Church.
Almost everyone had deliverymen coming to their house every day. The milkman came every day but Sunday, the laundry man usually once a week, with an occasional visit from the Jewell Tea man, the Standard Coffee man, and the Watkins man.
The ice man driving a mule-drawn wagon would deliver ice to families who had iceboxes rather than refrigerators.
Kids would run along behind the wagon hoping to get small chips of ice after the iceman had used his ice pick.
A huge machine at the icehouse had scored huge blocks of ice (probably 300 pounds or more) so that they could easily be chipped into 25 or 50 pound blocks, whichever would fit into the customer’s icebox.
Bill Kinney is associate editor of The Marietta Daily Journal.