Whitesburg KY

Life was simpler back when…

Don’t you sometimes wish you could live life as simply as you did back in the ’40s and ’50s and maybe just a taste of the ’60s?

Life was hard but simple and a whole lot more fun. People have become so dependent on all the fancy gadgets in use today that they go all to pieces if the electricity goes off for a short space of time for upgrading or from other causes. If the boob tube goes out, things get even worse.

If you mention doing the laundry on a washboard, they look at you as if your load has shifted and cracked your noggin. Lord help you if you mention a little poutin’ house that sits way out yonder under the trees equipped with a mail-order catalog.

The reality of it all is that people of today’s society have become lazy. They wouldn’t even bother getting out of bed in many cases unless they felt a need to go powder their nose or to let the dog out.

Remember the flour coming in 25-pound cloth sacks with a free piece of dinnerware inside? Two of the most liked brands of flour were Martha White and Polar Bear. The cloth sacks were popular for making dish towels.

Feed for livestock came in 100-pound cloth sacks decorated with pretty designs which made pretty dresses and such. If the woman of the house didn’t own a pedal-powered Singer, she made clothes by hand. Anyone lucky enough to own a feed sack dress, shirt, blouse or other apparel was as proud as a peacock.

People who were poor didn’t realize it unless someone told them. They subsisted on meager fare and didn’t try to keep up with the Joneses. But even though most of the country folks were poor, they were a proud lot. They were proud of who they were and how they lived. If they had company stop by they always asked them to eat a bite or to spend the night. If they asked you to stay and eat, they were insulted if their invitation wasn’t accepted. There was usually a pot of black coffee handy, too.

The young girls wore their feedsack clothes with pride. Even if they were barefoot, they wore their clothes with pride. If you saw a boy or girl with a white rag bandage on a toe, you could pretty well figure out why, but an injured toe certainly didn’t keep them from enjoying childish pursuits.

If a youngster had a bike with a tire with a knot on it, out with the black friction tape. Sometimes a bike rider would have so many tape bandages on a tire it caused one to wonder if perhaps part of it was just for decoration.

If a young barefoot lad passed through the barn and left his footprint in a cow pile, he didn’t let it bother him because he knew how effective lye soap was on such things. If a boy’s britches were a trifle too long for his legs, he fixed the problem by simply rolling them up to the desired length but seldom ever got them the same length.

As I said, life was simple back then, simple but enjoyable. The people of Appalachia are some of the smartest and most resourceful people anywhere.

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