Friday, May 21, 2010

The Ragman And The Scissors' Grinder

In the Years of Our Lord 1942-1949, I lived at 179 California Street in Stratford, Connecticut. It was suburban Bridgeport, where the mailman came twice a day.

The ragman came around, but I don’t know with what frequency. One person drove the open stake truck, while the other hung on to the outside shouting, “Rags! Rags!”

I saw the scissors’ grinder down the end of Catherine Street. He had a grinding wheel on what looked vaguely like a wheelbarrow with a seat. When someone came out of the house with a pair or two of scissors, he went to work.

It’s nothing unusual around here, but the sound of coal being unloaded is long gone from that area. I’d be up in my room with the truck just below me, listening to the sound of (I guess) Wilkes-Barre’s finest going down the chute, never knowing I’d be here some day.

We had a fairly good vegetable garden on the right side of the backyard and an equally good flower garden across the back. Did they have Victory Gardens in those days? If so, were Victory Gardens really necessary? A lot of wartime civilian assists were merely fake, useless “make them feel good, part of the effort” ploys.

My father was deferred. He had such a job at Chance-Vought the military felt he was more valuable there. The company made the Corsair airplanes, the fighters which won the war in the Pacific. They rolled them out three miles from our home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we forget Ration Stamps.

The iceman too.........CJV

May 24, 2010 10:20 PM  

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