Barefoot and happy
I just read Mike Holst’s opinion in the Feb. 4, 2013, Dispatch. I am a little older than Mike, will be 91 on Feb. 23. I have read all of Mike’s books. They were great.
Back in the early ‘30s, in the summer, it was bib overalls and blue chambray shirts. And of course, barefoot. If you had a nickel or a dime in your pocket, you were in the bucks ‘cause you could buy a Baby Ruth candy bar for a penny. It had four bites if you were conservative or three pretty good ones.
We walked the highways looking for pop bottles. They could have been Coca-Cola bottles. They were worth two cents each. So sometimes, we had a nickel or a dime. But that Baby Ruth was always on our mind, so we would just have to cash our nickel. Then we had change in our pocket and that felt good too. We could buy a Baby Ruth anytime we liked.
One day, my older borther and I went to town with Dad. We were walking down the street and I spotted a $10 bill in the gutter. I picked it up and said, “Look what I found!” My dad’s eyes seemed to freeze on the $10 bill. Pretty soon my dad said, “Ralph, you better let me take care of that for you.”
My brother Bud and I slept together. And that night in bed, we were both thinking about that $10 bill. Bud said, “Ralph, you know how many Baby Ruth bars we could buy with that $10 bill?” I don’t remember what I said. But he said we could have bought 1,000.
I learned a lesson in that town. I went to the grocery store with my brother and my dad and I stole an apple. When we got back to the car, I took out my apple. My dad said, “Where did you get that apple?” I said, “In the grocery store.” He said, “Did you steal it?” I said, “I guess so.” He took me right back into the store and made me hand it to the man behind the counter and apologize. The man let me keep the apple because I had already taken a bite out of it, but it was a lesson never forgotten.
Keep up the good work, Mike. I enjoy your writing.