Ray's Corner

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The Value of Money


"... We was so poor that - there was 10 of us kids in the family - and we didn't have any money, there was no money in those days. My father was working away for about, oh I'd say, $15 dollars a month trying to keep 10 of us. We were so poor in fact that when a mouse went by our house he always went by running on his hind feet with his paws up over his eyes because he knew if he came in there he'd starve to death. There was nothing to eat so he always had better hopes of getting something the next neighbourhood; he never stopped at our place at all - he always went to the next house. We had no money. When we was little kids well I used to run down to the store for an old man there who lived across the road and the store was three miles and a half and in morning he'd come over and he'd give me five cents to run down to the store to get him a plug of pipe tobacco called Master Workman. I'd run seven miles in the morning after I got my chores done to go to the store and back again before school and I done that time after time, week after week and I done that for years, the old fella. Well, the kids today wouldn't run seven miles for five cents, they wouldn't run seven miles if you offered them a hundred dollars but we had to do it in them days.

Well then, in the summer time when haying come, well we'd go to help these people around haying and they'd give us ten cents for working from one o'clock in the afternoon until dark at night- we'd rake hay, and pitch hay, and load hay and they'd give us ten cents. We'd go to work at one o'clock and work through till dark. Well, we always looked for jobs to see where we could get any money, to earn a little money for ourselves. Most things like that was something that we wanted to do. In the spring of the year why we'd help the old people plant, put the planting in. We'd pull weeds nights after school when we got our work done. We'd go to somebody's place and pull weeds until dark and he'd give us maybe five cents, or ten cents for pulling weeds; of course in them days ten cents was a lot of money to us..."