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Monday, January 14, 2019

Economy during the War

Economy during the War

1940 Dress StylesGentlemen wore white shirts to work during the War and when the collars and cuffs were stained or worn, they were removed, turned, and re sewn to reflect a newer finish. Shoes were polished and socks regularly darned. The ladies wore wool fedora hats and matching gloves. My grandmother saved every dab of cotton in her medicine bottles to stuff pillows. Also, women were still selling hair, and I noted a large sack of reddish hair (from her girl hood) in her closet. Although it was a time of saving items and penny-pinching, proper fashions were worn at all times, and good manners were still in style. 



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Monday, January 7, 2019

Quarintines in the Old Neighborhood

Quarantines in the Old Neighborhood

measles quarantine signDuring the 1940s, when scarlet fever or measles struck, a quarantine sign was tacked on the front door. It was a warning tacked on the door by the communicable disease people not to go inside the house. Scarlet fever could last as long as a month, and it called for bed confinement for the duration of the illness. When a child was attacked by German measles (rubella) , the neighbors were in a tizzy because it spread easily and was very contagious.



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Monday, December 31, 2018

Flour-Sack Dresses

Flour-Sack Dresses

flour sack dressesDuring the second World War, everyone scrimped and saved. There was little money to be earned by children, except coat-hangers brought a penny each at the local dry cleaners. Sugar and flour were rationed, and my mother counted her food-stamps carefully. Home made wheat bread was commonly consumed, but so were biscuits and delicious vegetable pot pies. When Merita bakery sold white bread, we all begged for it. As the war wore on, flour sacks were saved to make dresses. A faded design was imprinted on the sack, which was cleverly used to fashion the latest styles.



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Monday, December 24, 2018

Things we did not tell our Parents

Things we did not tell our Parents

buffalo billSince my sisters walked everywhere as children, one afternoon we discovered an old railroad track and followed it some distance. Eventually, a freight train rattled along and we easily jumped aboard. To our delight, the spur ended in Piedmont Park! Oh delicious! We walked on a historical terrain that day, because it was the spot where Buffalo Bill had brought his Show to Atlanta! William Frederick Cody lived the life of an adventurer, he was a showman, a scout and a hunter of bison. He died 1917 in Denver and was buried atop Lookout Mountain.



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Monday, December 17, 2018

Mrs. Minx

Mrs. Minx

hydrangeaDuring the 1940s our next-door neighbor on Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta was and old lady, Mrs. Minx. One afternoon I had the nerve to knock on the front door and ask if I could cut some of her beautiful blue hydrangeas in the front yard. I so admired the delicious blooms which seemed to last all summer. She invited me inside house of a dark rooms. Dark, because the windows were well-draped with curtains. She must have resided in that house for many years, because of the narrow garage in the back which was too small for 1940s automobiles, but probably accommodated the 1915 models! She would not let me cut the flowers, because she said that "they would not keep and would just die!"



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Monday, December 10, 2018

Renovations do not always Fit the Era


Renovations do not always Fit the Era

1890 wallpaperRenovations of old neighborhoods are not exactly what I would call "true to the era." In my old Atlanta neighborhood of the 1890 Victorian homes, there was a rush to renovate during the 1970s. Having grown up there, I had friends residing in just about every house in the area. So I remember the dark tiled fireplaces, built in pantries, dark woodwork, stained glass windows on the landing half-way up the stairs. The ceiling of each room had one ugly iron chandelier with two or three light bulbs which was turned on by a button on the wall. Because a ladder was needed to change the light bulb, sometimes, a long string was attached. I could be describing the old Asa Candler home on Elizabeth Street, just as well as any other home. The 1890s colorful flora on wallpaper was usually enclosed by oval fancy designs was hypnotic to those who slept in the bedroom. Oh how I remember the red roses in this particular wallpaper! In some homes the renovators striped away the beautiful tiled fireplaces and mantles leaving a shell of red construction brick. Since there was only one bath in the large Victorian homes, bathrooms were added to the once-beautifully-large individual bedrooms along with extra closets.



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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Protecting the Work of a Lifetime #georgiapioneers

Protecting the Work of a Lifetime

951 EdgewoodAfter the close of the War Between the States, the South was without the means of paying a labor force on the farm. Too, many lost their homes to back taxes. As a result, by 1900, many families had removed to the cities in search of work. A series of shot-gun houses were built in Atlanta, and seldom painted. The wood work inside the old Victorian homes in Atlanta's first neighborhoods were stained with brown hues. and walls decorated with subdued colors of flowery wallpaper. There was one over head light in each room, often having a long string. Also, homes typically had one bath room which featured a bare bones sink, tub, toilet and a piece of furniture for a medicine cabinet. The era of the 1930s bore a poorly depressed economy when vital records were coming into being. It was an era when people gathered around the kitchen table and read the family bible and that this bible served as an important family record of births, marriages and deaths, replete with newspaper clippings. Twas a quaint method of keeping family records, yet lost to this generation. For those of us keeping a family pedigree chart on a genealogy website, beware! Despite the security measures being taken today, it is still incredibly easy to grab data. These precious records could also be lost to foreign governments who hack our data without giving it a thought, bankruptcy, sellouts, etc. Like the old days, we should keep a paper copy for ourselves and protect the work of a lifetime.



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Monday, December 3, 2018

Our Memories are Real

Our Memories are Real

951edgewood951 Edgewood Avenue. Childhood fixes memories in a certain way. The first time that I returned to the old home place on Edgewood Avenue, I was rather shocked to see a narrow driveway and small backyard. As I recall, my father separated the space by with chicken pins. In front was a wire clothesline and I enough space to pay. Behind the chickens were huge fig trees which led to a dump owned by a business facing DeKalb Avenue. Later on, after the chickens, the yard was a baseball diamond, imaginary lines, of course, where the big game was played in the neighborhood. My memory registered a large space. I will always remember it that way.



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