The Good Old Days?

A friend recently posted on Facebook about patterned feed/flour sacks that were used for making clothing in the 1930’s and 40’s. That brought back lots of memories for me since I wore dresses made from feed sacks.

Back in the “good old days,” the common people – my people - washed and saved feed sacks and traded patterns to get enough material for whatever they were wanting to make. Feed sacks came in many prints - stripes, geometrics, florals and novelty prints. They also came in solid colors and border prints.

My dad was a minister and many of the printed sacks we used came from members of his congregation. Those who raised livestock had the most to share, but it still took a long time to get enough fabric for a dress. Feed sack fashions way back when were not a fad, but rather a necessity.

While watching the Prime Minister of Japan during his visit to Hawaii a few days ago, I was reminded of how difficult that attack made our lives because of the rationing of goods - flour, wheat, sugar, dry goods, lard, rayon, nylon, leather, gasoline, tires for cars - to name a few. Each family was allotted tokens and stamps by the government. Without these, many things could not be purchased. Growing a garden and preserving produce was a necessity for survival, and neighbors took care of each other by sharing their crops.

I'm very grateful for parents who were willing to work hard so we had the things we needed. My mom could turn an old, worn adult-size coat inside out, cut her own pattern, and make a nice looking coat to keep a child warm during the winter, and we shared outgrown clothing with our friends. Children could identify their next outfits by observing their primary donors. We walked most places. Gasoline was saved for necessary trips.

I will never forget the day I lost a token while on an errand to the little grocery store down the street. We simply did without the item that token would have allowed us to purchase.

I have many memories of this era. Doing without, the frightening air raid sirens and blackouts, and watching a friend sob after military representatives arrived at their door to inform them that her big brother would not be coming home comprise just a few of these memories.

I have great memories of my childhood and our caring parents. The war is a gray blotch on those memories.

~ Pictures from Pinterest

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