Recreation during the Depression

During the Great Depression a big thrill was when Daddy got his paycheck.  We got to ride to La Jolla to a drugstore.  We each got to pick one magazine, and have an ice cream cone, which cost a whole nickel.  All drug stores had soda fountains.  There was always such a clean smell in drug stores in those days. 

            Recreation was a family affair.  We often took a drive in Dad’s car which was a Graham.  We would ride down to the ocean and sometimes walk out on the pier.  One of our rides that I still see in my mind’s eye, was driving downtown San Diego at Christmas time.  It was raining that night so all the colored lights were reflected on the pavement and were so pretty. Stores all closed early in those days, so the town was quiet and there were very few other cars.  After these evening rides, my brother Ellis and I managed to pretend we were asleep so when we got home, Dad would carry us in.  However eventually our parents caught on and closed the garage doors leaving us inside.  We sure “woke up” fast and didn’t try that again. 

            The house we rented from Mr. Ernest Johnson was located at 1564 Chalcedony.  It was a pink stucco surrounded by fields of wild oats.  It had large rooms, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  There was a fireplace and a pot bellied stove to keep the house warm.  The roof was flat, so often when it rained the roof would leak.  We would run around and put pans and buckets to catch the water where it came in.  Then Mr. Johnson would send out roof repair people to add more tar.  It would help for a while, but then it would leak again.  Mr. Johnson was a good landlord and wanted to keep us.  So when Ellis was old enough to need a separate bedroom, he built a nice knotty pine add on room for him.

            This house had an enclosed back porch which was also a laundry room for the old wringer style washing machine, and a large tub for rinsing.  Then outside there were two sections to the back yard.  Along side of the first one was a lath house for tropical plants that couldn’t take too much sun..  Then there was a large Pepper tree that we liked to climb.

            While Dad was principal of the Pacific Beach Elementary school, a whole new ell was added to the school.  It contained two or three classrooms, a cafeteria, and a room they used for a toy loan library.  People donated toys their children had outgrown.  We could borrow a toy and keep it three weeks.  It could be renewed once so you could conceivably have it for 6 weeks.  I borrowed a two wheel bike with training wheels that both Ellis and I learned on.  Once I remember borrowing a play stove that was really supposed to cook.  It really didn’t do much but it was fun.
[Next time I’ll discuss more about my memories of my family during the Great Depression years.]

About Bertie

Retired and luvin' it.
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One Response to Recreation during the Depression

  1. Josie says:

    Amber and I love reading about the family.  We have gotten so into it that we have given Mom and Dad homework on the same lines.  This should become a book.

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