Summers in the late fifties and early sixties were slow paced and hot. We played outside all day long, coming in only to eat and then back outdoors again to play games and catch lightening bugs til bedtime. Running barefoot through the sprinkler to cool off, moms made Kool-Aid for us to drink, and we ate watermelon on the backyard picnic table. Great memories of growing up in the 50’s and 60’s-- except the nights when it was too hot to sleep before air conditioning!
This was the last generation to see door to door peddlers, as most mothers were working at home instead of the office. I barely remember the Standard Coffee salesman, and am a little too young to remember the Jewel Tea man, who sold loose tea in vintage tins like this, but this was the day before the large grocery stores.
How well I remember the milkman (yes, milk tasted SO much better in the glass gallon jugs from Prickett Dairy), who delivered milk to our door several days a week. We also had an Avon lady, and the old farmer who sold eggs and vegetables door to door in the summer.
My dad worked nights at the town newspaper, so he was always home during the day. This was great for my sister and I to spend more time with him during the summer, but the evenings were pretty lonely and my mother never felt safe at night. I remember her always hearing sounds in the night and looking out the window.
The egg man would come to our house once a week with his offerings of eggs and whatever happened to be producing in his garden that week. I remember him as an older man with grey hair. The quintessential farmer, he always wore overalls and a straw hat! My parents always visited with him and regularly bought eggs and whatever vegetables he had out in his truck. Sometimes it would be corn, tomatoes, green beans or peas; we ate from the bounty of his garden.
Then one year when summer was almost over, my mom received what she called an “obscene phone call!” She was convinced that it was the egg man! Apparently the anonymous caller inquired as to whether she was missing any “unmentionables” from the clothesline! Yes, she was certain that she was missing some bras and panties, she told my dad. Perhaps the voice was familiar, but she was sure that it had to be someone who knew my dad’s unusual work schedule. The caller never called again, and there was no evidence it was the genial old farmer, but……we never saw him again. It was the last summer he ever came to our house. So I wonder to this day, WAS the lingerie thief the familiar egg man who visited our home for several years?
Yes, this is my mother and sister standing in our backyard in front of THE clothesline that probably had some unmentionables hanging on it for all to see! I can barely see C’s swing set in the background! This was before a fence separated our backyards. I forgot to ask C if her mom ever bought anything from the egg man!