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Family Business: 1943

Family Business: 1943

April 1943. "San Augustine, Texas. Clyde Smith, grocer, with his two daughters." Papa gets sartorial points for the ironic necktie. Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


Mom Would Write A Note

In the late 40's my mother would hand me a note plus some money, instruct me not to read it and give it to Mr Mac at the corner convenience store where I usually got my penny candy.

I dutifully carried out my mission by not looking at the note and handing Mr Mac the note. He would reach behind him and put a blue box in a plain brown paper bag.

The first few times I did not look but an 8 year old boy's curiosity finally won out and I checked the note --- KOTEX.

To say the least I was very confused and the box was no help since the only other information on the box was Sanitary Napkins. Why would buying napkins be such a big secret? It wasn't until I became a teenager did I find out the reason for my secret mission.

Mule team

I remember getting the Mule Team model as well. Went together well, but the lines for the mules and painting it were my troubles. I guess at 7 my sense of detail just wasn't there!

Items I remember

I remember some of these items on my Grandmother's shelves. I also remember the phone which I loved to use because my parents' phone was "modern"!


Specializing in brands that end in the letter "x".

Another use of borax

Don't forget borax's use in laundering cloth diapers. A little white vinegar and borax thrown in with the soap makes the bright white and like new. I raised three kids in the pre-Pampers era.

Mule Team Model

I remember as a kid sending in the coupon for a model of the twenty mule team: 20 mules, the three wagons and the muleskinners, and the harnesses, etc. It was one of my earlier attempts at model building but I did manage it.

20 Mule Team

Crazy, the number of uses for borax: alone as a laundry detergent booster; mixed with ammonium chloride to produce a flux when welding iron and steel; as an anti-fungal foot soak; to treat thrush in horse hooves; as a cockroach killer; to make buffer solutions in biochemistry; as an ingredient in enamel glazes; mixed with glue, water and food coloring to make the gloopy play slime for kids called gak; etc.

The young ladies --

Lila Marie (16) and her sister Rosa Nell (14), according to the 1940 Census.

In a van, down by the river!

Chris Farley's Grandpa?

I'm nearly 70 and still learning

of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.
"sartorial elegance"

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