Monday, March 23, 2009

SIGNS OF TIMES

SIGNS OF TIMES


BURMA SHAVE
HOW LONG SINCE YOU HAVE SEEN A BURMA SHAVE SIGN ATTACHED TO THE TOP OF A FENCE POST ?
A GOOD BET THAT MANY YOUNG FOLKS HAVE NEVER SEEN A BURMA SHAVE SIGN ALONG AN OLD TWO LANE ROAD.
REMEMBERING BURMA SHAVE SIGNS THE MOST FOR ME WAS ALONG OLD HIGHWAY 66 BETWEEN BRISTOW OKLAHOMA AND ARCADIA OKLAHOMA. IN THE ERA OF THE 20s, 30s AND 40s THE AVERAGE WIDTH OF A STATE HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY WAS ABOUT 50 FEET. THE SLAB WHERE PAVED OR BLACK TOPPED WAS ABOUT 17 FEET WIDE TO ACCOMODATE TWO WAY TRAFFIC , OF COURSE THAT MEANT MEETING ONCOMING CARS, TRUCKS AND BUSES WITH ONLY INCHES BETWEEN VEHICLES WHEN MEETING AND PASSING.
DROPPING OFF THE SLAB COULD MEAN A ROUGH RIDE UNTIL RECOVERING. TALL WEEDS COULD BE GROWING RIGHT UP NEXT TO THE SLAB. 'FREE RANGE' ANIMALS STANDING AT THE EDGE OF THE SLAB. THIS GROWTH SELDOM MOWED BY THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT. MAINTAINANCE WAS REGULATED BY LOCAL POLITICS. THE UNKEMPT AREAS HAD TRASH FROM YEARS BACK, UNLIKE TODAY'S TRASH, NO PLASTIC BAGS AND SUCH FROM FAST FOOD PLACES.
THE MOM AND POP STATIONS WHICH WERE THEN FREQUENT HAD FOR SALE TIRE AND TUBE PATCHING KITS, CRACKERS AND SARDINES, SODA POP IN THE LARGE GLASS BOTTLES WITH THE OLD ROUGH CAPS THAT REQUIRED AN OPENER AND ALSO FOR SALE WAS WATER BAGS OF CANVAS MATERIAL AND COULD BE FILLED FREE IF YOU DREW WATER FROM THE WATER WELL OUT BACK.
THE REST ROOM WAS FARTHER ON BACK AT THE END OF A WELL WORN PATH.
NOW I AM NOT HAVING YOU BELIEVE THAT ALL OF OKLAHOMA WAS LIKE THIS DURING THESE TIMES. SOME PARTS WERE SLOW TO CATCH UP.
AGAIN, POLITICS MADE THE DIFFERENCE. LOOKING BACK NOW, THE GREAT DEPRESSION DURING MOST OF THE 1930s, WAS A SLOW TIME, HOPING FOR THINGS TO GET BETTER AND MAKING DO WITH WHAT WE HAD, EXCEPTIONS BEING AS IN THESE MODERN TIMES, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WERE NOT LIVING IN FEAR OF BEING 'LAID OFF'. ONE OF THE MOST SECURE WAS A POSTAL JOB. A NEIGHBOR WAS A RURAL DELIVERY EMPLOYEE WHOM DELIVERED MAIL AROUND OUR COUNTRY SIDE USING A BIG BEAUTIFUL BUGGY HORSE AND FANCY BUGGY. BAD WEATHER NEVER STOPPED HIM.
IF MEMORY IS CORRECT, A FIRST CLASS STAMP WAS TWO CENTS IN 1930. PENNY POST CARD ONE CENT. OATS FOR THE BUGGY HORSE FOR A BUSHEL WAS TWELVE CENTS. CORN ON THE COBB ABOUT THE SAME.
SO IS IT NOT UNDERSTANDABLE MY 'MULLING OVER',HOW MUCH IS A TRILLION DOLLARS ?
BURMA SHAVE MAN, TELL US. sam shafer

1 comment:

madcobug said...

I remember thos Bruma Shave signs Sam. It would be something to see a trillion dollars. God bless Sam. Helen