Depression Era: Hospitality Meant Giving Hobos Postum and a Meal

Mississippi woman recalls her mother feeding hobos during the depression era, and she carried on the tradition even after she married.

| Good Old Days

In the depression era my folks often had uninvited company. These ''bums'' or "hobos" were never turned away. It was a simple matter to share our humble provisions. Mother would fry a couple of eggs, a thick slice of ham, homemade bread and a cup of postum.

On the farm across the road from us a field of cotton was being picked, and was stored in a pile to be removed later. One morning when we had a hungry visitor asking for breakfast, he had cotton in his hair so we knew where he had spent the night.

One morning an elderly couple staggered in for refreshments. Walking was their only means of transportation and they had a long way to go to reach their destination. They were so very tired, dirty and hungry. After a period of refreshment they again trudged on their weary way.

Another elderly man asked to spend the night, but this one didn't seem so "down and out." After bedtime father heard muttering and cursing from the spare bedroom. Father was a religious man so the visitor was reprimanded in the morning.

This one had been with us before, but I don't think he came after that.

The visitors weren't always beggars. Sometimes it was peddlers, trying to make an honest living. When these arrived around noon it was taken for granted we would share our meal.

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