No Charge: Helping Each Other Through the Depression Era

Missouri woman recalls how neighbors and local businesses formed a strong community during the depression era, assisting one another for 'no charge'

| Good Old Days

During the Depression era we trusted everyone and they trusted you. No one was crooked.

The telephone was a crank type and on the wall. There were several neighbors on the same line. One could tell others were listening as the receiver would click. No one used a phone for business. Sometimes several neighbors would get on together and visit a bit. But I think that phone cost all of a $1.00 per month. If your phone did not work properly a service man would come and put in two new batteries that would run the phone. No charge for that

Once in awhile our grocer would put a sack of cookies or candy in our groceries as a surprise. This was a big treat to the whole family and no charge for what he had done.

The five and ten cent stores were so enchanting to my sister and I. One counter was jewelry and a clerk at each counter and no taxes back then.

Our entertainment was most every day life. But in good weather someone would go to town and get a big chunk of ice. We then would crank an ice cream freezer and make ice cream.

Bonita DePue
Nevada, Missouri

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