A USA story

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Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
A USA story
28

Took a trip to my late grandparent's home in rural Alabama, so this indeed is a 'travel' subject. This house (built in 1917) has been empty since 1970. My cousin lives a few hundred yards down the still-rural country road. My dad and his six siblings were raised on this property. They ran a small self-sustaining farm; A few cows, hogs, chickens, a mule, a garden and fruit trees. The children each received a bag of fruit for Christmas. They went to school in a one-room schoolhouse. We would visit every summer and milk cows, get eggs from the henhouse, and ride the mule, etc.

My dad was the only one of the children that went to college- after serving in WWII. He raised seven children of his own, never making more than 15K a year until later in his career. We lived in a 800 sq ft home with one bathroom. But, we all have college degrees, ranging from PhD's, Master's to Bachelors - Engineers, Medical Professionals, a college Dean, a business executive, and a small business owner. This is the United States I love. My dad, now deceased, always said: "Anything easily attained is lightly regarded".

Washing Machine circa 1940's?, still sitting on the back porch. My brother (when he was 8 yrs old) got his arm stuck in the roller.

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Lan Senior Member • Posts: 2,316
Re: A USA story

Thank you for sharing a bit of your family history with us Gary. Sounds like each generation stands on the shoulders of the one before. Do you have any offspring? If so, I think they have a tough challenge ahead.

That's a lovely shot of your ancestral home too - I particularly like the way the sun is lighting up that roof!

gordonpritchard Veteran Member • Posts: 4,647
Re: A USA story

Gman58 wrote:

Washing Machine circa 1940's?, still sitting on the back porch. My brother (when he was 8 yrs old) got his arm stuck in the roller.

The "roller" is actually called a "mangle" - and now you know why.

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MOD rick decker Forum Pro • Posts: 17,221
Re: A USA story

Nice images which go well with your story. My dad never made more thana 15k a year either. Worked two jobs. Built our house in his"spare" time.

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RUcrAZ
RUcrAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 6,555
Re: A USA story

Love the story...but can't help but wonder, why all these professionals, or one of them, didn't spend some $$ to fix-up the place "empty" for 50 years? Looks like nice property.

landscaper1
landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,887
Re: A USA story
1

gordonpritchard wrote:

Gman58 wrote:

Washing Machine circa 1940's?, still sitting on the back porch. My brother (when he was 8 yrs old) got his arm stuck in the roller.

The "roller" is actually called a "mangle" - and now you know why.

That image brought back memories. I remember sometimes watching my Grandma doing the laundry in her basement using a machine just like that. "Mangle," huh? Well, I can remember that happening to a few things that didn't get fed into it properly. I was a slow and laborious process "wringing out" the clothes so they were dry enough to hang on the line outside. And to think that, to her generation, that machine was a big time saver.

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jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 4,335
Re: A USA story

Gman58 wrote:

Great story connecting images with life.

My dad, now deceased, always said: "Anything easily attained is lightly regarded".

He was right. I suppose the other side of the same coin is "Anything attained by effort or difficulty is highly regarded." I would say your family's academic achievements are to be highly regarded.

Thanks for the posting.

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story
2

Thanks for commenting Lan. Yes, I have two. Wanted three or four but couldn't due to spouse's medical condition. I have hope for their futures. Nuclear annihilation is what my generation feared most. Still somewhat of a concern, but I think my greatest fear for my children is along the lines of '1984' or 'Brave New World'.

Gary

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story

Appropriately named Gordon. His arm bore the burn marks for many months. 

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story

I think my dad made around 10 or 12K until the mid - 80's when his company got bought out by a larger firm and they 'upped' his salary. The roughest thing was nine people sharing one bathroom. 

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story

Sad story RU. I had an uncle that lived a few hundred yards down the road from this house. He inherited the property from my grandparents. I don't think it was a sophisticated will, but the understanding was he would share some of the land with each of his siblings. Apparently that was not explicitely stated in the will however and he never did. He never let anyone do anything to maintain the property. The land passed on to his son (my cousin) and he's let the house just sit for all these years. My siblings and I grew up 200 miles away, and now are scattered across the US. I think my cousin's children will eventually upgrade the property, but the house is beyond repair.

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story

There was a 70' well on the other end of this back porch, and an old outhouse not far away. The well has been covered and the outhouse was taken away by time and a few tornadoes. As a kid, that was really fun to go to the outhouse. They had indoor plumbing by that time, but I was 'adventurous'.

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OP Gman58 Senior Member • Posts: 2,569
Re: A USA story

Thanks for the reply jhorse. When the entire family works the farm, life is pretty simple and hard work is just part of it. That seems to be a relic of the past. Nowadays, it's more 'what do you owe me?'.

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Lan Senior Member • Posts: 2,316
Re: A USA story

Gman58 wrote:

Thanks for commenting Lan. Yes, I have two. Wanted three or four but couldn't due to spouse's medical condition. I have hope for their futures. Nuclear annihilation is what my generation feared most. Still somewhat of a concern, but I think my greatest fear for my children is along the lines of '1984' or 'Brave New World'.

Gary

Congratulations on having two

Yes, I can understand your concern about the future portrayed in both of those books.

Here in the UK we already live in a surveillance state; in my 16 mile pre-Covid commute to work I used to pass so many cameras that I genuinely wouldn't want to try and count them all. Definitely well into double digits; in some places I'd be into double digits inside a single mile; and those are just the obviously visible cameras.

Probably the single thing that's protected us as a population to date has been that the sheer volume of data being collected means that it's almost impossible to do anything meaningful with it. AI could easily change that, by filtering that information on a massive scale.

Covid aside though, I think we currently live in the golden age of civilisation!

jm10 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,269
Re: A USA story
2

Thanks for the post Gary! Lots of history here...Also triggered some memories, especially the washer/drier combination. Here is something that is stuck in my memory (my wife's also):