The Weekly Salesman

by Jule Spohn


I can remember growing up in the 1940's when every week many people came to our house selling something. Every Monday there was the man from the Insurance company who came to collect his premiums. On Tuesday or Wednesday there was the little of Jewish man, and when he died his wife came, carry along, up the three flights of stairs, shopping bags of clothes - underwear, socks, shirts, etc. My father never bought any of his clothes. My mother bought it all for him. On Saturday there was the Cook Coffee man who came up the stairs with two containers of coffee, tea, butter, and meat. The butter came in a "crock" and was sooooo good. A few times a week Danny The Iceman came by with his horse and wagon and delivered a chunk of ice for our ice box which was out in the hall. My job after school was to empty the basin under it. Of course there was the milk man who delivered milk - in the bottle with the cream on top - and eggs.

And there was a slew of others who went door to door to collect their $1 or $2 weekly payment. I can remember my mother telling me when I was a teenager that at one point she told me to tell one of the salesmen that she wasn't home. So I did. I said to him - "My mother said to tell you that she wasn't home." I don't think my poor mother was too happy about that.


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