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.