No! Not Really! I don’t think there was a recession in the 1940’s and 50’s, but everyone behaved and lived as if there was one, so we did save some money and in the process helped our families and the country. You might ask, "How did this work?" Well read on.
We could go to the store and buy imported butter from Holland, first class creamy butter for $1.50 a can. Or we could go to the shop and buy a pound of Blue Band margarine imported from Mexico for only 25 cents. Of course we all consumed the cheap margarine which tasted good to everyone. Oh, there was this lady who said that if she ate regular margarine, it developed blisters on her lips. You can be sure everyone just made a joke out of that.
Again, we could go to the store to buy a pound of lard (pig fat) for I think 50 cents a pound, or buy a three pound can for $2.50. But that was too much money for the regular Sanpedranos who lived on fried fish, fried jacks, fried beans, fried fish eggs, fried manatee, fried sweet bread (doughnuts) and fried everything except fried chicken. So we all used coconut oil to do our frying. Coconut oil could be purchased for about 25 cents a quart, but that is not all. Most families, picked up some coconuts along the coals (coconut plantations), grated them, squeezed out the milk and proceeded to make their own coconut oil. And if you ask me about the flavor of anything fried with coconut oil, or bread and rice and beans cooked with coconut oil, I tell you, it is absolutely delicious. If mom did not use coconut oil to fry the barracuda steaks, dad would say that it was no good. I guess he was simply trying to encourage its use instead of pig lard. Helping in the recession, you see!
Let’s talk about shoes, jokingly of course. What brand of fashion shoes did Sanpedranos wear? None! Sanpedranos did not start wearing shoes until the high school opened in 1971 and started asking students to wear shoes. And believe me it was a hard battle to get people like Omero, Nadir, Sony, Pete, to mention a few, to wear shoes. Again not wearing shoes helped save money and the recession from happening. Men who went to the bush to gather coconuts wore special footwear- sandals. These were cut from thick rubber tires and with some thin rope straps were made for a comfortable sandal. Helping in the recession!
Oh yes I can go on and on wit examples of how we economized twenty five years ago, but there is plenty of time to enjoy some more. So until next week, you find ways to battle the recession. Smoke Independence, not Winston, if you have to smoke. Je je je.
- by Angel Nuñez, Columnist