Trail of a Heart 8 – Money Matters

 In Autobiography

I remember how grown up I felt when I got the job at the movie theater.  There I was making popcorn, selling snacks and even taking a turn with the flashlight going up and down the aisles discouraging young lovers. I loved it all.

I knew how to work on shared projects as that was how we operated at home. I enjoyed working with the other employees, who were mostly high school students like me. We kids pretty much ran everything except the projector. I cleaned out the popcorn machine at the end of the day, swept, mopped, cleaned bathrooms…your typical teen slavery, but I felt so mature having that job.

This was my first experience at handling making change and I felt the weight of the responsibility. It wasn’t high finance in those days. It wasn’t as cheap as it had been when I was younger, but if memory serves it was still under a buck to see the movie and all treats were under a dollar. In the 50’s I remember admission was 15 cents and my favorite dill pickle sold for 5 cents while a Butterfinger was a dime. For 25 cents you got the whole movie experience.

I also got to see some movies, which was one of my loves, especially the musicals. Half the time when I was assigned to wave flashlights at young lovers, I would just stand in the theater and watch the movie. Heck! I was sympathetic with the smoochers. I was just sad I had no one to kiss.

Money was an issue in the family, as one might imagine with a family of nine. Our house was solid, and in a safe neighborhood, just across the street from the high school; however, it was certainly not big enough for our family. Having only one bathroom and a house full of sisters drove our little brother to go behind our house to an adjoining 5-acre orchard to find a tree when he needed the bathroom.

Most of the trauma and drama of the household revolved around who was taking too long in the bathroom. I have to confess, most often it was I.  I had very long hair that I had to fix in that long roll all around the bottom, and then there was the makeup that had to be just so. Not having been born with much in the way of eyebrows, it took great care to recreate the Elizabeth Taylor eyebrows I so admired.

Daddy envisioned closing in the garage of our house to gain another bedroom, which he mostly did. The wall was built to replace the garage door; however, the room itself never got completely finished.  It still also housed the washer and dryer all in the same space as it became a makeshift bedroom. I am sad to say that this became my father’s room as he and my mom became more and more at odds with one another.

Watch for the next installment.

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