Memories of a simpler time
What you have more of than anything else as you reach old age are memories. Back in the 1930s, the Depression years, my family lived in Cottage City, Maryland. Nobody in the neighborhood locked their doors. My mother and father worked, and we three children were in school during the day. We had a telephone, a party line, so if a neighbor who did not have a phone needed to make a call, they were free to do so on ours.
I don’t recall just when it was, but my father, a U.S. Park policeman, once received a raise to $200 dollars per month. That was a big deal. At that time, my mother was earning $1100 dollars per year working in the payroll department of a government agency in Washington. We were not living lavishly, but we were living comfortably. In the summer of 1936, my father bought a 36-foot houseboat for $400. He cut off part of the cabin, added a windshield and converted it to a cabin cruiser. It was on the Anacostia River in Washington. We used two weeks of vacation to cruise down the Potomac and up the Chesapeake Bay to the South River. I was nine years old and remember going along with him.
From then until I went into the U.S. Army in January, 1945, I enjoyed many weekends, and my father’s vacations, fishing and swimming from the boat on the bay and South River. The bay was pristine then, with plenty of fish. I am glad they have made progress in cleaning it up again.
GLENN V. BRAUNER Annapolis