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November 14, 2008


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What an interesting read. While I have no stories of my own from my family to share it was very interesting to read about those families. Thank you for sharing that.


I was allowed to have a credit card at a very young age as well.
My mom told me the first time I couldn't pay the balance when the bill arrived I would have to cut it up. I've paid about 5 dollars max in interest on credit cards and that was because I didn't recieve my statement, and didn't pay on time.

For me credit cards are just a means to keep track of what I spend, not a life long loan. Trying to instill that in my 23 year old, for some reason he doesn't quite get the lesson I did.

heart in san francisco

My mother was forced to quit school at 14 to help support her family. The next year, when her parents wanted her sister to do so as well, my mother stood up to them and all her siblings were allowed to finish school, eventually becoming a college professor and two medical doctors. My mother finally got her GED and went to college in her 70's, getting her degree at 79.

My father put himself through night law school, working as an interpreter on the NYC docks in several languages he had taught himself. Many of his early clients paid him in home grown chickens, eggs and vegetables because nobody had any money.

My older brother was very sick and there was no medical insurance, so my birth when he was six was unplanned. Somehow they always managed to take care of us and provide what we needed.


Before my mom died a couple of years ago I pumped her for all of the blanks in my family history.

One story I found to be typical of her Scots/Irish parents.

My grandfather having been a street urchin in Edinburgh before emigrating to Canada had know privation. Orphaned at an early age he learned what it took to feed his belly. Work.

As the depression kicked into high gear, the plant foremen in charge of hiring day labor at the Detroit auto plants were willing to overlook his union affiliation button and bring him in regularly because he knew how to work.

He gave my grandmother ten dollars with the instruction that if any of the neighbors came looking for a loan to tide them over she was to give it them out of the ten. He told her never to look at it as a loan but rather when necessary they would find a way to replenish it out of his wages.

As expected the neighbors did come looking for a quarter or a dollar because there was no milk or beans on the table. Granny would quietly hand out what they asked for.

From what my mom told me, that ten never had to be replaced. Every single time some was lent out it was repaid. People knew, it seemed that everyone would make it through if they worked together.


Well said, finally a good report on this stuff

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