Memories Of The Past
boys were always looking for a source of money back in the late 1940’s.
We needed bubble gum, candy, soft drinks and ice cream.
We knew that if we ask our parents, we would come up empty handed
and get a lecture on how these things were not good for us and would ruin
our appetites at meal time.
We had not quite reached the age where neighbors would hire us to mow lawns or cut weeds. We only got to do this at home and were not paid.
One day, someone came up with the idea that
we would look in the ditches along the local roads for drink bottles that
had been thrown out of cars. There
was a 2˘ deposit on all drink bottles taken out of a store during this
time. When the bottle was returned, the grocer would pay you the
deposit or if you bought more drinks, the deposit was credited against
After walking the ditch lines on several
roads, we came to the conclusion that not many people were throwing 2˘
away during this period. We
decided we needed another way to make money.
We were setting in the woods across from Lynn Garden Elementary
School at the top of a bank cut into the lot that faced on Gate City
Highway. To the left of the
lot was the back of Leeper’s Cash and Carry, one of the many
neighborhood groceries of the time. It
just happened that Tom Leeper, proprietor of the store came out and
stacked some empty drink bottles. We
saw a large collection of empty bottles, waiting for the various drink
suppliers to pick them up when making deliveries.
A source of money!!!
Using restraint, we never took more than 2 cartons at any time and
never the same brand. We
never went back two days in a row. We
would take one carton to another neighborhood store and then take the
other carton to a different neighborhood store.
Twenty-four cents total. What
Some times we would take the deposit money in trade, getting six
pieces of bubble gum or six penny candies.
Our choices depended on how many boys were present.
We soon determined which stores used outside storage for their
empties and would vary our visits. We
spent the summer months, trading empty soda pop bottles between the many
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