Beautiful sad piece here, Sherman.
Few words, the economy enhances the energy and pain.
Beer only came in bottles in Aotearoa in my childhood. Not something we could use in a transaction. Pubs were for men, they closed at 6pm. It was called " the six o'clock swill" and drunks were thrown out on to the pavement, often unconcious.
But we could get 3 cents for every soft drink bottle we returned. We looked everywhere. Gathered up a heap and cashed them in.
Then, I'm ashamed to say, we would wait a day or two before we snuck out at night with a duffel bag each and stole them from the back of the shop.
To be resold in dribs and drabs to another shop. The shame at ripping off the shop keepers, who were always kind to us.
I hope Leonard is granted clemency, for a crime he did not commit...
$1.70-$1.80 per pound of aluminum in California fyi.
Around here (the gritty parts of the San Fernando Valley) recycling is second nature for most of us, but never is it to save the planet. Cash money baby.
Budweiser cans mixed in with Shasta pop cans. I remember those days. My younger siblings and I would make it a competition to see who could crush the most cans. Who knew our fathers were inadvertently environmentally conscious amid their addictions.
Wow. You never disappoint, Sherman. You always make me see life from a different angle.
Ahhh these were my cousins. But they were little so he had them crushing the cans by lifting a cinder block and dropping it on the cans. They taught me so I could help them but I was even smaller and couldn’t lift it very well. This is another beautiful sadness, Sherman. Might be used for food. If he was in a good mood...
Growing up, we didn't have a lot, but always enough. But I can relate to choices made around alcohol.
I wish I could send you a picture a friend sent me. It is an eight pack of toilet paper sitting in a beer cooler with the caption "choices were made". Choices were made.
A heavy and moving piece. Thanks so much for sharing this, Sherman.
booze? bread? both?
Looks so simple. You cut like a knife. Jees you're good.
Wonderful mysterious why it works.
"and the money / MIGHT be / used for food." (my emphasis)
You sure do a good job at jerking the tear chain, y'know? I've been hungry, but never that hungry. You make my stomach hurt as well as my tears flow.
A young man once asked if he could leave his truck camper at my shop for a couple of nights, which eventually turned into a year. I found him and asked his plans for it. He said he had no plans and he did not want it. I cleared out the junk (six big trash bags full), donated what was worth donating to a thrift store and hauled the trash junk to the dump. After it was cleared out, I decided to burn the thing after I removed the outside aluminum siding. That’s when I discovered the entire frame was still shiny aluminum, which I dismantled, loaded into my truck, and took to a metal recycling place about fifty miles from here. After I reimbursed myself for fuel, l had about ten dollars left, so I decided to go next door to a McDonald’s for a cup of coffee. On my way in, I started talking to an old man who was genuinely hungry. I told him to order whatever he wanted and as much as he wanted. His order required all my aluminum money and then some, but it felt like pure profit.
That is a beautiful story.
blessings, you have created a wonderful site, thank you...
food is a tangible, organic, form of currency...I remember in NM, the green chile harvest set the stage for the state's economics...
November, before going to the Taos fair at the pueblo...I could smell the roasting chiles throughout Santa Fe...Jeffrey