To the editor:
I remember when...
The year was 1942, gasoline was 13 cents per gallon, or 8 gallons for a dollar.
My mother cooked on a kerosene stove in the summertime. I would go to the service station with a glass gallon jug and get a gallon of coal oil (kerosene), for 7 cents. In the winter she used her wood-burning cook stove.
We lived in Des Moines. I was 12 years old and worked as a caddy at Waveland Golf Course. I rode the streetcar for a 5-cent fare. A caddy’s pay was 75 cents for 18 holes, but most golfers paid a dollar.
It took 4 hours to play a round, but I earned enough to buy a used bike for $35; no new bikes were made during the war, but I didn’t have enough for a new bike anyway.
We moved across town to East 27th St. and it became quite a distance to pedal to Waveland each day. I was near Grand View Golf Course, so I started caddying there.
It was mid-July, a nice warm day, and I was the only caddy in a group of four players. We had just holed out on Number 10 and three players had shot. It was about 140 yds. across a lake to the green.
The fourth player teed up, shot, and the ball went in the lake. He teed up another ball and it also went in the lake. He got another ball, teed up and shot it in the lake. He picked up his bag of clubs, walked to the edge of the lake and tossed them as far as he could out in the water.
He didn’t say anything, just headed back toward the clubhouse. I asked the golfer I was caddying for if I should get the clubs, but he said the fellow would cool off and come back. Nobody was playing behind us, so we sat down and waited.
After about 10 minutes, here he came over the hill, sat down on the bank, took off his shoes and socks, waded out, picked up his clubs, unzipped a pocket, took out some keys and threw the clubs back in the lake.
After we finished playing, I waded out looking for the clubs, but they were gone. I guess he cooled off and fished them out again.