October 7th…“IN YOUR YOUNG DAYS ON THE FARM, DID YOUR PARENTS GIVE YOU SPENDING MONEY (ALLOWANCE)? HOW MUCH AND WHAT DID YOU BUY?”
The manly fragrance of “Old Spice” cologne radiated from our father, Russell, as he strode from the parental bedroom just off of our kitchen. He looked so dapper with his hair combed into that special wave that allowed some curl to whimsically come over his forehead. It was Saturday night and he had just dressed after coming up from the shower in our basement. The water pressure on that shower head was so strong, it could peel paint off of a barn. But, since the barn was clear across the yard, it just peeled the soil and sweat from our handsome Norwegian daddy!!!
Rather than calling money given to us an “allowance”, I saw that the weekly twenty five cent piece that my sister Candi and I received was more like a love gift from Mom and Dad. Now we’d be able to finance some kid fun when we got to our hometown of Kiester and the “Lucky Bucks Drawing” that brought families to town each week from miles around. Our small town really “came alive” on Saturday nights there in Kiester, Minnesota. Not only was it the gladly anticipated “Lucky Bucks Drawing”, but it was a great opportunity for families to get groceries at Field’s Market, gas up the car at Stu Soma’s Texaco Station or maybe buy that new pair of shoes in the basement of Kraus Department Store.
You could almost set your compass by the direction I went when Dad parked our family car. That destination was Paulson’s Drug on Main Street.
Besides using my weekly quarter to get some penny candy and a plastic toy soldier or two……I just HAD to preserve 10 or 12 cents so that I could get the latest copy of my hero’s comic book……..RICHIE RICH (“The Poor Little Rich Boy”). It’s fascinating what “trips the trigger” of each child’s interest in fantasy, but for me, it was the on-going saga of this very nice little boy who had all the money in the world and everything one could think of; including his own English butler named, Cadbury. I was always taken by the way the artist (Ernie Colon) depicted Richie Rich as coming from a family of not only great wealth, but, more importantly, great character and morals who taught him to not be affected to the negative by all this money he had at his fingertips each day. Even as a child, I was taken by the gentleness of this little boy who regularly reached out to others with his millions to help someone in need.
With any pennies I had left over from those wonderful Saturday evenings, I’d pocket them till we arrived home so I could play some more with the gift my Aunt Doris and Lew Hawley gave to me. It was a metal “Wild West Coin Bank” that was a ton of fun to “save” with. You’d load a coin horizontally on top of the “gun”. I would carefully take aim, and then, when the trigger was pulled, the coin shot off the hat of the bank robber as it flew inside the coin bank. The bank robber’s hat and arms were one piece, so as the hat got shot off, the bad guy’s arms went up in the air as the crook surrendered. I managed to save some coinage in that cute bank, but then, as well as now, my motto is this………..“For me, money really talks, it says GOODBYE!!!” So says this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉