Excerpt: Holes In My Shoes by Alice Breon

About the Book:

Journey back eighty years to a time of drugstore soda fountains, penny candy, homemade root beer, and ten-cent movies. Visit an era when people enjoyed such simple pleasures as sitting on the front porch, visiting with neighbors in the evening while the children played “kick the can” in a street devoid of traffic. What was life like in a world that had no television, cell phones, answering machines, computers, DVDs, electronic games, microwaves? Were those people happy? Yes, in spite of the Great Depression, they were happy and resourceful. Follow one family as it lives through a time in America’s history when everyone’s future was uncertain; when everyone cared and shared.

Read an Excerpt:

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September, 1939. The summer is ending. The days are still warm, but the early September evenings are cool. Leaves on the trees give us warnings that they will soon change color. There are big changes in everyone’s lives. Dottie has moved to Chicago to start her new life. There is an empty feeling in my heart when I walk past her house. Life will never be the same.

I turned my thoughts to the “big day”. In a few weeks I would leave my childhood behind and become a freshman in high school. My mother took me shopping for new school clothes and this time we shopped in the teen department. I sensed a change. Mom didn’t have that “worried look” as we shopped. Unlike previous times, she let me choose clothes I really loved, and she didn’t examine the price tags so carefully. She seemed to enjoy watching me make selections. She even bought me new shoes, and my old ones didn’t have holes in them yet.

It seems like a heavy load has been lifted from the shoulders of my parents, aunts, uncles and neighbors. People are making plans for the future and buying new furniture and appliances. Our neighbor, Mr. Olson, was notified that he could start back to his old job. The Olson family and the Nelson family celebrated this occasion by going for a long walk around the neighborhood after supper, talking, laughing and even singing. The Depression was ending.

Newsreels at the movies are reporting on a war in Europe. I prayed that the princesses in England will be safe. During one of our Sunday dinners, Aunt Sadie and Aunt Tonie told my parents about some people who had escaped from Germany and are living next door to them in Chicago. Mom excused me from the table after dessert was served and, from the back porch, I could hear them talking in lowered voices about “how awful things were over there”. I also learned a new word—”atrocities”.

For me, a change was coming that I never dreamed of. I was going to have a weekly allowance! I would be given one dollar every week. Fifty-five cents had to be used for a weekly bus ticket to go to high school but the rest, forty-five cents, was mine to spend.

I was rich!

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