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"No one could afford to drive to the stores for small items. Gas was rationed so it came to us." -OT

OT, you may have solved a mystery, nuts in the raisin bread aside.

I've sometimes wondered why so many things were delivered to the house "in the old days," but no longer. I always figured home deliveries were eliminated to avoid the cost of labor.

In those days, before the rise of suburbs, the population was more concentrated. Deliverymen had "routes" that they could cover in a day.

I remember walking "down to FawCawnahs" as a kid, with my mother, and sometimes to Westerleigh, and occasionally taking a ride to PawRichman, to do the shopping. Stop in at the butcher for meat and he gave the kid a slice of baloney that I can remember today.

Of course it made sense to send a deliveryman around if the customers couldn't drive to the store for one item or another. They didn't have supermarkets or malls in dem days either, come to think of it. If you wanted a mall, you went to PawRichman. Richmond Avenue was wall-to-wall stores on both sides of the street. Archie's, Lobels, Garber Bros., Melody Ann, and all sorts of bakeries that must have been Italian, because every time I walk past an Italian bakery today and catch that smell that only comes from an Italian Bakery, I get transported instantly back to Richmond Avenue as a kid.

Sorta like Proust's Madeleine, as we established in a memorable thread with Frances the artist in Siena, formerly of New Dorp and Curtis. We miss her. Maybe DB scared her off; she probably figured he was going to drop in the next time he was in the neighborhood.

After Da War, cars came back with a roar. Then came roads. Then came babies, today's Baby Boomers. New families moved to new homes built in something they called suburbs, todays 'burbs, where the prices have skyrocketed by at least a dozen times since then. Supermarkets, then malls, then regional malls, and a myriad of strip malls developed. People had wheels to get there. Didn't need no Dugan's man to deliver the bread and cake. Didn't need Holterman's or Weissglass to deliver more bread and milk. We kids used to raid the trucks as soon as the driver headed for the house with a case of milk. We were after the ice on the hot summer days. If we didn't rip him off too bad, he'd grab that ice-pick, the one we were afraid he might want to use on us, and chop us off a chunk of ice, which we could chew and suck on until our hands grew too cold to hold it any longer. Then you could draw the chunk down someone's back to get a shriek and a shiver.

Sometimes the bakery driver would give you a donut, as when a box of them accidentally broke open. We were always happy to make sure that happened. I don't know how these companies made any money when lots of kids were around.

Sometimes the driver would give us a ride for half a block. Later that stopped when something called "liability" became fashionable.

So, OT, you explained a lot in a little, which is very good.
Gonna try it myself someday.


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