My Dad never lost an opportunity to tell us how hard he had it during the Depression. While he never actually said, “I had to walk 20 miles to school. Barefoot. Up hill each way” – he came close. Whenever I told him how much I spent on a car, how much I was in debt on my credit cards or how much I spent renting an apartment, he would always tell me how much he had spent on his first car, that he bought a house for what I was paying per year in rent, that being in debt was stealing from yourself. Anytime I wanted to drive Dad crazy, all I had to do was say something like, “You know, for only $6, it’s not a bad cup of coffee.” “Six dollars! For a cup of coffee!” And he would tell me how his father had to work six long days on the back of a horse to make $6.
He never got used to the prices. Everyone in my family can tell you exactly what the price of a gallon of milk and the price of a dozen eggs was in 1933. We all know what his first job paid in 1937 and how much it cost for a gallon of gas.