Originally published Feb. 16, 1984 in The Perkins Journal
By Zola Sample
Did you ever think you’d live to see the day an egg would cost 10 cents?
If anyone had suggested such a thing in my younger days I would have gasped. It would have sounded like a fairy tale.
I can recollect running over the rocky buckbrush hill east of our house hunting for brown leghorn hens’ nests where they had hidden them out for eggs. A dozen sold for 10 cents.
I had to find five dozen to pay Mrs. Nancy Stoneman fifty cents. Mother had borrowed the fifty cents for me to take the eighth grade examination at Mannford. Mrs. Stoneman thought a lot of me. In fact, she was my godmother. She was interested in my education. She even ordered good books from Sears Roebuck to give me to read.
Tonight I thought eggs must taste a lot better than they used to since this dozen cost me way over 10 cents each … I tried two of those gold nuggets with buttered toast. It might have been the way I cooked them in oleo, but I got a surprise.
They didn’t taste like the country eggs mother used to fry in hog lard. We had never heard of oleo. Now days they say hog lard is not as healthful as other products but we were a healthy family, energetic and hard working, rarely sick or even feeling bad.
Many other items have skyrocketed in price. One is the postage stamp. Remember when you could send a letter for 2 cents? Now it takes a whole dollar’s worth of stampds to mail five letters.
I have an idea a lot of folk today have forgotten the small, paper-thin token. Some this age have never seen one. That was before the sales tax. Now we are gonna have to fork over up to 6 cents in Okmulgee and a lot of other cities to buy a loaf of bread along with the modern price of bread.
No long than I’ve lived, which does not seem too long to me, I have seen many outrageous changes. Someone said to me the other day, “That is why we older folk have to die off.” Think what changes will be made by the year 2000, only 16 years from now.
When we have lived six, seven, eight decades we have lived in several different worlds of change.
We wonder why some young people are not apt at some ordinary jobs. The poor kids do not have the chance to learn about plain jobs. The machine age has taken over. No one pulls a cotton sack or shucks an ear of corn, cuts kafir corn or digs potatoes.
Children don’t pick up chips or split firewood after school. They come home and flop down to TV.
I got another surprise this week when my reader lady brought her 5-year-old son to see me. He had never gone to school. He picked up my church paper and read it to me. All about the dinner on St. Valentine’s Day. I was so surprised. His mother said he had been reading since 3 1/2 years. Almost unbelievable.