Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Rural Retail bread delivery

Hello Everyone, I apologize to my readers for being so long between posts. I have been occupied with other things and have not been doing much genealogy. However, today I went to the cemetery to make photographs. A bakery truck passed by and I began to reminisce about bread delivery to our house when I was a little girl. When only one car per family was the norm and it was used by the man of the house for getting to and from work, free home delivery of goods was normal. In some places grocery delivery is still available, but usually only under special circumstances and it is now a paid service.

We used to have milk delivery, which a lot of people remember, but we also had besides the "milkman", a "breadman". I used to love when he came to the house, because he always carried a tray full of delightful treats besides bread - pastries and donuts mostly. I loved chocolate donuts. I remember him placing the tray down on the floor at my level and kneeling down to show me all the different goodies. Two incidents that stick out in my mind were:

1. One day after the breadman left, my mom called the company to complain that the breadman had been drunk when he came to the house.

2. My mom bought two packages of chocolate cookies one time that she had never tried before. I think they were a new product. They were horrible. No one would eat them and when a child doesn't eat a chocolate cookie freely given, you know it is bad. It was not that they were just bad tasting, there was something wrong with them. My mother wrote a letter to the company complaining that even the dog wouldn't eat them. To her surprise the company wrote back apologizing saying they think that she might have gotten some that were made right around when they were having problems with a tank of chocolate. They gave her coupons for free cookies.

We had a friendly milkman. I still have fond memories of the man. The milk company would sometimes have special promotions and I remember one time that he brought a puppet for us.

A salesperson's job is to solve problems for a customer and our milkman did just that. My older teenage brother drank copious amounts of milk. My mother kept increasing the number of gallons she ordered, but it never seemed to last until the next delivery. My mom mentioned the enormous amount he drank to the milkman one day and he told my mother that she could buy the milk in 2-3 gallon plastic containers that sat in the refrigerator and had a dispenser on them, so they never had to be poured. From then on we had 2 large containers of milk delivered every week.

We had a German Shepherd dog that had the most acute sense of hearing. We lived 1.2 miles from the intersection where the milkman turned onto our road. We always knew when the milkman made that turn, because our dog would start barking. In about 15-20 minutes after he made his other deliveries we knew to put our dog away because he would be turning into our driveway any second.

Another time I told the milkman about the kittens my cat had just had and I uncovered a box to show him. The momma cat did not like that and hissed at him.

These are just a few recollections that probably mean something only to me. Does anyone else remember bread delivery? Or what other types of deliveries were there to your home? Any reminisces on home delivery?


Nancy said...

I think you are younger than me if you had plastic delivered....

We had a milkman who delivered in the early morning. On cold winter mornings, we had to get the milk in before it froze and popped the tops off. There was cream at the top of the bottles.

We also had a breadman. Like the milkman, he pulled up in front of our house. He came to the door to ask if we wanted to buy bread. Sometimes my mom knew what she wanted and told him, other times we walked out to the truck and looked around.

We also had a fruit and vegetable man during the warmer months. He pulled into our driveway. Sometimes my mom bought and sometimes not. I remember the open-backed truck with display boxes along the sides. He also had a hanging scale to weigh.

I had thought about posting about these delivery people but I was hoping to find a photograph of a truck like the vegetable man had - but haven't been able to yet.

Thor said...

Nancy, I do have a photo of a distant relative who sold fruits and vegetables from a truck. I'll see if I can find it.

Heather Rojo said...

We lived in a small city. A man drove a vegetable cart around pulled by the most adorable donkeys. All the moms would gather in the street to buy veggies, and the kids would pat the donkeys. We had a milkman, a frozen food man, and a paper boy. There was also a knife and scissor grinder once in a while, and on the corner near the grocery store there was a hurdy gurdy man with a monkey! When I was seven or eight we moved to the suburbs and only had a milkman.