Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Home Front By Eve Taylor

Seventy years ago, Eve Laufer Taylor lived through World War II in upstate New York. Here is one of her memories:

Living in Le Roy and working at Taylor’s Superette was an experience for a Rochester girl, gone “rural.” We had to deal with ration coupons, shortages in food and gas, price freeze, and black market.

Once a week a few very scarce items such as cigarettes, chocolate bars, coconut, and Jello would come in. Yes, even in the “Hometown of Jello” those Jack Benny six delicious flavors (strawberry, raspberry, cherry lemon, orange, lime) were scarce and much sought after.

Our regular customers were the ones who got those items, but the problem was to keep everyone happy. The limit on cigarettes was two packs to a family per week. That must have been a real hardship on most families.

Meat required the greatest number of ration points. I do not know the details of how that worked between supplier and merchant. I just remember how scared I was when my mother-in-law and I made a late night run in a “36 Ford wood- paneled station wagon to the Tobin Packing House in Rochester to get meat. No ration points were required!!!


CB/MOM said...

I remember those days so well! I was in high school so not cooking but what a puysh that must have been? Have often wondered what MOm did when I went to the hospital to live in training? One less ration book!
Anbd I do remember Daddy speaking of going with his twin, Floyd, to a warehouse somewhere to get sugar. Must be everyone tried to "help"!
I have never since seen everyone pulling together the way they did during the war

Sue Kinsella said...

I just read an article a day or two ago that argued that British citizens got healthier on rationing in WWII because they couldn't afford, or get, a lot of the unhealthy foods that had predominated in their diet beforehand, plus they supplemented with a lot more vegetables than usual. Of course, this may just be spin to gloss over how hard it was for people to even get ENOUGH food and to say, "Oh, it wasn't so bad." Still, it was an interesting take on the challenge we have now with so much unhealthy nutrition.

Pat said...


I would never even have thought of that, but it could be true--certainly not a lot of potato chips and ice cream around during WWII!