Where Are The Old Time Bums?

I see the men and women with their signs on street corners begging for money. I hear they have an organization and meet once in awhile to tell of their success. I imagine they are bums of today. I could be wrong but our city has many places where they could get food and shelter.Why don’t they go there? I support one of these and don’t give to those who have the signs.

It’s not at all like the old time buns. They worked hard for whatever they got. My Dad or Mom would meet one of them at the door. He would say something like: “Do you have any work you need done?” One day Mom was trying to hang curtains and was having trouble being two persons at one time, so she invited him in to help her. All he wanted was some carrots and onions from our garden for the stew he was making. Sometimes Dad put a guy to work sawing logs for our stoves. The men of our church brought long logs in the fall as their giving to the Lord. It was during the great depression and there was very little cash around.

Farmers brought us milk, cream, butter and chickens as their tithe. Not only did we have enough but we fed a lot of bums for work. When the farmers butchered they left some for the pastor. Our front porch was our freezer so we had meat all winter in that area of Northern Minnesota. I sure didn’t feel like we were in a depression!we gave much of our food to those who had none.

The kids in our neighborhood often went down to their camp which was under the bridge and near the railroad tracks. They had it nice and cozy and a stew was often boiling using stuff they had earned from people’s gardens. Often they gave us some of their stew which was not allowed, as far as our folks were concerned.

I guess there is a rotten apple in every bunch, at least that is true in my Dad’s place. It was during one summer, when we were taking our vacation. When we came home and Dad was getting ready for his first church service, he went to the closet for his “sermon suit” and found it was gone. In it’s place was an old suit wrinkled and torn. Some bum had taken his suit and left his old one hanging just as Dad’s was! That was one time when Dad was real mad at bums. But for the most part, I liked them. It’s just another thing that has changed in our good old America!




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