Mail Call: Letters to the Editor in our September/October 2018 Issue

Readers’ letters to the editors with stories of selling GRIT, farming memories, feeding sparrows, making sourdough, desert gardening, and Halloween tricks.

| September/October 2018

  • Robert Lee Franklin delivering GRIT newspaper in 1941.
    Photo by Bobby Franklin
  • Empty Wooden Crate. Different variations of Fruit Tray made of Wood.
    Photo by Getty/GalapagosFrame
  • Filling silo is one of Kathleen Rinta's favrotie memories from growing up.
    Photo by Getty/Eric Laudonien
  • Sparrows are very picky birds and prefer oats to safflower seeds.
    Photo by Getty/Jason Erickson
  • It doesn’t hurt anything to remove some of the starter and use it to make biscuits, pancakes, bread, or something else.
    Photo by Getty/selkus

Business by Horseback

I began subscribing to Grit this past year because of my father, Robert Lee Franklin. He passed away this past November at the age of 89. One of the ways he earned money when he was a young boy was by selling Grit newspapers in Rankin County, Mississippi. I inherited three ceramic bowls that he earned during his time selling the paper. He was very proud of those bowls and the achievements they represented, so I’ve held onto them.

Here’s a picture of my dad around the age of 13 or 14, which would have been about 1941. He’s delivering Grit by horseback. He has his newspaper bag hanging around his neck, and is ready to make his deliveries for the day.

Bobby Franklin
Louisiana

Making Do

I just received my May/June 2018 copy of Grit, and I’m reading the letter from Donna Shelby about her little dressing table made out of wooden boxes. Those boxes were orange crates, and we used them in my family as well.

Money was tight when my parents were first married in 1936. They sold Capper’s Weekly around southern Missouri, so they moved often. My parents used orange crates to box up their belongings when they had to move to a new apartment. After they settled into each new place, they used the boxes as household furniture.

I remember those treasured boxes still being in use when I was very young. My mother made me a nightstand using two of the orange crates with a board on top, leaving a space between the boxes so that I could pull up a chair. She even made a gathered skirt for it out of feed sacks. We also used feed sacks for kitchen curtains, tea towels, quilts, and even most of my clothes. Now, at 77 years old, I still remember some of those dresses that my mother made for me.



To this day, my son has some of the orange crates from my mother’s belongings. They’re being used for shelving in the basement.

Luetta Barton
Lancaster, Missouri






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