As I wrote in the last entry, there were ten of us, seven girls and three boys. It was tough sleeping because there were only three bedrooms. Of course mom and dad got one of them leaving two bedrooms for ten kids. It really didn't matter what sex you were when it came to where you slept. There were five of us per bed. Three big kids slept at the top of the bed while two of the smaller kids slept at the foot.Why were our sleeping arrangements made in this way? Because the two little kids always slept with the feet of the bigger kids in their face while the bigger kids never had to worry about whether the smaller ones had clean feet or not. You know, now that I think about it and looking at my stature...I would still be sleeping at the foot of the bed.:) I remember when my oldest sister Alice became a teenager, she no long had to sleep with the rest of us, she got to sleep on the sofa! At first, we all thought of it as some sort of "rite of passage". Wow, she got to sleep by herself, what an honor! That is until she started getting up in the morning with a kink in her neck from sleeping with her head on the armrest. Alice would scream if anyone even looked at her neck let alone try to straighten it out. Mom used to sneak up behind her and twist her neck real fast or Alice would walk with her head crooked all day. (boy the reads like something out of the Beverly Hillbillies or a Jeff Foxworthy skit!). I never slept by myself until I joined the Navy, except for that year with Alice.
Every school year we always had new clothes....new to us that is. Mom worked for Volunteers of America which is a lot like the Goodwill. One day a week during the summer months she took one of us to her workplace to pick out clothes for school. I remember when it was my turn. We went into a room that had mountains of used clothes that were donated for the poor people of Baltimore. The piles were sorted by size. Mom pointed to a pile and told me to pick out clothes that I liked.Okay, we're talking early fifties here with the Korean and WWII fresh on everyone's mind. Nothing would make a young male feel more like a hero then to don his country's uniform. Most of the clothes I picked out were US Marine Corp dress shirts and pants. I must have looked a sight when I went to school in my dress kacki pants and shirt...yep that's right my mom let me wear them. I remember taking the stripes off the shirts...I thought I looked cool! Shoes? Yeah, they were used too. Most were too big so we got tissue paper for the toes. As we used to joke...the soles were so thin you could stand on a dime and could tell whether in was heads or tails.:)