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Noah's autobiography — so far!
(continued)

Noah's mother Rettie Belew
was before tractors, and even if tractors were available, they could not have been used on the hills where we farmed.

We grew almost all our food, and our total source of energy was a gallon of kerosene each week. The kerosene was used for our lamps, since a gallon of coal oil cost a whopping ten cents. The only things we really had to buy were salt, baking powder, flour, sugar, and coffee. We lived in a log house with no running water, no electricity, no radio, no television, no telephone, and no inside bathroom. We got our water from a spring, and we kept our milk and homemade butter in a little shed that was constructed over the cold water down stream from the spring. The cold water would keep it from spoiling, and the shed would prevent animals from getting to it.

My mother washed our laundry on a washboard at the spring area after boiling it in a wash kettle. She did this even when it was freezing cold during the winter months. Things were rough during the Great Depression, which motivated my brothers and I to leave home and migrate to greener pasture at an early age. We were all teenagers with only an 8th grade education from the two-room Barnesville country school, where some of our teachers were high school dropouts.

I left home at age 14 with only a few bucks in my pockets that my mother gave me from her earnings selling eggs, milk, and butter. I changed my birth certificate to make myself older on paper. I traveled to Michigan and was able to obtain a job earning $1.05 per hour with the Firestone Company. That was big money in the early '40s while the Great Depression was in full force. Most men with families were only earning 50 cents per day in Lawrence County.

 

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