Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More on the Ragman...

My cousin Dell remembered a Rag Man, but a different one than we did growing up. He grew up in the area of the rag shop that I mentioned, living on 17th just down the street from Jackson Street where the shop was.

The guy he remembered worked right out of the shop, no horse or buggy, and no whip. He tells me that the guys in the neighborhood would collect newspapers (forerunner to today's recycling?) and the guy at the shop would pay them by the pound as they brought them in. Rags too. But the neighborhood kids must have been learning from the butchers who put their finger on the scales as they took care of your meat order. The kids would sometiimes find things in the trash like lead window sash weights and place them between the newspapers before tying up the bundles. So the guys would get a few cents extra, maybe enough to go to the movies at one of the neighborhood theatres or whatever.

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