The door to door salesmen
Southern California wasn’t Hawaii after the war but it was real close. There was great weather, plenty of jobs and no smog yet. My folks did what thousands of servicemen did after the war. They came back home, to their girlfriends or wives and started new lives.
My folks bought an 1100 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 1 bath house in Azusa California on the G.I. bill. He soon started working as a lather again. It was the same job he got when he dropped out of high school at 16 in 1938. Yes, his freewheeling days were over. He was a family man with bills to pay.
I born in 1949 and my sister in 1952. I got to enjoy two Christmases before the two little old ladies showed up at our door. My sister never did.
You don’t see them much anymore but back in the nineteen fifties people bought all kind of things from door to door salesmen. It was a time when milkmen would still deliver milk right to house. I remember the milk bottles with the cream floating on the top next to our back door. There was the Helms bakery truck on our street with fresh bread delivered right to your door. Of course the Good Humor ice cream trucks with their music announcing to every kid in the area it was time to find their mother so they could beg for some ice cream money.
My mother bought all kind of things from door to door salesmen. The stainless steel cook ware was nice. She also bought us the 1956 World Book encyclopedia. It was something every kid needed at the time. I was only seven but I loved looking at all the interesting pictures. In just a few years later of course much of the information was out dated and not of much value. Just like life, valuable information one minute of little use the next. Of course we bought many items from the famous Fuller Brush salesman. My Mom almost bought me an accordion once from a fast talking salesman. I’m glad she passed on that one. There is only one thing worse than having to learn how to play accordion and would be having to listen to someone else trying to learn to play it.
My mother never got permission from my father for anything she ever bought. And boy, was he pissed when he got the bill for $319 for the stainless steel cook ware. A lot of money for my poor old dad to pay back in 1955. I bet the encyclopedias were hundreds of dollars too.
My father told me once that one of the biggest mistakes he ever made was turning over the household finances to my mom. He tried to get the control back years latter but my mom wouldn’t have it.
The thing about my father was, he probably was one of the most pussy whipped man on the planet. In fact if you look up the word “pussy whipped” in the dictionary, it has a picture of my father’s face there.
In 1952 my mother bought something really strange from a door to door sells person. No one was expecting it, for sure. It was a religion. This turn out to be very expensive. The cost of which turned out to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even though she has been dead for over thirty years it’s a bill that her children, grandchildren and her great grandchildren are still paying for till this very day. Yep, the gift that keeps on giving.
The door to door sales people were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They looked pretty innocent. They were two sweet little old ladies knocking on our door on a warm Saturday morning in Azusa, California. They had quite a story to tell my mother. A story that made my mother quake with fear. A story that confirmed my mother’s worst fears. The ladies pulled out their bibles and showed her scripture after scripture that showed her, that Satan the devil was in charge of everything here on Earth. He was in control of all the governments, churches and businesses. They showed her just how bad people really are. They read to her second Timothy, third chapter, were it said “But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, revilers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away.”
My poor mom, she looked like someone had just shot her dog. She knew in her heart they were right about how bad people really are. She felt this way for many years. Yes, the world was a terrible place. She knew this ever since she was eight years old. She knew how bad people really were ever since her drunken seventy year old grandfather came into her bedroom late one night and sexually abused her after her mother was dead for just one month.
The old ladies could see it in her face. They had found one of “god’s sheep.” They got a gleam in their eye. It was time for the close. It was time give her the good news. What was the good news after scaring the shit out of my poor mom? The good news they had for her is that god was really pissed too. So much so that very soon he would be coming down here with his son and kicking some serious ass. How much ass would be kicked? Billions of people would soon be dead. However, more good news, she and just a few others could be saved. Yes, she could save herself and her family if she joined god’s people. She needed to join god’s people and spread the word about the coming destruction of the vast majority of mankind. Time was running out back in 1952. It was time to spread the good news! They sold my mother two magazines for 10 cents and left. They would be coming back to study the bible with her every week at no charge. This home bible study was a course completely free. That just shows you how nice they are. There was a bill of course but it came much later.
Anyway they started off studying the bible with the help of numerous bible study aids. The most popular one at that time was the “Let God Be True” book. Bible study aids are needed because the bible needs help to really understand it. It really needs some aids. The little old ladies informed my mother “That the bible can be very vague in places so the aids can help you and point you in the right direction.”
I found out years later that there are over 20,000 different Christian sects in the world. I wonder if they all have “bible study aids” too. Aids to point you in the 20,000 different directions you can go in trying to figure out the mind of god and what the Bible is really trying to say. Wow! 20,000 different Christian concepts of what god is trying to say in the Bible. What’s interesting is the vast majority of these people feel they have the only true way to god.