Nails Sorted for Future Use
Nails were a valuable commodity during the depression and World War II, because you wasted nothing. For World War II there was another reason. Every piece of available metal was collected to melt down to make munitions for the war effort. The nails were mostly collected from construction sites, then sorted, straightened, and stored for reuse or scrapped for the metal. Child labor, in a good sense, was often used to do the sorting and straightening.
Dolores and I both had this job. Dolores in Denver and myself in Salt Lake City. We were both doing it the summer of 1941 when she was 10 and I was 9 years old.
Statue by L. Noble, photo by Jerrold Foutz
I parked my bike in front of the famous Sunset Strip apartment building, threw the saddle bags with the Hollywood Citizen-News around my neck and headed for the elevator. In 1944 I was a 14 year old paper boy and Jack Benny was the most famous customer on my route. He lived on a higher floor of the apartment building and I would deliver his paper first.
As requested, I fully inserted it under the door so it did not show.
Jack Benny lived in Beverly Hills but maintained an apartment on Sunset Blvd to be nearer the NBC studio where he broadcast his show — and I was his paper boy!
I never expected to see Jack Benny when delivering papers — but collecting payment each month always raised my expectations.