Donna Everhart

First Sentence Friday – Chapter 5

THE FORGIVING KIND is set in 1955, when the United States was settling into a post-war era, and consumers were starting to spend money. While researching for the story, I read “consumerism took off.” I suppose after The Great Depression, two world wars, and the Korean war, America was ready to spend. In 1955, the first McDonald’s opened up, and Coca-Cola started selling in cans. Seven out of nine households had cars, and black and white TV’s cost about a hundred dollars. The average yearly wage was approximately four thousand dollars and the minimum wage, a dollar an hour. Nothing gives you a better picture of life “back then” than to look at styles, from clothing, to furniture, to appliances and cars, as well as the cost of every day items. During this time, our culture, and the American way of life began to bloom.

Despite better economic times, there were still situations where someone might need a little financial help to make ends meet.  One practice which has been common and steady throughout time is the ability to buy on credit.  Farming is a huge investment no matter the crop, and it’s common practice to take out a loan, then pay it off after a successful harvest. It used to be you could buy on credit from small Mom and Pop type stores, a simple “add it to my account,” comment was as good as the plastic we carry around in our wallets today.

There are other ways of acquiring a loan, maybe from a family member, a close friend – or somebody who, for whatever reason, decides to pitch in and help out. If you’ve ever borrowed outside of bank, or loan company, it can make for an interesting dynamic. In THE FORGIVING KIND, the Creeches have a neighbor by the name of Frank Fowler. He’s rich. His farm is bigger than theirs, and he shows up one day, apparently disturbed by the fact there isn’t any cotton in the fields. He seems genuinely interested in helping.


Chapter 5

At the supper table, Mama talked about Mr. Fowler financing our operation, (that was how she put it) and Ross looked ready to hop on the tractor that minute.

Courtesy Two Cylinder Magazine

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