“Make Do” or “Do Without”

I am a true child of my parents. The were both around 42 years old when I was born. They had lived through the 1930’s, the “Dirty Thirty’s”. They had seen some really tough times so they always “Made Do”, which meant they used things up, didn’t throw things away and were the opposite of wasteful. They watched their money like a hawk and “Did Without”, which meant they didn’t run and buy everything just because their neighbors did. They did not try to keep up with the “Jones’s”.

My Dad told about the first time he borrowed money to run the farm. He need a new used tractor and the bank was the only option. He went reluctantly to the bank and explained the situation to the young bank officer. The young man asked Dad for his credit references. Dad said he didn’t understand what the bank officer wanted. The bank officer explained he needed to give him the names of the banks or people or businesses you have borrowed money from so we can check your credit history. Dad told him he had never borrowed money before. The officer looked at Dad like he had two heads.

My Dad and Lance with a sweatshirt clearly being used up “Make Do”

My Dad looked him in the eye and said I will pay my bills, I give you my word. He got the money for the new used tractor. His word was worth all the money in the world. He always said,

A promise made is a debt unpaid.

If he gave you his word you could count on it.


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