Old Habits Die Hard

As a child of the greatest generation I was not involved in scrap and paper drives  but,
From:  Baby BOOmer
I do remember my father bringing scrap to junkyards for as long as he was alive.  He prospered through the depression and did pretty well, even through the war years.  He became a squatter and had his own junkyard, finally having to surrender the land to the Grand Central RR.
He use to tell me stories about once wealthy people who lost it all during the depression.  In order for them to collect “home relief”, they had to get rid of their autos.  Word spread that my dad would pick them up for free.  He’d hitch hike, get a ride or take a bus to get the cars –  Stanley Steamer, REO, Cadillacs, and more.  He’d drive the vehicle to his yard, drain the liquids, remove the rubber and copper wires and finally scrap the iron.  Suddenly war broke out and everything was rationed.  He had gas, oil, antifreeze, and tires.  You can guess how well he did.
  I remember when I was a small kid how he’d drive to the Bronx several times a week to get scrap batteries, copper and brass.  And I recall well-dressed men in suits and ties driving in and emptying their trunks.
I can’t imagine this happening today with our throw away society.  Plastics everywhere.  I’m sure you took soda bottles back for 2 cents and 5 cents.  Today I see kids go into a store and literally throw the pennies on the ground and me, this old guy, showing my ass and elbows to pick them up, getting a snicker from the kids!  Well, OK.
And some old family traditions die hard.  If I’m working at someone’s house and see copper pipes in their trash, they go in my truck!  The market says it’s worth $2.50 a pound.  That’s super high.  In the next month I’ll be going to the Bronx with about 1000 lbs of copper and brass.  I’ll probably come back with $3-$4000.  My kids are amazed!!
Old habits die hard.

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