Can't afford to shop there.
February 05, 2017 05:36AM
I remember fifty years ago, I was in the Army assigned to Fort Wolters (Mineral Wells) Texas. We were living off post in Weatherford, Texas. Trying to survive with a wife and baby on an enlisted person's salary was an enormous challenge, so most food and household needs were purchased at the Fort Wolters Commissary. There was a Piggly Wiggly in Weatherford and my wife would proclaim every month, we can't afford to shop there. Here is an ad from the newspaper for this date in 1967. Note the cost of sirloin steak-----------------



I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Can't afford to shop there.
February 05, 2017 07:18AM
I graduated from UT Arlington that year, got married, and went to work teaching science. My contracted salary was $5400 for 9 months. I picked up another $15 a week operating the scoreboard at Bishop Dunne H.S. football games and serving as a golf "coach" at South Oak Cliff H.S. Basically, my duties for the latter were to make sure that the schedule operated and the kids got to the matches. My wife worked at T.I. as a secretary, $3000 salary. Saturday's I sold women's shoes at the Highland Park Sanger-Harris, on commission. I usually made around $35 each Saturday that I worked. So, our monthly income, pretax, was about $750 max. We both attended UT Arlington at night, with commuting costs from our apartment in Highland Park ($75/month). Tuition at UT Arlington for part time students was $3/semester hour. We could have reduced the commuting costs by attending SMU, but tuition was $20/semester hour there. The next year, Bonnie attended Arlington full time and worked part time at the library there for minimum wage, $1.25/hour, 10 hours a week. Her tuition was $50/semester. We moved to Arlington, but then my commuting costs for work offset not commuting to Arlington. We also got an apartment in Arlington for $60/month. My teaching salary went up to $5600.

Today, a beginning teacher in the DFW area is paid around $35K, a typical secretary salary might be around the same. But that steak (we celebrated with a ribeye at home when I got the teaching job) is more like $6/lb. Tuition at a UT institution is around $5K full time, plus other fees. Notice the hundred-fold increase, but the teaching salary has increased only 6.5 times.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2017 09:13PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Can't afford to shop there.
February 09, 2017 04:35PM
I was in the Air Force in Austin 65/68 and most married, living off base, lower rank enlisteds shopped at the base BX but still had to be on that era's version of Food Stamps to even make ends meet.
Re: Can't afford to shop there.
February 09, 2017 06:23PM
Mr. Freeze, as you mentioned my wife and myself sustained on an unusual diet so the baby could have what even back then was expensive formula and baby food. Boxed macaroni and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches with tomato soup were served often along with kool Aid, much less expensive than soft drinks.

I remembered the day I was promoted to E5 and was eligible for Basic Allowance for Quarters and the enormous raise in pay of $48.00 as I recall.

We were living in a garage apartment on South Main Street in Weatherford and were lucky as there was a laundromat next door. Had an old Volkswagen for transportation that had a difficult time making the steep hill on Highway 180 just east of the Fort Wolters Main Gate.

I look back now and realize this was probably the greatest education for a young married couple. Learned budgeting and doing without unnecessary expenditures.

I worked with a lot of rookie officers that within a few years found themselves deep in debt with expensive auto payments and home loan payments beyond their ability to pay. I was always proud my wife was a stay at home mother and was not required to work outside the home, but I was gone a lot working every off duty job I could locate.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Can't afford to shop there.
February 12, 2017 09:18AM
Officer 2566: How often on your off-duty jobs did you have to perform as a policeman?….I suppose as a security person you did quite often. Jim
Re: Can't afford to shop there.
February 12, 2017 07:03PM
jgoodman:

I worked at a Convention Center area hotel for over 16 years, a Bank of America Bank in the eastern downtown area and numerous other one time off duty jobs, often movie sets and special occasion type facilities at Fair Park or the Convention Center.

The hotel had a problem with homeless people trying to solicit money in the parking areas and vehicle break ins. As far as incidents inside the building, in the 16 years I recall about 10 or so incidents that required actual police involvement, arrest or warning. The hotel did a lot of corporate type business and there is always somebody that over does it in the bar, but the bar personnel were excellent in controlling them and getting them to their room before I came involved.

I sure missed a lot of home life, but tried to attend as many child related activities as possible. Lucky that most of my off duty jobs were from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. with the exception of the bank which was in the afternoon. I worked very early morning hours at the department, so this all fit well.

A few years before I retired, the department limited the number of hours an officer could work off duty. I am sure glad they waited, as many weeks I was working over 80 hours a week, department and off duty and that it was then restricted to 32 weekly of duty hours if I recall correctly.

If it was not for off duty employment I know an enormous number of police officers and firefighters would just not make it, many with the wife also working.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
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