- Posted August 25, 2014 by
Los Angeles, California
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This iReport is part of an assignment:
When grandparents were cool
The True Original Hipsters
My grandparents never had much money. Both were raised during the Great Depression in families that had been hit hard by the collapse of the economy. My grandfather began working at the age of 10 to support his family (being that his father died when he was an infant and he was technically the man of the house) and my grandmother’s memory of the time has been summed up as “I didn’t realize then that we were poor, I just thought we really liked eating beans, since that’s what we had for every meal”.
As adults, they were your typical blue-collar family. My grandfather went to work every day at a company that produced gypsum based construction materials while my grandmother stayed home to raise their three children. While my grandfather made a modest living that they could live comfortably on, it didn’t leave much room for spending on frivolous items or activities.
During the 1950’s, my grandparents and a few of their friends who were in similar financial situations began throwing “La-Di-Da” parties. They were nights to get dressed up and parade around each other’s houses like the hoity-toity, mocking the silly behavior of the rich. The requirement for each of these parties was that no money could be spent on any of the outfits, only items already owned and materials found at home were allowed.
In this photo, my grandfather is wearing his swimming shorts and a tuxedo jacket that for some reason he already owned (my grandma has no idea why). My grandmother’s fabulous gown is a burlap curtain that she altered.