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PENNIES FOR CANDLES

by Jean Smidt, West Milford, New Jersey

When I was a child, during the Great Depression, my mother sent me to the store to buy candles because our electricity had been turned off.

I gave the clerk in the store my pennies for the candles, and he sarcastically said, “Didn’t pay the electric bill?”

I held my head up high and replied, “Of course we did, but we want to have dinner by candlelight tonight.”

I still laugh when I recall our “candlelight” dinner and the look on the clerk’s face after my retort.

We didn’t have much money, but we had pride.


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