Skip to content

Not having a lot of money is sorta relative, you know?

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. My father was a merchant marine and my mother was a nurse.

I had an older sister and a younger sister and we grew up in Hollywood, Florida – between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

We lived in a bungalow with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was on an acre of land, about 12 blocks from the beach, within bicycle riding distance, so I could go every day. It was fun and I took up watersports at an early age, so I’d be sailing, surfing, fishing and waterskiing.

We didn’t have the money to go to many places on holiday. We’d go to The Bahamas or Jamaica or Bimini.

Ahem.

10 thoughts on “Not having a lot of money is sorta relative, you know?”

  1. Well, the modern definition of poverty ends up with claims like this.

    The poor family obviously didn’t have enough money to buy a wind farm, so…

  2. I was picking my jaw off the floor by the start of the third paragraph. They have the audacity to claim this was “growing up poor”? Try *ONE* bathroom between four, single unemployed mother, three boys sharing two bedrooms, “garden” being six foot by eight foot back yard. “Holidays” was work experience at the local hospital. The first time I went anywhere foreign was to WORK after university. SHEESH!

  3. Reads a bit like the (apocryphal) story of the young chap at Eton who’d been tasked with writing an essay on the subject of “poverty”…

    “The whole family was poor, the father was poor, the mother was poor, the children were poor, even the Butler was poor…”

    🙂

  4. It is worth looking at a map. If she’s talking about the sixties, doubt travel’d be expensive. Especially if she had a father in the merchant. None of those places are far. Jamaica would be probably cheaper than staying at home in FL. Bahamas not much more.

  5. bungalow with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was on an acre of land,
    Yeah but ‘Merica. Never ceased to amaze me what people live in, in the States. Half of it seems to be prefabricated timber sheds. Not quite what you see on the movies.

  6. >bloke in spain
    February 4, 2024 at 6:18 pm
    It is worth looking at a map. If she’s talking about the sixties, doubt travel’d be expensive. Especially if she had a father in the merchant. None of those places are far. Jamaica would be probably cheaper than staying at home in FL. Bahamas not much more.

    Being in the Merchant Marine doesn’t get you free room on ships. Travel in the 1960’s would have been expensive – much more expensive than today. And sure, those places might have been cheaper than staying home (which is all most people in the US could afford at the time) – but that’s because she was living in a fairly affluent place in Florida. Of course ‘cheaper’ is also countered by ‘having to pay for a hotel and eating at restaurants at your destination’.

  7. @Agammamon
    Do what I did. Go on Google Streetview & look at streets 8 blocks back from the beachfront. Pretty well all of it’s single storey. Some of the plots could be an acre. Maybe there were more in the ’60s but there’s been infill. Everything you’re looking at is timber frame. Some with siding. Some sheetrock/stucco. Panel roofing’s quite common. Pretty well every house on every plot is different. It’s somewhere you bought a plot, slung something up on it. I’ve never been to FL but I’m familiar with NY state & NJ. Loads of areas look like that. Some in good shape, some very run down. They’re housing for the bottom end of the earnings demographic. Blue collar. Were then.
    It’s difficult applying UK metrics because US metrics are very different. UK just doesn’t have areas like that. Couldn’t build them if you wanted. (Maybe Canvey Island?) Land prices are much higher for a start. Building codes totally different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *