Working for a Living
In the first years of this century there was a notable difference between people who lived on farms and people who lived in country towns and villages. Outsider city people .... did not un- derstand these differences but the town people and farmers were very sure of them. In general, people in the towns saw people who lived on farms as more apt to be slow-witted,tongue-tied, uncivilized, than themselves and somewhat more docile in spite of their strength. Farmers saw people who lived in towns as having an easy life and being unlikely to survive in situations calling for fortitude, self-reliance, lifelong hard work. They believed this in spite of the fact that the hours men worked at factories or stores or at any job in town were long,and the wages Iow, and that many houses in town had no running water or flush toilets or electricity. And to a certain extent they were right, for the people in town had Sundays and Wednesday or Saturday afternoons off. and the farmers didn’t. The townspeople too were not altogether mistaken, for the country people when they came into town to church were often very stiff and shy and the women were never so pushy and confident as town women in the stores, and the country children who came in to go to High School or Continuation School,though they might get good marks and go on to successful careers later, were hardly ever elected President of the Literary Society, or Class Representative, or given the award as Most Outstanding Student. Even money did not make much difference; farmers maintained a certain proud and wary reserve that might be seen as diffidence, in the presence of citizens they could buy ahd sell.