We carried our lunch to the Oak Grove one-room country school in the late 1940s and all thru the 1950s. Usually had a lunch pail or lunch box. My favorite was the metal box about 6 inches by 9 inches and 4 inches deep with a little handle on top for carrying.
The entire lunch box had that Roy Rogers motif, with Roy, Trigger, Dale Evans, Bullet the dog, Roy’s sidekick Pat Brady, and Nellybelle, his jeep. A half dozen or so colored pictures showing Roy riding his horse, rounding up cattle, Dale Evans and logo of the Double R Bar Ranch. My favorite picture was Bullet licking Pat Brady’s face.
I admired Pat Brady the most. I got a Pat Brady coloring book for Christmas when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I later learned that Pat Brady served with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army in Europe in World War II. He was decorated for bravery and earned the bronze star and two Purple Hearts. He rescued some of his army buddies when the top of their army tank was blown off in near Metz, France in November 1944.
I used that lunch pail for third and fourth grade until the two hinges tore lose. Some kids brought their lunch in syrup cans. Later I got a black lunch box with a dome top and a thermos bottle fit into the dome top, held by a wire latch. The inside of the lunch box was painted white. They were durable, sturdy, and the vacuum bottle held about two cups, and the lid, usually red, acted as a drinking cup.
Mom would make the school lunches. Homemade bread with jelly and peanut butter wrapped in wax paper, orange, banana, and a brownie. We took soup in a glass jar with a tight- fitting lid. Fifteen minutes before lunch, some of the older boys or girls, would prepare a big pan or two, put in several inches of water and set it atop the wood burning stove and later, the oil burner stove, Each kid would get out their jar of soup heat it up by putting it in the pan of water.
That was our hot lunch program in the winter time when the stove and furnace was needed, then we ate inside. Spring and fall, we’d take our lunch boxes outside and sit on the concrete steps, or cistern skirting, or along the sunny south side of the school. Sometimes we traded lunch items.
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