Even though it was 1980s, Grandma Augustina (Sunseri) Frazzini on W. 18th lived as though the great Depression was still going on.
Her electric bill was about $5 a month because her house remained unlit after dark, and she bought a month’s worth of groceries at Erie County Farms for $20, including unusual fresh vegetables, and chicken feet and necks.
Beyond that, she was still doing ironing on the side for 50¢ a bushel. I remember scolding her to raise the price to a dollar and her adamant refusal. Her logic was that since she had ironed bushels of clothes for the same customers for so long, she didn’t have the heart to ask them for more money (as she sat in the dark, debating whether or not she could afford to turn on the TV.)
Here she is near the side porch of her home, happy about the thrift store find she is holding in her hands. Her favorite was the St. Martin’s thrift store on W. 18th.
Love you Grandma