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#MemoirMonday My First #MeatlessMonday, 1970

July 17, 2017 , , , ,



When I was 19 years old I lived in the suburbs of  Durham, North Carolina. I shared a large house on 200 acres with two other women. We split the rent of $80 a month. Part of the house was built before the Civil War. It had been a grand estate, but was slated for development, so the owners did not want to do any repairs.  It had been left empty for a few years.  We found the estate agent, Dallas Branch, in Durham and convinced him to rent it to us.  He had a thick southern accent and at first was opposed to three women living in the woods without a chaperone. He warned us that the owner might sell at any time, so there was a month to month agreement.  That was the best rental deal I ever had in my life.  We had wonderful parties with our friends there that created epic memories.

The house had a fireplace in the downstairs living room, in which we burned coal. There was no insulation, so this fireplace was not adequate to heat the house. We each had kerosene heaters in our bedrooms to stay warm at night. Our expenses were low, and one of the women had a mother who sent us all kinds of fabulous canned goods from her garden in South Carolina.  Two of us worked at a small publishing company downtown Durham (I got a ride to work with my roommate since I owned no vehicle) and the other was in drama school in Chapel Hill at UNC.  I can’t remember how she got to school.  She did not have a car either.

At the publishing company I met a group of friends who attended Duke and lived in Durham.  They invited me to go to the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention on Easter.   A caravan of cars full of sleeping gear and tons of food traveled from Durham to the campground that surrounded the big performance tent.  We pitched our tents and spent the weekend immersed in Bluegrass, beer, and food.  I took an entire country ham and a lot of bread I had baked, including hot crossed buns.  Everyone ate way too much, myself included.

On 29 March, 1970 I made a decision to be a vegetarian.  I did not have a reason.  I just did it because I was 19 years old and I ate too much ham on my weekend trip.  There was no moral or health code attached to the decision. Many Mondays later I am still a vegetarian. It is much easier now to find products.  Today vegan diets are promoted to save the planet as well as cure common ailments.  I agree with that point of view, but do not push it on my friends.  Sometimes PETA can be a little overkill (pun intended) with the methods they use to sell the idea to non believers.

Have you tried to cut down on meat, gentle reader?  We have come a long way since 1970.  If you are looking for ideas they are abundant, especially on Mondays. Follow the hashtag #MeatlessMonday any day for recipes and helpful hints.

Lettuce not forget

Lettuce not forget

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Your memoir is amazing. I love that you went to NC and rented a house with friends. It sounds more like my version of camping but definitely fun.

I too have cut down on meat– more specifically red meat. My cholesterol was not so great on this year’s bloodwork so I need to have it redone. I know I feel better because of it. I eat chicken, fish and maybe a piece of meat once in a while. I eat lots of veggies and fruits– and always have. That was my go-to dinner when I was single!


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

July 21, 2017

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