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    #1

    a few buttons

    Mailboxes weresometimes used for things other than mail. One note left in a mailbox read."Nat, take these eggs to Marian; she's baking a cake and doesn't have anyeggs. " Mailboxes might be buried in the snow, or broken, or lying on thegroom:. but the mail was always delivered. On cold days Dad might find one ofhis customers waiting for him with a cup of hot chocolate. A young girl wroteletters but had no stamps, so she left a few buttons on the envelope in themailbox; Dad paid for the stamps. One businessman used to leave large amountsof cash in his mailbox for Dad to take to the bank. Once, the amount came to $32,000.


    Can you help me to figure out the "buttons" in the sentence?

    Is there any particular cultural implication about buttons in the west? I don't know why the girl left a few buttons. Can they be used as money?

    Anyway, I just ask your opinion. If nothing particular, that's Ok.

    Thanks

    Jason



  1. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a few buttons

    (Not a Teacher)

    Not entirely sure. I would assume the buttons are left on the envelope as some sort of compensation for the stamps. If 'button' has any alternate meaning here, I've never heard it. However, unless she's poor, I don't see why she doesn't just leave money.

    Do you know from where and from what time period this story is from?
    Last edited by SlickVic9000; 28-Jun-2012 at 18:18.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a few buttons

    Hi,

    GlennSacks.com Blog Archive [Tim Russert's Wisdom of Our Fathers]. Maybe someone from Interlochen, Michigan (or whereabouts) can explain this buttons thingy?


    Greetings,

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a few buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickVic9000 View Post
    Not entirely sure. I would assume the buttons are left on the envelope as some sort of compensation for the stamps. If 'button' has any alternate meaning here, I've never heard it. However, unless she's poor, I don't see why she doesn't just leave money.
    I assume that she was poor. She had no stamps and no money, so she left buttons. In my youth, buttons were not cheap (and were therefore cut off and kept when clothing was finally discarded), so Dad would have understood that she was leaving something of value, quite possibly of the same value as the stamps.

    (I believe that my mother still has her mother's button box.)

  4. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a few buttons

    (Not a Teacher)

    Thanks for the link, charliedeut. While the story doesn't say exactly, judging by his father's birthdate, he would have been of age to be delivering mail out in the country during the 1930's and 40's, a very difficult time for farmers and Americans in general. In light of this, it seems likely to me that the buttons were meant to be compensation for the stamps in lieu of money.

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    #6

    Re: a few buttons

    I was thinking this was probably Depression era.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a few buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I was thinking this was probably Depression era.
    So any time since about 2010 then?!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a few buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    ...
    (I believe that my mother still has her mother's button box.)
    And MrsK still has her mother's button bag. Maybe this has something to do with the idiom 'not to have a button'.

    b

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