At one point after the death of my father, my mother took in boarders. The sofa in the living room (called the "front room" or "parlor") was brought into the wide hall that went down the middle of the house and beds were set up in the front room to make a bedroom for the boarders.
The women boarders slept in this bedroom (our former parlor) across the hall from where my mother, my sister Mary and I slept.
I remember also a young man that came by looking for room and board. Mama put him in the bedroom with my brothers. This was a needed service in those days and a way for a widow to make extra money. Mama cooked regular meals and the boarders ate at the table with us.
My mother provided room and board for two to four people for several years and thus increased the family income. There was no Social Security nor welfare, and borrowing would have been unthinkable. Mama was a talented and innovative woman who still had children to support.
One thing I remember about the boarders was being embarrassed almost to tears one day when they laughed at me.
When I was about twelve, someone had told me that I looked like Ann Southern, a current movie star. I had not seen her in the movies but had seen pictures of her in our daily newspaper.
WOW! I went home and stood in front of the large dresser mirror in the bedroom I shared with my mother and sister. For a time I combed my hair in several styles, smiling and turning back and forth at I primped in front of the mirrow trying to see if I really did look like this famous movie queen.
Suddenly I was brought back to reality by laughter coming from across the hall!
Laughter! I was one mortified little girl to realize that some boarders from across the hallway had been watching my antics in front of the mirror.