Hard to believe in this 24 hour a day 365 day a year shopping enviroment, but I remember not being able to buy meat after six o'clock on Saturdays. I was always told this was due to union rules that no meat, even though already cut and packaged by a butcher could not be sold unless a butcher was on duty. I remember at our local National annd Jewel, the butchers would take brown butcher paper and cover up the packaged meat. If you did not buy your meat early even for a picnic, you were tough out of luck.
Does anybody remember when this policy changed? I assume it was probably not only a union rule but probably a law since the politicians always do what the unions want.
I thought the no meat after 6pm was every day - not just Saturday. I seem to remember my parents rushing in to the store after work to get meat before it was covered up. As far as Sunday - many stores were not even open on a Sunday.
I thought it was just a union rule, which meant that 99.99% of stores were going to follow it or else.
Luckily the no meat on Friday rule got knocked out before I had to follow it too long - really hated that halibut - ugh! Still no meat on Fridays in Lent though.
No meat after 6 PM was every day of the week. None at all on Sundays. It was a real pain in the butt. As I recall, it was not a law, but an edict from the Butcher's Union and was part of the contract with union butchers, citywide. It did not affect some suburbs, but I believe they were in counties other than Cook.
And folks wonder why unions have fallen out of favor with the public.
Re: No Meat
Date: May 25, 2011 08:35PM
Wow I bet that was another thing to do with the unions and the chicago machine . I remember when I was a Kid that the butchers would place paper over the meat after some time , like 5.00 o clock pm . That never made sense to me , For Jewel Food Store to do that . I bet there was a city code that they went buy so you had to buy it when the butchers were working only .
I know they dont do that anymore . Now you can buy meat at anytime you please to . But it shows you how things were back then .
I was told by the nuns in Catholic Catachism classes that the parishes in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area had lent money to the struggling local fishermen to keep them in business many years ago (early 1900s?). In order to guarantee the loans, they had the local parishes declare that everyone must eat fish once a week on Fridays, thus ensuring their catches would sell and the churches would be repaid. This edict then spread across the country. Perhaps this was just Catholic lore, but it sounds believable.
Steve B. Wrote:
> I was told by the nuns in Catholic Catachism
> classes that the parishes in New Orleans and the
> Gulf Coast area had lent money to the struggling
> local fishermen to keep them in business many
> years ago (early 1900s?). In order to guarantee
> the loans, they had the local parishes declare
> that everyone must eat fish once a week on
> Fridays, thus ensuring their catches would sell
> and the churches would be repaid. This edict then
> spread across the country. Perhaps this was just
> Catholic lore, but it sounds believable.
> Steve B.
This could be an interesting research project to get to the bottom of the fish barrel. Pun intended.
The meat cutter’s, butcher’s, union was one of the most powerful in the city during its prime (pun intended) and the no meat after 6 PM was all their doing. As mentioned they would unroll butcher paper across the top of all the meat displayed in the refrigerator cases/displays until the next morning. But as was also mentioned small, usually family owned, groceries would still sell meat after that time because they were not unionized. In 1974 when I started as a student at the Goodman/Art Institute I was one of the few Chicago natives in the program and my new classmates, who came from all across the country, were astounded that they couldn't buy the meat to make themselves a burger after we got out of rehearsal for the evening.
Meatless Fridays as Catholic doctrine goes back to the 9th century and Pope Nicholas I, but the practice of abstaining from meat on Friday, the day Christ died, dates all the way back to the 1st century. So, the New Orleans story is pretty much an example of an early urban legend.
When I was growing up in thye 60's, NOTHING was open on Sundays except Walgreens. And the 2 week nights where stores were open till 9 pm were on Mondays and Thursdays only. Nowadays we can buy anything, anytime, spending $ for crap we dont really need and probably cant afford!.
> When I was growing up in thye 60's, NOTHING was
> open on Sundays except Walgreens. And the 2 week
> nights where stores were open till 9 pm were on
> Mondays and Thursdays only. Nowadays we can buy
> anything, anytime, spending $ for crap we dont
> really need and probably cant afford!.
Gotta agree with this. Sundays were "reserved" for other than shopping for stuff. I do remember Thursday more than Monday being a "late night".
Davis Elementary cafeteria in the late '60's would always serve a slab of frozen fish fillet on Fridays, though it is a public school. I reckon this was in deference to our Catholic schoolmates, though I am sad to say it was about as appetizing as the rest of their menu the rest of the week!