The 50's were a hard time in which to grow up. It wasn't the Great Depression but things were a bad with a lot of people out of work. We didn't have anywhere near the possessions that the children of today have. That wasn't even a possibility while I was growing up. There was many a time that food was as much importance as possessions. I think that was the start of a trend of a generation that wanted their children to get better then they had received.
No-one today can remember going to get in line to get food on which to live from a distribution center. Those staples included a tub of white lard that you mixed with a yellow coloring agent to make an oleo. You then spread it on the bread they gave you. You also would get eggs and milk.
You would try to get a job at a young age to have some money to spend on yourself.
I worked at a cemetery one summer cutting the grass. It wasn't a fun job especially when they had a funeral. The grave was dug with a back hoe but was filled in by hand after the people left the area. It wasn't as if you knew who was in the casket but you still knew someone had died. One time people were moving away and wanted to take a baby that had been buried years before. We dug up the wooden casket but since it had been made from wood and there were only black marks in the soil and nails from the casket. This is what we put into a casket and sent with the people to rebury.
I worked for my uncle painting houses for several summers. My Dad and uncle would put me up on a porch roof with a step ladder on the roof. I had to paint the side of the house above the roof. The sides of the house was painted with ladders with stand-offs that held expandable planks off the ladders on which to stand. There were no safety ropes or belts. Thank God no-one fell off the planks. It would have been an awful fall om your back that you may not of survived. I had to wait until they were done with the side of the house before I could get off the roof and move to a different area to paint. Sometimes the heat on the roof was almost unbearable. It was alright if you were in the shade.
My uncle gave me my first car. It was his old paint car, a 53 Chevy Bel-Air two door coupe. It had a 6 cylinder engine and a automatic transmission. It was painted a light green. It had paint on it from painting the houses and carrying the ladders on the roof. It had a big chromed grill that cleaned up beautifully and a lot of other chrome parts. The car's paint job was a little harder to clean but it ended up looking reasonable. This is a picture of a 53 Chevy.
Here is the side view of another 53.