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View Poll Results: Do you know a Depresssion survivor personally?
I know a Depression survivor 141 90.97%
I do not know a Depression survivor 14 9.03%
Voters: 155. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-24-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Umm, only my parents...
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cohdane View Post
One of the Great Depression survivors I know (who also served in WWII and survived a kamikaze attack) still gets choked up sometimes when he talks about it. He personally knew people without shoes and remembers people going hungry.
Bump.

I was with the above-referenced friend who survived the Great Depression yesterday. He's in his 80's. He was watching CNN and a story came on about 1,500 families coming out to get food in Elkhart, Indiana.

As he called out to me to come and see the story, I could hear emotion in his voice. Since he'd been very affected by people going hungry in the 30's, I fully expected to see him choked up and crying.

Instead he was furious.

"1,600 families come out for food. Look at them putting it in their trunk. SELL THE CARS!!! SELL THE DAMN CARS!!!"

I guess we young folk haven't quite realized what "going without" means. Puts things in perspective, though.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:20 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,559,141 times
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Looks like us doomers were right. Oh well.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Hello,
I'm 20 and in college. I was wondering if I could contact an individual you know from the Great Depression. I want to interview them for a school project.
Thanks,
Heather
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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My parents were married in 1931, and raised us kids through the '30s. I guess they knew something about it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
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The people I have known who went through the Depression fall into 2 groups. The ones who were adults when the depression hit, and those who were kids growing up in the depression.
The adults talked about what they lost, and how the bankers screwed them.
The kids usually have a lot of stories about growing up then and the things they did. Like throwing rocks at trains so the men on the train would throw coal back at them, then they would gather the coal and take it home.
Most who were kids, say they never realized they were poor, because everyone then was poor.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Ohio
21,397 posts, read 15,126,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
It seems many have not, they seem so surprised by an economic downturn, blow it out of proportion and seem unable to cope or imagine life with sacrifices.
That's true.

I had talk with near all of my great-grandparents and their brothers and sisters and their children, plus my grandparents (except for my grandfather who died in a coal-mining accident).

My parents and mother's brother and father's next older brother were infants and don't remember anything, but my father's older brothers and sisters were teenagers.

I get the impression it depended on whether you were rural or urban. 75% of Americans lived in rural areas at the time, so unless they were in the Dust Bowl, they didn't have it so bad, because they always lived on a near-barter system anyway, so they would trade potatoes and corn for meat and whatever else they needed.

In the urban areas, it was more difficult, but even that depended on where you lived. Cincinnati revolved around the pork trade, so it was much affected. None of the dozens of meat packing plants or stockyards laid off. P&G never laid off and in fact turned a profit every single quarter. A lot of other large employers never laid off either. Emery Industries turned a profit every quarter and were hiring throughout the Depression (just like P&G and others here were).

Most of the unemployed here were bankers or bank workers, or others related to the financial, um, "industry" or high-end services or businesses (like auto dealerships), or local government employees.

The WPA was active here. They built a football stadium at Lockland High School (still in use), plus several city parks that I still use and lots of bridges out in rural Hamilton County that are still in use.

It wasn't that bad in Romania either, largely because most of the population was rural and everyone bartered daily before and after. Even city people had it easy.

It's kind of hard to describe, but a typical "city-house" is a square walled enclosure. You have a sally port (for your horse and cart/carriage but now for cars) that leads into a walled court-yard about 120ft x 120ft or so. They front of the house has a sub-level with usually 2-3 apartments or efficiencies and that's where your elderly parents and family members lived (that was the typical "Social Security" arrangement in European countries), and then above that is the main house with usually 3-4 bedrooms. Then on the right hand side as you face the courtyard is the servant's quarters and then on the left-hand side is the manger and a barn/storage area above that.

So you had geese or chickens, and a goat or cow (for milk) and then you grew plums (for tuica), and grapes or cherries (to make wine or visinata) and then a small garden. You have plenty of food and can trade milk or eggs for pork steaks, or shoes, clothes or whatever you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I'd say that I'm very much a product of my parent's outlook from those hard times; ie, don't buy what you can't afford to pay cash for, don't use credit except for a mortgage (that's right ... no car loans, no home improvement loans, no personal loans for anything), only use a credit card for convenience and pay it off in full each month. Waste not, want not.

I may have not had all the trinkets and toys and trappings of affluence and success that many of my contemporaries have enjoyed along the way ... but I don't have the ulcers and heart disease from stress, and I don't have a mortgage or payments on anything at this time, either. I don't agonize over not having all the toys that I could possibly want or imagine having. I don't cry myself to sleep at night because I don't have all those toys and "stuff" and affluence that others may have.

My ranch & farm, the rental properties, the cars, the boats, the airplane, the farming equipment, the livestock, the horses ... it's all paid for, and all from working as a small business auto tech for 30 years. Not exactly a high paying career to launch this all from ... "it's not what you earn, it's what you keep that counts".
Good for you. It just proves you can have a really nice life without the need to get totally ignorant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cohdane View Post
Bump.

I was with the above-referenced friend who survived the Great Depression yesterday. He's in his 80's. He was watching CNN and a story came on about 1,500 families coming out to get food in Elkhart, Indiana.

As he called out to me to come and see the story, I could hear emotion in his voice. Since he'd been very affected by people going hungry in the 30's, I fully expected to see him choked up and crying.

Instead he was furious.

"1,600 families come out for food. Look at them putting it in their trunk. SELL THE CARS!!! SELL THE DAMN CARS!!!"

I guess we young folk haven't quite realized what "going without" means. Puts things in perspective, though.
I'm sure they'll learn soon enough.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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My parents, now deceased, were young newlyweds during the Depression. Mom told me that some weeks they had only $5.00 to live on and had nothing to eat but canned beans. For the rest of her life, she hated beans and wouldn't eat them.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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My paternal grandparents had a farm in Missouri. She was the grammar school teacher of a one-room schoolhouse, she took turns with her husband when the teen boys got out of control. They had dairy cows, hogs, a big garden and a field of corn for 'squeezing'. School wages were paid in firewood, and ham. She was 6 years older than he [which was a minor scandal and family secret]. They both came from families with 10 or more siblings, by 1929 they had a son and a daughter.

My maternal grandparents had a farm in Oklahoma. Mule breeders and a field of corn for 'squeezing'. He was ten years older than she, and they both came from families with 11 or more siblings, by 1929 they had two daughters.

Two young couples starting out when the Dust Bowl hit.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 19,776,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
It seems many have not, they seem so surprised by an economic downturn, blow it out of proportion and seem unable to cope or imagine life with sacrifices.
Plenty of Great depression survivors don't even appreciate how bad things can get. My grandpa was a kid when his family left Nebraska during the dustbowl and went to California, but my Grandma survived WW2 in German occupied Denmark. She lived in grinding poverty, was raped and one of her uncles even ended up in concentration camp.

One of my friend's parents lived in Germany itself during WW2; their house was leveled and they survived by digging through garbage cans for food. 1 billion people today live in slums without even the basic necessities; even I lived a year in Bolivia in a literal hut and saw/experienced what it's like to live on 100 bucks a year.

If this is a depression, well damn... it ain't half bad. Enjoy it while the good times last.
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