Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gramps view of The Great Depression

My 92 year old Grandfather sent this letter to Dave, my Dad. Dave forwarded it to me I wanted to share my Grandfathers experience with the Great Depression. This is his response to a email my father sent him about the economy. Thanks Gramps for allowing me to share your thoughts. I think this is a powerful message about how lucky we really are today. ----

Hi Dave,

I am not trying to be a wise guy, Dave. I am one of the few left alive who can honestly say they went through the GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929. I was 12- 13 years old when the Great Depression hit. I can remember when the NY brokers were jumping out the windows. There wasn't ANY money. The whole world was poor.

The crime rate dropped to zero --- there was nothing to steal or fight about. We had a steady stream of bums and hobos at our door and my mother fed each and every one some kind of a sandwich. Even a mash potato sandwich was appreciated.

I wore the same pair of pants all the time I went through high school. My dad was lucky to be demoted only and held onto his job with a 1/2 cut in pay. Mother finally found a job sewing pajama bottoms for an army contractor who owned a sweat shop sewing factory. She worked 5 1/2 days a week and made $5.00. Dad was making $19 a week laboring in a factory.
I was a big help I had a paper route that started out paying me $0.50 a week after a year I had managed to get another route and with two routes I was making $1.75 a week. It was like heaven. 

I could not play sports in high school because I had to carry my paper route at that time each day. In my senior year, I took a chance and quit my paper route job so I could play football. I was the star player. After graduation, I did whatever job I could. Worked for nothing some places just to learn how to do the job, hardware store, grocery store, farm work, etc. Best job I had was filling bags with mothball flakes at $0.16 an hour. The job lasted a week when the plant blew up. I was lucky to be laid off that day but that ended that job.

When I was 18 I whezzled a job in a factory by lying about what I could do. I got a job emptying coal cars for $0.34 and hour. Boy was I riding high. I asked for your mother-in-law's hand in marriage. Didn't get it till two more years passed. Finally the WWII came and we all got money working in defense plants. Things were tough. I think the world will have to go through it all again just as me and my associates and peers did. Obama is a fluke. He ain't never gonna be able or have the brains to do more. Them's my words. Hope I didn't spoil your day but with the right adjustments I think you can do as some did who had businesses already established. Bite the bullet; hang on and save your money. 


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