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Guest Noodle

Ohio Department Of Aging Great Depression Story Project

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Guest Noodle

This is from one of Saving for a Spaceship's posts in a Main Forum thread and is worthy of study and thought. (I'm trying here Eric).

In March-April, 2009, the Ohio Department of Aging solicited stories about the Great Depression from Ohioans who lived through it. Our hope was to gather recollections and lessons learned that people of all ages today could use for perspective on our current economic situation and perhaps some advice for surviving in adversity.

Ohio's greatest generation did not disappoint us. More than 300 individuals sent in their stories of life during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The four collections below include nearly 1,000 excerpts on a variety of topics.

Ohio Dept. of Aging link

Just how will the experiences of those in the 1930's compare with what we face today? Is Grumpy-Old-Man correct in his prophecy of hunger and general all round miserableness? Can we draw parallels with conditions currently developing in the US, tent cities, millions on food stamps . . . ?

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Guest Noodle

"Today we live in a disposable society: Use it and throw it out, buy more. Most foods are prepackaged. Immediate gratification prevails. We no longer know how to do very basic things for ourselves. We depend on money and others to make our lives fulfilling and happy. Financially, old times were tough, and I'm sure my parents worried, but basically I think we were much happier and healthier in that lifestyle."

- Paula Deatrick Ashton, age 69, Toledo

"A great gift of the era was to be able to lie on the grass under a tree, day or evening, with a clear mind and imagination - an experience unlike today's technologies."

- Helen De Gifis, age 83, Warren

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Guest Noodle

Perhaps one anecdote to support Injinworld . . .

"I grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. We lived in a very poor tenement house. But in all of my memories, the one that sticks out the most was not the poverty, but the importance of honesty and trust. Locks on doors were not needed. No one stole from another. We helped, not harmed, other people. The whole neighborhood was suffering together. We would not harm each other. Our family and our good name was what mattered."

- Edna Hanson, age 76, Toledo

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Guest Noodle

"My next job was on a farm, where I worked six days a week and did chores on Sunday for $3 a week and board and room. That was about the time I decided to go back to school and graduate. The local situation was a dead end, so I went to Florida. There I got work that paid a bit better. I came home when the job finished and got a better one here. The Depression was fading, probably due to wartime production, even though we weren't in it yet. It ended for me when I was drafted in 1941, and WW2 solved it for the whole country."

- Harry G. Moll, age 92, Wauseon

:ph34r:

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Guest Noodle

More from Injinworld . . .

"Caring and sharing was top priority. Relatives who lived in town and had hardly any income were welcomed to come help and take home produce from the gardens and from butchering, meat. Two neighbors out of work were hired to shock wheat and ooooh SOOO grateful for that little bit of income. I was sent with prepared food down the country road to an elderly lady without family. I was sent to care for four little boys when a traveling bread man found a mother down with a heart attack... We did lots of things in the community without pay."

- Gladys A. Wilhelm, age 87, Sebring

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More from Injinworld . . .

"Caring and sharing was top priority. Relatives who lived in town and had hardly any income were welcomed to come help and take home produce from the gardens and from butchering, meat. Two neighbors out of work were hired to shock wheat and ooooh SOOO grateful for that little bit of income. I was sent with prepared food down the country road to an elderly lady without family. I was sent to care for four little boys when a traveling bread man found a mother down with a heart attack... We did lots of things in the community without pay."

- Gladys A. Wilhelm, age 87, Sebring

So did I until I realised 99% of people were takin' the piss.

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Guest Noodle

So did I until I realised 99% of people were takin' the piss.

I know what you mean.

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Thanks Noodle, At first I did not notice how extensive this project was .

During the winter, we disconnected the refrigerator to save electricity and kept spoilable food in a window 'icebox.' You opened the window to put food in, and then closed the window to keep it cold. We didn't have freezers then yet."

Thought this one was particularly resourceful.

"An EVICTION notice! With a family of four boys and after nineteen years of backbreaking work, Mom and Dad had a huge new problem - EVICTION. Dad asked a friend who sold real estate, 'Any farms you can't sell?' 'Lots,' the realtor replied. "Let's look them over." After a selection was made, Dad asked the realtor what his commission would be. The realtor responded. "5percent." Dad had no money to pay either a down payment or a realtor's commission, but offered instead 'a note' as payment-in-full for the 5 percent. This was a 'first' for the realtor, but he knew that if Dad ever got the money, he'd be paid, and if Dad never paid it, they'd at least had a nice visit together.
During the winter months we would often wake up with snow on our beds from cracks in the windows. We could not afford to buy new windows so we covered them with oil cloth. To keep our feet warm at night we would heat a brick on our coal stove, cover it with a small blanket, and take it to bed with us."

- Violet Hardin, age 89, Wapakoneta

"As the wall of Wall St. crashed and the world went into a world-wide economic down spin, I was eight years old in 1929. For the next eleven years, each day brought stress and strain upon my family until circumstances, added to the nature of the Depression, we became a dysfunctional family. Grandfather, father, mother sister, aunts and uncles, shattered and scattered all over the country, each seeking their own survival."

- Louis Mamula, age 88, Lowellville

"Never throw anything away if you can make some use of it. Clean your plate (think of the starving Armenian children and be grateful for what you have). Don't waste anything! Those were lessons for a lifetime of thrift. Buy remainder sale-priced fabrics to repair clothes and to patch badly-worn furniture. Don't throw out food if it's still edible. Don't discard household items, no matter how shabby or out of style, as long as they still work... To build savings, you must discipline yourself. Think very hard about every purchase you make. Always ask yourself: 'Do I really need this, or can I get along without it?' If you can, put it back on the shelf and move on. (When I hear children or adults exclaim, 'I've GOT to have this!' I want to yell: 'No, you DON'T; you won't have to starve or wear threadbare and patched clothing or be forced to live in the dark without that object. You may DESIRE it, but you really don't NEED it!')... If a possession malfunctions or frays, fix it up. If it falls apart, get along without it, just as millions did, because they had no choice. In the Great Depression, few families could afford to buy replacements - and forget buying NEW stuff!"

- Juanita Coulson, age 76, London

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Guest Noodle

Bump, because history is t-t-t-interesting and we learn from it.

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  • 150 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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