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Readers Respond: Stories from the Great Depression

Responses: 6

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Know someone who lived through the Great Depression? Help them share their stories. What was it like? What are your most impactful memories? Or most memorable stories your parents shared? Share Your Story

Childhood in the great depression.

My father was born in 1922 and grew up through the great depression in germany, he told stories of how he had to walk from village to village looking for work and begging for food, wearing the same clothes and shoes everyday "shoes were a luxury back then" he would say, he told me the story of how his father was travelling to the market with a wheel barrow full of paper money just to buy a loaf of bread ! And how his mother would cut the bread into very thin slices and instead of butter and jam they would use the left over fat from cooking what meat they had as a sort of butter. He was very lucky to survive the second world war that was to come, his father, brother and many of his friends did not.
—Guest Guest Josef

Make it Do or Do Without

My dad worked in the CCC program in Watkins Glen, NY. My mother told us of how nothing was wasted. For example, socks with holes were darned (I can still remember her darning tool) instead of being thrown out. Old bed sheets would be cut down the middle lengthwise, the outer, less worn edges sewn together and this seamed area would become the center of the sheet. They had a saying "wear it in, wear it out, make it do or do without".
—Guest Nancy Nunley

Riding the rails...

I can remember my dad talking about riding the rails during that time all over the country.
—Guest John

lost the farm

My grandfather inherited his father's farm when he passed away in 1928. In 1930 the bank called his loan due and foreclosed.
—Guest Mike

My Dad and the CCC

My dad served in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) when he was a very young man during the depression. I didn't really know the details, but when my dad was rapidly succumbing to Alzheimer's at the end of his life, I asked him about the CCC and he told me all about how he was a barber and cut other young men's hair. He laughed and remembered that when he didn't often remember who I was. Very touching!
—Guest Joanne

a poor millionaire

My mom grew up in the Great Depression. We thought she didn't have any money. Her house was run down and whenever we asked her about repairing something she would tell us it cost too much. When she needed to go to assisted living I took over her finances. She had well over a million in the bank.
—Sharon

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Stories from the Great Depression

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