Echoes of the Great Depression
by Nathaniel L. Self      



Economic Bad News
Economic reports in 1931 verified what many people in this country feared-bad news was getting worse. Practically every major city in the United States had soup lines. Hungry men hung around restaurants and fought over the garbage. New York City reportedly had more than eighty breadlines and many people, young and old, died of starvation. Countless professionals and businessmen who had lost their jobs or businesses sold apples on the street corners for 5¢ each.

Family Commitment
Uncertain as to whether or not we would live in our home for one or twenty years, Dad and Mom committed body, soul, and spirit enhanced by enormous energy to clear and cultivate much of the surrounding land. This was truly the place where my parents could utilize their skills of growing food on the land while rearing their large, expanding family. Their resolve demanded that they demonstrate to us and require from us discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. The message was simple, clear, and enforced: Family members six years of age and older had a defined role of responsibility and accountability. The soft pampered living that we children had experienced while living in Kershaw suddenly ratcheted up to old-fashioned work. We were introduced not only to household chores but also to Mother Nature's mysterious breath of life regenerated by seeds, soil, and sun and nourished by rains, and oodles of sweat.