Echoes of the Great Depression
by Nathaniel L. Self      




By Liz Steffan
The Community News
March 15, 2000

Nathaniel Self (above left), author of "Echoes of the Great Depression", donates book to Mission of Hope coordinator Bob Fields

Mission of Hope, coordinated by Bob Fields, will be receiving the proceeds from the sale of 200 books. Nathaniel Self, a Bessemer resident, has written a book, "Echoes of the Great Depression", about life in the mining camps during the Great Depression.

Nathaniel Self was the third child of Sebern Lee and Gladys Roberts Self, born in 1926 in Walker County. During World War II he served in the US Navy aboard the USS Mendoceno, an amphibious personnel assault flagship. After the war ended, he attended Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, where he completed his undergraduate degree in 1951.

Nat worked as an industrial engineer for the US Steel Corporation in Fairfield for almost 15 years before joining the administrative staff of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. After more than 26 years at the university, he retired in 1993 and now enjoys working out at the YMCA, gardening, following Alabama football and feeding birds and other wildlife.

Nathaniel has also donated a portion of his book sales to First Methodist Church in Bessemer and YMCA of Bessemer. The books can be purchased for $15 at The Mission of Hope which is opened every Thursday, as this is clothes give-away day, or you can order through the mail. "Echoes of the Great Depression" is truly a trip back in time that you don't want to miss.


The Western Star
August 16, 2000

Nat L. Self of Bessemer recently completed a book titled "Echoes of the Great Depression." Nat wrote the book off and on for seven years after retiring from The University of Alabama. The setting of most of the stories in the book is in coal mining camps in and near Dora, Alabama where Nat grew up with three brothers and four sisters. Eye witnessed stories as remembered and written by Nat began during the fall of 1929 and continued to the fall of 1939.

The purpose of the book is to lay bare the culture of a typical poor coal mining family struggling during the long, slow, and dreadful years of the Great Depression. Nat wove numerous historical events throughout the book and humanized their impact on his family and community.

Nat has had the book published and is initially donating books to the First Methodist Church of Bessemer, the YMCA of Bessemer, and the Mission of Hope of Dora. The book may be purchased for $15 from any member of the three organizations or at their offices. You may call Nat for additional information at 205-425-0513.