"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

- George Santayana (1863–1952)


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My mother-in-law wrote down more memories of the Great Depression.  She will turn 91 in March 2009, God bless her.  I felt it was important to post her recollections before the “Greatest Generation” passes away. – S. K. Smith, February 4, 2009

 The Great Depression
1929 - 1945

Part 2

 Written by Dorothy S. Smith


More Memories of the Great Depression

The Depression did not go away for years – in spite of the “feel good” song – “Happy Days are here, again.”

I am pretty sure my family was typical.  If someone you knew needed help, you gave it.  My mother had friends she made in Normal School.  (That is where they taught people learning to be teachers.)  One friend had married.  They moved to Sacramento, California, but moved back to Maryland when unemployed.  And stayed with us.  And stayed.  And stayed.  They were our “honorary” aunt and uncle.

Aunt Margaret helped with cooking.  I remember she made a delicious cake, except Mother noticed all the butter it took!  They had a son about six years old;  called him “Tommy Lad.”  I think that was a popular song then.

Tommy was sick, so a doctor was called, and as usual then the doctor came to see the patient.  I’m not sure, but I suspect my folks paid the bill.

Eventually, they moved to Washington D. C.  I have no idea about their finances, but I suspect both Aunt Margaret and Uncle Tom found work.

After they left, Mother’s sister Mamie and her husband Uncle Bitty arrived.  Actually he was named Charles.  That was a popular name.  Mother’s oldest brother was a Charles.  My Dad was a Charles and so was Uncle Bitty.  Dad was called Uncle Wall.

Uncle Bitty and Aunt Mamie had lived in New Jersey.  He had worked on building one of the New York City famous buildings.  I can’t remember if it was Radio City or another one.  But when that job ended, he was out of work.  So guess where they came?  But while they stayed with us, Uncle Bitty re-did our bathroom floor.  It had been wood, but he did a great job putting down tiles.

Their daughter Mary had married.  She and her husband moved to California where he worked for movie studios – not as an actor.  Years later, my husband and I visited them in California.  They were celebrating their 50th anniversary.  That was in 1979 – which puts my memories back to 1929.



 © February 2, 2009, Dorothy S. Smith


 For first article:  click here
For third article:  click here



"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,
     To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, 
     and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
             James 1:27  (KJV)