I don’t remember the Great Depression. I happened years before I was born. So much history occurred during the years between 1930 and 1950, it’s hard to comprehend sometimes. I know that the people in the Great Depression had it rough. My Mom and Dad have told me the stories of what went on in rural and small town Georgia during those days. But, I guess my own "Great Depression" came during the late 1960’s.
The cotton mill where Mom and Dad worked went down to 4 days a week, then to 3 days. We had moved into a new house in 1966, when the mill was on 6 days a week, and things had been pretty good. But during those last years of 1960, things were incredibly slow. Our most common meals were pinto beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread. The next day would be Salmon patties, navy beans, and biscuits. We alternated. Every once in a while on Saturdays it would be either hot dogs or hamburgers. I really didn’t think much about it though. I kind of liked those foods, and still do today. We didn’t really miss much, and didn’t know times were bad.
I didn’t know that is, until I would see my Dad with the bills on the kitchen table trying to figure out which ones to pay and which ones to put off. It was about that time that he started going gray, and I think it was from the stress and worry of how he was going to pay for things. My Dad hated being in debt, and not having enough money to pay his bills. I realized at that point that we were kind of on the poor side. It was a little embarrassing, but at the same time we held our heads up and didn’t let it get the best of us.
Now we move on to 2011, and I see those years are creeping up on us again. There is practically NO manufacturing in this country now to pick things up like there was back in the 60’s though. The dollar is about useless, and the Fed has lowered the interest rate so low that people with Savings accounts are soon going to be paying the bank interest to keep their money in it! We have wars going on, and a healthcare crisis. The budget is so far out of balance that we need a miracle to climb out of it. The Chinese practically own us, we owe them so much money. The only thing different is that I am in old Dad’s shoes now.
Last night when I brushed my hair, it looked a lot grayer to me. I think I am starting to get old. At least the kid’s are all grown though and I love pintos and fried potatoes!