15 miserable years

Bread line in New York City in the 1930s.

The last year and a half have been unpleasant due to the Kung Flu and political conflicts. And then I think of my parents’ generation. A year and a half would have been a godsend for them.

Their bad times were immeasurably worse, and they lasted 15 years, not our measly (so far) 18 months.

We have a pandemic that’s affecting fewer people than one would think, thanks to modern mass communication and the ratings-mad news media. The political situation, in my opinion, is worse if you consider the long-term.

In Mexico, we have a doofus demagogue who can hardly speak correctly. In the United States you have a senile old codger propped up by an oligarchy. In Canada, there is a metrosexual, politically correct fop of a prime minister who’s in office entirely for being good-looking and having his father’s name.

But all of this is a walk in the proverbial park compared to what my parents endured. First a decade of the Great Depression and then five years of world war. So far we have it mighty good. What’s down the line is another matter, but count your blessings. You’re not in a blocks-long bread line or lying dead on Omaha Beach.

1944: The sad casualties of war — husbands, fathers and sons.

10 thoughts on “15 miserable years

  1. I remember when I was ten, my folks moved into a small town. The train came through once a day. About once a month, a hobo would find his way to our house. My mother would send him to the back door to wait while she would fix a cup of soup or a sandwich. I think she often gave them crackers or bread to take with them for the next day.

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    1. Phil: I imagine you have little to no competition here for remembering the Great Depression. My mother used to tell me similar stories. Neither of my parents had significant problems during the Depression. My mother lived with her parents on their own farm where they grew their own food. They both ate it and sold it. My father’s father owned a small store of some sort. Odd that I don’t recall what type of store. I don’t think I ever asked. But they got on pretty well too. My mother was born a decade before you, my father three years before that.


  2. I’m old enough to have heard the stories, but young enough to have missed it. My folks were country people, stock-farmers as it was known in those days, and raised cattle, sheep, goats and hogs and the crops required to feed those.

    Some of those crops were edible for the family and the neighbors. Mom taught school, dad worked to keep the farm going and found carpenter work or what he could find when it was there, which if often wasn’t.

    As a teenager and into his early 20s the New Deal kicked in. That brought electricity and many work projects. He enjoyed telling me how glad he was to get a job on the county road project shoveling gravel with a number two grain scoop for ten hours a day. Total pay for that day was $2.00.

    They were always cash poor but never hungry.


  3. Indeed. I’m worried about the next financial crisis. With interest rates already close to zero, that’s one the Fed won’t be able to print our way out of. But while I don’t doubt it will happen, the timing is anything but certain. For now I am indeed very blessed. After 10 years of retirement, I’m still just below 60, and loving life.


    Kim G
    Roma Sur, CDMX
    Where there are untold avenues for adventure.


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