An 80 Year Cycle
Both of my parents were children of the Great Depression. I don’t think the Depression had too much of an impact on my father’s family since they ran a successful bakery and actually made most of their money in boot legging. I never heard my father say anything about being poor. On the other hand, my mother’s family suffered greatly. Her father died of a heart attack on a WPA bus going to his job.
The Great Depression was always very much on the minds of those that survived; even when times were good. My mother-in-Law came from a wealthy family that lost everything and this tempered her to the point where she does not get attached to possessions. Though she can afford whatever she wishes, she chooses to have very few things. On the other hand, my Father-in-Law has many possessions and knows the value of each item. He is a big proponent of owning gold and silver. It seems that my in-laws are constantly seeing the depression in their rear view mirrors and suddenly it is coming into focus again through the wind shield.
I never realized it at the time but my mother gave me helpful hints of how to live through a depression as I was growing up. She would tell me things like, “If you ever lose your job, get a temporary job in a restaurant and you’ll never go hungry.” My favorite was, “If you ever have to sleep on a park bench, newspapers make good blankets and will keep you warm.”
I asked my mother how the current situation compares to the Great Depression. She said that things are bad but they have a way to go before they even approach the devastation of the previous depression. Back then, everyone was touched by economic doom. Most people today have been brushed by doom, but not yet dipped and drowning in it.