Wednesday, July 15, 2009

15 July “Busy and Apologetic”

I promised myself to at least post a small blog every day, but when I sit down to do so I began writing and expounding on things and then find myself with little time to make it cohesive, so then it goes un-posted.

I am still working on my post about home buying then and now. My research into FDR Depression era New Deal legislation is so fascinating and really needs to be addressed to get to where we were with home buying in 1955. The Depression Era is becoming rather interesting. What FDR faced when he came to the white house seems to make what our current president’s problems small in comparison and makes our current economic crunch seem less frightening. 

1935 woman porch The more I look into it the more I begin to think of my own 1955 self and her life during that time. I would have been old enough to have recalled the Depression. I wonder, being a teen at the time, would it have seemed different to me, as WWII was often recalled fondly by very young children in London who got free reign and had an entire city as a playground and no parental supervision? Certainly, if we were effected economically, which I don’t know how you could not be, would I have worked? Would a young daughter of a middle class family be sent out to earn, or would I have needed to ‘keep up appearances’ maybe taking over more housework to cover the fact that the family maid had to be let go? It is all very interesting.

I have done some research and magazine and book reading of the 1940s for this project, as I would have been a young wife then. But, to really begin to think of my formative years, looking at the 1930s is almost imperative. But, I digress.

1935 treens Perhaps it is just the hairstyles, but these 1935 seniors at a High School some how look older or more mature than their 1955 senior counterparts.1955 seniors Maybe it’s just me. Yet these seniors, from 55, had the fear of the A-bomb, but they were at the tail end of the horror that had been. The 1935 seniors had to live in the sad Depression and then to fell the fear of war in the air. I wonder what it felt like in 39 and the early war years before our country got involved in the war?

I have been very busy, as we always seem to find ourselves in summer, and am apologetic for not having posted more. I am also sorry for this meager post, but wish to ‘stay in’ my community and not feel I am letting anyone down.

Maybe until I get up another post, we should discuss what we think the 1930’s would have been for our ‘counterparts’. If you were the age you are now in 1955 count back and see what your age would be in 1935 and then wonder how it would affect you. I think it could make for a lively discussion.

I will be checking in, so if you have not all forgot about me in my lax ways, then we can have a good ‘comment discussion’. So, again, excuse my lax behavior I will try to rectify it.


  1. i would have been 19 in 1935. i suppose i would have been a working girl then, trying to help my family make enough to support us. i was reading a good book that my kids got at the library recently, about children during the depression, and most of them did odd jobs or worked in the fields. there were some precious pictures of teenaged girls going off to pick fruit for the day. i suppose i would have done that, or watched my younger brother so my parents could work. i know that my grandmother was about that age (22) in 1935 and she was an office girl for most of her life. she did not like to talk about the depression years AT ALL. but i know that she continued to be very frugal, and always told us to clean our plates and not waste food. her plate always looked like she had licked it spotless!! she was also a worrier, mostly about money, and i suspect that was leftover too. i am anxious to see what others say, and i do love to see a new post from you!! i know you are busy~aren't we all?! with our ACTION!! but it is good to talk and see what we're up too. i got my first tomato today~cherry tomatoes, but still exciting! and i have some cute little summer squash just starting to ripen. i am off now though, b/c my 4 year old is "fixing lunch". :) she has all kinds of cold cuts and cheese laid out on the table, so i best get cracking!!

  2. I would have been 9 and do not think I would have a clue what was going on. I mean I would feel the difference but the responsibilty would not be so hard on me at that age, but who knows. My parents could have needed me to "help" with whatever I could at that age. I think I would have glady done it and been eager to help my family as much as I could.

  3. Well in 1935 I would have been 23 so I possibly would have been married, perhaps with a baby. In real life I didn't get married until 29 and had my first child at 32 but I know in the 30's I would have been an old maid by 26 and thought to be almost past fertility at 32.

    I would probably would have been trying to make ends meet by doing my own housework and possibly taking in borders. I don't think I'd work since jobs were hard to find and if my hubby still had his I'd consider us lucky.

    The high school pictures really show how the teen culture of the 50's was allowing kids to look and dress differently from their parents. The 30's pic the kids look older because they don't look that different in clothing and hairstyles as I've seen of adults of the time.

    No worries about lack of posts. I know you're working hard. I can't wait to see this new project!


  4. I would have been 23 in 1935. I think I would have been a married mother probably living on a farm somewhere.

    I like to think our family would be somewhat sheltered from the financial woes if we were able to make do with the products of our own farm.

    I just love that photo of the 1935 high school seniors. They are all smiling like someone just told a joke. So many old photos I run across, people are staring dead-on at the camera like they are confused or scared or something. Your photo shows some life.

    Working hard at

  5. I am excited to see, as well, if others do 'the math' and consider what they might be doing in the midst of the Depression. Of course, those of you not in the usa may not consider it the same, though I think the economic crunch of the stock market did affect other countries, though we were not a 'global economy' in the same sense that we are today.
    I know I know, I have been bad, but I promise to post every day (or close to it) even if it is just a few paragraphs and some photos.

  6. I would have been 20 in 1935 and probably affected by the depression. In fact, my grandmother was born in 1915 so she was that exact age in 1935. She was soon to be married and start a family. She stayed close to her family. Her mother and sister all lived on the same street as she aged and raised her family. I think I would have been a lot like her. Happy with peace and what I have rather than always wanting more. She never had a lot of things, but cultivated relationships that lasted a lifetime. She also lived in the same house she and her husband raised their kids in until she died. A small two bedroom house.

  7. thats amazing Bounjour that she lived there for her whole life, good for her. It is interesting, isnt' it, to quickly project ourselves into the past; a sort of armchair instantaneous time travel, if you will. I think the mention of money and credit cards is very scary when you think about it. Here we are, slowly moving towards a place where we are not accountable for ourselves in so many ways and our need to have insurance and coverage for everything in case we get sued, which is really an entire system set up for lawyers and insurance companies to work in tandem to make money out of us. It is as if we have become the product. We are industry fodder, it seems. No wonder there is beginning ot be such a movement towards self-sustainability. It seems we either have to be 'plugged into the world' or try and live 'under or off the grid'.

  8. Interesting project. I found the videos very good as I like to look at the way things were in times before. My culture is different and would look different from this but since I don't have any old pics or movies from the Caribbean olden days I enjoy looking at things like what you've shown. Have a good day!

  9. I would have been 18 in 1935 should I be my age in 1955. That puts me as 5 years older than my grandma would have been at the same time. The same age as my great aunt. In the 30's she worked as a laundry girl for a wealthy family, and then married an moved to Chicago to work as a waitress in a diner (where she saw Al Capone walk in one day and kill a man - she lived a wild life). If I had children, I would most likely would have stayed at home and taken in laundry to wash, or baby sat children to help make ends meet. My own mother never worked until we were grown. She did however, babysit my whole life. I have only one sibling, but feel like I am from a much larger family because of all the kids my mom watched. Sometimes we had 12 or so around at any given time.

    I do know I would most likely be watching the events in Europe with a careful eye in fear for my hubby/brother/nephews/uncles....

    My grandad was 44 when he was drafted into WWII and he was missing one eye and had a hole in his heart. That was how bad things got. He worked as a cook on the train that carried the recuits to basic training for the army. They revoked alot of 4F's in the later years of the war because they were running out of able bodied men who were old enough.

    My other grandad served in the Marine's in the Pacific Theater and saw some of the bloodiest battles there were. It messed with him his entire life. He had serious social issues, smoked heavily, and drank heavily most of my life. Only in the last 10 years of his life did he come out of his shell, find religion, and become somewhat of a friendly person.

    People who view the 50's so cynically forget that these people had seen some of the worst this nation has suffered through (I would say the Revolutionary War and Civil War would be the other 2 worst times) and survived it. They wanted nothing more to forget what they could and make their lives as peaceful, normal, and average as they could.

  10. No excuses necessary, my dear. In fact, just today my daughter asked, “How does she do all she does AND have time to blog?” So you see, you are quite busy, and we understand. :0)

    Kelly, it is interesting on what you said about your gramma. During the depression, my gramma lived on a farm so always had plenty of what they needed unlike the city folk. They worked hard, however, in the fields and with the animals but had fun with all of her brothers and sisters (there were 10). She always had to go and stay with women in the area that had just had babies. She would stay a month at a time and do their cooking and cleaning for them. She did this from the time of a young-to mid-teen up until she was 18. My gramma like yours also was a worrier and never wasted a thing until the day she died. She was so good at saving the little amount of money Grampa brought in that they paid for their house cash-$11,000. Gramma never had much in the way of material goods but didn’t need them either. Her treasures were her love for the Lord and her family.

    In 1935, I would have been 26 and had at least three children. Following after Gramma’s footsteps, I think—at least hope that—I would have lived on a farm working hard but not suffering so like those in town. I may have lost a brother/uncle to the war like Grampa did. Times would have been hard, but we would have learned hard work, frugality, and other such treasuraeble morals.

  11. Well, usually I make the time to do all I do and blog. I think that has become one of the amazing parts of my project, just how much time there really is in a day when you work at it all day and don't watch tv and waste time like I used to do BEFORE 1955! I have been extra busy, of late though, and I will tell all if it works out.
    I am really interested and intriqued by the comments about the depression farm, because my research is really showing me that alot of the farmers crops had to wither away and die as they could not sell anything as I think in 1935 as an example, a bushel of corn was worth the price of a pack of chewing gum and the 1930s was the time that FDR started the farm subsidize etc, but I can see that the people living there certainly would be able to eat the food even if they COULD NOT sell it, that makes sense. Perhaps they didnt' tell you about that bit, because that generation, as well, was less likely to complain about things and to be strong and move forward. Very intriquing. I would like to look more at the rural farming in the Depression. I did learn that electricity was mainly introduced in the 1930s to the rural areas, which were for all intents and purposes still living very 19th c lives, but as part of the Public Works program, electricity was sent out to all the rural towns and homes. All very interesting how much of our countrys current structure and growth really came out of the Depression, maybe there is hope for us afterall!

  12. 50'sgal- You would think those who could afford a pack of gum would choose the corn as it would feed more people and be more nurishing. Perhaps the farmers couldn't get their foods to the cities and still not lose money. It was probably much better corn than what we get now that's genetically modified.

    Your take on the positive side of the Depression is inspiring. I just hope our population can change it's collective attitude and appreciate what we have. I've really been thinking about your posts discussing the entitlement of the 50's/Baby Boom generation and how they never had to grow up. It's a little scary that these are the people running big business and our government. (Not pointing fingers at anyone in particular- I think our president is a rare member of this generation who values the right things but there are so many who don't.) Although maybe that's what led us to this recession.

    Still reading the most recent post.


  13. Actually, I don't think our President is of the baby boomer generation. Also, the people not on the farms couldn't buy the corn because the farmers couldnt sell it as the bottom dropped out on the markets so that when I say the price was the same as a pack of gum, it just shows the values were too low to sell and veg went unsold and rotted (except what the farmers themselves could eat) but they still needed to pay taxes and mortgages and rents and things and didn't have the money as they couldn't sell the food etc. That was the part of the cycle of the depression when FDR came into office.
    Thank you, I am glad you find it a positive twist. I know, I feel bad about pointing the finger, but the more I study and live it I really do feel that alot of the Baby Boom generation really has let the world down and has made what it is now for all of us and how we look and deal with things. That we care more about how we 'feel' about things or if it is 'fair' or for 'me me me' and less about actually doing and creating and living.

  14. I'd have been five going on six in '35. Big step into kindergarten, but would be properly prepared, as my mother then would most likely have been a housewife and not the workaholic some moms of the '80's were. School back then seems as if it would have been harder but more thorough. Not sure why I have drawn this conclusion from the air? But, of course, being so young, nothing worldly would have seemed different or strange to me.

  15. 50’s Gal,

    I too notice that if I stay busy all day without TV, for example, that I can get SO much done! I love it!

    As far as the Depression era farming, my gramma had such good memories because she loved her siblings; there were 10 in all. She said that they all got along so well. They sang together, went to church together, and worked together. So, although all families may not have had those things, they really seemed to make a difference for her. Her dad, however, did end up institutionalized due to depression. I am sure that being the provider for such a large family during that time was a terrible burden.

  16. Renee,

    Speaking of school, a lot of the boys, especially, had to quit to help out on the farm. My grandpa only finished the 8th grade, as he was needed at home. This was unfortunate for him in later years. When he got married, he farmed, but then after that didn’t pay, he had to go to work in town. Because they lived in a very small town and due to his lack of education, he ended up being a janitor in an auto shop for the remainder of his years.

  17. I would have been 26, probably married, with children and if I were living here, I'd be dealing with the dust bowl & heat constantly.


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