Kids of today don't know what they missed. It was a simple happy life free of the temptations and pressures of today.
I grew up during the big depression. Born November 30, 1931 in Amarillo, Texas to young parents who had never roughed it. Dad had inherited an old dirt farm east of Pampa, Texas and there he moved his little family. The old L shaped farm house had so many holes in it, it was just naturally air conditioned. It was an old weathered gray place with a big front porch. Mom was a city girl, her Dad had a newspaper and my dad was a rancher’s son and had some experience of living on the ranch, but had been away to military school. He knew nothing of farming but there they were, in the midst of hard times like they had never seen. They were young and ambitious and in love and nothing could stand in their way of a happy life. Mom sat about learning to cook and can, joined the Home Demonstration club with all the ole timers in the community and Dad tried his hand at being a farmer. Of course you know it was also in the middle of a severe drought. The dust bowl. When that didn’t work he tried a variety of things to survive. He bartered and traded for anything he could find. He rigged up an old truck and hauled in fruit from south Texas and traded it for things he needed. He cut cedar posts, raised pigs, turkeys, and chickens. He worked for the WPA breaking up rock for a dollar a day. Mom sold her eggs in town to buy groceries. Dad made a deal to pick up day old bread for his hogs and discovered a lot of the goods were undamaged, so he got two barrels and in one he put the bad stuff and in the other he put all the good. He hauled it to the country and shared it with our neighbors. On bakery day it was like a big party, all the folks coming in to pick up their goodies. Dad was a big hearted generous man who always took up for the under-dog. His nickname was ‘Honest Abe’. And that he was. My brother and I were not aware times were hard. We always had food, it might have been beans every meal but it was good. In the summer we picked what was called lambs-quarters from the side of the road and mom cooked them, it was similar to spinach or turnip greens. There were always eggs and fried chicken on Sunday. We had bread rising on the back of the stove most of the time and the smell of it was heavenly. My folks were young and happy with one another and laughed a lot, they had fun with simple things and so we were happy and never knew how they may have worried or suffered about what was to happen to us. The older folks in the neighborhood probably thought they were young and dumb, but that was an advantage, and in the end they were admired for their ingenuity and envied their youth. I have many wonderful stories to tell of my parents and grandparents. They were each pioneers of their times. It is odd how differently children in different families remember things. Your story may be different from mine. It could be being a boy or living in town would made a difference. Though times were hard we led a sheltered life out on that dusty old farm and I remember it with sweet memories. To the eyes of strangers we probably looked to be poverty stricken urchins, barefoot dirty faced little kids playing in the dirt, but I remember it as wonderful times in my life and wish my children could have experienced some of the same.
(c) 2007 Bo Drury