The Great Depression

It was 1929. October to be precise. Everything had never been better for my family. My father had a steady job as a stock broker for Pullman. We were truly living the good life. We would of never expected everything to disappear, never would of expected everything just to be gone...

We had just got back from a family vacation. We went to D.C. to visit the nation’s capitol. When we had gotten back we heard the news that the economy was failing. My mother and my father instantly though of our savings in the local bank. But, it was too late.

The second my father unpacked from the vacation he had heard about the bust of the bank. He immediately took me down to the bank to collect our savings. There was a line of about 450 other civilians doing the same as us. The look in my father’s eyes was like an empty pit of a despair. He knew that we would be able to get our savings.

Of course, I was only about 8 years old. But I understood a lot of mature things for my age. Looking back at that moment, I know why I felt the way I did. I knew what was happening. When I saw the look my father had on his face, I knew our life style would change. I instantly had a vision of us living poorly with no house, no belongings, nothings. Everything was gone.

We were there on 45th avenue with the feeling of... emptiness. But we some how managed to fight through the crowd and fight for what we owned. The bank was completely empty, nothing was there. My dad didn’t talk for the rest of the day.

While we still had a house, I tried to save and conserve what we already had. Our food, clothes, everything. Later that night I overheard my parents talking. My room had a vent that lead to the main room.

“Honey, you realize what we are faced to do... don’t you?”

“Yes, we will go tomorrow.”

For some reason I couldn’t feel my body. To think that everything we had, everything we owned. Our pride, our dignity was gone within one day of the stock market crashing. That quick something as tragic as that can happen. I felt a tear running down the side of my bone- chilling cold cheek. The landlord had already cut off our heat.

We woke up before the sky even had a trace of blue in it. 4:30am. Our things were packed downstairs. Luckily, my father had a horse down at a stable about 3 miles down from our city house that he already had ready. All of our belongings that we could manage taking were inthere. I still couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Why Me? I asked the lord right then at that moment. Why did this situation have to happen to me. My mother had always told me that everything happens for a reason. And I really hoped that it was true at that moment.

So, we headed out. Into what seemed like the cold, bitter, wilderness. But really it was just Downtown Charlotte. To think that we were never going back to our good life that we had was just really, hard to believe. But it was what it was. We stopped a few times along the way and each time I had a flashback of the time when my father came home from his first day at Pullman. Everything was so bliss and joyous.Everything had turned 180 degrees and here we were in Mississippi starting a new life.

My father grew up in Mississippi so it was a little bit easier for him to be back in his hometown. We went to my aunt’s house to stay until we figured things out. She too, was having financial troubles. It seemed like just about everyone who resided in the U.S. was in a state of a despair.

Everyday my dad headed into town desperately searching for work. Us kids would help also. Making flyers of my fathers skills. My father was a very talented blacksmith. He could make anything your mind dreamt of with steel or iron. That helped him get the job of his dreams. A blacksmith in downtown Jackson.

This job was very steady compared to most during the depression. He had that job for 16 years, long after the depression ended. His job payed really well. That job made our family shine once again. With 6 siblings not including me and no money, things were beyond tough. Getting food, taking showers, bathing was excruciatingly hard. But we pulled through it. Sometimes I ask myself how. How did we do that? If my dad did not have the skills needed for the blacksmithing job we would of been out cold. Thank god for blacksmithing. Thank god.