We were still in the Great Depression the night I was born, November 12, 1937 in a small town in Vermont. I was fortunate not to remember the hardships adults endured. The Great Depression started on October 29, 1927 and ended in 1941.
My older sister Ellen was 11 years old when I was born, she was in charge of taking care of 2 other siblings, and a baby – ME. My parents were out searching for any odd job to make enough money to buy food and milk.
I only know these facts because, as an adult, my sister shared these stories with me as we sat on her patio sipping a glass of wine. My sister said she never had enough food and milk as a child. Now, as an adult and a mother of 3 children, she could make certain her children were never deprived of food or milk. Also, Ellen told me that we lived in a shack outside of town where I was born. Some people didn’t even have a roof over their head and lived in tents or under bridges.
Our father and mother were both ministers. At that time women did not have a parish of their own. She helped my father and sang in the choir. With my mother and father being busy saving the parishioners of their Church, I was a free bird, pretty much had all the freedom I wanted. That is what I thought in my child’s mind any way.
One of the situations that has been in my memory over the years is the first night I remembering hearing the air-raid siren basting. I was in my bed room playing with my doll, (I loved that doll,when you had only 1 of anything you took care of it, you didn’t get another). My bedroom shade was already drawn, I turned off the light and hid under my bed. I remember my mother explaining this was called a blackout because no lights were supposed to be seen. I don’t remember being afraid when the siren blew, it was just the way of life back then. I had been told many times what to do when we heard the blast of the siren, as had other kids at this time in our little lives. We didn’t ask why we had to do it, we just DID IT!
At 5 years old I attended kindergarten. This brings back another memory when the air raid siren blowing while in our classroom, as instructed by our teacher, all of us kids hid under their desk. I guess the beds and our desks were constructed sturdier back in those days to be able to protect us from a BOMB !
Until we meet again.
If you have any memories of the depression and would like to share, I would love to hear to them.