Friday, March 20, 2009


Friends my own age remember the depression through our parents, or aunts and uncles who told us stories of the depression days. Pam Quyle, of Murphys, learned about hard times from her mother, Joyce Miller, from South Dakota. Not only did they deal with the depression but, even worse, was the dust bowl. "My mother repeated to us about how awful it was when the locusts went through" explained Pam. "For miles you could see nothing but naked branches, not one green thing. Animals were killed because there was no feed. They ate what they could but without refrigeration, the meat was wasted. They lived on their oat crop with nothing but oats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The whole (Miller) family moved away from there and escaped. My uncles eventually returned, but my mother never wanted to go back to South Dakota and didn't."
Kenneth Myles, 84, of Jamestown hailed from Terre Haute, IN. He remembers his father worked at anything he could find. "My mom took in laundry. She got 10 cents a piece for washing, ironing and starching a shirt. When the tomato factories were canning, she would work for three or four weeks."
Ken and his brother both dropped out of school at 14 to help put bread on the table. His brother worked the wheat fields for a $1 a day. "I carried newspapers and brought home $2.50 a week." Then they both got jobs at a bakery greasing and stacking pans. "Everybody was in the same boat and everybody worked together," said Ken. You can read about Ken in "friends and "neighbors" magazine celebrating Tuolumne Seniors.
To be continued

No comments: