Offspring of the children of the Great Depression

A friend at work was telling me about his father-in-law and saying what a cheapskate the man is and as he listed several examples of the man’s frugality, I was laughing and said, that is exactly like my father, and oh, I do that myself, and it went on. When I regained my composure I said, as I have said to him previously, it is because he was an offspring of the depression day children.

Completely mystified, my friend just shook his head and I continued, That event was so terrible, it marked the people who lived through it and two generations following it.   Can you imagine, for example that it is the third week of the month and you have young children and you have already used up your ration tickets for milk? For gasoline? That your wife could not buy a pair of stockings?

I told him that one of the stories my father relayed to me on a regular basis was how my grandfather, a carpenter, would take a nail that had bent, straighten it out and re-use it. I have tried straightening a nail many times and either the nails that we use now are of a different tensile strength than those my grandfather used, or he was much better at it than I ever got, because once I straightened a nail and hammered it again, it bent again in the same place or even broke.

The youngsters today not only never save things because someday you might need it as we did, they throw things out regularly which just feeds the flames of built in obsolescence.

After my parents were both gone on to eternal rest, I remember being surprised to find a pair of shoes in the basement rafters that probably had not fit my dad since he got out of the army, but just in case, you know.

Probably the most astonishing find was in the garage. The house they moved from had an old fashioned hot water tank for which the heater was a little iron gas unit about two feet tall and stood next to the hot water tank. I looked at that for a while and shook my head and wondered, what in the world could he possibly have imagined he’d use that for, certainly I’ll never know.

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