Got Seatbelts? Down, Down, Down!!!

Posted by on October 6, 2008

Hello Dear Readers and Subscribers,

The full post will come later tonight along with, hopefully, the podcast, but in any event, it’s noon Monday and the stock market is starting to look like this:

(source: Nara)

That is, even though many people, too many, still have this view:

(source: Nara)

While we still don’t know how the current crisis will play out, we can look back at the Great Depression and see how the impact of it played in daily lives.  As an example, here is a personal recount of one such person who tramped through the Depression painting signage and living as a hobo.

“…One of Sub’s many accomplishments was his habit of being hungry, he being the salesman of the partnership man always apt to solicit bakers and grocers first with his offers of good signs cheap. More often then not the renumeration was taken out in trade and the numerous packages carried to the ‘jungles’ there to be concected into a “Mulligan.” Dippy and Subconscious were always welcome in the jungles by the ever present, ‘buzzards’ who were always ready to help gather fuel and cooking utensils, in order to share in the feast. The Mulligan, made by the pair was a bonafide hobo stew – everything in it but the railroad track. Potatoes, onions, turnips, cabbage, sweet potatoes, corn, peas etc. were put in indiscriminately with the meat.


There had been times when the stew was not so perfect like the time in Hutchinson Kans., which town had been “bummed out” and the hobos in the jungles were hungry and in a [quendary?] when Dippy had hit upon the idea of assigning each man to a certain kind of shop, one to the butcher, one to the baker, etc. Each was to bum a specific item, but to take what he could get. When after a time, they gathered again in the jungle and looked ever the spoils it was found that butchers had donated one link of liver sausage, the grocers a quantity of lettuce, potatoes, parsnips and some slightly damaged tomatoes, the bakers, stale bread and buns. A mulligan was made, the skin of the sausage burst and was never again recognized an such, the other ingredients were cooked into a mash. Hunger is not discriminating, so all thought the stew was good which was all that was necessary. They filled up and were satisfied, until the sheriff came down from the village and ordered them to get out on the next train…”

(Source: American Memory Project, Frank DeSoto.)

While things are not that bad yet, this gives us a first person account of how bad they were and could become here should this event come to pass again.  Hopefully not, but as history, this story (and others like it) can paint a more accurate picture than a dry history textbook ever could.  Hit the links below for more stories from the American Memory Project and other sites.  I’ll try to have the podcast and another post up later tonight or tomorrow.

American Memory Project  Main Page

American Memory Project: American Life Histories

The Great Depression In America (has info. on recipes)

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