How many of you have parents who lived through the Great Depression as adults?

My dad was born in 1916. By the time he graduated from school, we were at the lowest depths of the Great Depression, 1933. They didn't have kindergarten in those days, your mother and/or grandmothers got you ready for school. My mother was born in 1920, in a more affluent area, They had kindergarten. Her mother... show more My dad was born in 1916. By the time he graduated from school, we were at the lowest depths of the Great Depression, 1933. They didn't have kindergarten in those days, your mother and/or grandmothers got you ready for school. My mother was born in 1920, in a more affluent area, They had kindergarten. Her mother worked part time starting in 1925, which was unusual at the time. My mother's family was middle class. My father's not.
The Depression was somewhat different for my mother. My dad always worked. He told me in spite of the high unemployment rate, an able bodied man could find a job. Paid very poorly, even for the time, 14-15 cents per hour for hard labor. Maybe 16. 10-12 hours a day, 6 days per week.You had no other choice if you wanted to eat, maybe have a roof over your head.
Then came WPA, Paid around 40 cents per hour, make work jobs they called them. The pay was really good. Created a lot of debt for the country. Then 1938 came the 25 cent minimum wage job for everyone. Sounded really good? All of the sudden, jobs started going away. The Depression wasn't getting better, it was getting worse. This is when my parents met and got married. Had me in 1940. It was obvious to my dad that we'd get dragged into WW2 and this would be the only job. 5 year enlistment. By the time Pearl Harbor happened, a PFC and a crew member of a 155mm Long Tom cannon. Served the entire war. Joined the reserves. As a SGT. Was reactivated for Korea as a SSG. I can remember him going away.
Update: Still firing Long Toms, later they fired 8" howitzers. Retired in 1960 from the NY Army National Guard. At age 44, with most experience shooting, he totally changed careers and was a house painter until he was 70. Worked hard all his life. Never asked for nothing. Never complained. Had the self respect money... show more Still firing Long Toms, later they fired 8" howitzers.
Retired in 1960 from the NY Army National Guard. At age 44, with most experience shooting, he totally changed careers and was a house painter until he was 70.
Worked hard all his life. Never asked for nothing. Never complained. Had the self respect money can't buy.
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