All about ideas…

It Was the Worst of Times….

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A number of people, often much younger than I, who are of a conservative or libertarian persuasion, often criticize or question my policy views. Unlike these younger people, however, I remember the stories of the Great Depression my parents and grandparents told me. Those stories changed my life and views forever, as did the many stories of a caring, compassionate Jesus of whom I learned as a small child.

Never forget the past.

My father quit school at 16 to ride the rails to find a job, as did many thousands of young teens of his generation. At 17, he convinced his mother to lie about his age so he could join the Army for a steady paycheck. My mother lived in a cousin’s barn after her family lost their home and business. My grandfather walked the hundreds of miles of highways and byways of western Washington state selling spices door to door to support his family. Because there was no social security that enabled older people to live on their own, my grandfather’s mother lived with my mother’s family so that she wasn’t forgotten and abandoned to an “old folks” home as so many were before and during the Great Depression.

When I hear the plans and policies of the modern GOP that so much emulate those prior to and including the Great Depression, I can’t help but remember the stories my parents passed down to me of the Great Depression and before.

Our society is far from perfect, but it is so much better than what existed near the turn of the 20th Century for ordinary working families.


Written by Valerie Curl

November 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM

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