The Great Depression Student interview


Onnie Benjamin Cross , my Grandfather , is a survivor of the time in our countries history

known as the great depression. Born in , he lived in as a young boy. My interview

with him really helped me to realize where the older people of our nation are coming from in

their ideas and opinions . In the following paper I will do my best to convey what I learned to

the reader.

People did what they had to to survive the Great Depression . Clothing was made from feed

sacks with thin strips of old tires cut out for elastic for the waist. Most of the kids affected by the

poverty wore overalls, if their shoes wore out, they would have to go barefoot for the rest of the

year.
Food was another and bigger problem to some than clothing. People bought only the

essentials- flour, sugar , bread & wasted nothing. Leftover bread was made into bread pudding.

I was told that some people would slaughter animals, place them in the back of a trailer , and

take them door to door cutting off and selling whatever part the person wanted to buy. Some

found other ways to get meat , such as hunting rabbits, deer, squirrels, and birds. Butter was

expensive so they used a lard-type substance which they mixed until it was fluffy and then added

yellow food coloring.

Not many homes in the countryside had electricity before 1936. People still cooked on

wood stoves and cooled food in nearby streams. Homes were heated by fireplaces and

wood stoves as well . Washing what clothes they had was solved by heating water in a large pot

and then scrubbing them clean as possible over a scrub board. The pot also doubled as a wash tub.

Prices included 15 cents for a pound of potatoes, ten cents for bread, and 5 cents for a

pound of bananas. A 1928 Model A Ford - on credit- could be bought for $450 and fill it up with

gas for 15 cents. In 1930, a new Ford cost $550 and gas 20 cents.

Having fun cost a lot less then than it does now. Swimming was a favorite activity. Boys went

swimming in rivers or " muddles ," made Johnny Walkers ( stilts ) , jumped rope, or played

horseshoes. They drank " dope" or coke and listened to boxing matches on the radio ( if they had

one) .

Despite the depression schooling was important. Many children attended rural two-room

schoolhouses. Grades 1- 3 were in one room, 4-7 in the other. High Schools usually ended at the

11th grade .


Overall, the Depression was a trying time for our country and it is a wonder to me that we

got through it. We are lucky to have had leaders such as Hoover and Roosevelt to lead us out of

this bleak time, and it also proved to show the tenacity (vocabulary word) of those that lived

through the time we now call The Great depression .