By Robert J. Hastings
Informed from the perspective of a tender boy, this account indicates how a family members “faced the Nineteen Thirties head on and lived to inform the story.” it's the tale of growing up in southern Illinois, in particular the Marion, zone throughout the nice melancholy. but if it was once first released in 1972 the e-book proved to be a couple of writer’s stories of depression-era southern Illinois. “People all started writing me from everywhere in the country,” Hastings notes. “And all acknowledged a lot an identical: ‘You have been writing approximately my relatives, up to your personal. That’s how I consider the Nineteen Thirties, too.’” As he proves many times during this ebook, Hastings is a ordinary storyteller who can comment on the aspect that makes the story either poignant and universal. He brings to lifestyles a interval that marked each guy, girl, and baby who lived via it at the same time that nationwide event fades into the past.
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Extra resources for A nickel's worth of skim milk: a boy's view of the Great Depression
Others felt the company had operated the mine as long as it could, sharing with the miners what little profit there was. Like many Southern Illinois men, Dad knew little about any trade except mining. On September 28, 1916, he had been issued Illinois Miner's Certificate 17229 in Book 172, after two years' experience and a written exam. The certificate says he was then thirty-five years old, five feet ten-and-a-half inches tall, weighing 135 pounds, and having black hair and grey eyes. Dad had no ambition to have any of his three sons follow him into the mines.
It's a photograph of a Hastings reunion, made in 1912 in front of our Marion home. I call it my "magic" picture, because the house itself as well as the twenty-nine relatives standing in front of it became the taproot for A Nickel's Worth and A Penny's Worth. Although my relatives posed for the magic picture eighteen years before the 1930s, an understanding of who those people were and the history of the house itself will prepare you for the unfolding stories in both books. So before reading further, go back with me to a spring day in 1912 and look deeply into the faces of the twenty-nine people in the photograph.
Merchants paid their bills with post office money orders or by endorsing checks they received and forwarding them. Some even paid their bills with postage stamps. All told, thirty-four banks in the three counties closed within a two-year period, and $7 million in savings was swept away. The situation was so tight that at one low point the Marion school term was reduced to six months. A unique feature of the Depression in Williamson County was the emergence of about 150 small, makeshift "gopher holes," where farmers and unemployed miners dug shallow-vein coal for local sale.
A nickel's worth of skim milk: a boy's view of the Great Depression by Robert J. Hastings