An Interview with Jane Reynolds about the Depressi

This essay has a total of 819 words and 4 pages.

An Interview with Jane Reynolds about the Depression1




The depression of the 1930s was a major event in many American's lives. It left them with
little money, and even fewer resources. The country had to bind together to get through
rough times, and each person was struggling to live individually.

Enter Jane Reynolds, a 76 year old woman whose memories of the depression are surprisingly
happy. Her family was very lucky in that her father owned a used car lot in Salt Lake
City, a steady job that put food on the table. Jane says she remembers her father had to
repossess cars all the time because no one had money to pay for anything.

In 1930 Jane and her family moved into her grandparent's house, to combine all their
resources in this hard time. She remembers the home as being very happy and comforting,
even though her mother was at first in a state of depression because she was worried about
the new baby she had just beared. There were no drugs to treat depression like there are
in modern times. Yet still, Jane can remember her mother saying, "We are poor, but we are
not poor in spirit."

Jane's grandfather worked at ZCMI and traveled selling shoes. The family was very
fortunate to have two men in the house with well paying jobs while so many people were
going hungry. The children's clothing was the same fabric used repeatedly, but taken apart
year after year and sewn back together again in an updated style. The girls learned at a
young age to be worthy seamstresses, something helpful to their mother who was trying to
raise 5 children and be cheerful about it at the same time.

School was always a pleasure for Jane, being with all her friends and having fun was
something any child could enjoy, poor or not. She remembers that some students couldn't
bring a lunch to school so they had to walk to and from home for lunch because their
mothers didn't drive. Some children would have a solitary piece of bread to eat, and some
would have nothing at all. At these times, Jane remembers the teacher handing out small
cups of milk and bits of bread to the hungry children. The children who had food never
took what the teacher offered because they knew that the less fortunate children needed
it.

Jane's family was pretty well-off, receiving groceries twice a day and eating canned fruit
from the summer. They always had a big family gathering on Sundays and had a big roast, a
privilege not many people could claim in those days. The rest of the week was usually
filled with beans and small bits of meat.

To help out with the money issues of the times, many of the kids in Jane's family,
including herself, had part time jobs. Mostly they were hired by friends or neighbors to
clean their houses, which was looked upon as a very generous gesture.
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