Your Opinion: Depression-era letter remains relevant
Thursday, January 3, 2013
This 1933 letter written by my aunt offers a lesson for today.
The family lived in a log cabin in the Colorado mountains. Grandma rented cabins to fishermen but during the Depression, people weren’t vacationing so the cabins often were empty. My family hunted for food, chopped their wood and hauled water from the creek about half a mile down the mountain.
“Here starts another day and another chapter. I just got my husband off to work. He has been working since Monday on a road gang (The fancy name is a Road Maintenance Crew.) There are 10 men (all Relief work seekers) on this Relief Employment Project. They are widening — making Night Hawk Hill a two way road. If you remember it is down on the S. Platte Road about four miles from S. Platte.
‘It is supposed to be eight weeks work. Five days a week, six hours a day at 45 cents per hour or $2.70 a day. It is supposed to be about $110 for each man. Of course I don’t know what I’ll do with the money as I am getting quite used to living without money. Yes, Red and I were flat broke absolutely! We had even borrowed $25 from mother. So we took in the one share of stock and made a loan on it to pay back mother and gave us $25 for feed, etc. But now we feel so elated and happy with Red drawing $13.50 a week.
“Of course we will have to save up to pay back the $50 loan and Reds Phoenix Insurance comes due the first of Jan. $12 and the Conn. Mutual in March for $25 which will take $87 and the rest should tide us over. He will get an $18 dividend check the first of the year too. Isn’t it lovely that he gets work and enuf money to pay all our bills. It surely takes a load off my mind. Of course it is awfully hard work. A regular pick-andshovel job but it means money.”