A nickel's worth of skim milk: a boy's view of the Great by Robert J. Hastings

By Robert J. Hastings

Informed from the perspective of a tender boy, this account exhibits how a kin “faced the Nineteen Thirties head on and lived to inform the story.” it's the tale of grow­ing up in southern Illinois, particularly the Marion, region throughout the nice melancholy. but if it was once first released in 1972 the ebook proved to be a couple of writer’s thoughts of depression-era southern Illinois.  “People all started writing me from everywhere in the country,” Hastings notes. “And all stated a lot an identical: ‘You have been writing approximately my kinfolk, up to your individual. That’s how I bear in mind the Nineteen Thirties, too.’” As he proves repeatedly during this e-book, Hast­ings is a traditional storyteller who can comment on the element that makes the story either poignant and univer­sal. He brings to existence a interval that marked each guy, lady, and baby who lived via it at the same time that nationwide adventure fades into the past. 

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A house behind ours sold for $25. Many good houses in Marion sold for $5 to $100 and were torn down and moved to nearby towns. We settled with the loan company for $125, or ten cents on the dollar for our $1250 mortgage. I'll never forget the day Dad cleared it all up, making two or three trips to town to bring papers home for Mom to sign. He was able to borrow the $125 from his aunt, Dialtha James, who as the widow of a Spanish-American War veteran had a small pension. Looking back, I find it amazing what we did without.

Sometimes, over a weekend, Mom would count out enough slices of bread to make my lunches for the following week. They would be set aside and used for nothing else. She did the same for Dad's lunch if he happened to Page 17 be working, as we bought groceries only once a week. If she baked an angel food cake, she saved back enough for lunches each day of the week. She usually wrapped my lunch in newspaper and tied it with a string. Before the Depression, we hung a four-cornered black-and-white cardboard sign in the front window each morning.

George L. Johnson, our pastor, had preached LaVerne's funeral. On my way, I said my presentation speech over and over. When Mrs. Johnson answered my knock, I spoke mechanically, like a first grader who has memorized a part in a play. " I didn't know exactly what that meant, but I learned the next Sunday when Mrs. Johnson stopped me in the hallway at church. "Tell your mother that was the best chicken our family ever tasted," she said. Without the few chickens we raised, our table would have gone much barer during the Depression.

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