Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Everybody got a chance to bounce it"--Stories of the Depression

The Toronto Star recently ran a five-day series of interviews with people who lived through the Great Depression.

Some quotes:

"She thought back to the first flat they rented in Kensington Market nine years before, when they arrived in Toronto. That apartment had three rooms. Her parents slept in one. Another held the piano and fancy furniture reserved for company. A curtain drawn across part of the kitchen cordoned off the area where Claire and her sister Eileen bunked."--"Black Family Beat Depression-Era Odds"

"In those days, welfare was not cash money. They gave you a certificate," he says. "And you could take it to the grocery store and you could get turnips and potatoes." A grocer was just up the street from their home but Helen Thomas refused to shop there with a relief note. "He's a talker," she would say. "He'll tell all our neighbours we're on welfare.""--"16 Years Old, $6 a Week"

"The McLetchies were one of the few families on their street that still celebrated children’s birthdays. One year, Marjorie’s gift was a rubber ball. “I was so afraid that one of the other kids would run off with it,” she says. “Mother used to come out and play with us. She made sure that everybody got a chance to bounce it.”"--"In the Depression, better off meant sharing"

"Chicken was in short supply, so in the pages of the Star you could find food writer Jessie Marie De Both's recipe for Mock Chicken Legs with Grilled Tomato and Spaghetti, where pork and veal stood in for poultry, and a skewer stood in for the bone. Loblaws was selling mock chicken for five cents a leg in 1934, according to an ad in the Star. "Everyone may have a drumstick when mock chicken legs are served," the ad said."--"Mock meals: Feeding a family in the Depression"

1 comment:

Gena said...

Wow. Nothing like the supposed "recession" we are currently in. I loved reading those excerpts.

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