foreword by kenneth yeasting>

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Another one of life's many interesting little things. To someone that didn't grow up in the Great Depression, you just can't appreciate what it was. Everybody was out of work, very few people working at all. And they had like the apple lines and soup lines and soup kitchens and stuff. Well, on the farm we were lucky. We ate well all the time. We didn't have any cash money but, of course, we had our own beef, pork, lamb, although we didn't eat much lamb. Chickens, all we wanted, and eggs, and we raised all our own vegetables, had apple trees, peach trees, cherry trees. So we lived pretty good. The only thing is, we didn't have much cash money. Clothes wore out, well, Mom fixed them up as best she could, and you kept them as long as you possibly could. Dad had an old – I forget what they call it – shoe thing, cobbler’s deal, and he would repair our shoes with pieces of tire or something or old leather from a harness, whatever he could get, just enough to keep them on our feet and keep us going. Anyhow, we managed to get through the Depression all right.
Once I remember during the bottom of the Depression there were a lot of people walking the road in those days looking for work. And Dad had been plowing came home for lunch and there was a fella sitting on the front steps eating an egg sandwich that Mom had made for him, a nice looking middle-aged man. What had happened, he came along the road, walking along the road, and he stopped. It was near lunchtime, and he went up to the house and he asked Mom if he could possibly have some kind of a sandwich in return for maybe a little work. "You name it and I'll do anything because I'm hungry." So Mom made him an egg sandwich and a ham sandwich.
I remember this pretty vividly. I can't remember his name now, but anyhow, Dad came along then at lunch time and saw this fella there and got to talking with him a little bit and asked him where his home was. And he said, well, he was walking toward home where he had a sister living, thought she was still living in Findlay, Ohio, which was thirty-three miles from our place. He had walked all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for several weeks and he had been a steelworker. And, of course, the steel mills were all shut down and he had the clothes on his back and that was about it. He had an extra pair of worn out shoes with him and he had an old watch, and that was about all he had in the world left. His wife had left him. They had separated when he lost his job and she lost her job, and they decided they'd each go their own way. Anyhow, Dad asked him, "Are you a farm boy?" “No, a city boy." "Can you run a plow? Can you hold a plow behind a team of horses?" He said he's willing to try. Dad says, "All right, come on in and have a good lunch and then we'll go plowing." So he went down and he worked all afternoon with Dad behind the plow. And Dad was quite impressed with him. So that evening, which was a Saturday, Dad took him into town, took him over to Feehrmeyer’s and outfitted him with a pair of shoes and a couple shirts and couple pair of overalls and some socks and underwear and pretty well outfitted him. And that man stayed with us – now that plowing was along in August, as I recall – plowing up for oats and wheat for the fall. But he was with us all winter and into the next summer and was the best hired man Dad ever had and worked for room and board for, oh, gee, at least six, eight months. And then Dad started paying him like ten or twenty dollars a month, the little he could afford.

And then finally he had written. Somehow he had written to his sister and told her where he was, and one day he gets an answer back from her. And Dad… he told Dad, he says, "Well, you know, I appreciate all you've done for me, and I think it's time I went on. And things are starting to look a little better, a few jobs are showing up here and there." So Dad says, "All right, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take you into town and buy you a suit of clothes, a dress shirt and tie." So he did. That was Dad's parting gift. And Dad – at that time we had the old Studebaker – and Dad said, "I'll tell you what. You get packed up and I'll take you to your sister's in Findlay. You don't need to walk it." Sure wish I could remember that fella's name. He was a real nice fella. Taught me a lot of things, how to whittle and how to tie different knots and stuff. Quite a nice fella.

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