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The Great Depression

I interviewed my great-grandmother, May Artz, for this project on the great depression. She was born on March 26, 1916. She is currently 84 years of age and lives in Brookhaven retirement home in Brookville, Ohio. She grew up in Springfield, Ohio during which she attended schooling through the sixth grade. She worked as a house wife all her life taking care of her thirteen children.

While living at home she doesn't remember much about the roarin' 20's, but she does have some vivid memories of the depression in which she endured. Her mother died of scarlet fever when she was only a young girl, but her father remarried before she was out of the house. Her stepmother would hire her out as help for people to assist with the financial aspect of the families needs. One of these jobs was for a man by the name of Floy Artz. He was a farmer and needed help on the farm, so May was hired as assistance. They grew together and were married. He was quite a bit older then her, but they were truly in love.

Like I mentioned earlier they had thirteen children. The biggest reason for having this many kids was they were needed as workers on the farm because they couldn't afford to hire help. She told me that they used to buy flour in big burlap bags since the family was so large. They couldn't afford to but cloth for making clothes or to go to the store and buy some. With a lot a creativity she made clothes out of the empty flour bags. The burlap made durable cloth and it was free.

On a nice day in the fall one of their daughters was starting school. She wanted to say good-bye to her father, so she went to the barn to find him. She ended up getting kicked in the head by a horse and died later that day. She said, "the family was sad, but it only made that much stronger and closer." She spoke of people coming closer together and learning to appreciate things a lot more.

Living on a farm was an advantage because they could produce their own food and milk, so at least they wouldn't starve. She said they had a hard time selling the crop though because no one could afford it or they were farmers also and didn't need food. This made it hard to raise money. They had to wait for hours in lines to get shoes, undergarments, and any other clothing they could get their hands on.

Floy died at the age of ninety-six from basically old age. He suffered a broken hip and other not life threatening injuries that accumulated to eventually lead to his death. She made sure to get across to me that he was a very sturdy and intelligent man that treated her, as well as her children very well. She continued to raise the kids on her own until they each eventually went their separate ways.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I believe if we had a depression even on a lesser scale than the Great Depression we would horribly fail the test of will and survival. We rely way to much on luxuries and other technology that most people have become dependent on machines. If a major depression people wouldn't know how to act or survive. I think the results would be much more devastating then even the last depression. Hard work and the ability to be self-reliant is almost an extinct breed of people which should scare everyone to realize we depend way to much on machines that and some businesses, and we are going to get burned when they fail. I feel a sort of disgust almost about the today's lifestyle when the people of the depression had it awful; yet, they almost never complained and were grateful for what they had.