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My Great Depression Scrapbook

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BC: Citations Continued... "Just a Car Guy." : Automobiles of the 20's and Before, from Shorpy.com. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum." Kehila Kedosha Janina. Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue & Museum. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . Lovedaylemon. "1920s Family Group." Flickr. Yahoo!, 26 Dec. 2008. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "More Appleton Family Photos at Buddlebrook." Edie's Homepage. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Stahl Family Photos." Culver-Union Township Public Library (CUTPL). Culver through the Years. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. .

FC: My Great Depression Scrapbook

1: By, Brian Keller and Diandra Marks

2: August 20, 1927 I share an amazing life with a beautiful wife named Sarah and six amazing kids. I have three boys; their names are Daniel, James and Edward. Daniel is eleven, James is twelve, and Edward is thirteen. I also have three girls; Mary, Doris and Ethel. Mary is the oldest, she is sixteen, Doris is just two, and then Ethel is ten. Its pretty funny how I have three boys and three girls, I always imagined just having one or two boys because thats all I've ever wanted, just boys. When Mary was born it was love at first sight, she was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my life. Now Sara and I have six beautiful children who we both love with all our hearts. I try to be the best father I can be for them; I work hard for the food on our table and I spend every second of my down time with my family. I tend to stay out late at my office filling out papers, and dealing with angry customers, just so that I can make some money to keep food on the table. My main focus in life is to make sure my kids live a happy life. To pass the time when I was younger I would enjoy fishing either alone or with my dad. We love taking day trips to lakes and fish for hours. My father and I bonded so well and this was the kind of relationship I wanted to share with my children. Now, I take my boys fishing just like my father used to do for me. All three of my boys have reached the proper age to fish, I showed them everything they need to know in order to catch the big ones. My oldest son Edward actually shows the most interest in fishing. The other day, he caught a forty pound Carp in the lake near our house. Now he always says, "Go big or go home" he wont leave the lake until he catches a huge fish. Not only have I continued the tradition of fishing with my sons, but I have also developed a new hobby from having girls. I take my girls to see plays and movies. I take them every single time a play comes into town. I just love to see the look on their faces when I come home from work with tickets in my hand. I believe we have been to at least six plays in the past two months. However I feel bad because I can never take them out of town to see a play. I hate to drive and the next town over is about twenty miles away. They always get upset when I don't drive them there, but I really don't like to drive unless I absolutely need to.

3: My Wife and I with our first child, Mary

4: September 15, 1929 Looking back now I feel like its very funny how I am the owner of an extremely large car distribution company, but I don't even like to drive cars. In my mind they are one of the most unsafe pieces of machinery, and I don't want to risk the lives of my children or wife in one of these death machines. Even though I don't enjoy cars, I make a living selling them, so I am able to get my kids whatever their hearts desire! This economy is just making it so easy to make money. Everyone is buying items in large numbers, and they are even investing in the stock market which provides them with some extra spending money. Lucky for me, when people have extra money, they come to me for a nice car! I have recently thought about making an investment in the stock market myself seeing all these people making so much money off of it. I have researched many stocks that have to deal with oil, and steel, they seem to be a very smart investment. I'm just going to wait a little bit to invest in the market because I don't fully trust the stock market yet. I will just sit around and see what happens before I make an investment. I wont tell my wife just yet because she is completely against the stock market; she thinks it's a bad idea. Speaking of my wife, she actually works as a radio announcer. On top of my large salary, she gets paid a pretty good amount of money from doing a show every other day around twelve o'clock in the afternoon. Her shows consist of information about the current state of our country, and also in the world. She also talks about current events from time to time, just the basics. Sometimes the listeners are lucky enough to hear her sing a song, she has such a beautiful voice. Once every two months on the second Friday of the month, she will sing a song. Unfortunately I have yet to hear her sing on her show. I listen to her show every chance I get, but being the owner of a large car distribution company, it's hard to even get a minute of down time. I have to constantly deal with my employees and my customers. Fortunately for me, my wife sings to my kids and I at home. She has such a beautiful voice. I don't know what I would do without her.

5: This is my wife at her job

6: October 1, 1929 My car company is not doing too well at the moment. This is really starting to worry me! I've been having sleepless nights because of my suffering business. The most frustrating part about this is that my business is slowly getting worse and worse. Today, I laid off five hundred of my 1,000 workers. I just can't afford to keep them in the company anymore. It's becoming way to expensive to be paying for these workers when I don't need them as much anymore. I have to think about my family before I think of anyone else's family. However, it upsets so much me to fire someone. My workers are struggling but, so am I. My family is my first priority, so they take precedence over anyone else's. I'm beginning to regret taking over my dad's company after he died. It was great at first, but now it's too stressful. When I began to take over the business, I was making so much money, but I had no idea what to do with it. At first I started to just put it under my mattress, but then that made my bed very uneven because in some spots it would be raised five inches. I also began to spend it on my kids, but I was afraid of them becoming spoiled and I didn't want that at all. I finally realized I should donate a portion of my fortune to a charity. Now I can't even do that because of the decline in profits. I can barley afford to pay for the electric and heating for my house, if I can't do that then I'll have to send my kids away to my cousin's house. However, I don't think things will ever get that bad. As a matter of fact, my youngest son was just crying today because his best friend John got sent away. His parents couldn't afford him anymore, but I promised that'll never happen to any of my kids. It makes me so sad knowing that families are suffering.

7: The inside of my car distribution building

8: October 20,1929 I finally figured out why my company is going down the drain. Previously there was a huge boom in every single industry in the United States. Everyone was buying and selling products and the economy was doing great! People were investing in the stock market and money was just being spent left and right. However, people were buying long term products, such as refrigerators, radios, and cars. These things last about two or three years. My cars are very well built so, they last you a while! Things were bound to slow down, but businesses were obvious, especially mine. We were living in the moment and continued to produce more cars because they were selling so well. Today, my business has slowed down more than ever. My employees and I were unable to realize the decline in profits until today. Everyone at work started to panic. I've already laid of 500 workers, but I decided to lay off 100 more today. I just hope it works out for the better. Profit kept getting lower and lower because I am in the business of a long term item, a car. Cars are also easy to fix, so instead of coming to my mechanics to fix it, most of my customers fix it themselves in order to save money. There are also other car distribution companies out there who made the same mistake my company made. We over produced our products, so cars were being made faster than people could buy them. Now, almost everyone in America has a car, which is why my company went from boom to bust.

9: This is the stock market (it was a little hectic today)

10: My wife, and my three beautiful girls

11: October 24, 1929 Oh, I forgot to tell you, I invested about seventy five percent of my spare money in the stock market about a month ago. My neighbor told me that it was a great investment. He said it would bring me an unbelievable amount of money! Apparently, many people are investing their entire life savings in the market. If everyone else is doing it then it should be a great idea for me, right? I was a little shaky about this at first because I didn't know what Sarah would say or think about it. However, I've realized that I don't have much to loose, so Sarah shouldn't be mad if I told her about the investments. I'm confident I will make a lot of money from this; as long as I stay optimistic, we will become rich and my family and I would be set for life! Ideally, Sarah and I will gain all our money back, so we could move out to California; we've been planning on doing this for a while. Whenever I go to sleep, I like to dream about the amazing life we would have together with our kids after this horrible recession. Unfortunately, nothing has been going as planned. I told my wife about my investments and we got into a huge fight. I was trying to hold it off but, I had to tell her today because many accounts have been wiped out today. Luckily, ours weren't wiped out but, we still lost a lot of money. My wife said I made a very risky investment in something I didn't have enough knowledge about, and she was right. Looking back now I should have talked to her first. She's my voice of reason and if I talked to her before the investments she would've stopped me. Everyone around us believed they would get rich quickly, so it made me more confident when I put my money in the stock market. On the bright side, I have such an amazing wife who forgave me and remained optimistic about the situation. We immediately took our money out of the stock market today. It doesn't seem like its getting any better so, out of panic we've withdrawn from the stock market.

12: October 25, 1929 Life has been getting worse and worse everyday. With Hoover in charge, the government failed to help us. There's nothing left to do but, to sell everything we have except for the car. The kids were crying all night because we had to sell their toys as well. It's hard to sleep at night knowing that my wife and I failed at raising our children. We're doing everything we can to help them have a good childhood but, it's just too hard while living in this bad recession. Tomorrow, I will try my best to make my children and my wife happy. The kids love to play outside with the neighbors, so hopefully it won't be too chilly for them to play. I don't know what else to do but, cry. The kids don't fully understand what is going on, so I have to try my best to hold my tears in and figure out our next game plan. My neighbor on the other hand, looks very upset today. It's probably because of the stock market. I don't think he took his money out on Thursday like we did. This surprises me a lot because he's been investing in the market a lot longer than I have been, so he should be more experienced and smarter about this. I went over to his place today to talk to him and see what was really going on. It turns out, he didn't take anything out of the market and now he's broke. The more I think of it, the happier I am that I listened to my wife and took our money out of the market. I tried to comfort my neighbor and I told him that I didn't loose all of my money, but a significant amount. We're both struggling, but so is everyone around us because mostly everyone invested in the stock market. Although I feel somewhat relieved to have a least a little money safe in my hands, I don't know what else I can do to make it grow. It's really hard to find a job now so, I'll just have to keep my head up and continue to job search. There's a rich man I know of who lives about 30 minutes away from my house. He's always looking for people to hire so hopefully he'll choose me if I ride my bicycle over there early in the morning.

13: These are all of the abandoned cars at my warehouse. No one is buying them anymore

14: October 29, 1929 Economically, things have been getting worse and worse, but today, we have hit rock bottom. The stock market crashed just a few hours ago and the entire community is going crazy. Everyone is trying to sell everything they have for extremely low prices, but no one has money left to buy. The government has to help us fast. America had turned into a giant Hooverville. There is so much chaos around town, I don't want my children going out to play today. I feel as if I have failed at raising my children in an good community. I wish they didn't have to go through this and I'm also not ready to tell them why mommy isn't home right now. It's tough for me to talk about, but I'll have to tell them sooner or later. This morning my wife and I were sitting at the kitchen table listening to the radio. That was when we heard the horrible news about the stock market crashing. We were both so flustered. Having barely any money at all is the hardest thing to cope with and we have never experienced it before. My wife jumped into the car without telling me where she was going. She was crying her eyes out and drove away without saying goodbye. About an hour later, I received a phone call from my neighbor who was in town and saw my wife. She got in a terrible car accident and died. I've always had a bad feeling with cars. I never liked them but I figured it was an essential item to have. Overall, it was the worst buy I have ever made. It killed my wife and now that I have a little bit of money, and no wife, it's all up to me to try and support my kids. All six of them are hard to pay for, but they're all I have left so I will do anything for them.

15: This was the last photo taken of my wife before she passed away

16: November 18, 1929 I never thought I'd do this, but I decided to give my children away. It took a lot of will power to give my kids away because I love them so much but, it had to be done; they are just too much to afford. I asked my well- trusted cousin to stop by to pick the kids up. He is happy to take care of them at his place. Although he is affected by the recession as well, he didn't invest in the stock market at all. Luckily, he had money to spare and was willing to take care of the children. It was really hard to say goodbye to them, but I made sure they knew I love them and that this situation is just temporary. It's even hard to support myself, so I knew I made the right decision. I know my cousin will take good care of them, but I want them back as soon as possible. I miss my kids already. I feel so empty and lonely now. Not only am I lonely, but a few minutes ago I missed the deadline for paying my electricity. The government shut down my electricity so I'm forced to use the candles I could find in my house. I have not eaten in a few days either and I would do anything for food. I walked out in town this morning in search of scraps of food lying around. I found a banana peel on the ground and decided to eat it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was just so starving that it didn't matter. As I ate the peel I couldn't think of anything else, but my children. I hope they're doing ok and I hope they're not crying every night. I just need my cousin to supply them with the food to survive. I've already lost my wife so, theres no way I'm going to allow any of my children to permanently leave my life too.

17: These are my kids eating dinner with my cousin

18: March 20, 1933 Finally things are starting to turn around! Franklin D. Roosevelt has recently been elected for office . He's already starting to make great changes. He calls his relief, recovery, and reform plan "The New Deal". Finally there's a president in charge who realizes we need government assistance! Roosevelt is beginning his first few days of presidency by stabilizing financial institutions. He closed the bank for four days so the government could inspect it. Considering the fact that I barely have money, this doesn't help me yet. However, once I get to that point, I'll feel safe enough to put my money back in a bank. He also created new recovery programs. They don't benefit everyone, but I'm sure I'll find something I can work in. I feel as if we are finally returning back to the wealthy life we lived previously. When I found out about the relief programs I couldn't help myself, but to call my children. I could not live this lonely life anymore, I needed them back! Shortly after my phone call, my cousin finally arrived here with my 6 children. The wait for them to arrive felt like an eternity, but I couldn't be happier to see their faces again. They were happy as well so, it instantly lightened my mood; they knew things were finally turning around and they were happy to be back home. I promised them I'd get the life back that we used to have, in no time.It's going to be difficult, but Roosevelt recently came out with recovery programs so, I'm sure my sons will have a chance to make money too. The boys are now 15, 16, and 17, so my oldest son, Edward, will be able to participate in the Civilian Conservation Corps program. The CCC is a program made specifically for single men between the ages 17 and 23. Thank goodness he made the cut. We can both work in this together! With my wife gone, I could use all the help I could get.

19: My son Edward (left) working in the CCC

20: April 6, 1945 Thanks to Roosevelt, his New Deal plan was a success! It took a while but we're finally gaining back our wealth! We've finally made it out of the wall street crash and I've never been happier to have my life back in place. We're not as comfortable as we used to be, but it feels like I am living a luxurious life right now. My family and I moved out of a small house and into a larger one in California. My children have their own beds and only have to share 3 rooms, not one. They're much happier now and so am I. These hard times also helped us to become a closer family. We also are lucky enough to enjoy the luxuries of heating and electricity. The fire just wasn't enough to keep us warm in the winter. It didn't provide us enough light either. All of the hard times made us happier than ever! As of now, I am still afraid to use banks. I can't trust anyone else with my money, but I'm sure my fear will get better in a few years. I will also make wiser business decisions from now on. I realized that following the crowd was not a great decision. I've learned a lot from the big recession and I will be smarter with my investments. As far as my business goes, I don't think I'll ever be able to revive it. It's a shame that my father was able to create it and I was not able to carry it on. I feel like I'm letting down the family and not being the son my dad wanted me to be by ruining the company. However, I'm continuing to try my best for my children. I hope that things only get better from here. I just wish my wife were here to enjoy this wonderful life with my 6 children.

21: This is my beautiful new house!

22: Citations "Just a Car Guy." : Automobiles of the 20's and Before, from Shorpy.com. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum." Kehila Kedosha Janina. Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue & Museum. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . Lovedaylemon. "1920s Family Group." Flickr. Yahoo!, 26 Dec. 2008. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "More Appleton Family Photos at Buddlebrook." Edie's Homepage. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Stahl Family Photos." Culver-Union Township Public Library (CUTPL). Culver through the Years. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Stock Market 1920 - Wall Street Crash Of 1929 - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Stock Market Crash." Stock Market 1920. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. .

23: "The Monkeyface News." The Monkeyface News. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . "Photo OfRoach Family 1920's." Lake Macquarie City Homepage. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. . K, Dana. "Life in the Great Depression Photo Album." Ms Degenhardt's Wiki. N.p., 2011. Web. 20 Mar 2012. Hein, Stephen. "Great Depression Pictures." About.com 20th Century History. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar 2012.

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  • Title: My Great Depression Scrapbook
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