FC: live well, laugh often, love much | 1945 | Th Life Of Steven Tyler Before, During , and After the Depression
1: Entry #1 The year today is 1945, only four years ago my family and I along with the rest of America endured the worst financial time period in history.In 1927, I thought I had it made. I had just been accepted to Harvard University and I was going to be the Varsity quarter back for their football team. My parents were going to pay for my four years, plus a beautiful apartment right on campus. We never had any financial issues, or any that I knew about. I guess you could say my family was rich, my dad had made a lot of our families money in the stock market in the 20's. I have two little sisters, Annie and Maddie that were five and seven at the time.I guess they aren't so little anymore.
2: At the time in 1927, we lived in Syracuse New York. Life for my family was great in the twenties, my parents went out to dinner a lot and always brought home random gifts for my sisters and me. My father had recently made a lot of money in the stock market so I had my own car and a lot of spending money, but that didn't mean much to me at the time. Senior year in high school was the longest year of my life. Once I was accepted to Harvard all I had to do was wait. Waiting was the worst , I counted down the days. Although I hated shopping, my mom had taken me to a store filled with football gear, jerseys, cleats, helmets, anything football related. We next went to a shop with home goods such as furniture and the newest technologies. In this store my mom broke the news that I wouldn't be staying in a normal freshman dorm.She told me that my dad and herself were going to buy me my own apartment. This made waiting so much harder. We finally visited my apartment over the summer to move all my furniture and things in. I felt a little bad at the time because they were spending so much money on me. Then I thought, they know what they're doing.
4: Entry #2 I remember in August 14, 1928 being extremely nervous on my fist day of college. I wasn't nervous because of school itself but mainly because I was finally going to get to play college football. Back then, I could have sworn that I was going to make it big in professional football and I knew that the first step to making it big was to prove myself in college football and to get the name Steven Tyler, widely known. My first year of college was a little rough. I couldn't keep my grades up which didn't allow me to get much playing time.It sucked having to sit the bench and watch my team lose game after game,when I knew that if I were playing it would be a whole different situation.The second year of college for me was completely different. My parents payed for a tutor and I finally had good enough grades to play. That year I became the starting quarter back, and only being a sophomore made it even more impressive to coaches.Everyone at my college admired me and knew my name, I was even given the MVP title. That year was one of the happiest times of my life.
5: At that time it never really crossed my mind how much money I was spending or who was going to pay for it. I just knew that I was on in installment plan using the credit card my parent gave me.I remember buying the shoes, clothes, a radio, refrigerator and tons of food. But the most expensive thing i bought and the thing I was most proud of was the car I bought, a Model-T.She was my most prized possession. | Once football season was over, that was when my partying life began. I was really popular so every weekend i was being invited to a new party. And since I had my own apartment I would sometimes throw a few parties of my own. My grades started to slip a little but I made sure to find a little time to study so that I wouldn't disappoint my parents. I wanted them to know that they weren't wasting money on a tutor. Between partying and studying I also found time to go shopping. Whenever I had the chance I would head the mall and bring home bags full of new items.
6: Right before my first semester was over in 1929 my family surprised me with a visit. I was most excited to see my little sisters and tell them how fun going to college was.When they first got to my apartment, I was greeted with hugs and kissed from Annie and Maddie and two stern faces from my parents.I immediately knew something was wrong by the fake smile my mom had given me, also because my dad was there, and he never took off time from work | Entry #3 My whole life I wasn't sure as to what my dad's specific career was.I'm pretty sure he was a stock broker, I heard him talk about Paine Webber and Company a lot. The main thing I knew what that he made enough money for me to go to school, pay for my apartment, pay for our house, and his money kept us living a privileged life.When we were looking for colleges for me to go to it mainly had to do with where I could play football.My dad asked what I wanted to do when I grew, but I told him I wasn't sure. All I knew was that I just didn't want to do whatever he did.Growing up my dad was barely ever home, he left in the morning before I woke up and came home when I was asleep.I did not want to live the rest of my like that, no matter how much money I could make. While my dad was never home my mom was the complete opposite. She didn't have to work and my sisters were either at home or in daycare.
7: My father started with a stern voice and told me that I had been spending too much money. I was shocked to hear this because I had never been told that before. My dad's voice built up into a yell before he finally calmed back down to explain to me what credit was and how I couldn't abuse it. He told me that I was putting way too many things on credit and that know they were in serious debt. He then went to say that they would soon not have much money to spend on luxuries. I still remember being so shocked that I was actually told that I pretty much had to stop spending money. | After I showed them inside we went out to dinner. We made small talk which was a little unusual. Anytime I mentioned that I bought something at school my mom would follow it up with"did you really need that"? or "are you sure you wanted that?".After dinner we went back to my house. My little sisters went outside to play and that's when my parents to the opportunity to sit me down and have a serious talk.
8: Entry #4 After my parents left, I had a lot of time to think about things. I remember feeling so horrible for spending so much money and making my parents so mad but most importantly so disappointed in me.I wanted to make it up to them but I just didn't know what I could do or say that would make things any better. The only thing I could was finish my sophomore year and try to not spend as much money, which I have to admit that my plan didn't work out so well. But once the school year was over, I decided that I should go down and visit my family. I really wanted to see them and just see how everything was back at home. Looking back now, I remember being really excited to spend some time with them. I getting a little homesick so I filled up my gas tank and headed down to visit them. It took about an hour or so to finally arrive home. And when I finally got there, things seemed a little strange. Before I left for college I remember my sisters would be outside playing in the grass and my mom would be outside reading a book. But that day when i went home on May 19, 1929 no was outside. I had a gut feeling that something was wrong .
9: I went and knocked on the door and when my mom opened the door my stomach dropped because she had tears rolling sown her face.I instantly asked what was wrong and all she was to follow her into the kitchen. Once again my dad was home, sitting there in the kitchen, looking so depressed. I sat down so confused, I couldn't understand what could possibly be so bad that had them looking so destroyed.We sat there in silence for what seemed like an hour and then my dad finally broke the silence and told me that he had lost his job. When he said that I didn't know what to do or what to think. What was going to happen next? My dad was the only person that brought in money since he was the only one that worked. But the bad news kept coming that day.He told me that the money that they had left was gong to be used to pay off the debt that I had caused with all my spendings. I felt horrible, but I felt even worse when they told me that I could no longer go back to school because they couldn't afford it anymore, which meant that my football career was over. At that point I honestly felt like I had nothing left.
10: Entry #5 The worst feeling out of the whole time period was knowing that I couldn't go back to school. I couldn't get any of my belongings, I wouldn't see any of my friends from college, I couldn't even sell my things for money because I had no way to go back to my apartment to get them. I didn't have enough money to fill my tank or catch a ride on the train so I was stuck. My dad was never home when I was younger,but now he was home pretty everyday.I used to wish that I could see him more often bit I never thought it would have to come to these circumstances.I liked seeing him more but not like this. He was always so angry. I would try to talk to him and get his mind off of our financial problems but it didn't deem to work. He would just get frustrated and push me away. He always thought I was just trying to distract him or annoy him. Whenever we would sit down for dinner, we would have less and less food on our plates as the days passed by. I found that the only time my parents and I had something to talk about was when we shared our hatred for President Hoover. Everyday after dinner we would practically have a therapy session. Each of us would go around and talk about what was bothering us. It was mostly always about Hoover because he didn't do much often.We always complained because Hoover believed that our economy would get better on it's own.
11: We would listen to our radio which was the only luxury we had left. The speaker didn't have much news since Hoover wasn't doing much to help.He blamed the horrible economy on conditions outside of his control. He believed that the less government interference the better. So instead we switched the station and listened to some comedy to try to ease our minds.
12: Hoover only wanted the state and local government to handle the relief ,not the federal government.I honestly felt like Hoover could care less about us or what we were going through.My family and I were struggling more and more every day,We kept losing the little things that we had because we had to sell things in order to have a little money in our pockets. | We needed Hoover to do something but it didn't seem like any help was going to arrive. But in 1929-1930 Hoover introduced some programs that he believed would help the people.For example some of the programs he created were the Agricultural Marketing Act, the Hawley Smoot Tariff program and the RFC.These programs helped some but it didn't help my family.Along with my family, many others felt like Hoover was only helping those that were at the top and didn't care for the rest. The Agricultural Marketing Act didn't help my family because it only applied farmers, and well we were obviously not farmers. The Hawley Tariff act was created to help American industries which put a tax on all imported products.This law was designed to encourage Americans to buy American products.But in the end this program backfired so it didn't do much to help. | Entry #6
13: And the RFC gave government credit to large industries and lent money to banks, but yet the banks were still failing.The only program that actually applied to us was the Home Loan Bank Act because it helped my family and other families pay less on their mortgages, My family was still struggling to earn enough money so it was still hard to get the money together to pay the mortgage.Our family was just having a hard time with everything and we really needed Hoover to step up, and we needed him to do it fast!
14: Entry #7 Looking back on the Great Depression, my family and I coped by trying to stick together.There was tension among us at times, but we did our best to resolve it. It was extremely difficult at times and we all had to give up a few things for each other. I still think that I gave up the most for the family. Eventually we lost the house. One of the men who worked with my dad had lost his job too. He also had a family to support and feed. He offered us to move in with them if we agreed to pay half of the rent.We gathered the little that we owned and moved in with the Keller family in 1931. Although it was not the greatest we were still grateful. It was still hard to adapt to their house with so many people in it. It was me, my two sisters and my parents. Then there was Mr and Mrs. Keller and their two sons Adam and Joseph and their daughter Lila. There were way too many people living in one tiny apartment. Even though everyone in the household did things to help each other out, I still believe that I was the one that lost the most during the crisis. I had to give up going to college, all my new friends, and I also had
15: to leave all my belongings back at my apartment . I had to completely cut off my education and move back home. The bank had sent us a notice that they were taking my apartment and anything left in it. Since we moved in with the Keller, things between my parents have gotten worse. My dad and I went out each morning to look for jobs, but finding work was really hard during those times.
16: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words | Entry #8 | One day in 1932, I realized that if I sold my car I could get a lot of money for it. My car was my most prized possession so I really took care of it. It was still in great shape and I knew there had to be someone that would pay good money for it.I made a "for sale" sign and put it on the window and I parked it right in front of the apartment. It only took a week for some rich guy to come by and buy it. I was overwhelmed with happiness because I knew this money would really help out my family. But then. only a week later the money was all gone.My little sister had gotten really sick so we had to take her to the hospital. We then had to spend the money on the hospital bill.Nothing seemed to change, everyday we were sacrificing something new and doing things we never thought we had to do.Our family was so used to having money that we were all really stressing out and didn't know how to react to the depression. A couple months passed and we decided to pull my sisters out of daycare because we just could not afford it anymore.And because of that decision, I had to stop looking for work so that I could stay home and take care of them. There was no way that we were going to leave them home alone. The reason I was the one that had to take care of them was because my mom found a job as a maid and she said there was no way that she was going to let that job pass by. That year my mom was working hard, really hard. She would leave early in the morning and come home late at night. We barely got to see her anymore but my mom wouldn't quit the job because she was bringing home the most money.But because my mom had a job it caused even more tension between her and my dad. My dad felt that since he was the man of the house, it was his responsibility to support the family, not hers.
17: Cherish The Ones You Love
18: Entry #9 | Since there had been more tension between my mother and father, my father tried so much harder to find a job. He would beg anyone that would even look like an employer. Thankfully, FDR the president at the time in 1933 came out with these new programs to help people like us find jobs and get back on our feet. There was a new program made called the Works Progress Administration.It pretty much gave all of us men a chance to make some money building things. My dad was happy about this because he could finally bring in more money than my mother, It was such a relief to finally see him happy again and working. Because my dad and I had jobs reconstructing the town and building new parks, we were both making a nice steady income.My mom was still working a little though because any money was good money during that time period. My mom cut back a lot on her hours and got to spend a lot on time with Annie and Maddy. Unfortunately my sisters were both getting pretty ill. Their food intake had gotten lower and lower each day. Thankfully my mom would finally be able to stay home and take better care of them than I did. Things were finally looking up for my family and I, it's not like it could've gotten any worse.
20: Entry #10 | One day my mom shocked us all with a huge surprise! She was pregnant! It was a bitter sweet situation because we of course were happy that there was going to be a new addition to the family, but we knew that that meant we had to move. Where we were living was definitely not a safe environment for a new born. And FDR made it possible for us to finally buy our new home. He created a program called the Federal Administration or FHA, and this program insured loans made by banks and other private lenders for home building and home buying. We were so thankful to finally have our own home again. We had gone through so much and we deserved the help. The new deal programs helped my family so much. It was enough help that I was finally able to go back to a local community college. I had never been so happy to be back in school and I was so grateful to have the opportunity to finish my education and get my college degree in 1940.I was also able to get a part time job as a secretary at a Hotel which allowed me to give money to my parents to help out. Little by little things were getting better for us and we were finally able to get back on our feet and live a steady life. Today I can say that I have learned a lot from those rough years. I definitely now knowhow it is to work hard. I now know to be grateful for the small things in life and not to depend so much on money. But I do know how to be more responsible because I will never want to have to go through anything like that again with my own family.
22: Work Cited | "1919 College Football National Championship." 1919 College Football National Championship. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.
23: Work Cited | Alexander, Tonya. ""The Money Talk": Suze's Love List." Web. 21 Mar. 2012.