Dirt. Death. Dryness. Depression. This is what the people of America had to face during the early twentieth century. The Great Depression began with a deadly stock market crash in 1929, and for the next decade, the economy of America suffered greatly. It was a time of loss and pain for many people. But what about the kids that grew up during it—how did they deal with it all? Well, by talking to Don Fahy, I learned exactly what it was like.
Don Fahy was born on February 10, 1922 in Sidney, Nebraska. Sidney was a very small farm town with a population of about 3300 people. He grew up with two great parents and one sister. He was about seven years old when the Depression started, however throughout the heart of it he was a teenager. He had lots of friends, went to school, and was a normal teenager just like me! He even had a high school sweetheart, Polly, who he has now been happily married to for over sixty years! Looking back on his childhood, he doesn’t really remember being in a depression. To him it was just a “state of life.” He just didn’t know he was in a depression—he never knew any different because that’s what he grew up in. To explain this, he said, “If all you ever eat is hamburgers, they are the best thing you have ever had. Until you have a steak. If you have never had a steak, you didn’t know what else was out there.” To him, they had the best thing available because they never had anything different. Nobody back then had any money, so he didn’t realize they were “poor.” However, living well these days, by looking back he realizes how bad times really were, and he has a great story to tell. Growing up in Sidney, Nebraska was like having a big family. It was a small wheat-farming community where everybody knew everybody and they were always willing to help anyone who needed it. Sidney relied heavily on the wheat-farming industry because it was their major source of income. However in the midwestern “wheat country” of Nebraska, there was often a...
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