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Thanksgiving,, 1935

November 25, 2011

If you are thankful this Thanksgiving, you should be. Let me take you back to Thanksgiving, 1935, where we were served up a large plate of utter despair in the midst of the Depression. My father was a coal miner (both strip and underground) who made $4.25 a day, good wages in those days (thanks to John L. Lewis and the United Mine Workers of America). The problem was that my father only worked one or two or sometimes three days per pay period (two weeks). Electricity was $1.00 a month and ours was frequently turned off for our inability to pay. We resorted to an old tin kerosene stove and lamps. We moved sometimes two or three times a year because we could not pay rent of $8.00 to $10.00 per month. I suppose the right wing of today would characterize my father as a lazy parasite and that if only we had given a tax break to the rich, all would have been well. If so, they lie. Nor would a tax break for the rich do anything for veterans under the bridges (a danger in and of itself in these days of crumbling infrastructure). As a veteran of WWII, I am thankful today that I am retired to Florida and not under a bridge or in a shelter. Apparently some today would like to see us go back to 1935. Count me out. Gerald E.

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2 Comments
  1. I’m thankful that folks from that period are speaking out – Gerald E knows from experience that the right wing meme is as useless today as it was in those days, and during union activity when the rich folks sent in cops to brutalize the poor and protesters as we are seeing in the Occupy Movement sweeping the country.

    I’m Thankful for Gerald E’s wisdom, and the fact that he’s also my Uncle 🙂

    Best,

    Micheal aka Symbolman

  2. Man, I love this post. It is short simple and to the point. Your personal history is a rich area that I find interesting. Please keep the personal anecdotes coming.

    Blaming the unemployed in an environment where living wage jobs are scarce is a topic that I’m going to write about soon as well.

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