Friday, October 1, 2010

Going Overboard

With the Depression and economic crash fading
into history, my father (center) and his brother
Willy (right) and his brother-in-law, Pomp,
pose for this photograph in the very late 30s.
All three kept jobs throughout those hard times.

I've gone too far with this Family Tree stuff!
by Charlie Leck

I've put a tremendous amount of time in on my family tree research in the last few days and I've got to tear myself away from it. I must say, however, that I made some progress. I'm going to get back to the elections starting today and begin pouring over polling results around the country rather than census reports.

Just for the record, though, I should say that carefully studying the 1930 census reports for information about my family was a real lesson in American history and an empathy exercise in terms of feeling the painfulness of the Great Depression.

The 1930 census showed two of my widowed grandmother's married sons and their wives living at home with her. Three of her unmarried children were also there and she had also taken in a boarder. Fortunately, the two married sons listed employment on the census forms while everyone else in the household was unemployed. My mother and father were living on their own, just across the street (Pugsley Avenue) and less than a block away. Both of them listed current jobs.

The extended family was more important in those days and there was a sense of circling the wagons when it was necessary in hard times. I was impressed with that, but I wonder what tensions there must have been living with that many people in a small, Bronx apartment.


You can email Charles Leck
or you can sign-in to post a comment on the blog
or you can click on “follow” in the top right hand corner

No comments:

Post a Comment