More on the last Great Republican Depression.
I was the third child, of nine, in my family. My Father was a Custom Furniture Maker, Reed and Rattan, with his Shop on Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA. We lost two houses my father owned in Pasadena, during the Depression, and he had to sell most of his tools and equipment, one by one, in order to keep us eating.
We found a house in Wilmar, (part of Rosemead now) wood floor, exposed studs inside, 1x12 vertical siding, cracks covered by 1x3 Bats on the outside. Eventually we lost that one ,too. It was easy for us to find a place to rent, as few families wanted to rent big houses, we had three two story houses we rented for 15.00 to 25.00 a month, at different times.
Wilmar was sparsely populated at that time, 1927 to WW11, and had all kinds of fruit, berries and vegetables growing, everywhere, most of which could not be profitably picked and sold. The owners, simply asked we boys not to damage the plants or trees, but we could take all we wanted. We soon learned just when everything ripened and were there the day before. We did not eat too well, but did have only bread and sugar sandwiches for School lunch, at times.
Our family rule was that as soon as we were eight years old we must take a job as a newsboy, first delivering a throw away full of advertising only. I made 45 cents for that job, once a week. My first payday, I took my money, bought a quart of ice cream and took it to the house where lived the woman who delivered babies. My mother was there, having just delivered her seventh straight son. My mother was so very loving, did not reprimand me for blowing all that money.
Later, my father explained that we all brought the money we earned to Mom, and she decided where it was to be spent. A few years later, I unexpectedly collected 50 cents from a subscriber to my regular Newspaper, took it to my Mother, who burst out crying, saying, " I did not know how we were going to eat tonight !" Then, instantly, she said, "OH! how ashamed I am! I should know that God will always provide!" "Go to the Grocery and buy all the rice you can with this money." Guess that was the closest we came to missing a meal.
That Paper Route I kept until I was a Senior in High School. My father finally gave up on his Craft, and took a job at the most persevering business for those times, groceries. He got 15.00 a week and all the oldest fruit and vegetables. We no longer worried about food! Shortly after that, brother Bob, just older than I joined the CCC, older brother Ben got a job at a grocery, then a few months later I joined the CCC. and we were a going concern.
Clothes were handed down, naturally, with seven brothers,( two girls followed) but on my High School graduation day in June 1934, the only shirt that fit me( I was the smallest brother,) had sleeves that were full of holes, the collar and front were perfect. We were the first class at Alhambra High to Graduate outdoors. It was HOT that day. I was the only one that kept my coat on.. We all laughed, at home. We laughed at anything and everything at home.Love to all, Norm