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Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Great Depression School "Bus"

Do you or did you ever have a chance to ask a person who lived through The Great Depression about  Depression conditions? When I talked with my mother, it was about her childhood. I knew The Great Depression as the depression, something where people did not have much. My first conversations that I remember was when I was about six. My questions were along the lines of: What was it like when you were a little girl? Usually, these questions were about specific activities or possessions, like dolls.

(My son was three when he asked me about when I was a little girl and there were cowboys and Indians. Then, shortly after that he asked me about when I was a little girl and there were dinosaurs all over.)

When I was about twelve-years-old, somehow we started talking about the school bus. I just hated riding the bus. I asked her if she rode a school bus when she went to school. I was hoping to find some company for my hate of the bus ride. She then told me the strangest story ever. ( I did know about The Great Depression by then.)

The school children had a wagon drive a route just like our yellow school buses and pick them up, a wagon pulled by horses. So, it was a school wagon. She said some days they would get off and just walk behind the wagon.They rode or not according to their own whims. She did say that if was raining or muddy, they all rode.  Now, that was another strange thing. My school bus driver would never have allowed anyone off unless at school or at their home. Besides, there was no way I wanted to walk that far. She did add if it were muddy, they would would ride in the wagon.

My mother added another school wagon story to this one.

One day, she (about 6) and her older brother (about 11) and sister (about 9) were waiting on the school wagon. Mama said she kept kicking at her brother as  he dodged her. Finally, he was exasperated and tired of his annoying little sister. When she kicked, he grabbed her foot and she fell right in the mud. They did not tell their mother because both would get into trouble--her for kicking and him for making her fall in the mud, even though my mother said he did not mean for her to fall.

I wonder what little darlings today would do if they had to ride a wagon to school. Of course, riding in a wagon was normal for them.  My mother considered the wagon as normal. What will we look back on and consider normal and our children or grandchildren will think rather unusual?

There was no need for wagon or horse insurance. No tires or brakes to maintain at an exorbitant cost. I doubt the  children or school were insured against any accident a child might have.  Maybe we should pick up kid in a wagon today.

Your turn
Have you memories of incidents of The Great Depression that you have heard from relative or friends?

If you know someone who lived through The Great Depression, just talk to them about how things have changed. You won't be sorry.


  1. My mom and dad lived through it - barely. And I learned all about it at their knees. There actually aren't too many people alive now who lived through it.

  2. lotta joy,
    My mother's father was shot and killed over six months before she was born. So, she grew up on "the old homestead," 90 acres my ggrandfather bought when he came from NC. She grew up there and did not suffer. However, my father, one of twelve, suffered greatly. No, not many left: the old stories will die quickly when the few are gone.


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