The Depression, then and now

Dateline: Wed 04 Feb 2009

Poynter Online has a good story about a Minneapolis TV reporter, known for his skilled story-telling, who visited a senior center and talked to folks about their memories of the Depression.

The reporter is Boyd Huppert of KARE-11 TV in Minneapolis, and here's one quote that is revelatory:

"What really surprised me." says Huppert, "is that no one in the group remembers being sad during the Depression; they remember the tightness of their families and how they pulled together with their neighbors to get through the worst of it. In fact, they credit the experience for giving them the values that carried them so well through the rest of their lives."

He goes on to share seniors' concerns that "the younger generation" -- that's the reporter and for the most part, readers here -- have never had to endure hard times.

"As 80-year-old Lee Vieburg put it, 'Young people today think that if they have to give up cable or the Internet or something that life has ended.'"

In November, a priest friend sent out his annual holiday letter with an observation similar to the seniors in this story. To wit: Bad financial times are a way of bringing us together, to make us realize our dependency on one another and on God.

Not to get all preachy so early in the day, but I believe that's true. How we will respond -- and how much harder it will get -- remains to be seen.

Here's the link to the Poynter story, reported by Al Tompkins in "Al's Morning Meeting":


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