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Just A Thought Two Steps Back
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Recent events in our country's economy take some of us back in time. I was born in 1929, known as the year of the crash and the start of the depression. At the time, banks were closing with other businesses also in financial ruin. Many people in this country were out of jobs and struggled to keep their families afloat. During this time, in order to survive, many including my grandfather and other members of the family went to work in the fields harvesting crops.

When I was four years old and my sister a little younger, our parents divorced while we lived in California. At that point, we were made wards of the court and sent to live with our fraternal relatives until our mother could get work to support us as our father was no longer around. As young children, we were unaware of everyone's plight at that time. Although struggling, my grandparents and others in the family welcomed us with loving arms on arrival at their home in Colorado. Despite it all, they kept us clothed and fed. As children, we found ways to entertain ourselves such as playing in an old shed behind the family's home and jumping on some old bed springs inside. Other things we found to do included watching ants making their way across the yard, pretending clothes pins were people and using discarded thread spools pretending they were tiny pieces of house furniture. Large empty matchboxes were used as beds for our clothespin people.

After we stayed a year in Colorado, our mother had found employment in a Reno dinner club, checking in customer's hats and coats. An aunt brought us back on the train to rejoin our mother as she felt she was able to care for us once again. Upon our arrival, we were clothed in what we thought was our finest; dresses made from print flower sacks, like many other young girls at that time. With pay being low, my mother found it hard to support us and rent a room to live in. At this point, she was forced once again to give us up temporarily and placed us in children's homes for a year or two in Reno and Sparks. By the second year, our mother met and married again, bringing us all together as a family. Midway during the depression, our government implemented some work programs such as the WPA, to provide jobs for many, and economy began to take a turn for the better.

Today, like other historical eras, we will get through current times and as in the past, survive. People and their well being must come first in our society. May we learn from our past experiences and present times for a better future and good life for the next generation all over the world.

Sheila Arellano is a retired reporter for The Escalon Times and a longtime local resident. She continues to contribute occasional columns.