"The Wondering Jew"
Apr. 24, 2003 - 20:47 MDT
THE WONDERING JEW
Guess most of us oldsters encounter something similar to what happened to me today. Hope it makes them as happy as it made me.
My thirteen year old grandson called me to ask me some questions. Seems like they are studying the Depression years in his school now and he wanted to ask me some questions about those years.
I asked him, "Do you want all the facts and figures or do you want to know about as I saw it while it came to me at those ages ? Of course, he said, "Both Grandpa."
I told him the history, facts and figures he could glean from google without too much trouble. Seems like he wanted the run down as I experienced it, from the viewpoint of the boy I was then.
He wanted to know more about how I saw it as a kid than all the statistics. Many questions and answers flew back and forth between us. I think he would make a good newspaper reporter or a man who interviews folks and publishes the interviews. Good questions and ones that seemed easy to answer by me. Perceptive they were, at a level I though a bit higher than he occupies right now. He wasn't reading from a scripted quiz (Like something the school would outline) but it flowed back and forth as he would ask me further explanations on some of his questions. Made this old duffer feel useful once again.
Just got off the phone with him a minute or two ago, I was telling him about the dust bowl days back then and how there would be a little pile of dust on the floor beneath the keyhole where dust had blown in throught the night and dust below cracks in the window. How if you opened your mouth to talk out doors soon there would be dust in your mouth and gritty teeth were just something you had to live with. Spitting often and swallowing frequently. Related how those days were mostly brown with the dust in the air. I also told him about going down to the railroad tracks (about six blocks from my home) and watching the freight trains going by. I never thought then to ponder about it, but most of the cars would be empty of freight. Most of the boxcars would have open doors and I could see the oodles of men riding in them, the coal cars (gondolas) would have men standing in them. Before I could tell him the reason they were there, he asked me, "Why were there so many men riding the freight trains ?" Thinking about it I realized this, men were out of work and had no money to ride in the passenger cars of a train. They were out of work and were going from town to town trying to find work. I told him that and said that I figured that many of those men eventually ended up in Calfornia and found work of some kind there. As much as possible I tried to put him back in that time, seeing things as I saw them while growing up.
Guess that is why authors have stories to tell of the past, trying to help those who are younger understand how things were and how a person just lived without complaint, accepting what was, as being what it was, and living on getting the enjoyment and recreation that was possible for a young person.
Anyhow, my Grandson made his Poppa feel like someone tonight, someone who is not just a Dipwad Sage . . . . . . . .0 comments so far