I'm not sure if anyone has posted this yet, so I'll post it.
There aren't too many people around who can remember Black Thursday, the stock market crash of 1929 known as the beginning of the Great Depression. That's because it happened 80 years ago today.
Two Wilmington nonagenarians who do have memories of that bleak time in our nation's history, though, say despite our economy's struggles, today's generation has no idea what real “hard times” are.
“People aren't the same,” 97-year-old Stanley Silverman said this week over lunch at the New Hanover County Senior Center. “We have so many great things that we don't appreciate how they had it before.
“You expect certain things just like you expect to breathe. We take a lot of things for granted that we never dreamt of 50 or 60 years ago.”
Mildred Mitchell, whose also has seen her share of history during her 93 years, agrees that people nowadays just don't have a clue about how to tighten the financial reins.
“I think it's wasteful,” she said. “People abuse the good things in life. There's more waste than I've ever seen in my entire life.”
Mitchell, a young teen growing up in Wilmington when the Depression began, recalls trips to the food bank.
“There just wasn't any money,” she said. “It was a struggle. There was nothing around for anybody. There were no jobs. If you had one, you were lucky.”
Silverman, who moved to Wilmington to live with his daughter three years ago, grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was 17 and working at a hardware store on Black Thursday. When asked what he remembers most about that day, his answer is, “A lot of suicides, jumping out of windows.”
Like most historians, he emphasizes that Black Thursday and the Great Depression were a culmination of bad investment decisions made during the Roaring '20s, known as a time of wealth and excess in our nation. But that all came to a screeching halt on Oct. 24, 1929.
“People took chances on stocks that were worthless,” Silverman said. “Don't gamble with your money.”
He said he doesn't recall having to make big sacrifices during the Depression years, not that he would've noticed anyway.
“Cut back? There was nothing to cut,” Silverman said. “You didn't know what you were missing. It's an entirely different life now. A lot of people complain, but they don't know how well off they are.”
Sorry, forgot to put the link to the source. Here it is.http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20091023/articles/910239978&tc=yahooIronic, isn't it?
I like the article although it's the classic kids-have-it-so-easy-these-days thing, and I've always hated that. Yes, we have it easier with our electricity and such, but still... It's a bit condesending.