Our parents, Paul and Marcelene Gauger, died too early in our lives. We have missed Dad and Mom for several years, and have been saddened that most of our children did not have the blessing of these wonderful grandparents in their lives. We are creating this blog to write some of our memories, organize photos, and share thoughts of our loving parents and their family. In doing so, it is our wish that our children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends may understand our love for our parents and our family. As King Benjamin taught, our parents lived: "...ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another." Mosiah 4:15. This truth, love and service are the legacy of Paul and Marcelene Gauger.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Marcelene Bennett Gauger's Continued Account of Her Family Growing up During the Depression

I love this picture of Grandpa and Grandma Bennett. You can just see the goodness and love radiated in their countenance. Mother certainly inherited their character and integrity.

This is the second part of the taped interview that Randy Davis did with Mother. It has been such a joy to enter these posts and to remember these accounts. Again, I hope that everyone reading them will gain the same appreciation and love for our rich heritage.

Mother continued on how remembered the Wall Street Crash. She said it didn't affect their family, because her father didn't have a steady income. It did affect some very good friends. But then she didn't realize at the time how much her mother and father worried about how they were going to get along. She said that she would hate to have to go through that again and that she didn't think people could cope with it these days because we're used to having almost everything we want. Their family didn't, but that was their way of life. They learned how to get along better on what they had. This experience helped them learn how to spend money more wisely and to store things away. She said her mother bottled lots of fruits and vegetables. They did have to get some welfare help with getting some meat through what was called the welfare committee that was set up.
She related an incident about one of her snobby neighbors, of how the wife of a banker had to get a job like the rest of them and she said it kind of tickled her! This woman got a job as an investigator on the welfare committee and went into the homes to access how much they had and how much they needed. Grandma Bennett thought that it would humble her, but this neighbor still thought she was better, even when she went into homes and could see how much they needed and how they lived. It made her feel more important than ever. Grandma used to hate to see her coming and would always paint a better picture than it actually was and that they didn't need this or need help here unless it happened to be medical help or something we children would absolutely have to have. It was sad because there were people who needed help but felt the same way because this lady felt like she was so much more important than anybody else and she never had to go without. Mother said that her mother was a very proud woman and would rather work all her life than to take any welfare.
Their neighborhood had poor farmers and a few school teachers and all were very willing to share if they needed to. There were a few families a lot worse off than they were because their parents weren't ambitious. During this time, the families shared a lot of things in common and would have neighborhood parties and get together to help get through.
Mother said she learned how to buy, how to store, how to spend money much more wisely and that these lessons learned helped her when she got married and to not be a spend thrift.
She said that she could see now where times are going to be harder because prices are going up.
She said everyone needed to be more careful in their spending and to buy the necessary things rather than things just to be buying.
Many people during the depression panicked at the bank closings and some almost went berserk. There were people who didn't care what happened or what they did to people. She spoke very adamantly and wanted the people of today (remember that this is 30 years ago) and "you, too, Randy" to appreciate the good times they have now. Money was hard to come by and they learned to appreciate what they had. They looked for opportunities to get any kind of job and to get the things they needed most.
She ended by saying she didn't remember a lot of things, but it was a terrible time for a lot of people.
Mother's sharing of this part of her life had been invaluable to me. I have learned some very choice and valuable lessons from my Mother and I think that these stories and details of her life growing up have reminded me of what is important in life. They are right on with what we are learning about in our day and time from our church leaders...to be self-reliant and provident providers. Her example of cooking, sewing, canning, and careful spending has ingrained within me the desire to follow her choice example. This reminds me how and why she became the great lady she is.Mother and me taken at an annual get-together in Provo with her Bennett brothers and sisters and their wives

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