Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Living Frugally Helps Stave off Depression Revolution

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Living Frugally Helps Stave off Depression Revolution

Article excerpt

IS a recession a modern depression? Is 2009 really the 1920s all over again?

Having been raised in the depression I still have vivid memories of how our parents coped.

My mother made all my clothes from scraps. I had a white dress with a green yoke, pockets and a wide green band on the hem. This band seemed to become even wider as I grew taller, but was decorated with rick-rack braiding to hide the extension. In winter I had a brown wool dress with plaid pockets, yoke and band hem. It too seemed to elongate with me.

I was truly blessed as I had a pair of shoes to go to school with. Sadly one pair formed holes in the soles very quickly. When my mother complained to the store owner he said "Tell your kid to keep off the asphalt playground". Dad came to the rescue and I was very impressed as he borrowed a last, filled the holes with cardboard and glued rubber soles (Khromhide?) onto my shoes, carefully trimming the joins and even painting them black to hide the joins. I thought he was amazing!

If I was good or had done well at school, we indulged in what mum called "a wicked extravagance"- we went to the Saturday matinee to watch an American film (Remember Cheta and Tarzan). As the theatre was always full I assumed we had all been good that week?

We grew a lot of our own vegetables and had fruit trees. There was something magical about coming home, climbing the peach tree and eating a ripe peach still warm from the sun.

Our grocer gave a lot of us a weekly credit - a trusting soul! This amount was paid up on Friday nights, which we children turned into a festival night out!

Meals always seemed to be very thick soup or very thick stews and desserts were hot things with jam inside or poured over them - or rice puds, not as popular as bread and butter custards.

The first "frock" we were bought was the school uniform so I could attend the Hornsby Girls High School. …

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