Blog Action Day: Poverty in the Great Depression. “The Kind of People that We Are”—a poem by Erwin A. Thompson

Blog Action Day is today, with a focus on Poverty. Currently 9,394 Sites with an audience with more than 10,612,112 readers are registered in Blog Action Day 2008. Last year, I participated when bloggers focused on the Environment.

Read my post on how it’s “Easy to be green at the Carelton Hotel in San Francisco.
This year, Riehlife is proud to participate to support the cause of examining poverty to explore how it could be eradicated. Let’s look at history today, and cast our minds back to the 1930s during the Great Depression. Let’s listen to words of wisdom from my father, who lived through that time.

The Kind Of People That We Are
by Erwin A. Thompson

Dedicated to all of the people who shared the experience of living through The Great Depression, and especially to my friend, Sherman Bowen, who made the classic statement: “But if we had never been there, we wouldn’t be the kind of people that we are!”

The family circle’s broken, now.
We live in memory of other, fairer, younger days.
The days of used to be.
We see each other, now and then,
And childhood days we may recall
When we could buy a nickel’s worth of ice‚
For homemade ice cream was the biggest thrill of all!
Hard luck. Hard times with money pinched and scant.
Cornmeal mush, and second handed clothes.

Tragedies, and broken dreams,
With failing banks, and mortgages foreclosed.
Courage staunch, put to the test,
And family ties were often strained.
Dust bowls when the winds did blow,
And mud balls when it rained!

“Wouldn’t it be fine?” I asked,
“If just a bit of what we have today
We could have had, those pinched out years,
To ease our tortured way?”
For dollars that we spend so free,
A better use, by far!”
“But if we’d had,” my friend replied,
“We wouldn’t be the kind of people that we are!”

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