During the Great Depression, my grandfather, in his early twenties and out of work, wrote this letter to his brother. His self-doubt and growing desperation is so telling of the times, and as you read it, relevant today.
Nov. 2, 1931
How is the little world treating you? I received your letter some time ago but I have not had the chance to write. I stopped at the folks house today and saw the letter you had written and saw you think you have steady job. I sure hope you have, as everything is sure tough around here. I read Ronald’s and Olive’s letter the other day and Ronald has job in St. Louis and I think he figures on staying there for the winter. Elizabeth seems to be having a good time. If you see anything up there that looks like a possible job let me know and I’ll be right up. I am sure getting desperate around here. I don’t care what kind of work it is or what it pays as long as it (covers) expenses. How many are staying with you there? Things have not worked out here as I thought they would in regards to what I told you when I was up there so I feel as though I am out on a limb that is ready to break.
Two months after my grandfather wrote this letter, he began serving a prison sentence for robbery.
(Click on Louis’s image to hear the song.)