Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tales from Small-Town Saskatchewan: Depression Folks

The Dirty Thirties hit Saskatchewan pretty hard. I wasn't there, of course, but I grew up alongside people who experienced it. People who went through the Depression know the value of a dollar, and get all the use that they can out of an object. They remove the worn collars from their shirts, reverse them, and sew them back on again, for example.

I remember when I was a kid, that there was an old man in Lead.r with one of those 50s cars with the fins. It was very cool.

One day I must have been up close staring at those fins, because I suddenly realized that his rear indicator light cover had broken at some point in the past. And he had replaced it with a small red plastic margarine tub. The homemade light plate blended in perfectly, unless you were two feet away, and did the same job that a purchased replacement light plate would do.

I thought it was odd and I thought it was genius. It was like discovering that grown-ups can play pretend too.


Blogger liz said...

There are so many OCD-prone families whose disorder was triggered by that particular time. I think it created a generation or two of serious packrats.

9:43 pm  
Blogger Carmi said...

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention - and creativity. There's something about going without that forces people to get smart. Somehow, an abundance of material goods makes the mind cushy.

8:48 pm  
Blogger liz said...

Okay, that's a nicer interpretation and I like it much better.

My family is full of ingenious DIYers!

8:08 am  

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