Gladys: When neighbors couldn't get a loan from the bank, they'd come to Dad. He sold farm machinery. He never put his money in a bank. He stored it in a strongbox in the fruit cellar, under the apples. He'd loan the neighbors what they needed and they paid him back when they could. If there was a monthespecially the winter monthswhen they couldn't pay, they'd slaughter a cow or a pig and give him a portion. In the summer it was vegetables: corn, peas, whatever they had growing. The main thing was, Dad never wanted them to lose their land. It was their heritage and how they earned a living. They were farmers. We always lived frugally anyway, so in some ways we didn't know the difference. What you ate in the winter months was what you put away in the summer. The biggest thing that happened is when they decided to pave the dirt road in front of the house. It was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). But my Dad was a Republican, and he was just beside himself.
Robert: [My Dad] was on a salary. Sometimes there would be a paycheck, sometimes not. He was on the road [selling knives for Utica Cutlery] a lot and would be out of town for four or five weeks. When he was away, the treasurer for the company would stop by to deliver the paycheck and if there wasn't one, he'd explain why, in person. People really got together. Everybody realized they were in the same boat. If [my mother] couldn't pay the grocer, he knew that she would the next time there was a paycheck. Everybody was in the spirit of helping out. That's the only thing that saved us.
Next Judith Crist, 86