In the Last Depression, The Hobos Rode the Rails

As did my mother and her brother:

I’m not sure of the date but it probably was taken in the late 1920’s.  Their father worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, so this photo was a natural.

Although most people think of the Great Depression having its start with the 1929 crash, because of depressed commodity prices (specifically food) it’s safe to say that, in the agricultural South (my mother grew up in Arkansas) the “depression” extended for most of the time between the World Wars.

Most Boomers will recall that the Great Depression was one of the defining events of the “Greatest Generation” (the other was World War II.)  But neither of my parents ended up in bread lines.  My father, of course, came from a family which got through it in style, as you can see at this website.  But for my mother, her dad being employed by a railroad was steady work, and in an era where things were cheap due to deflation, it wasn’t a bad living at all.

Besides, how would the hobos have gotten around without the rails running?

Hopefully this photo will brighten a few days in these uncertain times.

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