Depression Era: Stove Wood 'Borrowed' in Exchange for Delicious Vegetable Soup

Missouri woman remembers finding wood when fuel was short, only to have it vanish, and then be replaced with a much-appreciated basket of vegetables.


| Good Old Days


During the depression era winter of 1932 my sister and I lived in a small Nebraska town. Only infrequently could we find employment. We mended, patched and re-patched our old clothing, our cupboard was oft-times nearly bare and our house cold for lack of sufficient fuel.

One drab and dreary December evening as we walked homeward from visiting a friend, we spied a large chunk of stove wood laying in a ditch. To whom did it belong, we wondered. It must have fallen unnoticed from a passing truck or wagon. What a fine warm fire it would make! Should we take it or not?

Our Puritan upbringing caused us to hesitate, but briefly.

Together we lifted it, carried it home and deposited it on our front porch for the night.

The night was far spent when a slight noise from outside awakened me from sound slumber. I arose and very cautiously peered through the front door curtain.

In the dim half-light of early morning I observed the dark shadowy figure of a man hastily departing from our front yard. In his arms he carried our large chunk of wood.





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