True suffering : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I posted this as a response on another thread..

I'm lucky in that I have relatives with first hand knowledge of some of the hardest times imaginable. My grandparents, (and my wifes grandparents) are very old. I guess you could give them a year or two, probably not three.

I feel sorry for newer generations that won't be able to talk to people that actually endured the Great Depression or WW II. It's a real eye opener the stories they tell.

My wifes grandpa was on the Missouri during the island hopping invasions. He's still partially deaf from the sixteen inch guns.

My wifes grandma went through the depression on a farm. All of their cows were killed by the government because of a disease scare (I forget what disease). They lost their livelyhood. Eventually they lost their farm, and the mom and dad pulled the three daughters across two counties in toy coaster wagons (she showed me the pictures) to where they could find work.

A family fried served on a machine gun squad at Normandy. His whole squad was killed. Then he joined a squad of guys with mortars, only three of eight of them survived. He's dying in a hospital now.

My Grandfather was in the Phillipines. My wifes' other grandfather was in the Phillipines. My uncles were in Nam, one of them was so traumitized he didn't talk for three years and he stayed on the roof of his parents house. My dad was in the Indian army in the Himalayas freezing his butt off.

I mean holy cow.. talk about suffering! How can I talk about date rollover bugs.. I mean really! What, my power is going to go out! I don't get my cable TV.. I have to actually THINK about where my food comes from?

Could it be that we are just plain spoiled and we need something to worry about, complain about, and spend money on?

I don't want to discourage preparedness, but I keep hearing this defeatist attitude. 'we won't survive', 'end of the world', blah, blah blah. Everything is ME ME ME. How do I survive.. What do I do to make things easier for ME and my family. How do I go about protecting MY way of life...

According to two grandparents, people in the depression tried to help the helpless out (the stories are too long for me to put here). You know, 'were all in this together'..

Prepare for bad times so you can help people that can't help themself.. Let's do something honorable with this situation and lose the bunker mentality.

-- Bryce (, July 27, 1999



Thank you for a truly compassionate post. The world needs more people like you. Recently my wife and I splurged and bought a movie called "Entertaining Angels". I cried many times. It reminded me of my father's stories he shared with us when we were young. I did some research and discovered there is a whole world of people out there whom care deeply about the misery of mankind. I'm providing this link if anyone is interested in helping now and/or in the future. NOTE: I am not promoting catholosism in any manner. This woman ranks up there with Ghandi and King IMHO.


-- R. Wright (, July 27, 1999.


CT started it tonite. He has a thread below debating the value of people of age. Is there really any room for debate on this subject? Some people seem to think so.

-- R. Wright (, July 27, 1999.

You're comparing 2 different time periods. We can't compare today with the 40's. It doesn't make sense. Businesses in general didn't depend on computers, now they do. There are too many interconnections now. A lot of people still had farms in the 40's. If you had a farm, you could get by. During tough times people pulled together back then. I'm not so sure it will happen today, because we've had it good for so long. This is the point.

If you live in the city, in an apartment, what will you do if things do get bad?

-- Larry (, July 27, 1999.

All the older generation have to offer are stories of misery and gloom. We don't live on farms, we were brought into the cities to build the infrastructure. Now the infrastructure is about to collapse and all we want to do is sit around and hear about the good old hard days. The infrastructure that the past few generations have built are the conveniences that we enjoy today. Now that the chickens are about to come home to roost, we are complaining about being inconvenienced. Suburbia, neat houses slapped next to each other on postage stamp lots. No room for a garden and barely enough room for a potted plant. What else is a person suppose to do? The very land the houses are built on was once farm land that produced the food that we need to sustain us. But we destroy the farmer because it is more lucrative to sell nonrenewable land for ticky tacky houses. You all need to quit day dreaming about going back to being farmers. If any of us make it out of the city with the shirt on our backs, that will be something. If the water infrastructure doesn't make it to the farmlands then it will be a disaster beyond all comprehension. Further more, if the gates of dams cannot be opened to release water, the low lands will be completely wiped out. I wonder what the older generation has to say about that?

-- inthesameboat (, July 27, 1999.

speaking of farmers- How many of you non-farmers out there would like to take on a second job to support your first job?? Ie: would you like to work nights at the 7-11 to support your day job as an accountant, teacher, lawyer, doctor, car mechanic, etc? We have a cheap food policy in this country which has made it so difficult for farmers to even earn a remotely decent living without taking a second job, or having a member of the family work off the farm at one. Just so you understand this- most dairy farmers today are supporting their dairy operation with off-farm income. they are not doing this for a tax shelter. I grow organic fruit/vegies. I couldn't possibly afford to buy what I sell. We get to eat it because we have leftover produce/blemished/dented ones. "We eat the mutants" we joke around here. But it's true- I support my farming with outside work- I have yet to turn a profit with farming despite working 15 hour days- this is written during a quick break. Food that we don't produce is bought at dented can type stores.

Most people don't have a clue what it is like to grow enough to support not just them but lots of other people as well. It has been a major frustration of mine to see the low value placed on US agriculture. The grocery stores import moldy raspberries, blueberries, etc rather than buy them locally for a fair price. Stuff comes from overseas or across the country- if it's cheaper- the stores buy it. There has been so little attention paid to eating locally grown farm products and keeping agriculture alive and thriving all across the country. Without shipping- how long do you think New York City or Detroit or Philly or any of these cities would survive??

This is the choice as a country that we we have made. Remember- your money talks. How and where you spend it, dictates so much more than you would believe.

-- farmer (, July 27, 1999.

To Farmer:

Yes, I agree. Unless you're doing some farming on your own, most people don't have a clue of what's involved. This is what makes this time entirely different from the 40's. You can't compare the 2 time periods. The cities will collapse if we have serious problems in 2000. Just business failures alone can cause big problems for cities, even if the grid manages to stay up.

If this is the time (which I don't know for sure), it will be a time such as none other.

-- Larry (, July 27, 1999.


I see your point about the apartment dwellers and small house lots. I could say though, that we have equipment like tillers, chain saws, and hundreds of implements that people in the 40s could not even dream of. I'm pretty sure a chain saw will work after Y2K.


I really respect farmers and I think the current system sucks. I can't believe that farmers get paid penies per bushel. I can't remember exactly, but when I was in eastern washington, I saw prices like 2.60 for a bushel of grain (am I correct?). This is absurd.

Can farmers get together and sell direct to consumers? They would need their own processing plants, but I'd rather buy direct.

I don't buy foreign ANYTHING if I can help it. Shoes are the exception, since I can't find a single pair of US made sneakers. Rarely I can find US made boots, but often not since I left the SouthWest.

-- Bryce (, July 27, 1999.

I agree with the point about how we spend our money making an immense difference. I'd go so far as to say that, in the USA, our dollars are far more effective than our ballots.

>> Can farmers get together and sell direct to consumers? They would need their own processing plants, but I'd rather buy direct. <<

There is a movement afoot for more direct selling between farmers and consumers. In the Pacific NW, farmer's markets are picking up popularity, as is something called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - a scheme where a farmer sells "shares" of his farm's produce to a set number of consumers for a set price, then delivers the produce weekly during the growing season. My wife and I have bought into a CSA for the past couple of years. You have to research the farmer pretty carefully, but we've found it very worthwhile.

Don't forget farmer's co-ops, too. A local co-op sells under the brand name of FlavorPac. Sunkist is a co-op, as are many other brands.

I prefer to spend anywhere but with the huge multi-national corporations. But it doesn't work out unless the quality and price are right, too.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, July 27, 1999.

Bryce, I spent my life as an idealist, clergy wife, giver. I have worked for causes in which even my physical safety was at stake. I care deeply about Other Humans, who I regard with "capital letters." I have tried to alert as many people as I can about what they must do to survive, if the infrastructure crumbles next year (NOT just at the stroke of midnight 01/01/2000. Most have disregarded the material I printed out from the Y2K website forums and took my time and money to copy and distribute. I have written them letters. I have prayed for them. I have spoken to my church's ruling body. Very, very few have responded with action to help themselves, though every one of them has more than I do, who live paycheck to paycheck. I have clipped sales and coupons, and trekked to 4-5 stores each weekend or after work, and carried heavy stuff a long, painful ways. Many of these folk could go out and in a single day load up a van at Price Club or Sam's, buy all their equipment from one source in one fell swoop, and not hurt financially. I've had the neighbors say, "We'll know where to get..."

Now...if and when TSHTF, living in a suburb of brrr...the nation's capitol...HOW could I help anyone else? Or everyone who came to my door? And do you know that across from my decent old condo development we have subsidized housing in which reside some of the 800 gang members in the 80 gangs recorded on the database of the county's Gangbuster's Unit? In good times they have attacked our management office with lead pipes, and did such a number on our 10-year-resident handyman's auto that he moved out. We have to pay $8 a month, $96 a year (that hurts!) for off-duty police cruisers, and the county pays with our taxes for bicycle police and others. In January one officer told me proudly that they had caught the last two who shot people!!!

Now...just imagine what will happen if we lose the infrastructure, and there are no lights, no food, no water, and police stretched thin to cover the area? Do you imagine that these guys are going to come over and knock politely and ask me for a handout? In your dreams!!!

I was a child in WWII and have my family's share of war stories, including food, gas, etc., rationing and blackouts and canons along the waterfront in NYC, and a U-boat caught off Long Island. We all had people or knew people who didn't come back, or came back badly damaged. you know the enormous difference in 1940 versus 1999? It is the loss of American identity, values, morals. It is the loss of homogeniety, and the fracture of community, with the mobile society. It is the introduction of drugs into our culture. It is the weakening of the criminal justice system by liberals who've turned the criminals back onto the street. It is the ability for people to view one another as valueless, lives to be sacrificed to gain one's own ends either in murder, rape, robbery, etc. Today is NOT 1940 by any stretch of the imagination! Do you know how much I wish it were?

This time if you advertise your supplies and open your door generously, you and your womenfolk could be the targets of unspeakable crimes. This new experience calls for new thinking, for evaluating our willingness to extend ourselves to the point of death, or to preserve who we can reasonably save to rebuild tomorrow.

I've been thinking a LOT about that story of the foolish and wise virgins, and explaining it to a lot of people. If one wishes to use a secular story, what about the childhood fable of Henny-Penny. Remember, she asked the other animals who would help her plant the seed, who would water it, who would harvest it, who would help her make the bread, and to each request for aid the others replied, "Not I!" Then she baked the bread and asked, "Who will help me to eat it?" and they all replied, "I will!" Do you remember her reply???

-- Elaine Seavey (, July 27, 1999.

This time if you advertise your supplies and open your door generously, you and your womenfolk could be the targets of unspeakable crimes. This new experience calls for new thinking, for evaluating our willingness to extend ourselves to the point of death, or to preserve who we can reasonably save to rebuild tomorrow.

This is an excellent point, Elaine. The importance of vigilance cannot be underestimated here. It's unfortunate that so many have chosen not to prepare, but we need to concentrate on survival above all, and this will mean keeping out of sight and, if necessary, being ready for all forms of attack. Without an adequate defense, all other preparations are meaningless.

-- (its@coming.soon), July 27, 1999.


I agree, that's right, but who will get to use this equipment? Try cutting down trees or planting something substantial in the city.

Your thinking is correct if you live on a self-sufficient farm, away from the city.

-- Larry (, July 27, 1999.

Today is NOT 1940 by any stretch of the imagination! Do you know how much I wish it were? This time if you advertise your supplies and open your door generously, you and your womenfolk could be the targets of unspeakable crimes.

Yes, Elaine, I agree. Helping sombody could get you killed. The people who would try to kill me would probably be those that have been pooh-poohing and ridiculing me so much for my preparations. I really don't feel like helping these people. This is why it is important that you don't tell anybody where you're going.

-- Larry (, July 27, 1999.

Bryce, here is a short"P.S." to my lengthy previous post. Back in the 1940's people KNEW HOW to use the implements at their disposal to build, to plant and harvest, to create. Today we are a society of specialists, and most men do not have callouses on their hands from doing any of the above. It amazes me when I read about rural Americans who still DO have these wonderful, basic skills, and I truly envy them. My father's family settled Maine nine generations ago. As recently as my childhood my grandmother could..did..raise and kill her own chickens, milked her own cow, took us up Blueberry Hill and had us pick from dawn til noon, then we went back to the house and she fired up her black wood stove and baked the pies. She churned the ice cream. There was no bathtub or central heating, so we washed in a big metal tub in front of the fireplace. We slept under thick comforters she'd made. My grandfather hunted everything, and I tasted my first venison up there. He was a gardener for the Rockefeller island estate, with 18 men working under him, and a cabinetmaker by trade in the winters. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Even my NYC mother's family, with whom we lived year-round had some skills, like gardening, which my father mainly did in a "Victory Garden." And making food "from scratch," out of an ice box.

Today we live in a fast-moving, fast-food, unsavvy city-suburban world by and large. How many can use the newer implements you mention? Not the Sunday-sports-watching couch potatoes I know, or the women like me who've never done anything like my grandmother did, other than making a pie and sewing some clothing.

If and when TSHTF I cannot see the communities in which I've lived at any period of my life surviving by virtue of the skill of their hands, or the grand old knowledge-base of our grandparents' generation. I wish I felt more hopeful than that, but my experience doesn't permit it. If I could flee to rural America, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Just a little realistic look at the changing times from 1940-1999. A sad one.

-- Elaine Seavey (, July 27, 1999.

Re: CSA's and Farmer's Markets. Yes- these are great. Find a good CSA near you, and/or patronize your local farmer's market. The money tends to go straight to the farmer this way- no middlemen- and- it tends to remain more in the community.I sell at Farmer's markets and to a few local co-ops, for the majority of my sales. The money I receive goes to the local feed store, hardware store, etc. for the most part. i couldn't possibly make it selling wholesale. But most people have no concept of what the cheap prices they pay for their groceries does to American farmers.

Re; the 1940's versus today. IMO, TV has been a major factor in destroying society- both for the content on it and what isn't being done by those watching it. while folks are glued to the tube, they're not: coaching Little League, being a Scout leader or a Big brother, fishing, woodworking, canning, sewing, gardening, reading, taking classes, helping a neighbor or talking to their kids- just to name a few things. Today's society is very much each man for himself- a lack of community- no surprise perhaps given how often americans relocate.

There is a lack of respect for authority- and how much respect can we have when we have leaders such as Bill anyway?? Kids know they can get away with so much now- and they can scream abuse if parents or teachers dare to discipline them. IMHO- we are a society unraveling fast.......

-- farmer (, July 27, 1999.


Your obviously heartfelt and memory-filled writing has mirrored my own thoughts so well and so much more clearly than I could express them. I was born in 1940 - we call ourselves pre-war vintage - and I realize, too, that expectations some people express of Americans (or any other people) pulling together and all helping each other in these days we live in are so sad and empty. They won't do it. They will simply attack and kill and take what they want or need. These are not the same people our parents were and, God help us, they descended from us.

You are in such a dangerous place that I broke into tears. Is there any way at all that you could move to someplace safer? People ask me that and I say no. I know so well how hard it is at our age, needing so badly to hang on to the last job we may have and maybe the last home, knowing now that there appears no hope of Social Security and retirement for us after all, if things turn out as bad as it looks. We almost made it, too! I know I dig in my heels and holler No when I'm advised to leave my city, and possibly I'll be very sorry but....possibly not. What about you? Don't mention any details, but do you think you might be able to relocate?

God bless you,

-- Scat (, July 27, 1999.

Hello Elaine and others,

You are right. Where you live makes a big difference. I accept that. Where I live, I know people with land, I have some land (enough for a garden and fruit trees.) I have two cops that live on my block.. I'm involved with scouting, I know my community.

OK, I get your point.

As a suggestion, can you move in with family if things get bad? Do you have relatives or friends in other areas? Maybey you could make some kind of an arrangement short of an expensive move?

Farmer (and others), I never knew there was a difference between SunKist, SurePack or any other brand. From now on, I'll only buy from those co-ops. I don't care about a few dimes here or there if I get quality product, thanks for the info.

As a suggestion, could you

-- Bryce (, July 28, 1999.

Ok guys. You all beat me up pretty good comparing the time periods, but I ask you this: The grid goes down. What year is it?

-- R. Wright (, July 28, 1999.

Scat, what a lovely response! There truly are people out there with heart! You and I appear to be in exactly the same boat, down to a "T". I shall do what I can to survive where I live simply because there is noplace else to go, and no money with which to do it,or else I would head for it before 12/31/99. As with you, I need the last job I may ever have...took me 9 months to find, though I have an excellent background, due to age. However, I'm really trying to meet the coming events with planning, courage, and prayer and hope. If I die, it won't be for lack of trying to survive. That's a mark of us tough older birds, right? Keep on keeping on. I'll add you to my prayers.

Bryce, glad you have a little clearer're obviously a very decent person. Wish you well also.

-- Elaine Seavey (, July 28, 1999.

-- aaaaa (sssssssss@ssssssss.cop), July 29, 1999.

-- aaaaa (ddddd@hhh.coc), July 29, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ