A Letter from Dad

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This I Cross posted from Cory's Y2K list. I believe it has a message for all of us here

Excerpted from a letter dated Thu, 14 Jan 1999 21:33:38 EST to his daughters....

Since this was a small happening day I think I would like to give my thoughts on the Y2K possibilities. I was 10 years old when the stock market crashed, we lived in Roxbury at the time and I remember the terrible agonizings of the news paper and radio. An awful disaster which helped to sell newspapers and make radio newscaster famous, Dad was a whole sale hardware salesman to stores in western Pa. He did very well and was able to maintain a wholesome family arrangement. Phil, Paul, and I were the only ones at home then. Prices tumbled, money became in short supply and Dads income began to demand certain curtailments of our home but we still lived a pretty comfortable life style. Then the roof caved in, Dad and Mom had there savings and other financial services in the First National Bank in Jtwn. FDR in one foul stroke. to save the banking industry closed all the banks in the country. The famious Bank Holiday. Where do you think all the banks moneys was? In the stock market. The First National Bank never opened again there was no money in the bank. To make this short and I could go on for a long time but just a few interesting points, the development of FDIC, weak and poorly managed financial institutions never opened, boards, presidents, cashiers, etc were the hated ones, some committed suicide. The 1st National president jumped out of the banks 5th floor, people selling apples on the streets, generally the era of the bum. FDR's WPA. CCC, Relief Agencies, etc,etc, etc.

We had no money for food, the electric was turned off after a while, the gas, could not pay the rent, and what ever you can imagine. I belive Dad reputation as an honest man, good credit, and friendlyness did see us thru the worst. We moved to Southmont in a friends house with pay when you can arrangements. We were distitute but a happy family. We were not alone, the steel mill closed, stores, gov'nt agencies, and many other institutions, even teachers did not get paid. Then a letter from one of Dads Hardware customers came, he was an old man with a hardware store in Berlin and would Dad take over the store for him till he got better. Dad made strides and the store began to thrive, why, well the farmers put their money into their farms and pots buried in the basements or somthing. Anyway he pulled the family out of the worst thing that ever happened to this country since the Civil War.

The moral to all the is: 1. It came so sudden. 2. People too complacent. 3. It can't happen here. 4. Somebody will take care of me attitude. 5. well you can finish the list in your free time I am to busy right now writing to my kids for any more. What is the bottom line here. Well Carol, Dave, Dawn, Brian it all comes down to the individual decision. We are being informed, we have vast sources of knowledge, we have a tremendous amount of history to learn from, and you are all pretty smart people. What happens after the advent of the next millenium and your situation depends on you. We do not know what the results will be of Y2K, but we do know what they could be. Maybe

One last comment. Was Pap Berkibile and his family in difficulty very much from the depression. no, but he was a farmer, they had cows and sold milk, big gardens, he hauled coal, moved people, raised beef, and had a coal mine that he worked in himself, and other enterprising ventures which took courage and strength to beat the system and won. For instanece somebody offered him a bunch of BTFin stock which he bought for pennies to help a family out, he just put it way and his children got it, at one time sold for 45 dollars a share and even higher and paid dividends. A very positive and smart man.

Your own situation in Y2K, will depend on you and the attitude you have for it. The answer to success and failure is in that sentence. Do not count on someone else solving your problems, solve them before they become problems in you own way.

Can Mom and I come live with any of you till it is over?

Love ya ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dad

-- ExCop (yinadral@juno.com), November 15, 1999


Hi Dad, Thanks for the great post. I am almost 55, and I remember my mom telling me that during the Depression she thought it was a treat to break up a piece of white bread and put some sugar and milk on it. The last few generations have no idea what some of their grandparents and great grandparents have gone through in their lives. Diana

-- Diana (healthy53@hotmail.com), November 15, 1999.

I remember my grandmother talking about the gar soup that they ate. Uck! Gar is one fish that most fisherman will kill and throw back in the river. When I was about 8 years old, my father left his spinning reel on the dock of the cabin we had on the river. I was not supposed to touch his fishing gear, but the temptation was too great. All I had was a cane pole and Bream was all I ever caught. I managed to get the line flung out aways and low and behold I had a bite! I remember cranking that reel and thinking about how proud everyone was going to be when I pulled in a hugh fish. Well, when I pulled that fish out of the water, it was the ugliest fish I had ever seen. I just knew I caught a sea monster. I screamed and threw the rod and reel in the river and ran like crazy. My dad said I had hooked one of the biggest gar he had ever seen.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), November 15, 1999.

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