It was the mid 1920's, a few years before 1929's Great Depression. For some, though, Black Friday came early. Mom lived in this shack when she was a little girl, along with her two older brothers, Cy and Tom, her mom and dad, and apparently, for a short time, with her grandma and grandpa - until they remembered to "move out".
|Mom (on the right) and her cousin|
Times were definitely hard.
As I look into the eyes of this ancestor I never knew, I have to think his heart hurt to not be able to provide for his family the way he would have liked to. He was an unsuccessful farmer most of his life.
This was also during the time of Prohibition. Desperate times meant desperate measures. As Uncle Cy tells it, "One day dad came home all excited. He knew what he was going to do to get rich." You guessed it. Moonshine.
Uncle Cy poked his finger at the picture and said, "Dad put in a still in the upstairs of that house. But we never did get rich. He drank more than he sold and was never right in the head after that." As Cy got into his story, embelishing as he went along, his much younger brother sat there and shook his head. There was some disagreement about the "never right in the head after that" part. But there was no disagreement that times had been hard.
Seven people in a shack with no electricity or running water, bugs and mice, probably a snake or two, with an illegal still being run out of the upstairs.... I have to think they were very lucky that the weight of the still did not fall through the upstairs floorboards to the floor below.