Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"We moved in and they forgot to move out."  This is what Uncle Cy told us about this shack in Folk, Mo.





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. 

Joseph Forck
 
 

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. 



14 comments:

That corgi :) said...

How fascinating, Deanna. I loved reading this bit of your family history, though I do realize times were very tough that they lived in. Makes us wonderful 80 years from now if anyone will be looking at our pictures and wondering about us and the hard times nowadays and what the world will be like then.

betty

Steve Skinner said...

Your family really had it rough! I'll bet that they nearly froze during the long winters.

Queenie Jeannie said...

We really do have it easy in comparison, don't we??? Love the old photos!!!

Akum said...

Really loved reading this one

Intense Guy said...

Goodness. That looks rough. But you know something - they had each other and they stuck by each other - and didn't zone out playing video games and such.

I can readily see why you might think the still would fall through the ceiling!! Goodness - it must of been a huge fire hazard as it was!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I really enjoyed this post, Deanna. It was a hard life for many back in those days. I remember my dad telling the story of how his father told his mother during one of those especially hard years that he just didn't have enough money to pay his taxes. He said his mother left the room and came back with a roll of bills she'd been saving from selling eggs and butter. She had enough to pay the taxes! I'm sure she wanted to use that money for other things, but was really thankful for the money to help her hubby. That was my grandpa and I remember well when he also spent some of his small income to buy me a really nice watch when I turned 18. He was so proud that he could do it. I still have that watch even though it doesn't work anymore. Sorry, didn't set out to write a novel! I should have put this in a blog post. Maybe I will yet.
Are you enjoying this cooler weather like I am?

ChicagoLady said...

Thanks for sharing that poignant story about life in the late 20's. It's so amazing that despite how poor so many people were, they still had kids and they survived and were stronger for it.

AliceKay said...

I loved this post. Great pictures to tell the story and what a story it is. Your ancestry is part of you. To know the hardships of your ancestors and to know you're here because of them is awesome, isn't it? :)

Farida said...

This humbling beginnings will certainly make one feel blessed with the many things one gets to have at this time of the year. Thank you for stopping by at my blog. Take care :)

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Deanna, interesting bit of your family history. My Grandad in Harrisonville, I know they had it rough but they were so good to me when I visited in the summer. That front porch is interesting!

Vicki Lane said...

What a great story, Deanna! And I LOVE the picture of your mother and her cousin. Hard times...

Tricia Hays said...

Good grief, that's exactly what I'd be worrying about, the still falling thru the floor! =0
That's a lot of people under one roof... can you imagine the tension in that house?!

I love going to Alley Spring, but don't get up there as much as I'd like... I'd love to go camping there.
Good to find someone else that knows a place I post about =)

Tricia Hays said...

Good grief, that's exactly what I'd be worrying about, the still falling thru the floor! =0
That's a lot of people under one roof... can you imagine the tension in that house?!

I love going to Alley Spring, but don't get up there as much as I'd like... I'd love to go camping there.
Good to find someone else that knows a place I post about =)

Rose said...

It is amazing what people can live through and live to tell about.