Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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The name of my interviewee is Mrs. Marilyn Van Sant. We mutually decided to meet at her house on Sunday, April 1st at 6:30 p.m. Marilyn is my paternal grandmother and she was more than happy to help. She was born October 10, 1930, in South Gate, California and lived there until she graduated from high school. Seeing as how the Depression took place primarily between the years of 1930-1933, we decided to look through my great-grandmothers eyes (who has passed on) as well. Her name is Madeleine Pettijohn, and she was born November 13, 1909, in Prescott, Arizona. Proceeding infancy, she grew up in Bouse, Arizona where her father dispatched the local railroad. Today my grandmother lives in Newport Crest, and teaches at Cal State Long Beach.

1. When was the first time you remember hearing about or recognizing what the Great Depression first meant? Around 1938, when I was eight years old, I recall hearing stories of a difficult time.

2. What one image do you picture when you think of the Depression? People in soup lines, people committing suicide over lost stocks and bonds, people leaving their homes. A return to basics- no frivolous buying, only the necessary. Special work projects sponsored by the government. People returning to "investing in themselves." A return to churches, value of education, and a distrust of banks- where money couldn't be withdrawn.

3. How did your family manage in those times? My father was a banker at Bank of America and we lived comfortably. Father had enough money to cover and cash checks within the family (for they had jobs that did not pay regularly, or had lost jobs). He put a dollar on the mantle for mother to shop for the day.

4. Where did you live and how did...