During the great depression and dust bowl period of United States history was tough for many businesses, farmers, and families. Banks in America were going broke left and right at this time. During this time period they also had found some inventive ways to heat their home, such as corn cobs, wood or even coal. During dry years when farmers didn?t have enough bedding for the cattle they would find great big tumble weeds and use those. During the great depression money was scarce so money for entertainment was also scarce.
?The folks were always worried about losing the farm? Says Loretta Buysee. When the Ghent bank went broke, her family lost 500 dollars, a large sum of money at the time. Loretta says ?it was a screwy deal at the time, if you had money in the bank and it crashed, it was gone, but if you took a loan from the bank and it crashed, they still wanted the money they loaned to you?. ?To heat the house was a big chore to do? says Bud Gregoire, he said, they would chop wood in the grove all summer long. He also said that the youngest brother had to walk to the railroad crossing in town and buy some coal off the train for a dollar and odd cents when they could afford it. ?Nothing was wasted? said Bud, they would feed the pigs a whole cob of corn, and go back the next day and pick up the cobs and save those to heat the house.
During the dryer years when they couldn?t afford to make cattle bedding, the family would go out and pick tumble weeds out of groves, ditches, anywhere they could find them. ?I hated picking those tumble weeds? says Loretta. ?They poked my fingers, and it was hard to pull the weeds out sometimes?, commented Bud. Loretta said, when they were all don?t picking tumble weeds, they would pick out the biggest one, and that one would be used as a Christmas tree, because the family couldn?t afford to chop down an ever green tree for Christmas.
During this time period entertainment was hard to come by, so when they got home sometime, they would go out and find the turkey the family owned. And Loretta said us four kids chased that turkey for hours, and we did this till they had gotten a tail feather. When they got the tail feather they would find a corn cob, and stick the feather into the cob, and throw it and see who?s cob went the furthest. Bud said every Friday night Ghent would have a free movie, and everyone came to see the free movie, Said Bud.
Bud said, ?My mother had so many chickens and so many eggs that when she went to town to sell the eggs, she came home with flour, sugar, salt, cloths, and school supplies for the kids and still brought home money?. Bud said the family had 3 cows that they milked every day, and those 3 cows supplied milk for their family and the family up the road, the surrounding community worked together to survive, he said they traded milk and eggs for flour sometimes, or vegetables other times.
Bud said ?schools were two to three miles apart, and when his older siblings stopped going to school and he still did, he was the only kid being taught in the school. He said I was the only one in the school for four years.
During the great depression, times were hard; families did everything they could do to survive. ?Waste not, Want not? Bud?s parents told him, they were both told by their parents that to be careful of what they sign their name on. And buds parents told him that he shouldn?t buy something if you can?t pay for it. They both said that the great depression has changed their thinking, and that without the great depression in their lifetime, they would have done things that they didn?t.