Living in the Depression

May 21, 2010
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It's October 9th, 1929. I'm an average kid living in a very loud and busy city. I wake up to the horn of yellow Taxi cabs and the scream of the angry pedestrians. These noises are what I often wake up to, because in New York, the city is never asleep. Every morning I do a ritual, which consists of taking a shower, brushing my teeth, and then having a quick bite before I'm off to school. Just like any other day, I go through my ritual and on my way to school I see the screaming pedestrians and the yellow taxis that almost hit me every time I walk outside. Just like any other day the city is alive and everyone is in a rush to get to work. At school, I take the stairs up to my classroom where I see my friends. We are all together just like any other day me and my best friends. Lunch was not great but it never is and of course we just sat there gossiping about our grade. Finally the bell rang at 3:15, I was in a rush, my heart was pounding, my sweat was dripping, and my entire life was in a blur. I froze right there on the corner of 89th and Madison, the City was finally sleeping or was it dead. I did not know what was going on but the streets were deserted just like one of those cowboy standoffs. Except that it was me all alone stranded in a place very familiar to me. But at that point, the spot that I passed every day, I felt like my city, my home, and my life had changed. I was going crazy thinking is this a dream? Am I sleeping? I pinched my self, I was definitely not in a dream this was a reality. I continued to walk home and immediately threw every thing to the floor and did my morning ritual again to calm my nerves. It didn't work, I couldn't do my work without knowing what was going on in my favorite city in the entire world. I flicked on the radio listened to Franklin D. Roosevelt the President of the United States of America. His fireside chats were always very interesting and always informed me of local and worldwide news. He explained that our country was going into a financial crisis. I wasn't sure how it would effect me personally but I knew that liveliness of New York City would be lost for a while. I waited, watched, and listened to the streets of the City. Even the streets seemed to be feeling the change of the stock market. My dad would have all of the information that I would need to solve this blind mystery. He came home, he told me everything and I almost when into a depression. The Stock Market beat me, it hit a depression before I could.

October 10th, 1929. The world around me has changed. This morning, I didn't wake up to the horn of the yellow cab, or the scream of the angry pedestrian. They were not out today the streets were desolate. I think that this was the first time in the history of New York that the city was sleeping. Even though the City changed, my day still continued on as walked to school in the uncommonly empty and quiet streets of a familiar area. The streets were empty, not sole in the streets it was me and my backpack on a journey through hell. I finally reached school after a walk that took ten minutes but felt like an eternity. I got to homeroom where I found my friends sitting together sulking. We all talked about our families new struggles and we still could not imagine our new life. It was the worst, not knowing what will happen in the next couple days. My parents are making the whole issue worse they are taking away my allowance and my freedom. I used to get a 2 dollar allowance per week and now I only get 25 cents. I no longer have the freedom to roam around the city with my friends because I wont have enough money to take the bus more than once. My parents say its a lesson because in life, things usually don't go your way. I will survive because I always conquer tough obstacles. I will find a way to get around this depression. Maybe I will create a business.

My great grandfather's journal is really interesting. I can't believe my parents would hide this in the attic, more people need to know about his life story. He was a genius, he created McPhearson Enterprise: the one company in the United States that became a success during the Great Depression. There are at least 300 pages in these journal collections I have got to continue reading. Then again I still have 4 hours of homework. High School is a drag you get loads of homework and you never have anytime to relax. I have to make time so that I can reveal my great grandfather's secret to his amazing company. There must be a secret in these journals that my parents are trying to hide from me and the rest of the world.

November 12, 2009. Today was the most eventful day of my entire life. I woke up and had a birthday breakfast which consisted of an omelet with a side of bacon and a bagel. It was great. At school all of my friends wished me a happy birthday and the teachers were pretty nice too. Except for the fact that they gave out homework. School was the least important thing on my mind. It was my birthday and I was excited for my party and for my gifts. My parents always hide mine in the attic. I went to the attic to see what they got me, I found a new video game. While I was up their I found a huge stack of books that I had never seen before. They were this greenish color, but the were covered in dust and cobwebs. I sneezed and coughed because of all the dust. I began to flip through the pages until I found the author. The first page of the book read Paul McPhearson. I knew my great grandfather was not an author, my parents had told me that he created McPhearson Enterprise our families company. I began to read a couple of the pages and realized that my grandfather had kept a journal about his life. There must be important information within the books. Why did my parents hide these? Is my grandfather hiding something in these books?

I just finished most of my homework. I think my dad should be home soon I could ask him about the books I found. He might be angry that I found them but it could be worth the risk.

“Hi, Dad, how was your day?” I asked.

“It was terrible. All of my friends are fighting because the boss is cutting back on employees.
Luckily I have a job secured because am the boss. This is my family company. It's terrible
though having to select a group of people to be fired when I am influenced by my friendship
with them and their productiveness in the company. How was your birthday?”

“It was pretty good. It wasn't to bad at school everyone was very nice. I made a new discovery today that you might like to see. It is up in the attic can I show you?”

“God damn it! You found you birthday present again. Your mother and I need to find a new hiding spot. I don't think I need to see something I already bought.”

“No, dad. I found something else after I found my birthday present. I think you need to see these. Do you want to see them now or tomorrow morning? They seem pretty important but it's up to you.”

“Sure I will check it out now. Let me get changed out of this annoying suit. I will see you up there.”

“Ok. Bring your reading glasses and a flashlight your going to need them.”

My Dad is being so chill, he is not at all worried about what I found. I wonder what his reaction will be when he finds out that I found my great grandfather's journal. Maybe he has already read them.

“Jack? Where are you?”

“I'm over here dad. Didn't you bring the flashlight that I told you to bring?”

“No, I forgot.”

“I will be right back just stay where you are we need flashlight to see. Did you at least bring the glasses?”

“Of course I did.” What is my son going to show me? I hope he has not discovered my grandfather's journals. If he does it could be a disaster. It would be to hard for him to hide my grandfather's secret. He could ruin my multimillion dollar company. Please god tell me he hasn't found the secret.

“Ok, I'm back. Follow me over to this desk.” We walked to the corner of the attic where I had found the journals earlier. The one I read was missing. “Dad, has anyone been up to the attic since I was here earlier?”

“No, son just me and you when we came up here a couple of minutes ago. Did you move them by any chance?”

“I don't believe I did. It is quite aggravating that we don't have lights up here. It would make this searching a lot easier.”

“I have got an idea. You go finish your homework, while I search for the books up here if I find them I will call you back up. Do you remember the color of the cover?” I hope that they weren't a greenish color because that is the color of my grandfather's journals.

“Dad, I'm sorry to say I didn't exactly see the color but they seemed to have a feint green color.”

“That should help me find them. Now go down stairs and I will stay up here and search.” What should I do with these books? I can't burn them its all I have left to remember my grandfather. I have a choice to make, I can either explain my grandfathers past to Jack or I can hide them and never talk to him about his past.

I did it, they are gone. My son will never find them under the floorboards. He can not know that my grandfather, the man who created my business, stole money from a bank in order to begin his company. He was very young and was puzzled by everything around he had no other choice but to steal money. I know that later on in his life he did pay back the bank, but if his secret does get out it could still put our company out of business.

“Son, I can't find those books. Do you want to talk about their contents?”

“Yes! They were Grandpa Paul's journals. He was the one that created McPhearson Enterprise right?”

“Yes, that was him. What did you read?”

“Well, I read about the depression and how he wanted to create a business but I never got to see how he began the company. Do you know how he did?”

“Uh...Yes I do, he began the company at very young age after he received a large amount of money from some elderly people.” I hope he does not question who gave him the money.

“Were they relatives or friends of his? Or did he steal it?”

Why did he ask that? I can't lie to my son? “He did steal it. I understand this might be shocking to you but you need to understand that no one and I mean no one not even mom can know about this. Do you understand?”

“Yes, but why did he steal couldn't he take loans?”

“Well he could have but under the circumstances he did not want to have the problem of paying them back if his company failed.”

“That makes sense, but why is this so important?”

“It is important because this is a lesson that with risk, reward can come, however, this does not mean that stealing is a good thing. It means that in life if you are passionate about something or even interested in it, you should pursue your dreams. That is what Grandpa did he pursued his dream in becoming a millionaire”

November 13, 2009. Today was an interesting day, my dad and I had one of our first real talks. We always talk about sports and school, but we have never discussed such important topics. I really felt like we were creating a stronger bond. I learned today that although I thought at first my Great Grandfather was a criminal but I later learned that he was a dreamer. He knew what he wanted and he achieved it, and know I know that I can do the same thing, minus the stealing. I understand that he stole and that it was not the best idea, but he did regret doing and later paid everyone back. I wish I still had his journals just so that I could read about the rest of his life. I wonder if my dad hid them, again?”

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Sarge said...
May 24, 2010 at 6:24 am
Beautiful writing!
admirerer said...
May 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm
awesome article
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