Posts Tagged ‘financial crisis’

A Moment in Time

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I’m fascinated by the clues found in historical records. Sure, the outcome is often known, but the details can change the modern reader’s perspective. I love to imagine a moment in the past, when in command of some facts and moved by imagination, I recreate a moment to better understand its significance.

A picture on a calendar from 1929 gave me such a moment.  It’s a beautifully mounted photograph of a sunny child with two German Shepards.

The 1920’s were kind to small farm towns in the Midwest. The post-world war years were times of plentiful rains and good crops. Irene, South Dakota had a lively main street and thriving businesses, including Johnson Bros. & Iverson General Merchandise. Down the street, my grandfather operated C.H. Gunderson & Son, the son being my dad who was born in 1923. Grandfather sold tractors and cattle.

We know that in late October of 1929, a different era began. Within a few years, the rains stopped, the dust blew, and prosperity was a memory.

The current financial crisis has often reminded me of the stories I’ve read and heard from my parents about their childhood years in a lean time. This image from the calendar is both optimistic and bittersweet. It reminds me of the waves and rolls of time: what we keep, what we must relinquish, and what is sometimes gone against our wishes.