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Monday, February 09, 2015


By the time young Tommy Glover was born in 1933, the American tragedy known as the "Great Depression" was four years old. Ten years later, as can be seen in the photo on the right, the Glover family, and many others of my generation were still struggling to survive. Unlike the unfortunate family in the left photo who have no home and live in a shack, we had our Hartley Avenue home along with a very sizeable garden, a large flock of chickens, and the Arena family who lived next door to us, where Moms Glover and Arena bartered chickens and eggs for pasta and other Italian necessities. As I look back on those years, and see that photo of me in the hand-me-down jacket that came from my older brother Len, who passed it down to my next older brother Bud, then down to me. Ironically, I, nor any of my fellow Kuser School classmates didn't know we were poor. It wasn't until World War II that the economy surged upward as millions of jobs became available to the vast number of unemployed Americans.


Ron Bound Sr said...

The Arena family next door. I remember Dad being friends with Arena, maybe George also. I seem to remember a newspaper clipping about Arena, maybe about War service, like Dad. Since Mom and Dad lived near you, probably explains the connection.
Ron Bound

Anonymous said...

From another child of the depression!
My sister Lillian (Zuccarelli) now deceased used to say; " we were not poor, just short of cash"! Just yesterday, I spoke of wearing my brother's hand me downs, and stuffing paper in his shoes so I could walk without them falling off my feet. Once I grew out of them, they were passed on to a neighbor's son, who was the oldest of 13 children. Food was never a problem, since my dad work for a local company that bought hides and skins from the local slaughter houses. Being on the killing floor, gave my Dad an opportunity to pick through the "Bone Barrel" from which he extract the "ox tails, and would alos take a head or two, and pick it clean for what meat could be found. Each night after work, he would walk a block from his shop, and pass out his gleanings from the bone barrel. Many of our neighbors; black and White, enjoy a good pot of Oxtail soup or stew many a night. Mom would make do with whatever he brought home, and the home gardens supplied the vegatables. Today we marvel at the way our parents raised 8 kids, and dozens of relatives, and friends through those "bone barrels".
The memory of it all is imbued in my mind.
happy days are here again. Now you pay through the nose for Ox tails. Which by the way, was my brother in law Johnny Zuccarelli's favorite dish requested of my mother.
Best, and Fond regards
Mike Kuzma

JoeB said...

Mike: I grew up in the Berg. Mott, Hudson, Elmer, Bayard Streets, Robeling and Franklin. The only Blacks I remember were living next to the Bijou Theater. I have To admit that I don't remember coming in contact with any Blacks growing up until Junior Four.

Anonymous said...


Apparently you mistook my notes for having grown up in CHAMBERSBURG. I did not, My neighborhood was bounded by the Delaware Rive, Bridge St., South Broad.
We had a wonderful mix of ethenictisities
who during the depression got along beautifully.
Didn't Charcoal work for Bennett's coal company off of Mott St? I went to Jr. 4 with his sister Santina Chiarello.
That was 1946. What year did you attend Jr. 4?

Mike Kuzma

JoeB said...

Mike I graduated Junior Four in 1945 Class A49C. I guess you were a year behind me. I tried to fine you in the Argus, but two many classes to look for names without knowing the class.