A child of the Depression looks back to those penny-pinching days.
As with many people from Tabler’s era, the Depression years would have a lasting effect on the author–the memory of deprivation ever present on his mind. Not only did the resourcefulness of his parents contribute to his prudent nature, but the Depression also taught him social commitment. The depth of â€œneighbor-to-neighbor” relationships, the generosity and concern folks had for one another, would become for Tabler a marker of how good people can carry on during hard times. The author writes of this part of his life with insight and sympathy, acknowledging simultaneously the hardships and the communal strength of the time. He recalls an America working together to survive, cold nights, frozen cistern pumps, frightening medical challenges and FDR’s morale-boosting radio fireside chats. When his father moved the family from the town to the country, exchanging factory for field, Tabler was introduced to working the land. These early days of vegetable plots and the satisfaction of watching a seedling break through the soil made a significant impact on the author. A perspicacious high-school football coach later recommended that Tabler seek his calling in the fields, and so he earned a doctorate in dairy agriculture. Tabler charts his journey to adulthood with an endearing colloquial frankness, and like many memoirs, works chronologically, forging forward with little time spent on critical reflection. Still, his anecdotes of college life and his relationship with close friend Muggs, the courting of his wife Pat–shown through her quaint letters to her parents–and the storied values of his family reflect a time of hard work, optimism and resolve. The author reports on the birth of their children, his research and building their dream home–all carried out with the perseverance and sense of purpose born from his Depression days.
A gentle memoir that captures a poignant time in American history.