Life During the Great Depression

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Highlighting Historical Romance with Patricia Kiyono on the Great Depresson and its impact on ordinary folks.

The years in American history known as the Great Depression had a lasting effect on the people who lived through it. Though my father wasn’t one to complain, he mentioned a few things about his childhood that told me his family didn’t have much. And later on, when I began to research my family’s history in America, I found this picture in my local museum’s archives. It shows a line of women and children outside what is called the Clinic for Infant Feeding. The woman standing in the foreground is my grandmother, and my father is the smaller boy holding her hand. Like many during that time, they needed help to provide the basics. Grandpa was an artist who designed and painted exquisite pieces of wood furniture, but suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and was no longer able to work. Grandma took in laundry and did other odd jobs to feed the family.

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Clinic for Infant Feeding [photograph]. (1929). Grand Rapids, MI. Coll. 141-10-17, Grand Rapids Historical Society Records Collections. Grand Rapids Public Library. Retrieved December 1, 2019 from History Grand Rapids. Org:

Those who were wealthy before the crash fell into two camps, depending on the source of their wealth. Some were not affected by the stock market and continued to live lives of privilege. Others lost most or all of their wealth. They may not have suffered in the same way as much of the working class, but many had a sudden change in lifestyle. They had to learn to do many of the things servants had previously done for them. Some were unable to deal with this change, but others faced it head on. Strong people like this were the inspiration for Rose, the heroine of my story Searching for Lady Luck.

About the Book: Searching for Lady Luck

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Only seven years have passed since Rose Sheffield was a carefree college student, though it seems like a lifetime ago. Now she works at menial jobs to support herself and her mother, and they live in what used to be their vacation home in Wildwood, New Jersey. Rose’s days are pure drudgery, until she meets Charlie. As luck would have it, she just happens to have the perfect place to display his artwork.

Before the Great Stock market crash of 1929, Charlie Brannigan was hailed as an up and coming artist in Manhattan. But now he’s back at his family home in Wildwood, delivering newspapers in the mornings and selling his paintings on the Boardwalk in the afternoons. He needs some luck in his life, and it seems every time a pretty lady named Rose appears, good things happen.

Searching for Lady Luck can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

About the Author

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level.

She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.

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Patricia Kiyono can be found on Amazon and at her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest


Clinic for Infant Feeding [photograph]. (1929). Grand Rapids, MI. Coll. 141-10-17, Grand Rapids Historical Society Records Collections. Grand Rapids Public Library. Retrieved December 1, 2019 from History Grand Rapids. Org:

7 thoughts on “Life During the Great Depression

  1. What a find that historical society picture is! Kudos to you for finding it!
    My family also has stories from the Great Depression. My Italian grandfather was laid off from the zinc mill and built an outdoor oven in his backyard to bake bread for his wife and six boys. And my late brother-in-law’s father, a skilled laborer, broke both his legs and couldn’t work, so his wife went to work for the railroad as their first female electrician. Imagine?! What a time that was!
    Thanks for sharing your story, Patty!

    • I agree, it was a great find! I would never have known about it if I hadn’t done an internet search for my grandfather’s name! Thanks for visiting.

  2. This was a lovely post! I loved the pictures and information. I’ll be adding this book to my list!

  3. History is always so interesting, and especially during the Great Depression when wits and ingenuity played an important role. I enjoyed the pictures.

  4. Oh my gosh, what a treasure that photo is!! Your book sounds wonderful. Congrats and best wishes!

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