And though Shirley Temple and Phyllis Diller appeared to have great differences in their talent to entertain, and the enormity of juxtaposition in their lifestyle and attitudes, they accomplished great similarity within their abilities to bring joy to people during some of our country’s most trying times. Both of these ladies were far more as references in aiding humanity than what the general population became aware of during their entertaining lifetime.
It appears to folks today that those days of the Great Depression were different than they are now, but…were they?
It was the Great Depression from August 1929 to March 1933, a duration of 43 months. The reported unemployment rate was in excess of 10%. The United States/Population in 1933 was 125.6 M (and if you’re interested, we have tripled our population size during the course of the last eighty-eight years). The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic disaster, everyone suffered by its toll.
One of the things my mother and father agreed about in our household: laughing and smiling were all the ingredients necessary for stimulating happiness and some very deep conversations. Both Phyllis Diller and Shirley Temple Black were two of the more vibrant entertainers supplying grit for salvation during the misery engulfing our entire country.
Like most kids existing in a happy household, none of us were aware of the trying times our parents were going through for so many years; forty-three months in our case. As a very little kid, I took great joy helping my dad shovel snow during the early evenings when he returned home from whatever job he was able to find. I was never told he was being paid to shovel that damn snow. I remember seeing my mom and older sister rubbing dad’s back. I was far too young to understand as a three-year-old—they told me they were playing a game.
And then one day, the shoveling of our neighbor’s snow came to an end. It was time for World War II to enter our lives; little da harv had matriculated to the seventh grade, junior high school. Little da harv was now a ripe thirteen-year-old.
1941: Good-bye Depression, Welcome World War II