Great Depression Days: Area man shares memories with studentsPublished 10:00am Sunday, December 15, 2013
Click here to subscribe and skip the survey.
Peck Vaughan is living history. That’s why sixth grade reading and language arts teacher Michelle Case asked Vaughan to talk to her class about the Great Depression and what life was like in the 1930s.
Vaughan is known around town for being a teacher, humanitarian and volunteer. Vaughan said he taught at Loyd Star for years, and enjoyed the opportunity to educate the new generation at the school.
“I taught a lot of these kids’ grandparents and great-grandparents,” he said.
Case’s sixth-graders just finished reading “Where The Red Fern Grows,” written by Wilson Rawls about a boy and his dogs set in the 1930s, and she wanted to find someone who’d lived during that time.
For a demonstration of what his school lunch consisted of back in the 1930s, Vaughan brought a sweet potato and a biscuit in a small paper bag.
“That’s what I got everyday,” he said, “I was one of the lucky ones.”
Sixth grade students Austin Case and Shelby Carlisle said they were shocked by the simple lunch and the other things common in the 1930s.
“He said everybody was poor,” Case said. “He said everybody he knew was poor, and that they didn’t notice it when the Great Depression hit.”
Carlisle said the thing that left an impression more than anything else was the stories about Vaughan’s mother who served as a mid-wife.
“He talked about infant mortality and how lucky we are to have the medical technology that we have today.”
The students were impressed with the idea that Vaughan’s mother made all of their clothes, that a community would come together for things like a hog-killing or making molasses, that the price of a movie ticket was only 50 cents, that Coke and popcorn were 5 cents, and that his family’s first car was a used Model T Ford.
Prices like that might still have been a little steep for a kid making only 50 cents a day picking cotton as Vaughan did when still a school boy.