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Growing Up During the Great Depression

A Moline woman and her son have just completed a five-year project to record the history of her family. 

The book by Mable and Brad Harvey is called "A Dollar More," and it focuses on her growing up during the Great Depression in southern Illinois, and her eventual move to the Quad Cities.

Now 90, Mable Harvey helped bring up her six younger brothers.

"We were so poor we didn't realize there was a depression on. We didn't know we were as poor as we were I guess until we got older."

She writes the family moved often during her childhood, in Franklin, Hamilton, and Saline counties - where-ever her father could find work, including Thompsonville and Benton.  

Credit WVIK News
Mable and Brad Harvey

And she says they seldom saw doctors, as she writes, "For ear aches my father would light up his pipe and and blow warm smoke into my ear to break up any waxy residue. He treated a sore throat by placing a drop of turpentine on a teaspoon of sugar and making us swallow. For anything else he would shrug and pronounce, 'you get sick, you get well.'"

"Well I have such a big family and we've talked about this for a long time and we finally decided we better write some of it down for the younger generation."

She and her son spent five years going through her journals, talking to family members, and going through big popcorn cans filled with family pictures. 

Brad Harvey says their goal was to have the book finished by the time his mother turned 90, and they beat the deadline by 3 days. 

"A Dollar More" is available on Amazon, and edited by Linda Cook. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.