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Memories of the Depression Serve Seniors Well Through Today's Tough Times

By Leila Taha and Hannah Kim
Maryland Newsline
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

GREENBELT, Md. - Senior citizens in Old Greenbelt are no strangers to hardship. Some lived through the Great Depression, and their experiences have helped them handle current economic hardships.

William Souser, 76, a retired repariman for Verizon, remembers as a young boy helping his family through the Depression by doing odd jobs to supplement the family's income. Souser considers himself lucky now to have a good pension from his former employer. 

Cold baths before school are a vivid memory for Rose Reminick, whose father was ill and couldn't work during the Depression. "They didn't have money to turn on the boiler," she recalls. Now, Reminick notices her husband's pension must be streched further to cover the high price of electricity and health care.

Eleanor Rimar, 85, says her father was able to keep a job during the Depression. "We didn’t have luxuries, but we had food on the table, and we had clothes.” Today, she says, she has been largely insulated from the recession with the help of her  federal pension and healthcare provided by the government. “I just watch how I spend,” she says.

Hear more from these three below, as they share memories during a seniors' lunch at the Greenbelt Community Center.

William Souser, 76

Rose Reminick

Eleanor Rimar, 85

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Copyright 2009 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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