Californians who lived through Great Depression give advice

The Sacramento BeeMarch 20, 2009 

It's a familar scenario: laid-off workers, banks in trouble and government intervention. More than 30,000 residents in the Sacramento region are 85 or older, and have vivid memories of the nation's last big financial upheaval — the Great Depression. On Thursday, four who lived through the Depression in the 1930s gave advice for surviving today's tough economic times: Be frugal, be careful with money and avoid too much borrowing.

Genevieve Cobb, 100, was a schoolteacher in Skiatook, Okla., during the Great Depression.

"I don't think the Depression affected my life much because my father had a job in the oil fields. And I was teaching. So I don't remember any hardship except the banks closed. The folks worked hard. They had their own chickens and milk.

"Today, there are too many charge cards. People ought to get rid of those charge cards. You can't go on living on borrowed money all the time."

Roy Lofing, 87, founder of Lofing's Lighting in midtown, lived in south Sacramento during the Depression.

"We went through hard times, but Dad always provided. He was laid off at the Southern Pacific railroad shops, and he got another job someplace else. My mom took care of us kids. She made a lot of our clothes. All I know is that when times get bad you don't go out and squander."

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