When Fred was a boy, he heard his mother
talk about Grandpa going to town during WWI
to sell the bounty of his harvest.
On his farm he had eggs, butter and milk,
vegetables and meat. He’d buy sugar, coffee,
a few other things he couldn’t grow or raise.
When WWI ended Grandpa lost everything.
He had barns full of grain the government no longer
wanted. They cancelled his contract.
The Depression struck and farmers like Grandpa
were devastated. They lost everything.
A few years later Grandpa died without a cent.
As a boy Fred stood at Grandpa's grave and listened
to his mother talk about the times when Grandpa’s yard
was full of buggies pulled by horses on a Sunday afternoon.
Grandma cooked for hours to feed the families
who came to visit, quite a contrast from the empty yard
after Grandpa lost everything.
Fred thought about Grandpa when the Dow hit 20,000
and investors everywhere were giddy with glee.
But Grandpa’s life taught Fred things go up and down.
When Grandpa had money, everyone wanted to see him.
They pulled up in buggies for a meal on Sunday afternoons.
Then poverty made him a pauper his friends no longer knew.