Tag Archives: Great Depression

For Valentine's Day this year I thought I would share with you one of my favorite family treasures.

Yep.  That is an old advertising flyer.  It's from Live Oak, CA.  From Benton's store, which I don't remember.  But men's dress pants were only $4.98!

Ok, so it' not the advertisement that holds such a dear place in my heart.  It's what was written on the back of this advertisement that touches my heart and makes me thankful to be a part of the family that I am.  But first a little back story.

My great grandmother Annette Smith (Smigkelski), a good Polish-American girl, fell in love with and married my great grandfather Horace Patterson, a good Irish-American boy in the early 1900's.  Isn't she just adorable?  And check out the socks on the little guy on the left!

Grandpa was a mason and painter by trade.  But he was also a writer of sorts.  He was never published, that I know of.  But we have a few remnants of his scribblings.  Some letters.  Some prose.  Some poetry.  He is remembered by my Grandma Shirley (one of his 2 daughters) as being one of the sweetest, kindest men and it shows in his writings.  Here is a picture of him from 1928.  I love this picture, it reminds me of something out of Pollyanna.  And I think he is so handsome, I wish I could squeeze him.

He used to write letters to my Grandma Annette when they were courting and he was off working out of town.

Shortly after they were married and after my Grandma Shirley was born the Great Depression hit.  Jobs were scarce and men (and women) had to travel great distances to find work.  So Grandpa Horace traveled away from their home in Springfield, IL to search out work so he could provide for his girls.  They wrote many letters back and forth, desperately trying to keep each other up to date on life.  He would write about people at work and his surroundings.  She would write about their growing girls and family back home.  They are the sweetest letters.

Now fast forward to the ad.  It doesn't say what year it was printed but since it was in Live Oak I know it had to have been much later, I would have to guess somewhere between the 40's & 50's.  I don't know the particulars as to why he chose the back of this ad.  I don't know if he mailed it to her or if he just left it on the table one day for her to find.  I don't know much about it except that Grandpa loved Grandma.

If you're having a hard time reading it, this is what it says:

On our Anniversary-

I thank you for the pleasantries I've known,

I thank you for our daughters grown,

I thank you for your love that has shown

Down this road we have traveled on.

I thank you for the years that are gone,

My wonderful,


Wonderful One.

True love, my friends.  Happy Valentine's Day.