Great Depression survivors uncertain of nation's mettle





LEXINGTON - John Quinlan was never in a hurry to leave Fenway Park after a Red Sox game. During the Great Depression, pure joy was precious.

Quinlan and his childhood friends from Lexington learned at an early age to be frugal. That's why they liked double-headers - two games for the price of one, about $1.

"We had to get our money's worth," he said. "We'd go and see batting practice and 18 innings of baseball, and hang around and look for autographs afterward."

Quinlan, 92, said today's financial crisis gives him a creepy sense of déjà vu. "I don't see any resolutions coming out of it," he said. "That's the scary part."

He and other New Englanders who lived through the decade-long economic morass of the 1930s vividly recall the bank failures, bread lines, and rampant unemployment that followed the stock market crash, best remembered for Black Tuesday, which occurred 79 years ago tomorrow - Oct. 29, 1929. And they question whether a nation accustomed to getting more of everything can now make do with less. Their fears echo the results of a CNN poll released last week in which four out of 10 respondents said they believe a depression is likely within the next year.



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