Buzzardtown was feeling the effects of the Great Depression in 1936. The country overwhelmingly elected Democrats to office in 1932 on their promise to end the hard times but four years into Franklin Roosevelt’s first term found Buzzardtown worse off than before. There was no end in sight for the national blight. Fathers of families were hoboing around the country looking for a chance. School enrollments plummeted as young men enrolled in CCC programs and others left to try to find work. Farmers could not pay their property taxes, let alone mortgage payments. Foreclosures were at an all time high. People were having a tough time finding enough to eat.
Uncle Zeke put to verse a description of the hard times in the Buzzardtown community.
Found Buzzardtown in a heck of a fix –
Grafton Riffle just had one penny,
And Bill Beckner didn’t have any.
Mrs. Sharp was all in a splutter,
For she only had a spoonful of butter;
C. H. Chrislip had one bite of meat,
And Uncle Zeke had nothing to eat.
It took Joe Jeffries about one hour
To hunt up a spoonful or two of flour;
Wade Mick had a piece of a cracker,
And A. C. Sharp one chew of tobacker.
Early Riffle put out the word
He only had a ham of a bird;
I hope we’ll all have nothing to fear,
And plenty to eat throughout the year.