Tri-City Survivors Of The Great Depression Live To Compare It To The Economy In 2009 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-City Survivors Of The Great Depression Live To Compare It To The Economy In 2009

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PASCO, Wash.-- It was 1929. The start of one of the greatest economic depressions in history.

In 2009 for many it seems like history repeats itself. But who better to tell the difference than those who live to tell.

"I appreciate that it is serious at this time, but I still think the great depression was worse because the people didn't have as much at that time, and to take it away from them left them with very little," said Mary Bridges, a resident at Hawthorne Court in Kennewick.

Mary Bridges is 102 years old. She graduated college in 1929 and worked as a teacher.

"They didn't have the money when the depression came so we were paid in warrants, the warrants were 6% provided you could hold them>," said Bridges.

Unlike Mary, Edith Winkler was a young girl back then, but still remembers some of the struggles.

"There were four cottages there for widows who had no support, so I knew there was someone that had problems," said Winkler.

Next to Edith is Mary Munekiyo. She's 99 years old and says compared to 1929 people now don't have it as bad.

"People are not starving or looking for food or anything, you know, they're really better financially off than when they had the depression," said Munekiyo.

Mary Pontarolo Kraus who lived in East Pasco says many were homeless.

"When I would walk to school I would see dozens of men sitting on the cement with their backs next to the stores down by the underpass," said Kraus.

Mary says back then people were very conscious of saving water and electricity.

"Just constant reminders of our parents because of necessity, didn't hurt me a bit. I think it made me stronger," said Kraus.