I woke up at 4:00 am to get ready for work. As I sat up, I felt a trickle of water slowly run down my arm and realized the roof was still leaking. I put on a pair of musty pants and slowly laced my steel toe boots that were being held together by tape. Silently, I walked to the kitchen stepping over two children that were sleeping on the floor of our one bedroom house. I picked up my lunch box and opened the lid. I had saved some bread from the day before and looked in the pantry for additional food. Breakfast wasn’t going to be an option this morning as there simply wasn’t enough food for the family. I placed some dried jerky in my lunch along with an apple and closed the lid. My water jug was filled from the previous night so I grabbed that and made my way out the front door. A late arrival to work would surely result in an immediate dismissal. I started the two mile walk to work to make sure I arrived by the assigned 5:00 am start time. On my way I passed lines of men and women hoping to get a job along with people waiting in line for food; some just hoping to get a loaf of bread for their families. After ten hours of hard manual labor at the local steel factory the bell sounded and it was time to begin the journey home. As I pulled my lunchbox and water jug out of my locker, my stomach let out a growl. I quickly took a drink of water to quiet it down. My hands throbbed from a long hard day at work and my socks were slightly moist from the blood that was oozing from the blisters on my heals. I headed out into the cold and begin the trek home to my family. The sun was already down as I walked in the front door and I could smell some kind of soup being cooked. My children ran to me and each held on to a leg with unbelievable strength. The rest of the evening included listening to the radio and playing board games with my loved ones as I relished these memories.
In the 1930s the Great Depression hit the United States. During this time people were down, but they weren't out. People had to work extremely hard to not only make ends meet, but survive and provide shelter and food for their families. In order for families to meet their basic needs, people rallied together and extended helping hands to neighbors, co-workers, and more. This family-type atmosphere was prevalent throughout the nation as people shared housing, food, and other necessities. The life skills of focus, execution, accountability, and resilience were demonstrated in all walks of life and Americans battled to survive this time period in history.
The characteristics of hard work, family spirit, and life skills that were prevalent during the Great Depression will be represented through the visual representation of a metal lunchbox and the student-athletes at Whitney will live the PACK YOUR LUNCH mantra.