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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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Old John Smith

By Seymour Ketive, '39

The Magpie, June 1937, v. 21, n. 2., p. 50.

Old John Smith was employed by the Wonder Automobile Corporation. His job was to see that the bolts were on the wheels good and tight.

But Old John was in a rather uncomfortable situation. The Wonder Automobile Corporation was having union trouble and with not one union but two! Already most of the workers had joined either of the organizations, and a battle royal was breaking out for those who had not yet enlisted.

Old John had already been approached by members of the unions, who vehemently talked up the virtues of each union respectively. At first, these representatives were very cordial, and forced smiles to play across their faces. But as Old John refused to comply with their wishes, their pleasant demands changed to dire threats.

The next day Old John did not show up for work; nor did he appear for the whole week. "Must of took those threats seriously," laughed the union heads—and sent someone to his home to find out what had happen. As the representative came upon Old John's house, he was astounded to see him in the best of health loafing on the porch. Approaching him, he demanded to know how John stood.

Old John smiled knowingly and pulled from his pocket an official looking paper.

"I don't," he said and then pointed to the paper. "Social Security," he laughed!

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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