Oct 26 2010

Washington Irving was born the year the Revolutionary War ended, in 1783. Because the new country had a new President named George Washington, many children born around the time the Revolutionary War ended were named after the President. So, Washington Irving grew up in New York City and was the kind of child that searched for adventure. He was fascinated with life and everything that happened in it. Eventually, he went to study in Europe as many young people did, and when he returned, he was considered America’s first great literary figure. He wrote the collection of stories called, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman. Both of Washington Irving’s famous stories of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” are found in this collection.

But we at Sunbonnet Smart have another reason to consider this successful author, acclaimed on two continents. Washington Irving, at one time in his life, went bankrupt! It is interesting the bankruptcy had to be declared in the Irving family for the same reason many people declared bankruptcy today, not for spending foolishly, but because of medical emergencies that deplete personal assets, the income of which is also severely limited by the ill person’s loss of salary.

In 1815 his brother Peter, who was in charge of the Liverpool office of the family import business, had fallen ill and the family company was not doing well. As Washington Irving was in England on a non-business trip at the time, it was natural that he stay and help Peter out by trying to run the family business. Although he worked hard for two years, he could not pull the company out of it’s decline and had to declare bankruptcy.

It is noteworthy that because of hardship, because of a negative life incident like bankruptcy, Washington Irving turned to seriously publishing his writing to bring in extra income. And what a wonderful thing for all of us that he did. It is just amazing how many downturns are actually just a shift in our options. Because of hardship, we end up trying things we never would have otherwise. Trust me when I say this, as I am now a web master. Who would have known?

It is interesting that Washington Irving’s hardships in managing a declining business and suffering through two years of worry over finances encouraged his flexible temperament. This positive attitude will be recognized as an asset to a productive future by all Sunbonnet Smart readers. It is noted that he once wrote in a letter to his brother William, Jr., “I endeavor to take things as they come with cheerfulness and when I cannot get a dinner to suit my taste, I endeavor to get a taste to suit my dinner”.

This Disney version of Washington Irving’s
Legend of Sleepy Hollow was first televised
on October 26, 1955, exactly 55 years ago TODAY!

If you are interested in a nice version of the classic
“Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle, hover
your mouse over this link:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Rip Van Winkle (Treasury of Illustrated Classics – Series UPC 39360)

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Filed under: Bankruptcy,Money — admin @ 3:06 pm Comments (0)
Oct 17 2010

Soup kitchens were and are well attended. Here the Navy
staffs a recent soup kitchen in Salinas, California

The Great Depression and what is happening today financially seem very similar. No matter how these times are labeled compared to the Great Depression, there was hardship then and I know there is a great deal of hardship now.  That’s from practical experience, from reading books and searching the Internet and I’ve learned it must take a great deal of research to sort it all out.

I never feel like I’ve gotten to the heart of the matter with all of my questions answered.  So, as there is safety in numbers, I’ve decided to take you with me to see what you think about it all and share some information, hoping that you’ll respond about what’s happening to you where you are in the country, or the world.

First, here is an interesting comparison page on CNN, that you can access by clicking here.

Then I found an article, also on CNN, that says this is definitely a recession and not another depression and explains the ramifications of each, and you can find that here.

This video finds more similarities than not between the Depression and whatever is happening today, however you want to label it. To me the video was helpful in adding another point of view. Love the song, by the way…

Housing Bubble vs. Great Depression

Then, to top it off, here is an article on saying that the only difference between a depression and a recession is the length of time…whoa! After all we’ve learned in other places, that’s heavy. You can see in the article that “a depression is a protracted recession.” Here, you can read it yourself,  or read this except to get the gist of the discussion:

Recession versus Depression:

“It’s pretty easy to understand depressions once you get the concept of recessions. A depression is simply a prolonged or particularly excruciating recession. Economists don’t really have a watermark to indicate a depression. Believe it or not, there’s even an economists’ joke that describes the ambiguity between recessions and depressions: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your job [If you need a more technical explanation, click here.] While the presence of a recession is debatable, when a depression hits, the issue is no longer up for debate.”

H-m-m-m. Sorta’ seems like when you’re a kid and ask grown-ups, “How will I know when I fall in love?”

They always answer, “Oh…YOU’LL know.”

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Filed under: Bankruptcy,Money — admin @ 8:40 pm Comments (0)

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