Hypse Bros.

A City Store at Your Door Spencer, Nebraska

“You’ll forget the past, folks, and take new interest in the present when you read what Hypse Bros. offer as a contribution to the NEW DEAL in high quality merchandise.  Take advantage of these bargains.”  Oh, and “highest price paid for eggs during this sale.”

So reads the Hypse Bros. ad in the Spencer Advocate circa 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed his New Deal to a beleaguered nation.  A positive direction after succumbing to “a chicken in every pot” mantra that didn’t work to bring the US out of the depression.  

Family gossip whispered that Dean Dorothy, a relative by marriage to Edger Hypse, jumped out of a window when the stock market crashed but the 1933 census indicated that Dean worked in a store in Spencer, Nebraska.  He may have speculated and lost it all in the 1929 crash.  The depression was tough on the Hypse Bros. and the store finally closed with too many eggs in one basket.  The farmers didn’t have any money so they bought on credit or with farm products during hard times.  Too many eggs and chickens and corn; too many unpaid accounts.

With the war in full swing, Edger finally picked up his family and meager belongings and headed west to 3522 West Boulevard, Los Angeles where I just happened to live and be about three years old.  He lost his store but not his quest as an entrepreneur. He opened a “soda” shop in south LA and I remember chocolate malts mixing in those metal containers on green mixers.  It didn’t make it.  He and my grandmother ran a hamburger stand in downtown LA.  I remember eating a hamburger and downing an orange soft drink. Flipping burgers one day he fell over dead-I was 4 years old.  I don’t remember much about my grandfather other than my middle name is Edgar and being promised to have his pocket watch when I grew up.  I grew up, kinda, but have no idea what happened to the watch.

The “New Deal Sale” ad listed Gem coffee at 23 cents per pound, an 11 ounce can of pineapple for 5 cents, men’s suits at $9.85, women’s bloomers at 29 cents and child’s patent strap shoes for 98 cents.  Inflation over the last 90 years is calculated at 2,000 percent according to the internet.  Today a pound of coffee comes in a 11.3 ounce can and costs $3.83 at Walmart. 

The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1936. It responded to needs for relief, reform, and recovery from the Great Depression.  President Roosevelt is looked upon as an idol but fuzzy since it took a war to turn around the nation.  His New Deal espoused Social Security for our workers.  We would pay into it with every paycheck and at 65 we would collect a nice retirement check each month.  A pay-as-you- go system that became a Ponzi scheme as our good fathers in congress refuse to step on the third rail of our political system.  Too hot of a subject to touch: too scary to raise the pay-day deductions.  Also, we were expected to die at 65 anyway so it didn’t matter until we didn’t (die).  

Some call this socialism yet we paid into it with the expectation to get it back—it wasn’t intended to become an entitlement. 

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