My mother and father grew up in the Great Depression. They were seven years old when the bottom fell out. My mother -- whose family was pretty much unaffected by the Depression -- used to tell of a boy in her hometown who was nicknamed "Acorn." She told it as a funny story, but it always made me so very sad. Most things my mother found funny, I found sad or distressing.
Acorn Smith had gotten his nickname because as the eldest son, he would collect acorns for his mother and younger siblings to eat. Oak tree acorns; very bitter. His mother, a widow, would evidently soak them in lye and change the water again and again -- much as cassava or manioc is prepared in South America. The lye bath leaches most of the bitter tannins out of the acorn meat, which can then be ground into meal and eaten like any nut flour. A mother would have be quite resourceful and equally desperate to use acorn flour to feed her children.
My mother had her own demons, and I think they made her rather mean-spirited. She would tell with delight about her brother shooting Acorn with his BB gun as he would stoop to gather the acorns, and poor Acorn crying "like a baby" and yelping but having to stay and pick enough for their needs.
This graphic is in honor of Acorn Smith and his mother, who quietly went about their way, gleaning what they could from Nature and gratefully eating their daily bread. I don't know what happened to them; I hope better days came and that Acorn made it through WWII and went on to have a bit more of life's bounty than bitter bread and the derision of unfeeling peers. God Bless you, Acorn.