Part 7 The Thirties.

I will start out in the US and move on to Europe when I feel I can. My parents were brought up in the Panhandle of Oklahoma. 480 miles west on 412. My mother was the youngest of 8. She lost her father to death at a very early age and she really never knew him. My grand mother had 2 daughters and 6 boys to take care of in a small farming community and had no hand outs coming her way. From what I understand she did many jobs in her life. Sewing, cooking, cleaning homes, whatever was available. My mother had hand me downs and home made dresses and clothes most of her life. Church was something they did every Sunday. My dad lived in a small community just out side of Guymon. It was called Optima. My Dad was working driving truck for the wheat farmers when he was big enough to look over the steering wheel. A small town of 50 maybe and the school was very rural. When the drought hit and it did for several years jobs were hard to come by but my grand dad was a big man and used to all kinds of hard work. I can’t make this real to you because there is no good way of describing the drought and dust storms. If you can find Burn’s series on the 30s on PBS take a look. Best documentary on the subject I have seen. He found people that went through those times and lived to tell about it. A dust storm could come from any direction and last several hours. Waves more 100 feet high roaring through your property, home, and community. This wasn’t just one year but 5 or more. No wheat, no corn, and all the things they make. Cattle were sold off or lost, no hay. Wells dried up. Rain less than an inch. This was before the water being used from the aquifers. Many were moving to the west coast, California, Oregon, and Washington. They had jobs out there but not enough for the hordes that came from the wheat and corn area. No help from Washington D.C. until a dust storm came all the way across half the US and hit while Congress was in session. It changed many minds about how bad this really was.
The cities I have no personal relationship which I can grasp onto and tell you the how bad things were. But is was bad and worse than I can imagine. Men looking for work, hundreds in line to get them. Beggars every where and crime was still heavy but not as many thugs as the 20s. Only 2 places I can recall not having a lot of problems. Hollywood and Washington DC. Again that sounds like today. Of course movies were a nickel but they made money. President Roosevelt with his many programs got us on our feet. Unlike the liberals today, the programs had the people working and not looking for a hand out. Most of the Arkansas state parks have buildings made back then. It worked. The USA did survive this horrible time and hung in there and did not crumble. Time to quit. Any suggestions would be appreciated or comments.

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