Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wordless: Images from the Dust Bowl

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Dan Edwards said...

From what I have read, those dust storms were "unforgetable" events. I cannot imagine what those folks went through.

My Arkansas grandparents left for the "west" during the "Great Depression," when my grandfather finally decided that occasional manual labor jobs paying $1.00 /day for a 10 hour work day was not taking care of his family.

So, to the cotton fields of central Arizona they traveled. The pay there was not much better, so on to California, where they were not welcomed by the "locals" or those fleeing the dust bowl who'd gotten there earlier and were still struggling to get by.

My students, most of whom are from "hispanic" families with stong ties to farming, are shocked when I tell them that my grandparents were "migrant farm laborers". They never considered that anyone who was not a "Mexican" had ever done that sort of labor in the United States. And when they hear that they were paid between $1.50 and $2.00 per long day depending on how much they "harvested", that a typical "dinner" meal was often beans, cornbread/biscuits and greens, they are shocked at that.

I wonder what lessons will come out of this current economic mess ? Or when "Govment" learns that throwing borrowed money at such problems is not the solution, that it is not the obligation of "govment" to take care of everyone.

Anonymous said...

Several 'classic' images and more good ones which I had not seen. I wonder why several non-Dust Bowl images were included [cutting wood, haying, field with shocked corn cut to resemble a flag]?