Posts: 1,082
Registered: ‎05-11-2010

Re: Anyone watch Dust Bowl on PBS?

Jeff, my parents farmed in Beaver county and before that as a teen dad attended Felt high school. They lived in a little town called Coldwater, Texas across the border. It is no longer on the map. The stories he told were much like described in the show. As a child I lived in Beaver county and remember the dust storms in the 50's.

The question you pose is certainly a tough one to answer. I have relatives who pulled up stakes and made the trek to California. I cannot imagine the humiliation they experienced, feeling like total failures, destitute and then discriminated by society and employers for being "okies". Watching the video, I understand now why they would have nothing to do with their midwestern relatives. It's still a reminder of their origins.

However, I believe it was just as difficult to stay. I admire the courage and tenacity of all of those people. Survival was their only focus.

My parents adapted as much as they could. Postum coffee, using oatmeal to extend meat, lard as a spread on bread, taking week old bread and baking it to a crisp and making a meal out of it by wetting it are some things I remember from their stories in the 50's.

One other thing that puts it into context is the lifesaving impact on the government's role of insuring the future of midwestern agriculture. The WPA,FSA, the extension program, all were invaluable in saving much of American agriculture