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By Robert Allen Rutland

The nice melancholy and Prohibition are ominous thoughts in so much ancient debts. yet this is the genuine tale of a bit boy who came upon existence jam-packed with pleasure, ask yourself, and pleasure within the small midwestern city of Okemah, Oklahoma. Okemah, the place Woody Guthrie as soon as lived and wrote songs, used to be scuffling with for lifestyles within the overdue Twenties and early Nineteen Thirties because the oil increase ended, cotton fell to 10 cents according to pound, and Prohibition was once in strength. but this grim state of affairs frames Robert Rutland?’s colourful remembrance of a early life jam-packed with event, characters, interest, and love. younger Rutland used to be the made of a "broken" domestic. After his father died of pneumonia at twenty-six years outdated, Rutland?’s mom, not able to deal with her kids, despatched Robert off to stay together with his alcoholic yet being concerned grandfather, "Pop," and his spouse, "Mom." The boardinghouse within which they lived had a gentle circulate of personalities flowing via, either for the nutrients mother served within to the oil crews and diverse visitors and for the booze Pop served out again. past the boardinghouse, lifestyles was once both wealthy for younger Rutland: speaking videos on Saturday for a dime, a library packed with magical titles, drugs exhibits, university backyard bullies, bloody noses, and summer season camp. yet those simplicities of lifestyles have been combined with the usually painful classes of truth in depression-era Oklahoma, with poverty, alcoholism, violence, and racism. informed with being concerned element, A Boyhood within the airborne dirt and dust Bowl Will hold the reader again to a long-lost position and time.

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Extra resources for A boyhood in the dust bowl, 1926-1934

Sample text

Heat came from the blackjack oak trees chopped and split on the farm, and light was supplied by kerosene lamps. The closest telephone was about a mile away. When my sister was old enough to attend grade school at Spring Hill Elementary, she either walked two miles or rode the gentle stallion "Old Baldy" in bad weather. Oklahoma's farm roads ran along section lines enclosing 640 acres; they were strictly dry-weather roads, and the road to Uncle Boon's was a quagmire when it rainedchains were helpful but no guarantee of keeping a car moving forwardand the likelihood of getting stuck Page 35 might have given Uncle Boon an excuse for his carless status.

My stepgrandmother's penchant for secrecy was counterbalanced by her naiveté. She hoarded dollars for food but spent them readily for luxuries we could ill afford. She was an easy mark for door-to-door salesmen who knew how to flatter her or me. This was brought home when a man appeared at the front door bearing a tripod and camera. He was soliciting pictures of Okemah's most photogenic children, and he had "heard" about me. For two dollars he would take my picture and not only give Mom a copy but display the photograph along with those of other local youngsters who qualified, on Friday night on the Crystal Theater's screen.

Page 17 Somehow, Pop insisted that his financial problems and the loss of his large mill was tied to "Hooverism" and thus he disliked the president. And this was even before the Great Depression struck! Pop talked a lot about "would-be's" in government, and about the time I learned how to read a newspaper, he decided to run for the city council. He placed a small ad in the Leader announcing his candidacy as an independent, with a promise to keep taxes low; and the telephone rang several times the next day with endorsements from voters.

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