Singing in Hard Times

The conditions of the Dust Bowl pressed the farmers and ranchers into despair. Too many days with the sun blocked out by the Black Blizzards. Fine grains of sand covering everything, including the linings of the lungs. A losing battle with locust, grasshoppers and drought that devoured any hope of …

Read More

Irish Immigration and the Orphan Trains Changed the Direction of my Life

The gift shop shelves heaved with books covered by grainy photos of children huddled around coal driven steam engines. Dressed in turn of the century clothes, some ragamuffins carried grief like luggage, but others appeared wide-eyed with adventure. “Orphan trains,” my brother explained. “Those children were adopted here in the …

Read More

Coloring Christmas Orange: Celebrating in the Great Depression

The one thing that every family in the 1930’s Dust Bowl savored for Christmas was an orange. In our own culture of entitlement and excess, the thought of one orange constituting the holiday pay load is unimaginable. But getting an orange was a big deal because citrus fruit wasn’t affordable …

Read More