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Reece, Gavin, Aaron

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BC: Works Cited http://www.land-and-livestock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/DustBowl2.jpg http://www.bringinghistoryhome.org/assets/bringinghistoryhome/2nd-grade/unit-1/activity-5/538b13661r.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Dust_Bowl_-_Dallas,_South_Dakota_1936.jpg http://www.southbaytotalhealth.com/dustbowl11.jpg http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/f/images/FA019A.jpg http://primarysourcenexus.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/tentcamp.jpg

FC: Depression Diary

1: A diary written to keep track of my life in the Oklahoma Panhandle. My name is Kyle Bowmaster and this is my story.

2: July 1929 I am a successful farmer in Oklahoma, I have many acres of land. I grow many crops but the main crop I grow is wheat. At least four acres of my land is wheat, and the rest is split between corn, potatoes, peas, and tomatoes. I go out every day from 5am to 7pm and all I do is work on the fields. I have a big tractor and excavator that help me with my work. My crops come in great and I make a lot of money. I sell my crops to people who come by and ask for them. I also sell them

3: at the flea market in town. I make on average a year $1000 from selling crops. About three fourths of the money is invested in stocks. We have been investing for years and have made tons of money, and are very happy with our lives. All of the money that my crops make goes to supporting my family. I support my wife, who tends the home and looks after the kids, my son Brian, who goes to school and helps me in the field when he is not working on his studies. My other son Tom, who also goes to school and helps out around the house. They are two great sons they do well in their studies and do all of their chores and stay out of trouble. My wife Jill and I have a big life savings that we have in a secure location not in the bank. My other son, George, is a stockbroker in New York City. We send a proportion of the money that is made to invest in stock. He has made money using the money that we sent and he is sending us some back at a time. Right now he says that he has doubled and he is close to tripling the money.

4: January 1930 It has been a few months since the big crash of the stock market. I lost about ninety percent of the money that we had which was thousands and now we only have a few hundred left. All of my crops on all of my fields are dead and buried under mountains of dust. Growing things is even more impossible. I have given up on trying to plant crops and have sold the last of the ones that weren't dead. We are grieving over the lose of George who committed suicide back in October by jumping off of a bridge in New York and he died on impact. We couldn't go to New York to claim the body because we do not have to money to make the trip there. We received a letter from one of his colleagues saying that he had done this and how much he wanted to come home and see the family. All of us will miss him and hope that wherever he his, he is happy.

6: The kids have stopped going to school because I can't afford not to have their help dealing with the dust. It is everywhere now, in the house, the food, clothes, wash, water, and beds its unbearable to deal with. We are going to have to move out and leave our house because we have no money to stay there and keep up the payments. The bank is foreclosing the house tomorrow and they are kicking us out tomorrow. Nobody in the entire family has a job so their is no income and we killed our last animal so we have to move out and look for food elsewhere. I sold all of the farming equipment that I had and I got $10 for it and so we are taking that and the other $250 that we have saved and packing up and moving on to the next

7: place. The kids have said goodbye to their friends and we have said goodbye to our neighbors and mine and Jill’s friends and got onto the road today headed to the next place where we are going to live. We have filled up the tank in the truck and when the gas runs out we are going to ditch the truck and move on without it. We are all trying to stay positive about the situation and not give up hope that things will change. Hopefully things will get better.

8: May 1932 I have seen lots of things. The good times, the hard times, and all the times in between, or so I thought. Things have been getting worse with no end in sight. I had been doing what I knew hoping that if this year I can plant more maybe my family could eat more, maybe prices will go up this year. Nothing happened. He must be insane to think that doing nothing, which is what he has been doing, will work this year better than last year. What is actually happening is that he isn’t helping and then this year gets worse than last year. Even when Hoover ‘helps’ he just makes things worse than before. He ‘helped’ by putting the Hawley Smoot Tariff in action. It looked very promising but by the end of it we ended up worse.

9: Faith is something America is losing. The people of the USA should be able to have faith in their president but as I look around no one has faith in him. Why should we have faith in him. He is the reason for the depression. He did nothing to help us for years and now that he has tried to help he made it worse. Hoover doesn’t help the farmers in the dust. He doesn’t help the farmers that lost everything in the dust. If Hoover really wanted to help he would get out of office and let someone with good ideas that will actually help take office. Hoovers election was the beginning of this depression and I hope that Hoover’s leaving the office next year will be the sign of the end. The faster Hoover leaves the faster this Nation gets back on track.

10: January 1933 I woke up early this morning to the sound of my wife Jill stumbling into our tent. She wreaked of the cheap liquors she'd been drinking all night. Ever since our house got foreclosed on by the bank and we got evicted she's had no other way to cope, it pains her a tremendous deal to live in this cramped and dusty tent. We tried to make it to the promised land out West, but our truck couldn't even get us out of the pan handle. Now we're stuck in a tent, lost somewhere among the dust. My wife used to fill her day with house work, but she's traded her broom for a bottle and hasn't put it down since. It pains me to see her like this, and it hurts me even more to know that I have got my family stuck up in a shabby tent in the middle of a field. They deserve more than this, and I have failed them. I cant provide for them, and what little savings I have had Jill has burned through with her liquor. I can tell that my sons are distraught, and it's even more apparent that all of us are starving. Literally, starving. I can't even provide the bread for my table to keep them healthy. Brian suffers from some kind of plague and i can't afford the doctor's payment to help him. All i can do is watch him helplessly suffer away as he struggles with the dust lodged deep in his throat and down into his lungs. Will this ever end?

12: I don’t even know my own wife anymore, she’s changed. The depression has changed everything, and I’ve grown bitter. I’ve come close to losing hope, and giving in, but i know that i can’t. I have to stay strong for my family, because if I don’t then no one else will. I don’t know how we got into this mess, and i don’t know if it’s some kind of righteous act of wrath done by God, but we have to persevere through this dust nightmare. I must hold my hope, my hope that work will come and i can get us out of this tent encampment. Work will come and we will get the money, and with the money will come lavish foods and all the luxuries of the old world that we took for granted. The only way back to that world is to remain strong and hopeful. The only hope we have is to not give up on our hope.

15: July 1935 Its been about two years since i’ve written in this. I couldn’t bear to pick up the pen once Brian passed in the summer of ‘33, and it just got even worse once my wife Jill left. I don’t even know where she’s gone, people have told me she left to go off for the West, but others have told me she went off East. I don’t know what she would find East, other than the heartless banks that foreclosed on my farm. I didn’t even know Jill by the end, the depression and the alcohol changed her. The only thing i have left is my son Tom. He became so disconnected when his twin passed, but he kept his head up and stayed strong. Now he’s working with the CCC set up by the our new president Roosevelt, and thank god he was given that opportunity. He no longer lives with me and I am alone, but the work is good for him, its what he needed. And the money is helpful as well, twenty dollars a month is sent back a month for me. It’s not much, but i’m thankful and able to scrape by on it somehow.

16: Roosevelt has saved me, just when i was giving up hope he reached out his hand to help and embrace me. Just when the country slipped into it’s darkest hour, he stepped in and bring in a bit of light. He didn’t do anything phenomenal and ridiculous, but he gave an effort to help the downtrodden, and thats exactly what we needed. This helped inspired us. His help gave us hope that we could turn this around, all we need was just a little help and a little encouragement. The presidents ‘new deal’ is exactly what was needed, and i believe i can survive through the rest of this dark era.

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  • By: Reece E.
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  • Title: Reece, Gavin, Aaron
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  • Published: over 5 years ago