FC: Scrapbook Thomas Hillebrecht
1: August 1919- Entry #1 Its great to be living in the Midwest in the 1920s! I cannot produce wheat fast enough. Because of World War One and the fact that no one can produce their own wheat in Europe business is great! I am about to take out a loan so I can buy a tractor to plow the field down the way. I just made more money then I ever thought my redneck eyes would see! All of my friends are doing great too. There is enough money to go around for everyone. At night my wife and I drink moonshine on the porch while listening to the sounds of nature. I am living the American dream!
2: I will now talk about my family; I have a wife Meghan, a son John, and another son Luke. Meghan is a great woman; she cooks, cleans, and takes care of John and Luke like a champ! My sons are great too, John is 18 and Luke is 14. They have both been helping me recently on the farm because I need all the help I can get. I needed to pull Luke out of school but he really does not mind. Luke is a smart kid but he knows he needs to help his Pa, and besides this will prepare them for their real life, they don’t need no book learning. The only thing that school is good for is to meet a nice wife and John already has a nice girl. Speaking of which John is about to tie the knot with a nice girl from town named Jenny. They are due to be married in September and he is going to purchase a plot of land in the same town that we live in now, Mustang Oklahoma. I wish him the best of luck, I know he will do well everyone does around here lately!
3: September 1931 Entry #2 I cannot get a piece of wheat to grow if my life depended on it. And even if I could I would have no one to sell it too. Our economy is down the tubes, no one has money in America, and now that World War 1 is over no one wants it in Europe. Ever since the great harvest in the fall of 1929 no one has been able to grow a thing. The lack of money and hunger is bad but the worst part is the dust storms. These things last for hours and there is nothing anyone can do about it, it has already blown away the topsoil and just blows the rest of the dust into my kitchen, my bedroom, my living room, it is inescapable. Some of my friends from town have already given up on Oklahoma and started moving west but I am too stubborn. I will stay here until the day I day even if it is the end of me. But I know it will not be the end of me. God will bring the rain soon.
4: John and Jenny started up there own farm down the road. He was just as unsuccessful as everyone else. He took the easy way out though. Him and Jenny hopped on a train heading west a year ago to become migrant worker. He is weak, that is the problem with the new generation of kids, no pride in themselves. I do not understand how he could quit after just two years, but that is his choice. Luke is 18 now and wanted to go with John west to be a migrant worker but he knew he had to stay for his mother. She is already going crazy worrying about John. To be honest I think he is dead, he hasn’t wrote and I have always seen him as the weakest anyway. Meghan really isn't doing well anymore; this dust has completely killed her spirit. She thinks she can’t do anything right anymore. Whenever she cooks the food stinks because of the lack of good food and dust, and she can never keep the house clean because of the storms. It sucks.
6: October 1932 Entry #4 I have been able to stay hope-full but no one else in this family has. We are broken. In March right before Easter we got a letter in the mail from Jenny saying John had died. He got pushed off a moving train and it killed him. We did not have a body to bury but we put a tombstone outside of our house in remembrance of him. I was obviously sad but Meghan and Luke both still can not get over it. Meghan has borderline lost her mind. She blames herself for his death, she says she was too easy on him in his childhood and wasn't prepared for the real world. I think she is right but I will never tell her that, at first I tried to comfort her when she would act like this but I am sick and tired of it now. All she does now is sleep and cry. It is one of the saddest things I have ever watched. In just two years she has transformed from a loving, beautiful woman, to a broken woman.
7: Luke has gone the opposite way of his mother. If he is not working he feels like he is not doing enough. He works on the farm until he cannot stand. The worst part about it is that it is to almost no avail, the ground is just no good. There is now some hope though. A presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt is running for the democrats and I am hopeful he will be able to lead this nation out of the depression. I really do not know what he plans on doing if he wins but I know it will be something good. His saying is “ Only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, and I really like it. People in town are scared of what will happen later on when food gets harder and harder to come by but I choose not to worry about it. And therefore have nothing to worry about. I am confident in FDR and I think not only will the economy come back but also with that the rain will come. And even if FDR is not that great anyone is better then Hoover. I could be the president of this country, all he does is sit in his office. He has not done anything to help anyone.
9: May 1933 Entry # 5 Even though I still have not had a successful harvest in year’s something good finally happened! FDR was voted president and passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The act says that all farmers need to produce fewer crops, and if we do that we will get more money for our crops. Many farmers had to burn their extra food but I did not. I have not produced enough crops to need to burn anything. Since the last time I have written here I have tried some new things. I started to grow cotton and tobacco. They are doing better then the wheat was but it is still not enough. I really hope that the money I am getting from the government will last me and keep my family alive. I am still hope-full but it is getting harder and harder by the day.
10: Franklin Roosevelt is good in my book. The AAA is really going to help me out but the stupid thing about it is some farmers had to burn extra crops. He could have done something productive with them. He could have given them away for all I care, but these plants are so hard to grow that it is just stupid to burn them. He also killed a lot of pigs but I do not think those are going to waste. I heard that he was going to give them to people without jobs. This strong leader is good for my family. Now that Meghan sees that something good can happen she is getting over the loss of John. Luke is getting better too, he is now seeing a girl Jamie and that is really taking his mind off John and getting him out of his work. Soon when the storms stop he is probably going to marry Jamie and move into Johns old house. Hopefully FDR will keep making the right moves and lead us out of these terrible times!
11: Thomas Hillebrecht | http://u1.ipernity.com/9/20/05/3292005.2c482ed6.240.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Dust_Bowl_-_Dallas,_South_Dakota_1936.jpg/220px-Dust_Bowl_-_Dallas,_South_Dakota_1936.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_473nrD5vEv8/SM-MTI6PvlI/AAAAAAAAAxQ/cSuZipmeiRc/s400/Depression-Great-Woman.jpg http://apush-wiki-marlborough-school.wikispaces.com/file/view/fdr1.jpg/69595855/fdr1.jpg