S: The Mayfield Family
FC: Mayfield Family Scrapbook 1928-1938
1: 1928-1938 | Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.....it's about getting out there and dancing in the rain!
2: our farm house | our new car
3: April 5, 1928 Dear Diary, My name is Frank Mayfield and I am forty-four years old. I live with my son, Oscar, 15, and my wife, Grace. We have lived in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for a while, but I just got a new job at one of the local banks. Although I have only been working at the Oklahoma City Bank for a couple months, I am really enjoying it! Business is better than ever due to the invention of credit cards, buying on margin, and installment plans.. In fact, Grace, who is now forty-five, and I have just invested in a new Model T Car. We bought it with a small down-payment and the rest of the money the bank loaned us. On the weekends, Oscar begs me to take him out for a ride after we finish the farming. Lately, there have been a plethora of crops and it has been difficult to balance farm work with leisure time. We have also invested quite a bit in the stock market by buying on margin. Although we are not sure how much the stock market will make us, a little extra cash is better than nothing. Installment plans have made it easier to purchase items like dishwashers, cars, and radios, all of which we own. The economy is the best it's been in years. Although I do admit we have been somewhat risky with our money, it is such a privilege to have so many new items. Since Oscar is at school all day and I am at work all day, Grace usually keeps herself occupied by cleaning up around the house. She often does the laundry, cooking, and even the farming if she has run out of chores. Sometimes she sneaks out for a ride in the new car, but she always forgets where it is originally parked so it is noticeable. The best part of my day is coming home to a hot, home-cooked meal. I don't know about Oscar, but I am always starving after a long, hard, exhausting day at work. I thank Grace every day for her lovely, home-cooked meals. We have been thinking about inviting some family members over for a big dinner celebration. With all of this extra money lying around and this fabulous economy, we figure we might as well put it to good use.
4: November 3, 1929 Dear Diary, The stock market has crashed. Businesses are not doing well and everyone is struggling. Grace and I should not have been so risky with our money, especially since we were having doubts about how much longer the stock market would be doing well. We are having an extremely difficult time getting by considering we invested all of our money on a new car, radio, and dishwasher. Most banks, like the Oklahoma City Bank, lent out too much money from people's saving accounts and cannot pay everyone back. This has affected Grace, Oscar, and I because a large portion of our extra money was stored in the bank. We are trying to withdraw our money from the bank because we do not want to loose everything in our savings account, like many other Americans. For some reason I feel this is only the beginning of our troubles. November 9, 1929 Unfortunately, we did not get to the bank in time and we lost all of the money in our savings account. Because of the high demand, the bank could not keep in business. We are now verging on bankrupcy. However, thankfully our crops have been making us enough money to buy all of our necessities like food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although there is a lack of demand for farm goods now. Oscar has been skipping school to work on the farm with Grace since that is our only hope for earning money right now. Also, if I am not too exhausted when I return from work I help out as much as I can with the crops. Right now, our only crops are wheat and vegetables from our garden. It is a little difficult to keep up with our crops, however, because of the dry weather and the odd small dust storms. We are not worrying about it too much though. November 18, 1929 Dear Diary, Unfortunately, yesterday I was laid off my job. The bank is now closed due to their lack of money. I have had to make trips to the local food pantry with Oscar to gather enough food to get us through the day. On occasional lucky days, we receive extra food, which we keep for a later date. It is even harder to provide for my family.
6: dust storms
7: January 19, 1933 Dear Diary, Although Hoover did not do a whole lot to help with the Depression, it helped Oscar, Grace, and I through the Depression because we were members of the upper class. Hoover kept blaming the Depression on issues out of our control, but let's face it, it was because of our irresponsibility. Thankfully FDR is in office now and he has created a "New Deal" program for relief, recovery, and reform. This involves a series of organizations to help those who are currently suffering. Although many view the New Deal as too little, too late, it is better to have than nothing. The RFC, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, is lending money to the Oklahoma City Bank, so hopefully I will get my job back soon. Also, thanks to the Agricultural Marketing Act, we are receiving relief in order to help stabilize the prices of our few farm goods. Grace and I are looking for work through the multiple New Deal programs because it is extremely hard to survive with the little food we can afford. Although the New Deal has helped us, our taxes are also higher now because of it. Every day is a struggle for us. There have been huge dust storms because of the weeks of no rain. We are now in a severe drought. I regret not watering my crops more before the dust storms came because all of them get swept away. Also, we should have rotated our crops because the soil has turned to dust. These dust storms are depressing everyone even more. It is hard to even keep the dust out of our food. Before we eat, we have to turn our cups and plates upside down because the dust collects so quickly on everything, and too much dust in our lungs could cause dust pneumonia. Life has been very difficult for us lately, so we are praying the dust storms will go away and everything will get better.
8: August 20, 1938 Dear Diary, The Dust Bowl almost seemed as if it hit us harder than the Depression. The constant piles of dust we swept up from the floors made us cough. During the Dust Bowl we took cover and stayed inside unless we were in desperate need of food or any other supplies, but for the most part when we stocked up on supplies, we took enough to last us a few days. We temporarily rented out the guest room to earn some extra money since I was out of work. We kept ourselves occupied by playing some tunes on our piano while singing along. After all, sitting around in the house all day did tend to get kind of boring. Occasionally we all helped cook dinner, but we also devoted a large span of our time to covering up cracks in the house that could let the dust in. We wanted to be as safe as possible. There was a span when Oscar was sick with dust pneumonia, from gathering too much dust in his lungs, so after that we kept him home from school. The Depression and the Dust Bowl were not easy, however, somehow we managed to pull through alright. I am very thankful I got my job back at the Oklahoma City Bank. Overall, family life has been much smoother now that I am bringing in a steady income. We have realized some of the poor decisions we made with our money and have learned from them the hard way. We will never again be so irresponsible. Now, we are working extra hard on the farm in order to get all the crops back, because the more crops the greater our income. We make the most of every day and try to keep things in good order at home. Any spare money we come across is placed in our safe at home. We would put it in the bank, but because of all the failed banks we are choosing to wait a little while longer. Also, we do not waste any food. If there is extra food we cannot sell from the farm, I have Oscar bring it to school for those who are still having a difficult time recovering from the Depression and the Dust Bowl. The school is where the local food pantry is. Oscar is asked to complete more chores around the house now so he can learn responsibility, which Grace and I have not demonstrated very well lately.
9: Lasting Memories... | local food pantry | our guest room | Oscar playing the piano
10: two CCC workers
11: "An open home, an open heart, here grows a bountiful harvest." - Judy Hand | December 30, 1938 Dear Diary, Thanks to the New Deal, we are finally back on track. Money is no longer tight, although, we are still making responsible decisions with our money. Although I got my job back a while ago, the help of the New Deal programs, specifically the CCC, allowed Grace to get a temporary job. The Civilian Conservation Corps teaches citizens like Grace how to properly build structures and trails in the local parks. Grace loves her job so much, she is trying to convince Oscar to join too! However, I do not approve because Oscar already has too busy of a schedule with school and helping out in the food pantry. Originally, Grace was considering applying for the Civil Works Administration, but she doesn't know a whole lot about construction. Besides, the CCC has employed a much larger number of people than the CWA. Overall, the New Deal has made our lives a lot easier. If it weren't for the New Deal and Grace getting a job, we would probably still be struggling. Somehow, Oscar and I managed to keep things in order while Grace was out working. She has learned many important skills from working for the Civilian Conservation Corps and we are very thankful for that. We are planning on writing a letter to the president addressing our gratitude. We would not have been able to do it without him.
13: Citations: "OLDE PIX - MODEL-T FORD BOGGED DOWN ON FARM ROAD - MUDDY RUTS!" StrangeCosmos.com. 24 Mar. 2012