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By Robert Allen Rutland

The nice melancholy and Prohibition are ominous stories in so much historic bills. yet here's the real tale of a bit boy who came across existence filled 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 battling for life 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 situation frames Robert Rutland?’s colourful remembrance of a adolescence full of event, characters, interest, and love. younger Rutland was once the fabricated from a "broken" domestic. After his father died of pneumonia at twenty-six years previous, Rutland?’s mom, not able to deal with her youngsters, despatched Robert off to dwell together with his alcoholic yet worrying grandfather, "Pop," and his spouse, "Mom." The boardinghouse during which they lived had a gentle circulate of personalities flowing via, either for the nutrition mother served inside of to the oil crews and diverse visitors and for the booze Pop served out again. past the boardinghouse, existence used to be both wealthy for younger Rutland: conversing videos on Saturday for a dime, a library full of magical titles, medication indicates, institution backyard bullies, bloody noses, and summer season camp. yet those simplicities of existence have been combined with the customarily painful classes of fact in depression-era Oklahoma, with poverty, alcoholism, violence, and racism. advised with being concerned aspect, A Boyhood within the dirt 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

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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.

My Christmas fire truck had permitted me to have many fantasies about burning orphanages but none about blazing warehouses. S. Army" painted on its dark-blue fuselage and red, white, and blue stars on its orange-painted wings. That toy biplane made me desire the life of an aviator, as pilots were called in the twenties. When barnstorming airmen came to Okemah and landed their planes in the hay-fields on the edge of town, I followed the crowds and went out to watch them land and take off. The charge for passengers was two dollars for a five-minute flightfar beyond my means.

I'm confident they were livingas were the Hillermansfar, far below what we now call the poverty level. But the poverty index had not yet been invented. We had no ambitious political leaders teaching us Page xiii that we were victims of anyone or anything. We lacked psychologists to inform us that we were losers because of childhood deprivation and family dysfunction. 25 for a ten-hour day, or made twenty-five cents an hour if we were lucky enough to get an oil field roughnecking job, and dreamed the Great American Dream, and had no notion of the privileged class until we worked our way into college and washed dishes for the fraternity boys.

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