The Great Depression

Even though I’ve never really been a history buff, the period of the dust bowl and the Great Depression have me fascinated lately.  Why its on my mind, I don’t know, but I find myself thinking of the survivors of this period more and more.  I search their pictures and witness their struggles.  Travel with me, for only a moment, to a time of grave hardships.

The famous picture of a mother of seven during the Great Depression, taken by Dorthea Lange.

I’m sure you’ve seen this famous picture.  But did you know this mother of seven is reported to be only 32 years old? 

Picture of a woman and three children (close-up) during the Great Depression.

Picture of an 18-year-old mother from Oklahoma now a California migrant during the Great Depression.

This mother is 18.

Picture of a school in Alabama during the Great Depression.

A school in Alabama.

Picture of a dust storm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression.

A dust storm in Oklahoma.

Picture of a line of unemployed men receiving soup at a Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen during the Great Depression.

A line of unemployed at a soup kitchen.

icture of a family eating Christmas dinner near Smithland, Iowa during the Great Depression.

Christmas Dinner.

Picture of a man and his horse during the Great Depression.

A man and his horse.

Picture of an Arkansas squatter in a shack near Bakersfield, California during the Great Depression.

A squatter at her shack in Arkansas.

These pictures humble me.  And in a way they frighten me.  If history were to repeat itself, could this be me?  Could this be you?  I sometimes wonder why I was chosen to be so fortunate.

Alot of the people who are old enough to remember this time of suffering are no longer with us.  I think we should cherish the stories of the ones who are. 

(photos courtesy of


  1. leon says:

    O.K. Angel, first off that’s a mule not a horse


    1. Angel says:

      Ok, so what’s second off?


  2. leon says:

    Your grandma remembers these days. Mom was born in 1917.


  3. donna mae says:

    great photos i love whtvu write! thank u so much!


    1. Angel says:

      Thank you Donna Mae.


  4. RB says:

    Mother and Daddy went thru the great depression, I was born then and was the smallest of her babys. She said it was because potatoes was all she had to eat. They even made gravy out of the water the potatoes were boiled in. It was a very hard time for them. However they did have the house on East Francis but Dad didn’t have work. We had a hard time until after the war.


  5. Donna H says:

    Just another reason I love this site so much! This is truly thought provoking isn’t it? I had not seen those particular photos before but my beautiful momma was born in 1912 the first child of nine and their father died when the youngest was just one year old, so she helped her mother out with all the “youngins” and still managed to go to school and graduated as did all nine of the children! Pretty amazing when you think about it, really! How I wish I had encouraged my mom to write her many stories down.She was a beautiful storyteller and there was a time, I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t always listen to the details I now wish I knew!! It was only as I got older that I came to understand the importance of a family’s history and legacy. Now all but the youngest one (who is 86) have passed away and since she was so young she doesn’t remember much of those times either. This is why your “treasures” from your dad is so important to have! Trust me, you will come to appreciate them even more than you do now!! Thanks for the history lesson and the “nudge” to be more thankful to the good Lord for what we have so abundantly been blessed with! Until next time ….Donna H. P.S. one of these days I’ll write just a one-liner instead of boring you with my ramblings 🙂 I promise!!


  6. Lenore Diane says:

    This is such a timely post. I wish it would be FP. We are headed in this direction, if we don’t tidy up our finances. Makes me nervous. But, then I remember the resilience we humans have – we persevere – we help each other – unfortunately, we tend to help others in times of tragedy vs. every day life.

    Thank you for the reminder.


  7. Lara says:

    Those pictures are beautifully tragic. They make you really think.


  8. Brandie says:

    Angel~I have a grandma that will be 93 next month that lives in Pampa. She tells great stories and one is that of Black Sunday. She remembers everything and I think that is where my oldest gets his memory. She tells of those days and she lived on a farm that her family owned in Follett, TX. The Fleming Ranch. The depression of the 30’s took everything they had from the cows to the little school house they had on their ranch. So I know what you are talking about. You are the only person I have shared this with and now you know more about me. I have a table that is over 100 years old over by my washer and dryer that belonged to my great gma and gpa Fleming that is part of my history. So my gma Coberley she is my reminder that life could change in a matter of seconds and to remember what could happen no matter what.


  9. I, like you, am fascinated with this time period. My mother grew up during the Great Depression, and her stories are rich and poignant. And I, like others on your responses, sometimes worry history will repeat itself as it often does. I learned a lot about frugality from my mother; hopefully I can hand that down to the generations after me.


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