Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the "Grapes of Wrath" Trail-- Part 2

The western U.S. is currently in the midst of a worse multi-year drought than the one that triggered the 1930s Great Migration where some 250,000 fled the Great Plains for a hoped-for better life in California.

Barbara Paulson drove I-40 west of Oklahoma City and got a huge taste of Big-Box America. (what I call SHS= Standardized Homogenized Stuff)..

In Steinbeck's book, the Joad family started their trip in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, two and a half hours east of OKC.  This is where the Joads worked as tenant farmers until the tractors rolled in and took their land.  Paulson says, though, that Sallisaw was too far east to be affected badly by the Dust Bowl and there is doubt that Steinbeck ever even set foot there..As such, she didn't go there.

Steinbeck wrote about the Joads trip using a map he'd used while driving it with his first wife, Carol, years before he wrote the book.

It was wife Carol who suggested the name of the book, lifting the line from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Even though the Joads didn't go through it, Paulson drove to the Oklahoma Panhandle which is getting hit hard by the current drought, hence the names from that area in the post from yesterday.

Hooker, Oklahoma, is in the heart of the affected area.

An interesting article.  I'm looking forward to reading the next two entries.  This is just a short synopsis the article with items of particular interest to 66ers.


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