Although I often express my dislike of television, I acknowledge that once in a while a worthwhile program is shown, and I watched one of those last night. PBS's American Experience featured a program on the Great Depression and those who left home in desperation, riding the boxcars to wherever they took them in search of work. What I didn't realize is that a huge number of these "hobos" were teen-agers, and a good number of them were girls.
During my childhood my dad often told us that he had been a cowboy. I knew he had hopped the freight trains and traveled to the West Coast and back. He didn't tell his children much about the hardships of that year, but my Mom told me that he had once been arrested and spent a night in jail for vagrancy , I think in Texas. He always spoke well of New Mexico, and I believe he enjoyed it most of all the states he traveled through. Born in 1910, I think he was probably a young adult and not a teen when he set out on his great adventure.
The program went into the great numbers of those riding the rails into the Civilian Conservation Corps, although many of them were suspicious of it to begin with but finally realized the opportunity to get work with a safe place to sleep at night, 3 meals a day, money for their families as well as $5 a month for themselves. All of us who have traveled anywhere have no doubt seen some of the work of the CCC in our parks and cities. In Cincinnati where I grew up there is still a retaining wall that was built by the CCC along Columbia Parkway.
I often wish I could go back and talk with my parents and ask them questions about their experiences during the Depression. They told me a lot as I was growing up although I didn't realize how important it was at the time. My mother grew up on a farm and there was always something to eat, even if it was just biscuits and gravy. My dad knew the hunger and hardship of living in the city at the time.
I am loving the comments I'm still receiving about farm and growing-up experiences, and ask that readers who remember hearing from parents and grandparents about the Great Depression, to share their stories.
I will probably be going to Lassen to get settled in the cabin sometime during the first part of June. My campground is at one of the highest elevations of C/G's in the Park, and it always depends on when the snow melts enough to open the place up to visitors. I'd like to be there several days in advance of opening to the public so I can get settled and help get ready for the season. Hopefully I can get better at using my camera and get some good photos for the blog. I really did better with the older style cameras. Yes, the technology is superb with the new models, but I'm an older model myself (and am happy with who and what I am), so I just prefer to stick with the (for me)tried and true.
I'm waiting for the Inaugural parade to begin. Watching today's events unfold makes me a bit homesick and nostalgic for the Washington, DC area. Forgetting politics, the city is the most beautiful in the world in my opinion.
As for my new Macbook Pro, I think I will really be happy with it. It's much lighter in weight than my older and larger laptop. I can't say I like the newer look of all the software, but I am swept over the cliff by what developers seem to think everyone wants. My feeling will always be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and often there is no apparent reason for changes (such as the Blogger interface, Gmail, AOL, etc.) except for the continuing employment of developers. The trend seems to be to make the screens as spare and empty as possible - "just guess where to click to do what you need to do". I can't fight it any more, and at least I'll be at Lassen for the summer and won't give a damn about technology (except I sure hope the radio works in case I need to call out for assistance).
COLD AND GETTING COLDER
14 hours ago