Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 4, 2012

Depression Era

Are any of you drawn to certain eras in time?  When I was a kid, I felt drawn to the old west and also to Victorian England.  I still feel a pull to those times, but not as much as I do to the Great Depression.  I assume that I feel that way because of hearing all the stories from my mom and other relatives of what it was like growing up during those hard times....the bread lines, no money, no work, getting a Christmas tree on Dec. 24th when they were dirt cheap or free, etc.  Not to mention all the old photos in shoe boxes that I used to pore over when I was a kid, depicting my family as youngsters.  All in black and white of course.  And old movies as well.  I always joke w/ my mom that the world didn't become colourized till "The Wizard of Oz", and I like to tease, "What was life like in black and white?"  ;-D

It's funny how my two fave movies, Mockingbird and Paper Moon, are set in the 1930s and feature little girl protagonists, Scout Finch....

....and Addie Pray.

Another show that captivates me is Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory", based on a 1930s Christmas in his own life, when he was a boy.


I love the purses and fashions of that time as well.

I really want to own a velvet cloche hat, one of these days.  I don't normally wear hats, but I do love these.



And we can't forget the massive migration west on The Mother Road, Route 66, during the Depression either.  My honey and I have talked about driving Rte. 66 in an RV for our honeymoon.  It's been on my bucket list for 25+ years so when he suggested it, I was on board immediately.  My dad made the trip west on Rte. 66, to Southern California, in the 1940s, after WW2, to work in a shipyard, and I always wanted to do it too.  Especially before all of the old roadside attractions completely deteriorate and are lost forever, like the Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo Texas.

I'm also a HUGE fan of the photos of Dorothea Lange, whose portraits of those courageous souls, migrants and "Okies" fleeing the dust bowl became a symbol of that era.  Can you believe the woman in this photo is only 32?  Her face is careworn and shows the hardship of life, making her look much older.  Her name is Florence Owens Thompson and she was the mother of 7 children at the time this was taken in 1936.

I realize that I am viewing the depression through romanticized eyes.....it was no picnic and certainly not a time that one should 'wish' they were around to see.  Still, it draws me like a moth to a flame.

16 comments:

  1. That last picture kind of says it all about that time.

    Great pics - - I love To Kill A Mockingbird as well and now I need to watch it again real soon!

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  2. I like you, tend to romanticize the days of yore. Some of my favorite books to read are ones that are set back in the pioneer days. I can easily place myself in the story and dream of lazy Sunday afternoons frog giggin' or twirling a piece of grass between my teeth. lol

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  3. When I think of the Great Depression, Dorthea Lange's photo is what pops into my mind. Interesting post!

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  4. I have a wonderful book called 'Standing in the Rainbow' which begins in 1946. I just think life was less....er....COMPLICATED in the late 40's/early 50's.

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  5. I think my parents were too poor to suffer extra during the depression! But as a baker, my dad still had work.

    Of course, most of the Art Deco period fell into that era, and I just LOVE Art Deco!

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  6. Great pictures! I love the hats, too.

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  7. Very interesting, JoJo!! I love all the movies you mentioned, and I also love Art Deco, Val!

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  8. Jo-Jo ... your blog is awesome. Love the variety!

    Thanks so much for your visit and comments.

    Kathy M.

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  9. Love the theme of this post. The images are so important to the piece and you've chosen well.

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  10. Nice post. Does that make you a fan of the Waltons? Our family loves that show.

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  11. Thanks everyone for stopping by!! I appreciate it the support!

    Home School Day: Yes I love the Waltons! I forgot to add that to my list!!!

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  12. My grandfather lost his job during the depression, so life became very difficult with his 8 children and the "Worlds Worst Housekeeper" for a wife. My mother has very vivid memories and recalls that despite the fact that they had very little money it was not the worst time of her life.
    BTW Love the post. Love Art Deco.

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  13. Art Deco is beautiful!

    Great Depression? "Grapes of Wrath" comes to mind...

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  14. Two of my favorite movies...'Paper Moon' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird'...love them! That cloche hat? I have a black 'velvet' one that was my grandmother's that I treasure.

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  16. This post hits home so much, since I definitely tend to romanticize past time periods. The hats - perfection! Took a road trip from MI to CA on what is left of Route 66 and would highly recommend it

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