The Dust Bowl
Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl aired over the last two nights on PBS (yes, I watch PBS, but I still don’t want my taxes paying for it). It was, not surprising, a compelling documentary as Burns’ films usually are. Burns portrayed FDR literally as a savior of the downtrodden Dust Bowl farmers and their families, which, again, is not particularly surprising given Burns’ strong Democratic ties. I have to admit it, though, it did give me a greater appreciation for the safety net we now have — particularly when you hear the stories of those who otherwise would have starved to death without the New Deal programs.
As a granchild of one of them, the film also gave me a great apprecation for the “Okies” who migrated to California. Although my grandfather often referred to himself as one, I never knew that it was such a perjorative term nor did I know of the mistreatment they received from their fellow Americans. Californians were not a particularly welcoming bunch in the ’30s and ’40s.