In '32

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In ’32, in southern Indiana,
Daddy couldn’t teach school ‘cause he wouldn’t join the Klan,
And you know, he would never do that, Lord, no.
Now he and Mother’d been married nine years,
Had us three kids, hard times and fears,
But still, when they saw the chance, they knew she had to go

Home to farm and family, home to South Dakota,
Home where the wind called her by name to come home.

Those were the days of the dust bowl and depression
Those were the days, Lord, when even my Daddy couldn’t get any work,
And those were the days some folks still mean when they say,
“Now those were the days!”

Mother scrubbed us, packed us in a Greyhound Bus,
Everybody in it as poor as us,
But still, we had better be good, no fights, no fuss.
Two days, two nights to old Sioux Falls,
Aunt Bea, Uncle George in his overalls,
Waiting there to take us home in their truck all full of dust.

Dust that covers bone-dry fields, dust sifting in the windows,
Dust that makes “Welcome home!” smiles shine bright.

Those were the days of the dust bowl and depression
Those were the days, Lord, when dust storms blew away Fourth of July,
And those were the days some folks still mean when they say,
“Now those were the days!”

More aunts and uncles then we’d ever known,
Each one saying, “My how you’ve grown!”
But you know, I had never met them before, not in my life.
Best of all were all of the cousins,
Skinny, wind-burned kids, we made a round dozen,
Doing plays in the basement, pulling us into their spotlight.

Cousins and brothers riding the hogs, cousins playing games for hours,
Cousins sleeping 5 and 6 to a bed, come night.

Those were the days of the dust bowl and depression
Those were the days, Lord, when dust storms blew away Fourth of July,
And those were the days some folks still mean when they say,
“Now those were the days!”

Late at night, turn the flashlight on,
Down toward what used to be the pond:
Thousands of shining eyes – jackrabbits staring back at us.
The two months there, rain never came,
Though the wind would howl like a beast in pain,
The only storms it brought were the death-black clouds of locusts.

Locusts so thick, the roads got slick, locusts swarming on the fence posts. 
Locusts chewing every green thing dead-brown, to dust.
 
Those were the days…
Those were the days, Lord, when God in His Heaven seemed turned against us,
And those were the days…….
 
Take the bus to Chicago, Daddy, meet us there,
We’ll all go to that great World’s Fair,
Dazzled by the future, smiling, holding hands, what a show!
Driving home that night in Uncle Phil’s new car,
Us in the rumble seat, sleeping ‘neath stars,
Mother and Daddy, snuggling up front, all’s right, driving home.
 
Home to the Wabash and whippoorwill, home to Indiana,
Home to the cool breeze singing through the pine trees, home! 
 
Those were the days… 
Those were the days, Lord, any house with family was a place called home, 
And those were the days some folks still mean when they say,
“Now those were the days!”
by Author
MollyHoffer

This Story is part of a Series...

In May of 1998 I was mulling something Mom [Pat Hoffer] had told me relative to Grandma [Alta... Read Story
In ’32, in southern Indiana,Daddy couldn’t teach school ‘cause he wouldn’t join the Klan,And you... Read Story
Into dust bowl South Dakota, Alta and her childrenStepped down off the stairs of the ancient... Read Story
by Author MollyHoffer

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Story Copyright
10/05/16