Monday, January 24, 2011

Migrant's Son

Good Monday morning to you all. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, and are all fired up to get back to work today. On OPOD this week, we will be looking at the Great Depression. Today's picture is from 1939, and it shows the son of Migrant Workers eating on the side of the road. As I mentioned yesterday, I believe that the Great Depression built a type of character that is sorely missing today.

Another thing I find interesting in studying the Great Depression is to go back and look at the Roaring 20's. Wow, those folks were completely caught off guard, and were oblivious to the disaster that was about to hit them. People in the 1920's had no clue how fast it would hit, how bad it would get, and how long it would last. In studying the 20's you really don't see anyone raising the alarm. One of the characteristics that can really be seen in the 20's is the Normalcy Bias. This is a mental state where people assume that everything will be OK, even when the signs are pointing to disaster. If you get a chance, do some research on Normalcy Bias. Lots of interesting articles on the internet. The other interesting and related theme is the theory of Black Swans. Both are interesting topics to help understand how things went wrong so quickly in the 1930's.


  1. Hey, there are a lot of people that are going through their own Great Depression right now. They are out of work, can't find a job (I think the statement should be, Can't find a job where they can get paid to do nothing). They won't give up smoking or drinking. When they do get a job they have a very poor attendance record. Then they get fired and wonder why can't find a job.
    Then they go begging money from relatives until they either break the relatives or get told no more money. It is hard to listen to the SOB stories and not help out, but enough is enough.

  2. There are sure a lot of flies on the Oklahoma map. I first thought it was place marked to look for work, but when I enlarge it , I saw the mark were flies.

  3. I'm afraid Roger may be right. A friend of mine posted an opening in her department on She narrowed the field of applicants to eight - four interviews on Friday and four today. One person called and said Friday wasn't a good day for him, another called ten minutes AFTER the interview was to start to say they were just leaving the house (stay home, dear), the third was a plain old no-show, and the fourth, although a lovely person, wasn't right for the job. How badly do you want a job if you can't even show up for the interview?

    I used to deliver for a food pantry. Don't even get me started on folks who don't have baby formula, but the cigarette smoke rolls out of the house when they open the door!

    It's a good thing I'm perfect, isn't it?

  4. I agree about the character thing. I'm going through my own Great Depression right now...I'm employed but my money doesn't seem to stretch until the end of the month. So I sat my girls down and we all came up with ideas to save money on groceries and utilities, etc, and I QUIT SMOKING, which saves us almost $100 a month. We're still struggling but I feel better. I can't believe that someone would blow off a job interview or show up late, or get a job and then slack off when there are so many people looking for work who would kill for that job and do their best.

  5. Can anyone say anything positive any more , its a real bummer that everyone is so down all the time . how about im in good health and my kids are doing fine, things will get better , but all the negativity from news and tv etc is really starting to get on peoples nerves and i see it on a daily basis. how about today everyone just say hello to someone (sranger)and tell them you are fine . have a nice day

  6. Anon @ 8:51 . . . google "Normalcy Bias" . . . your post is a perfect example of it.


  7. no it is not your norm bias . i was just saying give someone a smile instead of dwelling on all that is bad , i know how bad things are and i have lived through worse. but in the end everything works itself out in due time but while we have to deal with it make the best out of it because trust me it could be much much worse..

  8. I don't remember which old b&w war movie theis line came from... "so this guy days cheer up things could be worse. So I cheered up and they got worse". It may have been John Garfield.


  9. Beautiful photo. What is the source?

    Interesting topic and comments.

  10. at least we have PJM

  11. Simpler times! Oh how wonderful! I wasnt even a twinkle in my daddys eye. But this time period is so beautiful as the people are so hearty. I am a hairdresser in a assisted home living. Let me tell you this people tell me stories that are amazing. The oldest person I cared for their hair needs was a hundred and seven. Sturdy stock of people. I dont think they make them like that anymore. Surely we can relate the roaring 20's to this day and age as well as the 30's as the children growing up now will have that hardy stock once again. History does have away of repeating it self. Blessing love the photo as always.

  12. I believe one of the reasons people feel disaffected from the govt. is because the govt. just patronizes them.
    This may be controversial, but one of the reasons our society is on the decline is the end of the military draft nearly forty years ago.
    When you serve your country in uniform (as I did for several years beginning when I was 18) you feel as if you actually have a stake in the big picture.
    The military certainly taught me respect and honor, something many of the young people (including their parents, who were not drafted)lack.
    ANd it taught me to perservere.
    If every youngster went to serve a two year hitch out of high school they would come out of it better and stronger Americans.
    Talk about seeding the next greatest generation.
    God Bless.

  13. A belated thumbs up to Pope George. I told my girls if they didn't go to college or get a job after high school, it was into the service for them. Luckily, they went on to fine college careers and they are now successful business women, wives and mothers. I think the military is better suited for men but women can do very well there. Probably the best first- job a new graduate can get.

    My concern as this depression continues to roll along is for the retired folks on fixed incomes. Inflation and new health care legislation have begun to increase the cost for the retired. Gas is up, groceries are up, insurance is up so the retiree sees more and more of his available funds not stretching far enough to meet their needs.

    Most will suffer quietly until they are in terrible strates and then begin to lose their property and even their cars.

    lets repeal the health act that the President built.

  14. Reminds me of some of Dorothea Lange's work.