Reading Dust Bowl

Imagine hopping on and off a gliding train, wishing for a better life, a better home, and a better job. One does not know what the future holds, however the teens in the 1930s went searching for their future. Life was miserable for Americans living through the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. In “Teen Hoboes in the 1930s," Kristin Lewis found that one in four Americans by 1932 were jobless. More than thousands of people roamed searching for food, a place to sleep, and employment in the country (6). Life was even more miserable for numerous Americans searching for jobs traveling through the harsh conditions of the Dust Bowl, which lead to difficult living conditions for many. In Children of the Dust Bowl written by Jerry Stanley, the text describes that on their journeys to get away from the Dust Bowl, American slept, cooked, and went to the bathroom outside. They also bathed when they could and did whatever it took to get to the next day (17). Living like this, especially for teens, is not ideal and also comes with many health issues, even more that the Dust Bowl was wiping out many who had no place to go. The living conditions brought many teens to the thought of leaving on trains and getting away from their old life to find new. Riding the Rails, directed by Lexy Lowell and Michael Uys, describes the life of teens riding freight trains in the 1930s, one in particular, Clarence Lee states “I wanted to stay home and help my family earn money and survive, but I had to go.” Teens, like Clarence, had trouble dealing with everything during this time and knew they had to provide for the family by leaving and finding a job far away from home.