The Migrant Mother....

"All you can write is what you see. " Woody Guthrie, Dustbowl Troubadour

This Woman, this mother her face is haunting. I have been using her on my posts at Watergate Summer when I want to blog about the Human Condition. Her eyes are familiar, as I have been seeing more and more people with this look in their eyes. In recent weeks I have been seeing her on other blogs as well. I decided that as she haunts some of us maybe we should learn about her.
Her name is Florence Owens Thompson. When the photo was taken by Dorothea Lange in 1936 she was 32 years old, she was a Migrant worker, she was living in a tent with her 7 children. She and the children had been living on frozen vegetables, field scraps, and birds killed by the children. It was the DustBowl years, and she had traveled west To California with her husband to pick the fields. This photo was taken outside Pea Fields near Nipomo California. Dorothea was traveling taking Photos, documenting the Farm Stories of The Depression for the Farm Security Administration. She told Dorothea that she was a Pea Picker. She sat in her dilapitated Lean To Tent, huddled with her children about her. She answered questions quietly, distantly. Originally Dorothea did not have her name, her children would later identify her and the story to writers and magazines. ( To this day there are different versions of the story). Dorothea talked to her and quietly took the 5 shots that would later show her Tent, and her at different angle with the Children. The Tent was made of odds and ends. And the car was near by without tires, as they had been sold for food.

Whenever I look at this photo....I hear "This Land is yours, this land is Mine". So I looked up the song, to see if it was from that Era. It turns out that Woody Guthrie wrote and sang the song, and he was the Dustbowl Troubadour and had traveled as an Oakie to California looking for work, and yes, he was a young father and it was the Dustbowl Era. And his songs from that era are from watching people go looking for work and for food.The song does capture the desolation of that time and those people that he was traveling with, and struggling with. The Shared angst of that time, the shared Humanity of that Moment.
As More and More are losing their Homes, Millions in the past 2 years, and more this year than last.My Neighborhood is full of them. And as the economy wracks millions, shouldn't we be aware of what we are witnessing and seeing around us. If we are aware and reaching out to those around us and showing compassion maybe the path will be less bitter, less painful. And unlike the Criminal Regime that is currently mismanaging Our Country, shouldn't we be looking in each other's eyes and seeing the Truth. We have a leader that is unable to even say the word "Recession" , and yet 37 Million are Living in Poverty and 20 Million of those are children.I see these mothers at the Grocery Store every week. And these Mothers have These Eyes, the Eyes of a Migrant Mother from 1936.
{{{ What can you do to help Fight Poverty: Put a small Box in your pantry, and everytime you got to the store , buy One Extra Thing, a can of soup, or canned beans, or a bag of rice, when the box is full take to your local Foodbank, near to you. That way you can know you helped a Neighbor. }}}


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