OKLAHOMA OR BUST
ALOHA DEAR KALOKA FAMILY,
My mother and her family survived a memorable time in history. They had NO electricity, until 1939, NO indoor plumbing, using an out-house, even in the winter, a kerosene lamp to do homework by, straw mattresses, NO TV, just a radio and NO cell phones, just a hand cranked 8 party line wall phone.
Due to my grand-parents pioneering ways, it was remarkable their ability to overcome the many perils of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Mother was born and raised on a 160-acre farm, 9 miles south of Watonga, Oklahoma. Her family endured relentless droughts, floods, tornadoes and dust storms. Growing up during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Days, mother said, “we never felt poor because we had each other. Plus, we had cows, chickens, pigs and a big garden so we never went hungry. Some of our friends were not that fortunate. But, we looked after each other and shared what the Good Lord gave us.”
My grandma was a gifted seamstress and made all of mother’s and her three sister’s clothes. Grandma taught all the girls how to sew, so that, they would always have nice outfits to wear for school and especially for Church. She said going to church was never debated unless illness or bad weather prevented them from going. Mother said their faith in God helped get them through the tough times, like the Stock Market crash of 1929, illness and the unexpected storms that would come up and destroy all of the newly sprouted crops. Mother said, “no one had more faith in God than a farmer.”
Due to the severe storms, floods and droughts, mother said a few of their neighbors were so discouraged that they, “picked up and moved to California.” Mother told of how people in California spoke degradingly of people who came from Oklahoma. They were called “Okies” and she did not like that name one bit. When she and my father were living in California, she told a story of a man who spoke of his friends from Oklahoma. He said, “oh, they just live like Okies.” Mother said, “I shook my finger in his face and said, you better smile when you say that because I’m an Okie and proud of it!” Mother was NOT a shrinking violet!
Agape and Mahalo,