Friday, June 29, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (Part 2)

It's raining again today. The local news reported that the farmers -- who had all thought we were going to have a bumper crop in May -- have said all of their wheat fields are a total loss. Why you ask? Yep, you guessed it: too much rain. Because the ground is too soggy, their combines cannot harvest the wheat. And because it would take ten days for the ground to dry out, by that time the crops would be destroyed due to rot.

This is so Oklahoma. Hope turns to despair, from the Dust Bowl of the Depression-era 1930s to now. In the 1930s, many Oklahoma farmers -- ruined by weather then -- moved to California to try to rebuild their lives. John Steinbeck wrote about this in The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck's novel is where the term "Okie" became well-known. It became a pejorative slang for a poor immigrant worker in California during this time (not necessarily limited to just Oklahomans).

While I am on the subject of The Grapes of Wrath, I should mention that the film adaptation of the book will be showing at the Oklahoma Museum of Art on Sunday, July 15th at 2pm as part of their Oklahoma Film series celebrating Oklahoma's Centennial.

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