Tag: Great Depression

This Ain’t Us

I didn’t grow up with “Good morning, Cono” smiles or quiet and calm conversations around the supper table. Maybe, we just learned not to speak our mind. Especially since one or two of the minds around the kitchen table might not like our notions….

Amen-er’s drinkin’ whiskey

Delma didn’t die. Every day my little sister got stronger and stronger and more and more like her old self again. Dad stayed about the same, hardly ever getting up outta bed. After the quarantine sign was pulled off our door and our prison…

Ike’s Spicy Tongue

   (pictures of my great-grandfather, Ike “Isaac Newton” Dennis) Ike mounts his beans on top of his cornbread, takes a bite, then chomps off the end of his jalapeno. Sweat is just pouring off his forehead and tears have started to roll down his…

Love in the Dustbowl

Lyrics from one of my favorite songs. Baby I know that we’ve got trouble in the fields When the bankers swarm like locust out there turning away our yield The trains roll by our silos, silver in the rain They leave our pockets full…

The Devil’s Horns

1931: Busted Toothbrushes and Beaten Backsides I stack up these Devil’s Horns, so I can see how high they’ll go up before they all fall back down again. Here at Ma and Pa’s farm just outside of Ranger where we’re living now, Devil’s Horns…

Tellin’ it like it was

I’ve never been to jail nor do I plan to ever go. Growing up sometimes, I felt like I was in jail just from living under the same roof as Dad. I can’t imagine being all boxed in like that. I’d think the roof…

Can’t beat it with an ugly stick

At least we are together, Delma and me. It’s just another place that I plan to watch over her. I want to keep her close by, so nobody can snatch her away again. As long as I can do that, it doesn’t make no…

Shootin’ Sunshine

Here I go again, on the way back to Sweetwater. Not to get a donkey but to shoot Sunshine, My Only Sunshine. Driving down the highway, Aunt Nolie doesn’t talk much, at least not with her mouth. She clutches that steering wheel like she’s…

A minimal meal

For a week, the whole house feels pain of one kind or another. Delma’s in one bed crying, Dad’s moaning and cussing in his. But the only sickness Mother and I feel is a mean rumbling in our bellies from lack of food. Since…

You Would be 87 today

I wrote this shortly after my father died in 2009. (Happy Birthday, Daddy) Dear Dad, I write.  My eyes blur.  I see a cowboy hat with a cowboy underneath it.   You’d say,  “This hat’s worth a lot more than what’s underneath it” . …