Well, one thing is certain. The two men and the lady with the hat didn't all ride in the cab at the same time. It's not wide enough for all three hats.
A later technological development came with the advent of cowboy hats that had rolled up brim sides. This modern wonder allowed three to occupy the seat of a pick-up truck.
Very good photo Jay! It puts us right there on the road with them. That truck looks like it has some miles on it.
And those people have some miles on them as well; likely many more miles to go.
Have not seen front fender bracing like that. Home-made? Good thing it's there having the weight of someone sitting upon it! The 'cab tilt' reflects bearing the weight.
Looks to be someone still in the truck possibly a younger girl.
That doesn't look to me like a casual snapshot. It looks as though it were taken by a professional documentary photographer, like Dorothea Lange, with a message to convey. It's also unusual to see a detailed sky like that; most amateur film would have washed out the sky. It's a terrific picture.
This photo was professionally taken by a USGOV photographer
whose name escapes me.
Taken to document the Depression and the dustbowl migration.
If you haven't yet done it, I highly suggest you all read "Grapes of Wrath", by John Steinbeck. (Don't just cheat and see the movie)
You might then follow that up with "In Dubious Battle", also by Steinbeck.
There is a much larger size on Shorpy at: http://www.shorpy.com/node/18026?size=_original#caption with the caption: May 1937. "One of three related Oklahoma drought refugee families on the highway near Lordsburg, New Mexico, going to Roswell to chop cotton." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration.
If you click on the photo at Shorpy it brings up comments and part way down they have another shot of the truck that shows the tent over the bed.
The captions in Lorin Sorensen’s “Fords Forever” reads, “Lordsburg, New Mexico, May 1937. Down on their luck, but not yet beaten, a family of drought refugees ponders the situation. They had traded off their tools for gas at the last town and now the old Ford had blown a head gasket. Loose rods could be taken up with bacon rind, and a piece of leather was good for a gasket; but without tools, there were stuck! Passing migrants were unusually generous in lending a hand, but it was not uncommon for cars to camp along the highway for days while parts were hitchhiked for and repairs made.”
I have seen that accessory fender brace before. One is shown on a different Model T on page 98 of Lorin Sorensen’s “Fords Forever.”
I remember my Dad talking about as a teenager he and his three siblings struck out in the Model T Ton Truck in search of cotton to pick, peas to harvest, etc. And they lived in the back of their truck. Times were tough, but I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t part of the reason the “Greatest Generation” stepped up when our Country needed them the most.
Hap l9l5 cut off
" Times were tough, but I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t part of the reason the “Greatest Generation” stepped up when our Country needed them the most. "
No need to wonder. It WAS what made them the "Greatest Generation". No obsessions with "self", or doing only what makes "me" happy. I think of my grandfather and the sacrifices he made for his family. I think of my dad who never complained about anything, ever. It brings a tear to my eye to think of the ever dwindling numbers of that generation. Where will we be when they're all gone?
That photo chokes me up. It is the very definition of desperation. There is not an ounce of joy in their faces. What ever became of them?
Reminds me of a line from Faulkner, "--the lowly and invincible of the earth. Theirs is to endure and endure and endure."
Seeking the California streets paved with gold and running with honey. The Oakies and Arkies like my mom (arrived in 1938),were the back bone of the left coast back then.
Looking at the hat on the lady in the middle, I'd guess she lost her job at Target in Canada and was heading to the U.S. to apply at a Target there.
It is now my new desktop background photo. My grandparents were from Oklahoma during the dust bowl days. They made many trips to California and elsewhere looking for work. They were "fruit tramps" as my grandparents always refered to themselves. My grandparents and my mom when she was 2 months old would have been on a road similar to this (old route 66) on the way to California in May of 1936. They were driving a 1925 Model T Fordor with everything they owned in it ... They drove Route 66 almost every year from the time it was dirt road till I-40 was built. They worked the fruit from Texas to California and up to Oregon and Washington. There were three kids. My mom was the oldest and then aunt Shirley and uncle Jerry. Mom has a 6th grade education, Shirley has a 5th grade education, and uncle Jerry has a 4th grade education. With all the years of migrant fruit harvesting I do not know how they made it that far ... Mom said she made it OK thru all the years till Grandpa bought the 1936 Chevy school bus. This was in aprox 1948 and they traveled and camped in the old bus. Mom (who was about 12 or 13 years old then)said she was so ashamed of that old bus that when they got to a town, her and my aunt Shirley would lay down and "hide" so no one could see them ... Uncle Jerry did not care, he said he would ride on the steps with the door open most of the time. If Grandpa was to let a kid do that today, he would be in jail for endangerment of a child ...
Donnie - Well,...that explains how you became infected with "the bug"! It was the effect that '36 Chevrolet bus had on her in not wanting to be seen in it. A FORD lady all the way! So, it's in the genes and was passed down to you accordingly, right? At least you have an excuse! Not so sure about most of the rest of us though,......harold
I just set it as my new desktop background too. Now I'll be reminded every day how much I have to be thankful for.
These people had grit. What they lived gave them character.
Judging their "happiness" by today's paradigm of convenience
and comfort is like saying my dog is a communist. The two simply
do not compute.
When I pushed out with the 1/3 in Helmand it was hellish hot,
we slept in the dirt, and ate nothing but MRE's. And we all had
dysentery. Sick as dogs and under fire daily, we dug in and got
done what needed to be done. There are still a few people out
there that know about hardship, sacrifice, and duty above all else
except honor. It was an honor just to walk with these men.
I'm surprised that the location of the photo is shown as Lordsburg, NM. Aren't those Joshua trees in the background ?
Having lived in the desert region of southern CA, it's my understanding that the Joshua's only grew in the Mojave desert. That means the eastern most habitat of the Joshua would be barely into western Arizona.