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REFLECTIONS-NOVEMBER-20-2013

Bob, Connie and I recently made a trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum. This time we went to see the exhibit called THIS LAND picturing a changing America in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The 1930’s and 40’s were a period of great social and environmental upheaval in the United States. The crash of the stock market in 1929, combined with disastrous drought in the Great Plains and massive flooding along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers caused dramatic changes to our natural and cultural landscape. THIS LAND: Picturing a Changing America features some 45 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs from this crucial era in American History. Many of the photographs and paintings were from different areas of Arkansas. In fact one of them was done in Paris. The story of the picture states it was painted the way the artist saw the town, but the people of Paris felt it made Paris look too bad, so changes were made. The photos of the people affected by these troubling times was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The look of pure hopelessness. I guess that was the way Mama and Daddy must have felt when I appeared on the hot day of July 1929. The beginning of the Great Depression. I have never understood why it is always referred to as the Great Depression. It seems to me it could be called something other than the Great. I can’t think of another word to use, can you? Another painting of interest was Blackwell’s Island by the artist Edward Hopper. A painting of what is now Roosevelt’s Island in New York. This painting was painted in the early 1920’s. It was sold through Christies Auction House to a private collector for $19.2 million dollars and now on display at Crystal Bridges Museum. I know that most of you are not interested in art exhibits. Neither was I until we started going to see the special ones like THIS LAND and the NORMAN ROCKWELL exhibit. Each time we go we see different Art Work. One of the photos in THIS LAND was of an older woman with a bonnet on just staring at a blank wall. The look in her eyes told me she felt just like that blank wall. What lies ahead for me??? Mama told the story of her Mother and Dad when they were just a young couple using all the resources they had to plant a field of cotton. The floods came and destroyed their cotton crop and everything they had. I have thought about that so many times a young couple seeing their dreams washed away. A few months ago I watched the story of the dust bowl. It was really hard for me to watch, in fact I didn’t watch very much of it. After going through the tornado in some way I could relate to what they were feeling. I just can’t imagine going through something like they went through with sand covering everything. Sand drifts like snow piled almost to the roofs of the houses. There was no way sand could be kept out of the houses as most houses were not built very tight. No wonder people left their land and moved to such places as California. I have often wondered who took over the land after it was left deserted?? I have often wondered about the land Mrs. Hugharts Dad, Mr. Braden, had homesteaded in Oklahoma. She told of hearing loud talking outside one night. When Mr. Braden came in he loaded up all his family and what he could get on the wagon and came to Arkansas settling in the Fidelity Community. It would be interesting to know the story behind this. Mr. Braden was an immigrant from Germany. I just wonder if the men of the community where the Bradens had settled didn’t like immigrants? I guess we will never know. The question I would like answered is WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAND? When one sees exhibits like THIS LAND it leaves a lot of unanswered questions in your mind. One should count their blessings each day for our many blessings we receive each day.

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