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Tough Enough: 1936

Tough Enough: 1936

August 1936. "Family between Dallas and Austin. The people have left their home and connections in South Texas, and hope to reach the Arkansas Delta for work in the cotton fields. Penniless people. No food and three gallons of gas in the tank. The father is trying to repair a tire. Three children. Father says, 'It's tough but life's tough anyway you take it.'" Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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face to face

Look close and you'll see that the oldest daughter is mirroring her mother's stern expression, giving it back in double measure. The mother's stockings are torn, but she's determined to get a little more use out of them? Who knows when or how she'll ever get another pair?


My heart breaks to see such young people in trouble. The mother looks like a child herself. Her husband sounds like a strong man, not giving up but looking for work. I truly hope they found their way and lived a happy life.

Artistic sensibility

The juxtaposition of this photograph with "Pineapples on Parade" ( is brilliant.

'It's tough but life's tough anyway you take it

Tough folks doing the things they have to do without complaint. These are our collective forefathers and they mirror those from previous times. They make me proud to be an American.

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