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Neideffer Camp: 1937

Neideffer Camp: 1937

Spring 1937. "This family without food and work about to be returned to Oklahoma by the Relief Administration. They have lost a baby as a result of exposure during the winter. Had to sell their tent and car to buy food. Neideffer Camp, Holtville, Imperial Valley, California." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Southern California 1937

My parents and maternal grandparents moved to Los Angeles in May 1937 from their home in Independence, Missouri. A skilled finish carpenter, grandfather almost immediately found well-paying steady work building cabinets and fitted closets in a movie star's Pacific Palisades residence. My beautiful mother, then 22, found sales work in the big downtown stores. Though ordinary middle class people, they were really fortunate to live in security among those with far more money; photos of people in dire straits such as these emphasize that fact resoundingly.

A back to reality picture

Think about this photo next time your satellite or cable TV goes on the fritz or the kids accidentally scratch your car in the driveway.
Perseverance is what we are made of.


Must of been rough in California for the family to be sent back to Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl.


It's amazing that the woman can still smile in spite of these harrowing circumstances. They did what they had to or could do to survive. That family would have to wait another 3 or 4 years until the wartime economy kicks in order to see any real relief.

Yet she smiles

in the face of such adversity. An indomitable spirit indeed.

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