Transcript/Biography

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"Well, that [the Crash] was in the papers. I was in high school at the time, and, of course, we had a lesson in class on current events. We didn't recognize really what it was, what it amounted to. Only, we knew that it did affect us somewhat, even in our small community.
     "We had a number of people living in Gresham that came unemployed. They were more or less day laborers, they would just work by the day or the week. They became unemployed. There was a number of those in the early 30s [who] began moving to California. They began to leave looking for something better."
     Question; "Did you know some of those folks?"
     "Yes."
     Question; "What was that like? That must have been wrenching to have those friends leave."
     "Well, yes. But, if they couldn't make it, what else could they do, really? Many of them had families. Their entire families were uprooted."

Walter Schmitt on the Crash & Leaving for California

   

Other Excerpts from Walter Schmitt's Interview:

Grasshoppers
Dealing with Grasshoppers
Fertilizing & Crop Rotation
Small World
Losing Your Farm
Free Dances & Movies
Closing Banks
Getting Paid with Potatoes
Hoover and Roosevelt
WPA
Railroads & Trucks
Movies in Gresham
The KKK
Tumbleweeds
Decline in Farms