A Drop in the Bucket
by Leslie Noyes
One shard’s sharp clatter
Finally hitting bottom
Way down in the well
No splash forthcoming
Water dried up years ago
Does no good to cry
Keep shoveling dirt
Keep plowing those narrow rows
Keep harvesting naught
I grew up in the Texas panhandle, one of the areas hardest hit by the Dust Bowl. Although that was before my time, I heard many a tale from my grandparents about the dark days when the dirt blew non-stop, filling every nook and cranny and clogging lungs.
Several years ago, a book club I belonged to in Illinois, read the book, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It’s a rather long book filled with firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl Days, and while I don’t usually indulge in nonfiction, I found this book fascinating.
When the book club members met to discuss The Worst Hard Time I was excited to share my perspectives. One woman, a New Yorker transplanted to Illinois, couldn’t believe that people still live in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. I assured her that not only did people still live there, they thrived.
I highly recommend the book. If you read it, let me know what you think.
Yesterday I posted photos of the murals in downtown Colquitt, Georgia. Those murals pale in comparison to the silo murals in this small Georgia town.
Neither Saint Helen nor I claim to be professional photographers, and our only cameras are on our iPhones. Hopefully, though, our photos will convey at least an idea of the scope and beauty of these larger than life works of art:
Every crop grown in the area surrounding Colquitt is depicted on the silos.
We stopped in at the Colquitt Chamber of Commerce before heading downtown, and the women there were full of lively conversation and helpful information. In a future post I’ll share the town’s Cotton Hall Theatre schedule. I’m hoping that Studly Doright and I can attend one of their Swamp Gravy performances in the near future.
Coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, is a down on his luck football coach who finds himself at the end of the proverbial rope in McFarland, California, after losing his cool in a half time locker room incident at a school in Oregon.
McFarland is an agricultural community with a mostly Latino population. Students at the school Coach White teaches at begin their days picking lettuce and other crops at 5:30 a.m. before going to school and then end their days picking more before going home. And they run to and from every location.
Soon after arriving in McFarland with his wife and two daughters Coach White finds himself at odds with the head football coach and has to find other ways to augment his teaching salary. That way ends up being coaching cross country, a sport dominated by well-to-do schools.
I put off seeing this film because it seemed fairly predictable: Anglo coach finds himself embroiled in culture shock, but rises to the occasion lifting the Latino boys on his team along the way. Nailed it. But the story had so much heart, and I’m a sucker for heart. The youngsters who play the young athletes are endearing and likeable, and fun to root for.
McFarland, USA, is well worth the time, especially if there’s a kid in your life that might benefit from some good motivation. The viewers at Doright Manor highly endorse it.