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Letters from the Boxcar Boys and Girls

of the Great Depression

 

Great Depression Boxcar Kids

 

 

What an Incredible Adventure

"Howard, my step-dad, came home one night in the summer of 1929, wide-eyed with excitement. 'I've gotten a job!'" he announced.

" 'Where?' we asked, in chorus. 'Doin' what?' ...

 

Was I Leaving Little for Nothing?

"I stepped off the porch and turned right. My eyes searched for the one-armed railroad bull, who'd threatened to arrest me the next time I trespassed on railroad property. I was relieved when I didn't see him...

 

And Baby Makes Three

"With the consent of our parents, Thelma and I married in April 1935. We had to borrow the money to get our license. We didn't know where our next meal would come from, but we really loved each other and had courage to believe we could make a living....

 

What a Cruel Thing to do on Mother's Day

"The Great Depression still plagued the entire United States. My family was having a hard time making ends meet, but I wasn't unhappy with my home life. I'd developed a wanderlust, hearing my two oldest brothers talk about riding freight trains to other states...

I Was Out to See America

"There were no 'empties' going east of the Cascades. My friend Emmy and I clambered aboard a cattle car that was carrying a load of wooden blocks. We set about arranging the blocks, making a reclining chair on top of the pile. This was to be our seat, our comforter, our bed, for the next eight hours...

 

Trapped by a Bull

"In Saugus, California, I was bumming a house for something to eat, when a forest ranger drove up in an ambulance. He told me to climb in. I asked where we were going. 'To fight a fire,' he said. He commandeered more men on the way up the mountain road. What authority did he have to do this? I asked. If the governor himself happened on the scene, he could force him to fight the fire, he said...

I Saw a Blossom of Stars

"It was around 2.a.m. I was riding in an open gondola in Georgia, near the border of Florida. I was cold, tired and beat. The gondola was loaded with iron ingots, not a safe place to lie, but I was so exhausted I fell asleep among the bars of steel....

 

From Then on I Was a Loner

"I was about as low as a kid could get, as I walked over the Snake River Bridge. I was thinking of suicide, looking down into that black water, but I kept walking. A freight train was just pulling out of a little town. I stopped to let it pass....

Jack Rabbit and Ginger Snaps

"We gathered a few warm clothes, a frying pan, a pot, three small pie tins, some knives and forks, my husband's rifle, shells, and our bedding. We had three one dollar bills for the three of us, which we hoped would last until we reached Casper. What a vain hope that was!...

On Christmas Day...

"I was one of the few farm boys who got through grade school and high school. I got the only job I could find on a cattle ranch. It paid $10 a month and my room and board...

 

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