Stepdaddy: A Creative Memoir

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Overview

In the 1930s, more than 300,000 rural American farmers, sharecroppers, squatters, and field hands fled the Dust Bowl. They left homes where some had lived for generations. Their destination: California's fertile valleys. They went with hopes of finding good-paying jobs and dreams of buying a small farm of their own. Most of those who joined this westward tide of humanity were "Okies," the poor but proud people of Oklahoma. Whether moved by the most devastating drought ever to strike this country or the relentless...
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Overview

In the 1930s, more than 300,000 rural American farmers, sharecroppers, squatters, and field hands fled the Dust Bowl. They left homes where some had lived for generations. Their destination: California's fertile valleys. They went with hopes of finding good-paying jobs and dreams of buying a small farm of their own. Most of those who joined this westward tide of humanity were "Okies," the poor but proud people of Oklahoma. Whether moved by the most devastating drought ever to strike this country or the relentless onslaught of tractors that revolutionized farming, the dream of California riches lived in the hearts and minds of those who struggled to make ends meet. In 1948, thirteen-year-old Bill Boyd and his stepfather, Daddy Philpot, joined this westward migration, wondering if it were still possible to double or triple an Okie's wage in California. They traveled Route 66, a national highway that stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles. The rigors of the 1,500-mile journey did not diminish their hopes as they hitchhiked West and dreamed of the California riches they would use to bring the rest of their family out West. In the summer of 2001, Bill Boyd once again set out for California. As he traveled old Route 66 from Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to the barren plains of the Texas panhandle to the former labor camps around Bakersfield and Fresno, California, he hoped to see what a young boy once saw, feel the emotions that he felt, and relive the adventure. And, of course, he wanted the goodness of Daddy Philpot, his stepdaddy who showed him the world beyond Oklahoma, to forever be remembered.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865547810
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 273
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue vii
1. The Grubstake 1
2. The Long Road 15
3. Detour 33
4. The Pup 54
5. The Hailstorm 73
6. Striking a Deal 89
7. Death of a Packard 101
8. California 117
9. Into the Valley 131
10. "You're too White" 147
11. Camp Shafter 165
12. Back to Bakersfield 176
13. Looking East 186
14. The Accident 199
15. Alone in the Desert 212
16. The Reunion 227
17. The Bean Pickers 244
18. The Way Home 257
Epilogue 270
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    A new format for Bill........

    Bill Boyd charms readers of all ages as he and Daddy Philpot trace the path of Steinbeck's Joad family in a remarkable journey along Route 66, searching for a better life for their family. He has done an excellent job of reseach and documentation, and makes you feel as though you are hitchhiking right along with them. You feel their fear and experience their hunger and pain as they struggle to reach their destination and just to survive. The epilogue tracing the major characters in the book adds even more icing to a cake that would be just as wonderful with no icing at all.

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