In the 1930’s a huge drought caused many difficulties to farmers across the United States especially in Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. During this time land had dried up because of very little rainfall. With less moisture in the soil, high winds in the plains caused dust storms. The series of dust storms was later called the Dust Bowl. Living conditions in this area of the United States were very poor, causing people to move westward bound. Frank Manies was one of those people. Now a retired schoolteacher residing in Tulare, he left his home in Oklahoma during times of struggle for a chance to come to California and experience a new and improved way of living and working.
Frank Manies grew up in a small town in Stephen County, Oklahoma. Being the second youngest in his family of 6, Manies endured many hardships, such as dealing with osteomyelitis and having his mother die. He also wasn’t really into school that much, Frank says that he’s been to about 22 schools throughout his life but has moved around so much he wasn’t really interested in schooling. Manies’ father was a sharecropper, and during the Great Depression many sharecroppers had lost their jobs and were forced off their farms. Farmworkers would work in new and upcoming industrialized factories, leaving their farm in the dust. In his early days Manies was a striving worker. He looked for work wherever he could, and even fibbed about his age to have employment. Like how the job market is today, it was hard to get a job during these times as well. Frank Manies set out to California and, in a literal sense, walked out of his state on the trail to the “land of opportunity.” Little did he know that the Civilian Conservation Corps would take him steps closer to achieve his dream. The Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, was very near and dear to Manies’ heart as a child. He longed to be a part of the Corps but wasn’t able to because of the very strict qualifications and competitiveness....
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