vintage postcard from Alton, Illinois, July 14, 1937
Today started out on frustrating note. We have two Macintosh computers, and they had both been mostly out of commission since Monday. I spent hours on the telephone, and had tech guys at my house twice, frowning and speculating, and not getting the problem fixed. Finally I went to my cable company and requested a different modem, and made a appointment with my Mac tech to come get it all set up again. In the meantime I was edgy, shaky, in withdrawal. So rather than fume about not being able to work online, or to check my emails that have been coming and going fast and furious in preparation for my trip on Saturday, I went down to the local consignment shop to look over old postcards.
This one struck me immediately. A grasshopper beating a drum could be humorous, but it struck me as ominous. Nineteen thirty-seven. The Dust Bowl. Lots of people were "beating it," leaving farms destroyed by drought and grasshoppers to start over on the west coast. Think The Grapes of Wrath. Tonight I read the back of the old penny postcard:
Dear Ruthie and Willis,
Sent the folks one (a postcard) of the dust storm. Thought this would be good for you. Never did see so many grasshoppers. Julia and I slept out in the yard most of the night under the stars. You should try it.
Oddly enough the book I plan to read after I get home at the end of the month is Tim Eagan's nonfiction account of the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.
Oh, the computers are working fine once more. I can relax.