Resilience at the Heart of a Story

Guest blog by Shelley Blanton-Stroud

I’ve always been drawn to the topic of resilience—it’s the heart of my family’s origin story.

I grew up in Bakersfield, California, surrounded by grannies, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, whose shared history was a Route 66 migration out of Texas and Oklahoma during the 1930s and 40s Dust Bowl, when nearly-biblical drought combined with failed farming practices to make the land go barren. This was my family’s slice of the Great Depression.

Grown-up talk around plates of Thanksgiving turkey often turned on that escape from dried-up farmland, villainous bankers, untrustworthy government, toward California, where orchards were said to overflow with oranges and there was a fair paycheck for every hard worker.

Conditions were not as advertised.

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