In this continuation of the story of Roy and Lucille Fitz, the De Smet couple discusses the reality of the Depression's effects on the plains. Roy says eastern South Dakota was hit in the early '30s. An acre of land valued at around $50 in the 1910's (about $1,200 today) had dropped to a mere five dollars (about $87 today). Crops dropped steeply in value, and it became difficult to feed livestock. Farmers and governments both were accumulating crippling debt.
On top of all this, droughts became normal and the infamous Dust Bowl began.
Roy describes a few memorable experiences he had during the '30s dust storms and, more often than not, dust was just the first ingredient:
Throughout the interview, Roy and Lucille tell hopeful stories of duty, community, and small-but-valuable successes in a time of blanket misery. Be sure to listen for Roy's tale of the miraculous pheasants and Lucille's vivid descriptions of life on the homestead. You can hear the full interview here:
If you'd like to learn more about life during the Dust Bowl, you can visit the following sites: