A Tribute to My Grandparents and the Oklahomans of the Great Depression

They were the noble ones. Not descendants of kings, politicians or titans of industry – just common folk with uncommon character. Sharecroppers, laborers, hired hands, women and children.

True nobility is not something to which men and women are born at least the American sense of nobility. Nobility is revealed through time and trial. It is forged in the fires of life. They did not seek the opportunity to shine. It was thrust upon them when the thirsty land they worked so diligently gave only dust in return.

The strength of their backs was matched only by the strength of their will. Wealth eluded them, but they were rich with family and friends. Some said their land was God-forsaken, but they lived in the depths of God’s love.

They watched as neighbors gave up on the young state’s dreams and left for the hope of a better life. But they stayed. Hungry and at the edge of hopelessness, they refused to be broken. They knew great sorrow, but they loved deeply. They knew bitter poverty, but they gave freely. They remained faithful among the fearful and the faithless.

They were the noble ones. They were Oklahoma. They were windswept. And we stand on the shoulders of giants.

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