Transcript/Biography

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"Now, that's where you got started at when they run the renters off. We was helping them. I was working for a renter. Now the fellow I worked for, Frank Heine, is dead. He knows about him. He had half of that country out there. He'd have, oh maybe on a half section of land, there'd be two or three houses, you know, of me and him and you. Families living in them making a decent living working for him. Well, he seen he could buy tractors up, and [he said] 'You get off! I don't need you no more. I don't need you no more.'
     "The fellow I worked for, he bought four new tractors at one time and three combines, see. Case tractors and combines. Well, you take a four-up team of mules – well, one tractor can do as much in a day as one team could do in a week and not be as expensive. Gas then, you know – You may not believe it, but he knows, we bought gas right here in Goodlett for nine- and ten-cents a gallon. They seen they could make so much more money by farming all of their land and running the little farmer off."

Walter Ballard on Being "Tractored Out"

   

Other Excerpts from Dust Bowl Descent Interviews:

Darrel Coble & Lois Houle
Florence Thompson Migrant Mother
Nettie Featherston, "If You Die…"
Lois Houle on "Relief"
William Huravitch & Chewing Tobacco
Vern Evans, Oregon or Bust
Walter Ballard, Riding the Rails
Fritz Fredrick Growing Wheat
Madge May on the FSA
Harvey Taft, FSA Farmsteads
May Ross Lincoln, School Programs
Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land"