Leaving Georgia for Oklahoma City tomorrow, half way across the country. Going to help celebrate the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie and all those folks he wrote songs and poems about at the Lyric Theatre.
My grandmother was one of the many hit so hard by the dust storms. She and her family were in West Texas near a little town called Sweetwater. Her dad was a sharecropper and tenant farmer – just one step up from being a slave.
When the dust storms hit them, they put everything they had in their wagon, living on the trail, the mules Jim and Julie pulling the family’s belongs all the way to Ft. Worth where they sold everything to buy train tickets back to the Missouri Bootheel. They had to work on someone else’s land and live in someone else’s shack. Get my book Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing for the rest of the story.
So I’ll enjoy reading from Woody’s work. I’ll enjoy seeing some friends who will be celebrating Guthrie and his work, too.
Most of all, I’ll enjoy telling folks it’s been this bad before and we not only got through it. We made it better. Most of us come from hardy people, folks who fought the Romneys and Ryans of their days.
Time for us to remember Woody Guthrie and the folks who had to battle both the dustbowls and the politicians.
Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.Tags: acuff, stewart acuff, woody guthrie