Dream Big: Coping With Life in the Great Depression, By Eileene Russell Huff
2009 [ISBN: 1-58107-162-0; 104 pages; 5 ½ x 8 ½ inch; soft cover] $13.95
The Great Depression of the 1930s came though hometowns like a tornado on the tail of a prairie fire, knocking down everything in its way. The stock market crash in 1929 began it all. At first one didn’t notice much difference, but each day a piece of living crumbled and fell off.
Like a conquering monster it wiped out mortgages, savings accounts, repossessed automobiles, cancelled insurance policies, closed doors on small businesses, and caused banks to fail. Men were laid off; entire families were put on the road. Yet, people refused to be defeated. They believed things would get better and in the meantime tried to encourage their children to make the most of every opportunity.
In her inspiring book, the author shows how the people of a small Oklahoma community sorted the important from the unimportant – her family and the townspeople learned to cope with the insecurity of the Depression.
This is no “dust bowl saga.” It is an education in survival and preservation.
The booming oil town of Drumright, Oklahoma was only six years young when Eileene Russell was born. It was in the midst of celebrating to be the largest oilfield in the world. The town had yet to develop beyond tents, shotgun and box houses, with cot houses, muddy streets and flimsy frame businesses. She was born in a brown box house located in the heart of downtown where the famous Methodist church now stands.
She attended Second Ward Grade School. There were 43 students in her first grade class. At Drumright High School she was graduated with honors and had some work at the University of Oklahoma. Although Journalism was always her ambition, she later held a Real Estate Brokers License as well as an Appraiser’s License, practicing more than 30 years.
She never left Drumright, married a young dentist, Dr. F. D. Coffield, with whom she had one daughter. After his death she had a second marriage to pharmacist, Howard R Huff. Following an active career and involvement in the growth of the community, she retired. Because of an illness which took away her walking ability she has been confined to her home and began to write again.
She has hundreds of stories published in newspapers and magazines. Since 2004 she has written two books. This book, Dream Big: Coping With Life in The Great Depression, is a summarization of her life.