For a dozen years I have been accumulating documentation on ancestors (my ancestors, as representative Okies), starting from nothing (two tiny anecdotes about great grandfathers). Finally I have written a Foreword on the 1930s and how Okie became a hate word. Have you ever noticed how Steinbeck said all but nothing about how the Joads got to Oklahoma and who their ancestors were? Well, there was in fact a general loss of memory after the Civil War because of dislocation, poverty, physical weariness and weakness.
For weeks as I read hundreds of newspaper articles on the 30s and read in dozens of books on the 30s (oh, thank you Amazon for the $1 plus postage volumes) I have been reliving scenes much better forgotten--not the sort of things that offer any relief from Donald Trump and internal and external terrorism or the unthinking anger in England.
Now I get to deal with the stories I have unearthed from the 1600s on. Telling the stories should be a relief, no matter how grisly they are. I have not decided how to proceed yet. If I can do it right, this might be my best book. High time.
I'll have to stop in a few weeks to work on something else, but this is finally under weigh.