The Story Behind
In 1929 as the Great Depression was destroying jobs and hope across America, my father took a job in remote Nevada near Elko. He worked as a civil engineer at a several gold mines in the area. Summer brought temperatures above 120 degrees, winter brought freezing rain and often snow. Payroll was never assured, as gold production fluctuated, banks were failing and the distant locations of the mines meant frequent transportation and mail delays.
His fiancee, eventually my mother, lived in Los Angeles and worked in downtown. They were married a few months after this letter was written. During the Great Depression, my parents lived separated off and on like this for a number of years, even after the birth of my older brother and sister. Subsequently my father secured work with the WPA in southern California and they reunited.
While in Nevada, he wrote her letters from his office and from his hotel room; these letters are part of our family's heritage. It was a very difficult time, as there was no governmental support like today. Delayed payroll meant no money for necessities like food. Many letters reflect hardships both endured.
I have deep respect for my parents, their endurance and commitment to our family. Reading the letter pictured here, I imagined myself in his room on that evening of June 24, 1929 and created this composition memorializing their love.