Author who lived through the Dust Bowl visits Lake Elmo library Jan. 17

Photo courtesy of Friends of Lake Elmo LibraryNorma Welty, who lived through the Dust Bowl and wrote about it in “Dirty Days,” visits the Lake Elmo Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Lake Elmo Library
Norma Welty, who lived through the Dust Bowl and wrote about it in “Dirty Days,” visits the Lake Elmo Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17.

LAKE ELMO — Author Norma Welty talks about her life during the Dust Bowl and how she came to write her book about that time at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Lake Elmo Public Library.

The Friends of Lake Elmo Library sponsor the event.

“It is 1933. As a beat-up truck travels down a road away from Arkansas, seven-year-old Molly May Dowden can only hope a better future awaits her parents in Thistleway, Oklahoma. They have no idea of what is about to come.”

So begins Welty’s story about one of the most challenging times in U.S. history seen through the eyes of a young girl. The 87-year-old Welty fictionalized her experience, but lived through it and in this historical tale based on true events, a girl embarks on a coming-of-age journey where she and her loved ones must fight to survive the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

Welty said her story is not just about the pain and suffering.

“There are moments of humor and tenderness that reveal our human capacity to find hope, even happiness amid all the tragedy,” she said. “My story celebrates and acknowledges the strength and endurance of a generation of adults and children who battled the elements at a desperate time and prevailed through pure grit, hope, and determination.”

Welty came to her craft later in life and, she said, “In some ways, I have a history of being a late bloomer.”

The Maplewood resident did not attend college until she was 40, but earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and taught English for 21 years. She received her first computer at age 80.

  • Jeanne Craig

    A question–throughout the book the girl is said to be in southwest Oklahoma. But she is in the Panhandle…
    Maybe it indicates that Oklahoma is a southwestern state?

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