Friday, November 04, 2011

Book Study: Out of the Dust Week 4

In week 4, we're now about half way through our book study.  Life is still extremely hard for Billie Jo.  Hardship, devastation and death continue to be part of life for the people of Cimarron County.

Review Study Guide questions from Progeny Press Autumn 1934 and Winter 1935.

After reviewing questions, explain the disease of dust pneumonia to the students. We learned this past week that a couple residents of the community died of dust pneumonia.  What were the causes?  How were the lungs affected?  What were the symptoms?  Can it be cured?  What did the people of the Dust Bowl area do to try to limit the inhalation of the dust?

Here are some links on Dust Pneumonia for further research:,-the-brown-plague

This week I also introduced the students to two popular songs of the 1930's.  The songs "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Stormy Weather" were both mentioned in this section.  We listened to the songs over and over prior to introducing the students to them.  I had hoped to have the kids envision Billie Jo listening to the words of "Stormy Weather"  while the dust blew outside her home.

I sensed Karen Hesse chose these two songs specifically for their popularity and their lyrics.  If you listen to the lyrics, you can imagine why these songs appealed to Billie Jo.

I purchased both songs on iTunes and played them for the class.  Although the music was not overly stimulating with drumbeats and synthesizers, as the students are used to, I reminded them without the music of the 30's we wouldn't have the music we have today.

Here's the song in a video.  I chose the version from River Runs Through It by Mark Isham.  Here's the music. Disregard the Sacramento content of the video and enjoy the music.

Bye Bye Blackbird

Pack up all my care and woe,
Here I go,
Singing low, 
Bye bye blackbird,
Where somebody waits for me,
Sugar's sweet, so is he,
Bye bye 

No one here can love or understand me,
Oh, what hard luck stories they all hand me,
Make my bed and light the light,
I'll arrive late tonight,
Blackbird bye bye.

Stormy Weather

Don't know why 
There's no sun up in the sky 
Stormy weather 
Since my gal and I ain't together 
Keeps raining all the time 
Life is bare 
Gloom and misery everywhere 

Stormy weather 
Just can't get my poor old self together 
I'm weary all the time 
Every time 
So weary all of the time 
When she went away 
The blues walked in and then they met me 
If she stays away 
That old rocking chair's bound to get me 
All I do is pray 
The lord above will let me 
Just walk in that sun again 
Can't go on 
Everything I had is gone 
Stormy Weather 
Since my gal and I ain't together 
Keeps raining all the time 
Keeps raining all of the time 

Poor Billie Jo, so down!  The lyrics of the songs reflect our dear friend's sorrowful life.

Bible Verses –Out of the Dust Autumn 1934 & Winter 1935

Philippians 4:4-7

 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:11-13

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Timothy 6:6-8

 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Until next time...Keep Reading!

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