Library to Honor Grapes of Wrath Anniversary with Guest Speaker

Library to Honor Grapes of Wrath Anniversary with Guest Speaker

Ron Hughart, author of two award winning books about the Central Valley after the Dust Bowl years, will speak at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 at the Visalia Branch Library. The event is in honor of the 75th anniversary of the release of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath about the 'Okies' who came to California, and is sponsored by the Friends of Tulare County Library.

Mr. Hughart's books, ‘The Place Beyond the Dust Bowl’ and ‘Beyond the Dust Bowl With a Pocketful Peanuts,’ describes his life as a 'Ditch Bank Okie' growing up here in the Valley in the aftermath of the Dust Bowl. As his website states,  “Underlying this solid, steer-wrestling man’s man, with a graying Van Dyke-beard and steady gazed exterior, you might not recognize little Ronnie, the half-starved, yet hopeful, action-inclined, son of ‘Okies’ and heir to The Grapes of Wrath.  ‘It’s something that we shouldn’t forget,’ Hughart said about the Dust Bowl.”

Ronald Hughart was born in Porterville to parents who came to California from Oklahoma.  They met in the Pixley peach orchards, and they and their children lived the migrant life.  Mr. Hughart still lives in the Central Valley with his family in Exeter.

The Friends of the Tulare County Library are sponsoring Mr. Hughart's presentation as part of their mission to enrich the lives of Tulare County residents through library programs.  The Friends of the Tulare County Library is an association for people who love libraries, reading, books, volunteering, and raising money to enhance public library services.

Following Mr. Hughart’s presentation, the Friend’s Spring Basket drawing will be held.  Descriptions of the baskets are on display at the library; tickets cost $1 and are available at the library, located at 200 W. Oak St. in Visalia.

The program is free and open to the public.  For information call, 559-713-2709 or go to