Topic: "Joad Jobs" (4)
Frodo took note of the banner above the web page, it said, simply, "15,000 jobs available right now", and the second line said "Baton Rouge." Perhaps, thought Frodo, the real revival of the City of Orleans is at hand, and all it took was a Depression-style economy to make people abandon their homes and head out to greener pastures, again. This time, instead of heading West, they may head South, and instead of picking fruit, they may be building houses. The motorcars may be a little more modern, and the highways more accessible, but the stories will be much the same.
Frodo Joad may have just returned from his third tour in Iraq. His wife, his mother, their two daughters, the turtle and the three dogs all piled into a 1993 Chevy Mini-van. They leave their house near Stillwater behind, to the bank, and they search for the quickest route to the promise of tomorrow. There are no jobs to the North, and they find the road clogged with license plates from rust-colored states that seem to extend all the way to Canada, and beyond.
There is only enough money to last for a few months, and tax breaks aren't going to offer much to a guy who wakes up at night, often in a cold sweat, calling names unfamiliar to anyone in his current entourage. Loud noises frighten the dogs, and Frodo Joad. But there is warming weather on the horizon, and everywhere they stop, people talk about the good food, the nice people, and the jobs, all of which lie before them.
Every night, someone seems to have a black-and-white tuned to a news broadcast, and they see him, talking about hope, and working together, and the fact that our greatest fears are our own. They hold hands, some pray, but most just want to share as mammalians have done for thousands of years, under similar circumstances. They go on, because they cannot go back.
The bridges are all re-built, but much remains to be re-constituted, and as they cross into the City of Orleans, the path should be wide and free to the opportunities which brought them to the Parish border. What, dear reader, do we do, if the sign says "Okies, Go Home"?