They were “Okies” who had left the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma looking for a better life in California. Traveling in an old Model T packed with all their worldly goods, including an unfinished quilt. Ed, Sibyl, and 4-year-old Sally Jo were young, healthy and willing to work hard in California. Once they arrived, Ed found work picking fruit and vegetables. Money was scarce, so they lived in a tent for a year. Each day, Sibyl cared for Sally Jo and did camp chores. In the heat of the day, she worked on completing her quilt.
In the fall, Sally Jo entered school, riding the bus with other kids. They teased her, calling her “Okie” and making fun of her patched dresses, but she was too young to realize the insult. Her mama and daddy loved her and she was happy.
Later, Ed was employed as a mechanic and Sibyl found work in a cannery, which enabled them to rent and later buy a small house where the now completed green-and-white star quilt would cover their bed for the next 40 years.