Dan E. Andrews Jr., and his daughter, Mary McCormick, spoke recently at a StoryCorps mobile booth in San Diego.
Mary McCormick's father, Dan E. Andrews Jr., grew up during the Great Depression. So naturally Mary is curious about what his experiences were like living in America's Dust Bowl region. The story Andrews shared resembles something out of a movie.
It all started when Andrews and a friend were walking along a train track, looking for coal that was cast off from the trains along the railroad. It was, he says, "really, really a cold winter." Taking advantage of a Christmas break from school, the two had taken the little brother of Andrews' friend along.
With snow covering most of the coal, the boys decided to walk across a trestle to look for more.
But when they were midway across the bridge, they realized an express train was bearing down on them. And in the scramble to get to the safety of the other side, the youngest boy's shoe got wedged between the trestle timbers, in the center of the track.
What followed, Andrews says, was a flurry of fast action and quick thinking. And still, he says, "The steam from the engine showered us."
Throughout the country, StoryCorps is recording the memories and conversations of everyday people. The interviews are archived at the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center and played on Morning Edition.