At the height of the Great Depression, 250,000 teenagers were roaming America. Some left home because they felt they were a burden to their families; some fled homes shattered by the shame of unemployment and poverty; some left because it seemed a great adventure. Whether with the blessings of parents or as runaways, they hit the road and went in search of a better life. By summer 1932, the "roving boy" had become a fixture on the American landscape. The occasional girl was sighted, too, most passing unrecognized in male garb.
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