More than 75 years after hundreds of thousands of "Dust Bowl" refugees fled Oklahoma for the promise of the booming economy of the golden state of California, the tide has turned.
Since 2005, thousands of Californians have moved to Oklahoma, prompting Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to declare a reversal of the "Grapes of Wrath" migration immortalized in the John Steinbeck novel about "Okies" fleeing in the 1930s.
The flow back to Oklahoma does not yet approach the hundreds of thousands - some say a million - people who left Oklahoma in what is known as the "Dust Bowl" of the Great Depression.
But from 2005 to 2010 Oklahoma had a net gain of 33,209 people from California, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.
One attraction is unemployment of 6 percent in Oklahoma compared with California's 10.9 percent and a national rate of 8.2 percent, according to government figures. The cost of living is lower in Oklahoma and the social and cultural scene is improving, said Fallin, a Republican.
The change began in the middle of the last decade when Oklahoma's energy and farm-based economy began to outgrow California's, government figures show. This was compounded by the recession and housing crisis, when California was hit harder.
"All those things have added up to people taking note of Oklahoma and I do believe it's caused a reverse 'Grapes of Wrath,'" said Fallin, who mentioned it in her budget address to the legislature earlier this year.
The governor's own maternal grandmother came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon from Tennessee. By the 1930s, when drought and wind stripped the topsoil from the land, Fallin's family headed west except for her grandmother, who stayed behind in Tecumseh, where Fallin grew up.
While the Dust Bowl affected other Plains states, "The Grapes of Wrath" and the subsequent movie starring Henry Fonda ensured that it was more closely linked to Oklahoma.
Even though far more Californians last year moved to more populous states than Oklahoma, such as Texas, and to states nearer California like Arizona and Nevada, the net surplus of Californians relocating to Oklahoma is symbolic for the state.
Some Californians who have moved to Oklahoma say they like it.
"After 22 years in L.A., I needed a break from the traffic, the crowds, the rudeness," said Sarah Jane Rose, who arrived in Oklahoma City in 2005 with her husband, who grew up there, and their two daughters aged 12 and 16.
Rose, who directed television shows for 10 years, and her husband, Jay Shanker, an entertainment attorney, did not want to raise their kids in Los Angeles, where they believe children grow up too fast.