Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some Really Big Dust Bunnies!!

If you have been reading this blog since the beginning then you know that I come from a "cowboy" background on my dad's side of the family. My grandpa, the one who came from Flamborough, Yorkshire, England grew up to be a cattle rancher in southwestern Kansas. And you already know that my mom met my dad while she was living with her uncle in Kansas.

My parents started their married life in Dodge City, Kansas. I was looking for some early photos to share with you. I wasn't too successful....but I did find a few more old postcards that I thought were interesting.

I remember my mom telling about the dust storms back in the 30's. She told how the sky would just be like nighttime in the middle of the day. She told of stuffing wet rags around all the doors and windows to try and keep the dust out of the house but it didn't help much. She told about actually finding dust inside the refrigerator!

These postcards show that she wasn't exaggerating about the sky....



The photo isn't very good but I think you can tell what it is. The caption says "Dust Cloud Rolling Over Western Kansas Prairie '35"



This one is similar and says "Rolling Dust Clouds Stovall Studio Dodge City, Kansas"



This is the one I find mind-boggling! It reads "3:00 P.M. The Black Blizzard of Sunday April 14, '35" Can you imagine how much dust was in the air to make it that dark at 3:00 in the afternoon?! I found the following information online:

On Sunday, April 14, 1935, from large sections of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, an estimated 300,000 tons of Great Plains topsoil rose to a height of several thousand feet and began its journey eastward, "a ragged-topped formation covering the horizon as it rolled across the land like moving mountains" Traveling at speeds of up to 60 mph, this huge "black blizzard" dumped 6,000 tons of dirt on Chicago; fell like snow over Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.; and moved on into the Atlantic, where it covered ships as far offshore as 300 miles. This was Black Sunday, the worst in a series of dusters during the "dirty thirties" Meteorologists have rated the storms the number-one weather event of the 20th century, and historians have termed them the nation's worst prolonged environmental disaster in history--truly The Worst Hard Time.

We don't hear a lot about this anymore. Other environmental disasters have happened since then but I'm sure the people who lived through it never forgot. This article tells a bit more about the dust storms and what kind of impact they had on the country. It tells that some people thought it was the end of the world....and for some it was.

My mom never forgot. I don't know if my dad did or not. Maybe I'll read "The Grapes of Wrath" again. My family wasn't devastated by the dust bowl and the Great Depression but I'm sure they experienced problems related to both those events.

Then on a lighter note I found this postcard....



It reads "A Winters Supply 1937" and completely exaggerates the size of jack rabbits in Kansas....or does it??

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today:
morning pages - check
the 5 rites - check
treadmill - not today
weights - check

yesterday:
morning pages - check
the 5 rites - check
treadmill - check
weights - not today