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Old 11-18-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Who lived through the dust bowl?

We are enjoying being reacquainted with the harsh reality of the dust bowl through Ken Burns documentary on PBS. It got me wondering who on IRV2 experienced it first hand (likely as a child as nearly 80 years have passed) or your parents had stories.

Crop rotation and other farming techniques have improved since then, but we are still learning from boom/bust times.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:34 AM   #2
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I was born in 1938, so was a bit too young to personally experience the ravages of the blowing dust from the dust bowl. My parents migrated from Oklahoma to California during this time, a family of "Okie" refugees, looking for a better place. Their journey ended in the south San Joaquin valley of California, described by Merle Haggard in one of his songs, as the place where the "seeds of the dust bowl are found." Believe me you did not have to breathe the dust to experience the long lasting effects this period of time had on families from that area of the country.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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I watched the first episode last night and found it depressing. That was a tough time for those people.
His show was well done, as is per usual with a Ken Burns series.

A good book to read is "The grapes of wrath" which explains how dieselclacker's family got here to California.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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My father's family is a product of the Dust Bowl, they were share croppers in Pierce Oklahoma for some 30+ years when they lost everything. There were 20 or so family members packed into a Model A and a Model T Ford when they left Oklahoma in July 1932. It took them 3-weeks to get from Oklahoma to Yuma, and another month to get from Yuma to Las Vegas where they settled. I am the first generation off the farm on my mother's and father's family.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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Nicely done as usual with Ken Burns films. Depressing ? yes informative, definately
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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My Grandfather and his brothers and other relatives owned enough farmland around Shackleton Saskatchewan to equal a Township.
After the Dirty Thirties only my Grandfather was left. When my Uncle passed he only had a 1/4 section left. My cousins sold that last year to pay for their mother's care.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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Check out this Denver Post PLog site covering the dust bowl. While you are there, look at some of the other pictures by clicking on Other PLogs then click on From The Archive. This site is an amazing storehouse of what America looked like back then.

The Dust BowlPlog Photo Blog
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:15 AM   #8
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A really good book on the Dust Bowl era is "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan. Well worth the read.
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl: Timothy Egan: 9780618773473: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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I did not live through the dust bowl. As a matter of fact my parents were not born yet. However I have been watching the Dust Bowl on PBS. I am watching this show because I live here now. The town of Dumas, Tx is located 45 miles north of Amarillo. My family has been here for about four years. Not by choice by the way. The Army stationed me here. Sure the dust storms are not as bad but we still get them. It never rains. The closest body of water, Lake Meredith, is lower than it has ever been since it was created. The dryness really does hurt physically. As they said in the documentary, "If it rains...."
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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At 50 years of age I did not live through the dust bowl era, I did however get a tiny sample of what it must have been like while serving in Iraq. The fear one feels when looking up and seeing a black cloud rolling in on you is pretty tramatic. We would sometimes get storms that came in slow, vision gradually disipated untill it was blacked out and left the same way. Other times they would come out of no where and just materalize, really scary stuff. I filmed/phographed a couple of them and people I showed them to usually couldn't believe it. I really feel for those folks who lived through it, sad, really sad.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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My DH's family left Arkansas in 1936 for California. He was born in 1939. He heard the stories from his grandparents. Still has relatives in the mid-west.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:27 PM   #12
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The Shaw family (funeral home owners) appear in the last several minutes of the first part of the 2 part series. We have good friends that live near us in Oregon. Our friend's uncle (Charles) is who speaks in the film of "Black Sunday" (April 14, 1935). They actually still have the funeral home today, although it has moved from Boise City to Vici in Oklahoma.

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Old 11-24-2012, 07:14 PM   #13
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My parents grew up during that period, the experience obviously colored the rest of their lives. They hated debt, if they did not have have the cash they didn't buy. My mother hated tipping, "they are making 8 dollars an hour, when I waitressed I made 50 cents an hour and was lucky to find a dime on the floor". Got pithed when I reminded her that was 45 years ago, times have changed. She complained if she spent more than 20 bucks a month on gas.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:06 PM   #14
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My first in-laws were raised in SW Kansas and told stories of the big dust storms rolling in. Hanging wet sheets at the windows to try and keep the dust down and getting dust pneumonia was common. While married to a Farmer in the 70's I saw some dust storms/blowing dirt, but nothing like the people of the 30 had to deal with.

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