2012 Doesn’t Come Close to Dust Bowl, According to Local Man
WORDEN, Kan. – While we are seeing one of the worst droughts in decades, the Dust Bowl of the 1930s is the stuff of legend, but for those who lived through it, it was no legend, it was a harsh reality. It’s a reality they say can’t be matched by the 2012 drought we’re seeing now.
It was a time that inspired the blues, the Dust Bowl blues, because for farmers and anyone living in the southern plains it wasn’t an easy time.
“I remember walking home from grade school probably in 1934 with the red dust, that was Oklahoma dust blowing everywhere. It was cloudy like, it was cloudy like the dust covering the sun, you know?” Harold Jehle recalled.
Harold Jehle lived on his family’s farm near Baldwin City, Kansas in the 1930′s. In the 30′s, the heat created a drought, and over-worked land created the perfect conditions for massive dust storms. Harold says this summer is hot, but the ’30′s were worse. He remembers in the ’30′s water was hard to find.
“My dad had a drilled well, which kept us in water for our livestock. Neighbors even dipped into our tank and hauled it away in wagons,” Jehle said.
Harold says while the dust flew into the Baldwin City area, areas further south and west faced the worst of it, that’s where his wife’s cousin lived.
“Her cousin lived in Garden City, west of Garden City, and she said you would look up and see a huge black cloud, you’re thinking it’s going to rain! Nothing but dust, and pretty soon it was dust everything,” Jehle remembered.
Jehle says his farm will yield almost nothing this year, but he’s glad it’s not the ’30′s when at his home there was no air conditioning and no indoor plumbing, and a constant threat of dust storms.
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