excerpt CHAPTER 2 – THE PARKERS OF AURORA

“…Among our memories, there was one time in the thirties which we will never forget, and which you would have to experience to believe its horror. That was about the dust storms. We had been having years of drought throughout the Midwest: the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma were the very center, but with states on all sides somewhat in the same condition. I think it was about the summer of 1934 when the conditions were the worst. The winds whipped up dust and carried it for hundreds of miles. You would see huge black clouds on the horizon to the south, and soon the whole area would be engulfed in darkness.
We were living in Yankton then, and stores would close. It would sometimes be dark as night at noontime. In the stores they would hurriedly put sheets over all the counters to protect the merchandise. No building was tight enough to keep the dust from getting in. In our homes we would wet towels and place them in the windowsills trying to cover any cracks and keep out as much as we could.
Almost every morning the porches and walks would be red with dust from Oklahoma, as most winds came from the south, hot and suffocating.It was a frightening time. After the rains finally came, and things started to improve, the dirt was piled up along the roadways up against the fences, just like snow is sometimes after a blizzard. Of course the crops were all ruined, adding to the suffering of so many already hard hit by the Depression….”

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