"Farmers Fear Judgment Day in Dust Storm"
A XT m ZZZl ' 17. 1935 FARMERS FEAR I JUDGMENT DAY IN DUST STORM Punishment for Their Sins, Sisters Tell Writer in Blizzard Belt DESERTING COUNTRY Pioneers See 30 Years Work Destroyed by Gathering Silt of A. United Press staff correspondent is touring the worst afflicted areas of the dust storm country to get an iyc-u;tness account of the "dust blizzards" 'uch are turning portions of-Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado. Texas and Xew Mexico into desert. His third dispatch follows. By FRANK McNAUGHTON SPRINGFIELD, Col., April 17 Some people in the dust country be lieve God is punishing them for their sins. I heard that belief uttered by a shoeless woman whose crumbling rock home was so filled with dust that she used a shovel to "bail out" the dirt. I came here through a "dust blizzard" by automobile from Boise City, Okla., with Cecil Lewis, a mail carrier. Trains couldn't get through, so Lewis had to bring the mail in his car. While he kept his attention on the road I boxed the mail. Masked Against Dust Both of us wore respiration masks to make breathing easier. But the fine sand permeates everything. It fills your hair and eyes and mouth with grit and makes your lungs feel as though they had been sandpapered inside. Near Campo, Col, we pulled up to a battered tin mailbox on a leaning hedge post. Through the dust we could see the farmhouse, built of rock that was crumbling away at the corners. Suddenly an apparition leaped through a paneless window and came running toward the car. It was a woman of indeterminate age. She was shoeless and stockingless. I could see the dust spurt between her toes as she paddled through a shallow drift. Her hair streamed in the dust. She wanted news of the outside world. She and her sister had been marooned for days. While she talked to us her sister casually tossed a shovelful of dirt out of the window. Both appeared to be ill and were desperately discouraged. The government killed 11 -their cattle last summer and . the wind had blown away all of their wheat, which they had planted , themselves. . Divine runishment' "This is a sinful country or God would never have punished us this way," the elder sister said. "We'd leave If we could. It's a judgment." Of Baca County's 3.000 acres. 97 per cent is devoid of plant life, Kenneth Welch, Relief Administrator, told me. A plan is afoot to move the population westward into the mountain regions. Half of the 10.000 people in the county are on relief. Many are ill with dust induced bronchitis, sinus infection or lung maladies. This county was settled 30 years ago by emigrants from Kansas and Missouri. They built up its productivity until in 1931 the county harvested 7,000,000 bushels of wheat. Baca County once produced 12 per cent of the nation's broom com supply. This year it can produce nothing. by way for Wilbur and oil the the lifting "we