The Last Black Duster

The Last Black Duster

 

Occasionally in life, old Mother Nature can deal out some strange weather related events that can have some very unusual effects on our every day life. I believe that I have experienced one of natures events that no one may ever see again.

The Last Black Duster

 

In April 1956, I was attending fifth grade classes at Phillips Elementary School in Phillips, Texas. They announced over the school speakers that our parents had been called and they were coming to pick us up. I couldn’t imagine what great event had caused the early dismissal of school classes. Then it started to happen, the windows began to rattle with 70 mile an hour winds and it began to get dark outside. Soon it was pitch black outside in the middle of the day. It was a black duster. The 70 mile an hour storm winds eroded the dry earth from Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma north of us and picked up tons of dirt into the air. The earth was literally blowing in the wind. We were released when our parents came into the school to get us. I recall walking back to the car in the strong winds and feeling the stinging of what felt like sand hitting me in the face as we walked. It was truly amazing to me that blowing dirt could totally block out all the sun light and make night out of day. When we got to the car and started home, it began to rain. There were small mud balls pounding the windows and the windshield was smeared with mud. I really don’t see how my Mom could see to drive. She got us home safely and we rode out the storm at home. I thought we had a pretty tight house, but dust had gotten in and was thick on everything in the house. In fact everything inside and outside was dirty for a long time after the storm. Although many black dusters occurred in the the 1930’s and the 1940’s, to my knowledge, this was the last black duster in history in the mid south. I never experienced another one, which is a good thing for me and the mid southern states.

 

A Black Duster blowing in sometime in the 1930’s.

 

Thank you for reading The Last Black Duster,

Hawg Jaw Bill

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