By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
I am writing on Sunday afternoon, the day after the big snow. Reports are that a foot of snow fell on Clovis.
We see that no matter what, the weather cannot be altered or changed. Even history shows us that. On any day I will take a foot of snow over what happened on Black Sunday.
Several years ago, I interviewed a couple from Broadview, a small community north of town. We talked about the Dust Bowl days. Their families had settled here in the early part of the 20th century, and they had seen weather events I knew nothing about, including the Dust Bowl days.
I found out after some research that the Dust Bowl got its name after a huge cloud of dust that hit on what was later named Black Sunday, April 14, 1935.
Dust storms had been brewing on the Plains for two years. In 1933, 38 storms were recorded. My friends told me that by 1934, millions of acres of farmland was lost and deemed useless because all the topsoil was gone because of the high winds. That day, April 14, 1935, the winds were estimated at 60 mph when the black dust came rolling in.
My friends said that during the Dust Bowl days they were afraid to let their children out of the house. When a dust cloud would be moving on the horizon, the schools would close and send the children home because there was a fear that they would get lost on the way home in the blinding dust if they waited to turn school out.
Some children even got what was called “dust pneumonia.” Dust would settle in the lungs resulting in their having respiratory problems. My friend said that that is when they got to putting wet blankets over the windows hoping to stop part of the dust from coming in the house. They would not let their children out to do chores because visibility was so low they feared their children would be lost just walking to the hen house or the cow pen.
The animals were affected. The chickens got mixed up on their egg laying schedule because of the midday darkness.
The sky was so black during these storms that my friends lit lanterns during the middle of the day just to see.
“Was the world coming to an end?” my friends asked themselves.
But whether it is the Dust Bowl or record snow on the Plains, there is still a constant in all of this.
Jesus was in the boat with his disciples (John 4:35-41). A bad storm hit and a furious squall came up, and the waves began to beat over the boat. Of course the disciples were terrified thinking they would all be lost in the frightful weather. Jesus was sleeping, and they woke him up and said, “Master, don’t you even care about us? We are about to be killed by this terrible storm!”
Jesus got up and said, “Quiet, be still.” Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.
The disciples were amazed and said to another: “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I don’t understand weather patterns, atmospheric conditions, global warming, the Dust Bowl days or record snows. But I personally know a man who does.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: