Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DUST STORMS



Post by Alana Cash

There are people in Texas as narrow as a crack in an adobe wall and people as open as the desert landscape between Fort Stockton and El Paso – same as you find everywhere.  But the culture of Texas, formed by the land and weather, are different from other places.  Boots and cowboy hats may have gone from being a necessity to a fashion statement, but they were born on the Texas range and you think of Texas when you see them.

There’s a difference in “oil rich,” people who got bags of money out of the ground without a lick of labor and figuratively or literally put longhorns on the hood of their Cadillacs and the people who work cattle or plant cotton and know that the weather can wipe them out.  There’s a humbling that comes from working with nature and it carries over to the merchants and suppliers and keeps you thinking about having good manners.

Since this is a blog about personal experiences and I brought up the weather, and since I watched Ken Burns documentary about the Dust Bowl the other night, I’ll relate a personal story about that.

Lubbock is situated on the southern edge of the Dust Bowl (Amarillo was considered the “capital” because it was the largest city in the Bowl). I went to school at Texas Tech for a semester and got to live through what was erroneously termed a “dust storm.”

When I think of dust, I think of running my finger along the top of a table or the refrigerator, possibly even my car.  I think of those motes that float in a sunbeam coming through a window.  But a dust storm is not a breeze pushing dust motes around in front of a window.

No.

A dust storm is presaged by a dark, angry devil of a cloud that pushes a dirt blizzard, a hurricane of soil blowing sideways at 30-40 mph.  A dust storm fills the air with so much dirt that you can’t see 15 feet ahead of you – that is, if you open your eyes.  A dust storm blocks out the sun and your ability to breathe well.  It sends tumbleweed and trash flying by and you feel like you are heading for OZ. 

Even though it may be hot weather, you wrap up and still the dust gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.  When you see images of cowboys wearing long “duster” coats down to their ankles and bandanas around their faces, it’s to keep the dust out of their boots and pants and itchy places where sweat will turn it to grime.

Dust storm?  Stay indoors and watch the video:  http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/dustbowl/

(photo by Dorothea Lange 1935)


2 comments:

Ron Forester...
Great story Alana, I believe all of us that were raised in and traveled Texas can relate to it!!! Thanks, Ron
Cameron Cash (SAG-AFTRA, EMC) said...
I love the language of this post - it really captured the tone of Texas. Made me miss it.

Weather, Dust Bowl

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great story Alana, I believe all of us that were raised in and traveled Texas can relate to it!!! Thanks, Ron

Cameron Cash (SAG-AFTRA, EMC) said...

I love the language of this post - it really captured the tone of Texas. Made me miss it.