Wood carving a woman, cowboy, and dog. They are all carved out of a single piece of wood with a base. The man has a cowboy hat, vest and jeans. The woman has a dress. The sculptor is signed on the bottom: “Earl G. Hughes
Location: Southwest USA
Capital: Oklahoma City
Main language: English
Currency: US dollar
Construction: wood, carved
Height in Centimeters: 16
Height in Inches: 6
Reading Level: 5.18
I am 12 years old and my name is Koby. However, they called me Blondie because my hair looks like a corn field. I live in Western Oklahoma with Mom, Dad and Buster (our dog). My father was a farmer. He made a decent living from the land, and we all helped. Every day, I got up early to feed the animals and milk the cows. We had to work seven days a week. On Sundays I woke up even earlier so I could get to church on time.
I will never forget the day our family almost lost our house and farm. As I got out of bed that Sunday morning, the sky was blue. I thought to myself, “Boy, it’s going to be a great day.” All our friends and neighbors planned to have a picnic after church. It was April 14,1935.
Toward the end of the picnic, I noticed that the day looked a bit darker. I seemed like something was not quite right. Droves of birds began chirping and rabbits were running for cover. To me, it seemed as if they were all fleeing from an unseen enemy.
Suddenly a cold north wind blew over the area. A black cloud appeared in the sky, and the sun suddenly disappeared. Many of the people thought the world was coming to an end. A blanket of black dust covered us all. Things got so dark that I could not even see my own hands. It was very scary as we struggled through the wind and dust to get home.
The dust storm lasted many hours, and it took weeks to see the sun again. It became impossible to even eat without feeling the dirt and grit in my teeth. We had to keep the cattle in the barn, and all of our crops died. Many farmers simply gave up and moved away.
I asked my dad why such dust storms occurred. He looked at me and said, “It is due to over farming and drought. “What does over farming mean?” I asked. He explained that years ago only Indians lived in Oklahoma. At that time, Oklahoma was covered with grasses and large, wild herds of buffalo (bison). The Indians lived by hunting and fishing. Then, later in 1800’s, the US government encouraged farmers to move to Oklahoma. In time, the bison were killed off, the grasses were plowed under, and wheat was planted. When a dry season, mixed with strong wind arrives, the end result can be a dust storm.
The dust penetrated homes and many people died due to lung disease and pneumonia. That day was called Black Sunday. It took at least four years to end the drought and get things back to “normal.”
To help prevent future dust bowls, the government planted trees and grew grass. They even encouraged ranchers to raise buffalo in their natural habitat.