An Amarillo photographer's personal journey through the Dust Bowl- with past and present eyes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"You are filled with dirt."

Excerpt from The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

One Dirt-filled day blended into another. Starting at the first day of March, there was a duster every day for thirty straight days. according to the weather bureau. In Dodge City, Kansas the Health Board counted only thirteen dust free days in the first four months of 1935. 

People were stuffed with topsoil. In a report delivered to the Southern  Medical Association, Dr. John H. Blue of Guymon, Oklahoma said he treated fifty-six patients for dust pneumonia, and all of them showed signs of silicosis; others were suffering early symptoms of tuberculosis. 

He was blunt. The doctor had looked inside an otherwise healthy farm hand, a man in his early twenties and told him what he saw.

"You are filled with dirt." the doctor said. The young man died within the day. 

All photos (C) Steve Douglass 

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