Dust Bowl Documentary Airs Mon/Tues 11-18/19

Okiedawn OK Zone 7November 18, 2012

The Ken Burns documentary about The Dust Bowl airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS.

The link below contains more information.

I'm looking forward to seeing this documentary and understand Oklahoma plays a major role in it, just as the Dust Bowl has played a major role in our state's history.

I hope that we're smart enough now to avoid another ecological disaster like The Dust Bowl, but then I ask myself questions like what would happen to farming and ranching (or gardening) in this state if we had 4 or 5 more consecutive years with weather like 2011-2012?


Here is a link that might be useful:

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Dawn, Link didn't show. I just found this link in my email and it's pretty interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dust Bowl

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Oops! And I had the heading wrong. It airs Sunday night and Monday night....starting 8 minutes from now. We've already got the TV on PBS waiting for it to start.

Thanks for your link.

Let me try and link the documentary info again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ken Burns' Dust Bowl Documentary

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:55PM
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What time does it air? I really want to see this, and I am going to encourage my GD to watch it, too. A good bit of history for her to learn about.

I remember watching The Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda. Anyone else watch that movie? I need to see it again because it has been a few years since I watched it. I just remember the social injustices they fought against. One of the greatest films ever made, IMHO.

Thanks for posting this, Dawn!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:22AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, You're welcome. Part I aired last night from 7-9 pm and I assume that Part II is tonight from 7-9 pm. I watched it but also TIVO'd it so I'd be able to watch it later if our pagers went off and we had to leave on a fire call (which didn't happen).

I loved it. The photos and videos are real ones from that era and watching them is just horrifying. I even recognized the names of some of the people interviewed in the documentary because they also were interviewed for the book "The Worst Hard Time". Timothy Egan, author of TWHT, also is interviewed in the documentary.

To me, the Dust Bowl story isn't just a historical tale from someplace, it is OUR story that so many people in our region lived through (or fled from...). During the Dust Bowl and Depression years, my dad and his family were poor farmers on a farm in red clay soil just over the Red River in Montague County, TX, sort of catty-corner from Love County, OK. I don't even know how they survived. They would talk about it a little every now and then, but not often. It was very painful for them to remember it. They had no cash money and couldn't buy anything, so could only barter with the crops and animals they raised in order to get stuff like salt from the grocery store in Spanish Fort or Nocona. It was a very hard life. If you look at photos of them from back then (and there are not many photos from back then), they are so painfully thin and you can see the hard life etched on their faces. Maybe that is why this era in our history fascinates me so much---because Daddy and his siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles all lived through it. His parents did not actually survive it and died before he reached adulthood. Those were hard times.

I think there is supposed to be a companion book, and I'm sure PBS will sell the documentary on a DVD for anyone who misses the live airing.

It seems especially appropriate that this documentary is airing after this region of the country has had two very brutal drought years that have reminded people of some of the conditions that existed in the Dust Bowl years.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Oh man...I missed part one! I have part two recording for tonight.

I remember a women I knew who lived through the dust bowl and she told me all about how they had to bury turnips to have for the winter and just how poor everyone was. It is hard for me to imagine being my age. But it is our history. And often it scares me how little people really know not just Oklahoma history, but American history in general. It is also amazing to me how much of that history is still going on in today's society. The "residue" from the dust bowl is still alive and well.

I am looking forward to this! I am hoping the re-air the first part. (they usually do)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:35PM
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whew...got them both recording...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:44PM
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This documentary is so good and MAN can I totally relate. When she described the soaking in the moisture when they got to California, being awestruck by the towering trees and green foliage everywhere it reminded me of our trip to NC last year.

"Everything is brown. Just brown. It's all I ever known." I can so totally relate. When the drought eased up a few years back after those snow and ice storms? I was amazed at the new green in my environment for it has always been just "brown" here. Ick.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:20AM
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I caught most of it (after being in the ER with DD from 1pm to 8pm last night). I didn't realize the technique of terracing utilized to minimize soil erosion, that was employed during the Dust Bowl era. Also, the dust storms, particularly the one that dumped 3 feet of dust - can you imagine? The lady that told the "joke" about a fella finding the farmer's hat on top of the dust, picking it up and finding the farmer underneath buried in the dust, and the buried farmer then commenting that it wasn't as bad for him as the horse he was atop! She said humor was one way they dealt with the issues.

The migrant farmers from Oklahoma - Okies, then a derrogatory term - well, that's another story about the conditions they lived thru. Not much better than the Dust Bowl they left behind to forge a new life. Okies were certainly relegated to a minimum societal status in those times in that region, too. Living conditions, if you can call them "living" conditions in which they had to survive, were pitiful, meager, and extremely hostile. I was painfully close to tears watching the program, and yet, drawn to it at the same time. Can you relate?

Maybe it takes getting older to really be able to sympathize and struggle psychologically with these times that our relatives endured. But, endure they did, and were much stronger for it. I cannot question the heart of an Okie after seeing this documentary, the photos, hearing the stories from people who actually lived it. It leaves me feeling humbled by the people of Oklahoma, who I don't think I really, truly appreciated until I saw it in the eyes, frail frames, quivering voices, and the indisbutable, hard-boiled narrative of the images of the thrashing storms they suffered.

We had a few dust storms back in the 80s when I lived in Norman. Dust storms are not like thunder storms. Rain doesn't get inside and coat your nose and throat with grit. The severity of the storms astounded me and shook me like I was a dirty old rag being manhandled by a hound. I just cannot convey how profound an experience it was to sit and watch this documentary that just seemed to literally jump out of the tv at me.

I don't know how any of you felt about it, but I will always carry those pictures and words in my mind.

Susan, who'll be watching Part II tonight

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:35AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

My Great Aunt from N Central Kansas told my mother stories about the dust bowl. There would be piles of fine dust inside the house on the window sills. They had a long row of lilac bushes along the drive that all died. My Grandfather borrowed a reasonable amount of money from the bank to buy more land in the good years then when everything went to pot the land was in danger. What saved the land was WWII one of the older sons sent his army money to pay the debt.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:57AM
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I have learned more about the dust bowl in the last three years than I ever knew before. I think that is odd since my education was in Oklahoma, and much of my family lived in Oklahoma during those years. My mother was in Louisiana for part of that time, but my Dad's family lived in Love and Carter County. The dust bowl never got more than a mention except I had heard the cowboy story and most of the songs. 'So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya', was just a part of my childhood, and I didn't know where it came from.

In the 40's my parents went to California for a few years to work in the defense plants, then transferred back to Ft Worth as soon as they could, but that was before my time, but is how I happened to be born in Ft Worth.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:53AM
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The storms that dropped 3ft. of dust might have stopped by the early 50's but all the dust storms had not. I remember my mother yelling that a dust storm was coming and everyone who was home leaped into action. We ran around closing all the doors and windows and placed towels against the window sills and at the bottom of the doors to stop the dust from getting into the house. We stood at the front picture window and watched a wall of orange dust blot out the sun and it got really dark and incredibly hot in the house. When it was over we would go out side and there would be 8 to 12 inches of fine red dust up against the house and everything in the house had to be dusted off, towels or no towels. The dust covered tree leaves,grass,cars, and everything else outside. I'm betting some of you remember this as well.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:52PM
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I got chance to watch it from the recorded content. It was heart breaking story... I pray it will not repeat again... hoping drought will not continue next year...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:47AM
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TulsaRose, Tulsa OK(7a)

PBS has the two episodes at the link below, if you want to watch online. Also some other great information.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Dust Bowl, Episodes 1 and 2

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:05AM
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I made a point to watch this documentary; why, I don't really know. I, too, had grown up hearing my dad sing "So long" and other songs from that period of time, although he and my mom did not live in the dust bowl area then - they were in Missouri and Colorado, respectively.

I was really captivated by this - I had no idea that this continued over YEARS, that there was "dust pneumonia" that developed because of it, that static electricity in the air was strong enough to interrupt radio waves and shock people - I had no idea that the mental anguish of it was so severe. To see those sweet people (many in their 80s and older) still weeping over lost little brothers and sisters was truly heart-wrenching.

The combination of irresponsible farming techniques, depression, and drought certainly came together for a tragic situation.

I recommend watching it.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:33AM
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seeker1122(7a ok)


    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 1:53AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I imagine they'll run it again sometime. They also have it available at the PBS website as a DVD, book, or DVD/book combo. You also can download it from iTunes. At the Dust Bowl section of the PBS website, there's also available related content available online.

It was a geat documentary.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dust Bowl Info at PBS Website

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 6:12AM
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