[Darrel Coble:] "The wind and the dust just blew every day. The one that I remember come in here from the north that evening. Dad was in the field, and I don't know why as dry as it was. This thing [dust storm] rolled in there, and he got caught on the tractor. And he started for the house, but he couldn't see the house. But we had an old chickenhouse just out east of the house. And the back wheel just clipped the corner of that chickenhouse, and he knew where he was at then. And he just stopped there and got in the chickenhouse and spent the night in the chickenhouse. [Laughter.] Of course, we had kerosene lamps and everything. It got so dark you couldn't even see without – Kerosene lamps didn't make no light so you could see by…
   "Ah, it kind of scared me, best I can recall [laughs]. I thought maybe the world was coming to an end, I didn't know [laughs]…
   "Last spring we had some pretty bad days. They weren't the old black dusters, but I mean, there was plenty of dust in the air…
   [Question:] "Do you like living in this country?"
   "You bet."
   [Question:] "How come?"
   "It's just home. Dad always says, 'Anybody ever come out here and wear out two pairs of shoes here, they'd never leave.' I've known some that did do it in later years."

   [Question:] "Tell me about what was it like in Colorado?"
   [Lois Houle:] "It was terrible. [Laughs.] We had dust storms and droughts. We survived back there as long as we possibly could. I can remember one dust storm back there. We were coming from my grandparents' in Straton. And as we got closer to home, you could see this big gray matter up in the air. And the minute we got home, we had a storm cellar built with things to eat and everything else in it. We were all taken to the storm cellar right away, and they went in and closed the house all up good. And we stayed down there until the storm was over. It just came to the point where we couldn't live any more back there. And we had relatives out here already."
   [Question:] "Did they write back or anything?"
   "Oh, yes! Oh, yeah! Everything was 'beautiful' out here. [Laughs.] This was the land of milk and honey out here."

[Woody Guthrie's "Dust Bowl Refugee"]

Darrel Coble & Lois Houle


Other Excerpts from Dust Bowl Descent Interviews:

Florence Thompson Migrant Mother
Nettie Featherston, "If You Die…"
Lois Houle on "Relief"
William Huravitch & Chewing Tobacco
Vern Evans, Oregon or Bust
Walter Ballard, Riding the Rails
Walter Ballard, Tractored Out
Fritz Fredrick Growing Wheat
Madge May on the FSA
Harvey Taft, FSA Farmsteads
May Ross Lincoln, School Programs
Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land"