"We got married in '34, and we moved on my parent's farm. In '35 there came a tornado through our place and just tore it all up.
     "Oh, my goodness. It was just purple and you could see it was coming along the ground. We just ran to the house and down in the basement. It was not a basement. It was as cellar on the part of the house. And we stood down in the cellar.
     "There was a beautiful big cattle barn. It was just wonderful. You drive into one side and drive on around to clean it. And there was hay in the middle for the cattle. It took that about half a mile up into the air, and then just made little pieces of wood with spikes in and scattered them all over several sections. We had a big horse barn. It moved it off the foundation and took the top off of it. And it was sitting like this, with about 12 head of mules inside of it. We were so worried about them. I remember my husband saying, 'You don't know how I dreaded going out in that barn. I could just see a mule with a 2 x 4 driven through him.'
     "But they stood there. They had walked along with the barn when it moved. The only thing, one had gotten loose and was standing between two of the others. [Laughs.] Otherwise they had all followed the barn as it went. And then it stood like this [tilted] and it stood there. It didn't collapse.
     "So the thing was to get the mules out of there. We were afraid it would collapse because as they took the roof off of it there was a lot of hay up there. And it poured down rain. And that got more and more heavy, that hay. So we had to see and get them all out of there. We had a hog house that was made of cement blocks, and as the storm went by and took the rest of the farm, it blew the wall in, the cement block wall in, west wall in. But anyway, we got a guy hired to help us and we got so we could put the mules over there in that hog house because we were afraid the barn would collapse."

Carla Due on Surviving a Tornado


Other Excerpts from Carla Due's Interview:

Buzzed by Low-Flying Bombers
Barn Dances in the 1940s
The Stock Market Crash
RFD to Main Street
Banks Closing
Local Politics
The Eggs & Cream Economy
The World Economy
The Radio
Diversity of Churches
Immigrating to Nebraska
Learning English
Carla's Trip to Nebraska
Plowing with Horses & Mules