“You couldn’t see. You couldn’t breathe. You couldn’t go outside for days,” remembers Eugene Littlefield. “It was awful.”
Littlefield is referring to the giant black clouds of soil that would blot out the sun and swallow the countryside. Born in Wayside, Texas, in 1934, Littlefield was welcomed into the world by the Dust Bowl – an era in the 1930s when the most massive, brutal dust storms ever known to our nation repeatedly ravaged the Panhandle and Great Plains regions.
Littlefield was the only child of parents who raised cattle, wheat and sorghum on their farm 20 miles east of Happy, Texas, in the now-extinct community of Wayside.
“We could see those storms coming over the horizon,” Littlefield says. “The dirt would blow in your face and hit your skin so hard it hurt. Dad would get our animals in the best shelter he could, while my mom started packing the windows with rolled wet towels and hung sheets to try to keep dirt out.