Memories Though Not Fond


Cimarron County’s Lois (James) Garner, center, is filmed by a crew hired by The Weather Channel for a series titled, “When Weather changes History”. The series is currently interviewing several in the area about their memories of “The Dust Bowl” of the mid-1930s.  

Lois Garner squinted and tried to look beyond the bright lights as she’s questioned about her youth.

Garner, along with about seven others in Cimarron County are being asked to share their memories of the area during the “Dirty ‘30s” the “Dust Bowl” of the mid-1930s of the 20th Century.

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Interviewer Dan Tyrrell asked Garner if her parents had warned her not to go out into the duststorms.

Garner responded that even as young as she was, she had “enough common sense” to stay inside during each of the sun dimming dirt storms.

Garner recounted that as bad as it was, on the James Ranch in Dallam County Texas, near Kerrick, as farmers and ranchers they were luckier than some, for they could raise their own food.

“You had meat, vegetables, eggs…and of course, brown beans,” Garner smiled.

“We were leery of government aid,” Garner explained when asked about such organizations such as the Works progress Administration, (WPA) and the decision by one brother not to hire out.

“But, the WPA was a lifesaver for a lot of people,” she admitted.

Her brother Andy who decided to not hire on with the W.P.A. later found work with a pig farmer, and Garner said this led to Andy’s being able to do other things.

Garner, a twin, had nine brothers and sisters, who lived with their parents in a four-bedroom home with a full basement near Kerrick.

Tyrrell, along with Michael Burke and Yoram Astrakhan, came from Chicago, Ill. they are with Towers Productions in Chicago and have filmed documentaries for the History Channel PBS, and A&E as well as The Weather Channel.

“We have a development crew who contacts people, such as Jodie here at the Heritage Center. We have been blown away as to how helpful everyone has been,” Tyrrell said.

The show could be on The Weather Channel as soon as August, 2008.


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