Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sand / dust storms


yep this is where I was raised.   Lubbock dust / sandstorm.

YYYYY  - I remember -

We moved from Nebraska to Odessa in 1950-51.   My father worked for Standard Oil (which became Amoco which became BP), and he was transfered to work in the North (or was it South)Cowden gas plant.  It was a good move for him - so I was told.  Being in the 5th grade, I didn't argue.  

I went to Lamar Elementary - played in the beginning band (though I had already been playing for 6 years) and sang alto in the Elem choir.   It was a good elementary school.  I don't really remember a lot about those years - let's see:   Had a girl friend whose father was a preacher at a local church.   In class at recess we were taught how to dance - waltz etc.   She couldn't ever dance with me because of her religion.  

At recess we boys went out and constructed a space ship out of rocks  (big circle of rocks) and played rocket ship etc.   One boy was called doc because he was the "doc" on the space ship.   It was a good free play period.   There were some guys who want to pick on everyone - and did.   I assume later they became drunks, thieves, robbers, and lawyers.  On a few occassions my big brother Jim would bring his 6th grade buddies - from the other side of the school - over and discuss the situation forcefully with the bullies.   That would help for a while.  It does make you wonder where the adult supervision was hangin'.

One of the things I remember was sand storms.  They came on a regular basis.  You would stand there and see this wall of dirt approach.  Nobody ran or hid.  You just watched.  It would arrive and you would move on to other things.  For a kid from the norther country, it was quite a sight.

More about Odessa on a later blog.

We moved north to Levelland for the next year.  Dad had been appointed as one of the 5 bosses at the Levelland Gasoline Plant.  We lived at the plant in one of the 5 company owned houses.   He had several titles over the years - maintenance foreman - head roustabout - electrician - and, of course,  yessir boss.  it was another good move.  They sold the trailers and we moved into a real house with real grass and a yard.  Out back was a clothes hanging thing.

Again, while I lived in the Panhandle until I was able to move to teach band in Ardmore, Oklahoma, the sand storms were regular like clockwork.  You'd look up and see the wall of sand moving at you.  The wife and I had an airy house in Sudan - my first real head job - when the sand came, the curtains stood out from the walls and dust went all over.   Once the bath tub was so covered, I wrote "HELP" in the sand.  It made a good photo - which is still around here somewhere.

that's it for now.   I sometimes miss the sandstorms...dumb as that may seem.  Once I was walking in an alley in Ardmore when a gust of wind blew sand into my face from the ground.  It brought back memories and made me a bit homesick.   If the rains don't come - more sand shall follow - adage.

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