MARCH 14, 1939
FORT WORTH, Texas, Monday—Yesterday I didn't have time to tell you about our first real dust storm. In the afternoon we drove from Fort Worth to Sherman, Texas, to dine with Mrs. Grace Ridings and speak for the Texas League of American Pen Women that night. While we were going over, I noticed a rather cloudy look in the distant sky and inquired from our driver if that was the way dust storms came up. He said: "Yes, but we never have any bad ones in this part of the State." Just as we reached Sherman, the wind, which seems to blow a great deal out here, blew a little harder and suddenly we began to smell and taste the earth. We entered the house before the storm was at its height and everyone told us it was the worst they had seen in a long time.
When we started back, the storm had about blown itself out, though we had to stop once or twice because we could not see the road ahead very clearly. It reminded me a little of driving through a heavy fog in the mountains, or along the coast of New England, from the way it alternately settled down and lifted. Everyone tells me the rains this past year and the soil conservation programs have greatly assisted the parts of the State which have been so dry and have caused these dust storms. There is no doubt that much of the country which has been put under cultivation should go back into grass and be used as range for cattle. It would be a wonderful thing if we could always foresee the future and restrain ourselves from doing things which promise immediate gain but which spell future ruin.
We returned to Elliott and Ruth's house about 1:30 a.m. It was a joy on Sunday morning to have a chance for a leisurely breakfast with them, for though Elliott had returned home on Friday night, I had seen him just for a moment at the station on Saturday. They drove us to Dallas yesterday for a speech, which I made there in the afternoon. We had a most amusing time trying to find a place for lunch. I think everyone who motors has the same experience. There are always places you have been to once before on the road which you look for again but never can find. Finally we stopped at a very attractive looking "diner" but had little time left to eat.
We were back in Fort Worth in time for supper with Mrs. J. B. Googins, Ruth's mother, and then we all attended the Southwestern Exposition and Stock Show. It was my first experience at a real rodeo and I found it very exciting, in fact in spots a little too exciting. I marvel at the skill of these cowboys. I envy their ability to ride and their strength and agility in dealing with cattle. There must be something in the air out here, for a 16-year-old girl gave an exhibition of roping and throwing a calf which was extraordinary. They combine a horseshow and a rodeo and some of the horses shown were beautiful.
Elliott and Ruth are driving us to Waco, Texas, this afternoon, so today it is goodbye to the grandchildren. I have greatly enjoyed the short time I have had with them.