Dust Storms

Dust Storms

By Mother, Opal Fern Carley about 1983-84
                                                                 Copyright Clark L. Carley

Clark was born at St. Anthony Hospital on West Thirteenth Street on Washington's Birthday, 1930. Another boy was born there that same day. The sisters wanted at least one of them to be named George, but neither was.

"Granny" (*Edna Burdue) said Clark was the most "battered" baby she had ever seen!! He probably should have been born by Cesarean section. If he had been, we feel sure his vision would have been better as the poor vision was largely caused by hemorrhages in the eyes at birth. (*other causes too.) The sediment coated the retina. His Grandfather Roy had one eye smaller than the other and he kept it shut as it bothered his vision. (* we believe that his grand father, Thomas Alonzo also had one bad eye) The first time I say Clark, I noticed that Clark also had that problem. Later, an eye doctor told Opal that looking into his eyes, he didn't understand how he could see at all! (*Still told this today 1996) He could see fairly well with the good eye. All his life he had a "perpetual wink" as he tented to close the bad one. (*Left)

When Grandpa Roy fist saw Clark, he asked about his name. He looked hurt, but after thinking about it, he said, "Why, it is C. L. Carley!" Clark was never afraid of people, except for Grandpa Roy and Grandpa was hurt badly. It was probably because Grandpa's bass voice just boomed.

Clark began going to eye doctors at four months. That doctor said not to worry; he would out-grow the problem! Clark always had bruises. He has a snap shot taken at 209 W. Broadway (*now 5th St.) when he was running after the camera his mother was using. We thought he was just fat and clumsy. In those snapshots, bruises are very evident.

Clark says he is smarter than most as he went to Fort Hays Stated college before he went to grade school. Indeed, that is true. Because his birthday was so late in the school year, he started early. Mrs. Golden, the college teacher for those training to teach kindergarten, gave his a IQ test, which he passed and was accepted into Kindergarten at Picken School, which was a workshop for those in teacher's training. Mrs. golden was his teacher. It was an excellent school. Evelyn and Kenneth went there also until the college needed the room and arranged for student teacher to get their experience in the city school. Had we known what Clark's vision problems were then, he would not have stared early. Also, he was smaller than his classmates!

During the first year, Clark went to Picken School (Photo), we had our worst dust storms. We lived at 223 W. 12th, so he had quite a ways to go. He wore a wet mask when outside. Teachers would not let them leave the building until a parent appeared to take a group home.

Twelfth Street was the highway then and was very busy. Mary May Paul, Picken's 6th grade teacher, and her elderly mother lived across the street from us and Mrs. Paul paid no attention to traffic when she needed to cross the street. Her daughter told her she was going to hire Clark to look after her so she wouldn't get run over!

At home, a wet sheet was over Ken's crib. The dining room was in the center of the house with double windows on the east which were stuffed with wet rags to stop some of the dust. To make a play space, the linoleum there was dust mopped and furniture pushed back so the children could play there usually with their masks on. They didn't seem to mind. During dust storms, the table needed two tablecloths one under and one over the dishes and food. To eat, one reached under the top cloth and grabbed. Breathing the dust was dangerous. Many people had dust pneumonia. Opal had dust infection in her throat. It felt much like having a bad case of the flu plus a sore throat.

The first dust storm came on an evening when Lee was to drive Dave Markel and part of his little band to Russell to play for a dance. Miss Lula Morton, a former neighbor girl, stayed with the young ones so Opal could go too. When they got to a cafe on the east edge of town, they stopped while deciding what to do. Inside the building, there was so much dust that it could be seen around the lights. Those coming in from the east advised Lee not to go past the last street light so we started home. The driver could only see from one street light to the next and he and Dave hung out the windows trying to see the curbs or other cars. There was a crash! The car had hit a large box. When they got home, Lula was very pleased! She was frightened.

Before we could see signs of a dust storm, there was always a feeling of doom hanging over everyone. It was said to be because of a change in barometric pressure that proceeded the storms. That was a signal to shut the house up and get the clothes off the line and check where the children were. Then a huge black cloud would move in from the northwest or a red one if from Oklahoma. After those from the south were gone, there was a layer of red soil on top of the black soil. Anyone interested in those storms should read "The Grapes of Wrath" by Steinback. His story was very true. None who has not experienced one of those storms, can know what they were like. It wasn't just dusty!

When Clark was a chubby little boy of about seven months, he woke up from his nap and called "Mother deer". Opal thought he surely had not said that so she listened and everything after that he said the same thing! "Gra" Carley said Clark and Lee could talk when they were born! Just to take the wind out of their sails, early speaking is said not to have anything to do with I. Q.. Opal was never sure that statement was not true.

Clarkie liked Mother Goose. One summer evening, ready for bed, he followed his mother into the kitchen at 209 W. Broadway and stood in the open door watching a big moon. He said, "I see the moon-----And the moon sees me----in my 'jamas."

Clark was thin when he was born so he was fed Eagle Brand Milk, and so at 9 months he was overweight. At 7 months, he had "solid" foods to correct a digestive problem. His favorite foods were spinach and grapefruit. Stores did not have cute clothes for little boys so his mother dressed him in pretty girl clothes for several months and after that she and Granny made cute boy clothes. He has a little album of pictures in his early years. He keeps it in his safety deposit box.

About 3 months after Aunt Nola's children had recovered from Scarlet Fever, she and the children visited the Carleys at 209 Broadway. A short time later, Evelyn turned raspberry red. When Dr. Meade came to see her, he said as he came into the room, "Where did she get that?" He had heard of none anywhere around. In those days, people with childhood diseases were quarantined for 3 or 4 weeks. So that Lee and Charles Tracy, who lived with us and helped with the paper delivery, were moved to Aunt May's basement. The doctor sent a medicine for Opal to spray her throat and Clark's every hour! Clark loved that and neither of them got Scarlet Fever. Ken was expected soon, and people with those diseases could not get into a hospital, but Dr. Meade said, "If need be, I'll have you in St. Anthony's before they know about the Scarlet Fever." Lee and Charles came everyday. They could look at us through a window and leave things we needed on the porch. Soiled clothes were put in a tub of water and Lysol, and a good neighbor washed them on the washboard. Before anyone could go in or out, everything had to be boiled and the house fumigated. A sign on the house announced that no one could enter. Dr. Meade kept in touch. Most counties had "pest houses" for adults with diseases that were likely to be given to others contacted.

Because of his poor vision and small size, Clark repeated the second grade at Picken. When he was ready for first grade, he was taken to Dr. Hennerich. He was cross with Clark, but when he looked into his eyes, his face softened considerably. After a bit he said, "I don't see how he can see at all. Sediment from blood appears to block out the retina." He proved to be correct. He gave Clark potassium iodine to be given orally by drops in a very complicated pattern. It is an old Chinese remedy which does work in many cases, but it didn't work for Clark. He also had his best eye covered by a patch so he would have to use the poorer one. That didn't work either as he just sat in a corner and did nothing, until it was removed. He couldn't see well enough to play!!

Clark could never play and kind of ball game as when the ball came at him, he would lose it as it flew through the air. Quite often it hit him!

When Clark was ready for 3rd grade, we had moved to 406 W. 4th and he attended Washington School. That was 1937. Neighbors with 5 little girls moved out of town and gave the Carley kids their playhouse which Lee put on skids and moved to the new place against the west end of Tickles garage. It served the neighborhood until it fell down. At that time, there were 13 boys in the four houses in the center of the block on 4th Street. There were about 35 children in the block counting the "college kids" whose homes were in the block. Now there are 2 small children and 2 in high school. (1982) When Evelyn was in 4th grade and Clark in the 5th, all those grades in city schools in Hays had a Christmas pageant in Sheridan Coliseum. All wore white choir robes and carried candles. All 4th graders on the north. Evelyn led the 4th grade and Clark led the 5th. Their mother was very pleased, of course. As there was a large space between them, they didn't get in a fight.

When Clark read, he scooted down in his seat with the edge of the front cover of his book against his left eye. In high school, he was nagged by teachers and the nurse, about his posture while reading. At fourteen, he wanted to see another doctor and try once more to get help with his eyes. He went to Dr. Wenzle. She told him the same a s Dr. Hennerich has said. She said he should try to finish high school if possible and not continue after that in school. She told him not to worry about the nurse tormenting his. She said, "I'll take care of that." He heard no more about his posture.

Art Johnson, who had been blind from birth tuned the piano and suggested Clark go to Kansas City School for the Blind. He said there were some there that could see better than Clark. Lee did not agree and so he did not go there. He did go to Fort Hays State College one year because it was expected of him.

When Clark was 15, JoNelle was expected. The nurse thought it unusual that he worried about his mother and had asked the nurse if his mother should drink Coca-Cola. If it had been later, it could have been he would not have wanted anyone to drink Coke.

When he was 14, he a 3 year old Curtis had their tonsils removed. His mother had tried to get them taken out earlier and was told he'd outgrow them. Of course, he didn't. Curtis could not swallow meat because of his large tonsils. When they were taken to Dr. Murray Eddy, he said, "Why haven't Clarks been removed when the other "kids were?" Opal said, "Because you told us he didn't need it done."

When the Carleys lived at 223 W. 12th, the Safeway store was in the first block of West 11th. When their mother needed something from the store, she gave Clark and Evelyn a note and the money. They liked to go there. Carl Erlick, the manager, always took care of them himself and supplied a small treat. One day he said to their mother that he enjoyed them, but could not help wondering how they were always kept so clean! That made up for a lot of hard work.

For some strange reason, Clark was on top of the house on day! He did not see the electric wire just above the roof and fell over it, landing in lots of dry dust, his head striking a sidewalk. His mother ran out to see what happened. He was out cold and very dirty so she put Clark in the bathtub. When he woke up he did, "How did I get in here?"

One morning, Lee went to get his K.C. Stars and came right home. At the depot, he found a crate with a little fluffy white creature with black button eyes. It was Scraps, a gift from Granny and Grandpa Burdue who raised Eskimo Spits for a pet shop in St. Louis. His mother had been left at their farm a year or so before. The family enjoyed him for 13 years. He died laying on the floor in the basement at 406 W. 4th. He was by Clark, who was napping on the lower bunk bed. When Clark woke up and saw him, he ran upstairs to find his mother. It was with difficulty that she was able to get the boys to help get him upstairs and bury him in the back yard about where the trash can is now.

While the Carleys lived on W. 12th, a friend, Glen Ruff, was here in summer school. He put his 3.2 beer in their refrigerator. Clark thought it was pop and nagged his mother until she gave him a taste. He never wanted anymore thereafter!

It was there that we had a Mongoloid boy for a neighbor. He was older than Clark, but when Opal wanted Tommy Tubbs to do something she told Clark and he'd get a hold of Tommy's hand and show him what to do. He'd do anything Clark told him to. One day his mother thought Opal had sent him home and she did not let him visit for a long time after that. That was probably the only neighbor that had not sent him home. Tommy died at 18 after they moved away. His health was very poor. His mother was one of the elite O'Loughlin family.

As a child, Clark had to work hard helping prepare the newspapers for delivery. The Sunday K.C. Stars were fixed in the baggage room at the depot on 10th Street. The whole family worked on that as well as various boys. "Windy" Windholtz was one of them. All the boys at sometime was a carrier and collector in Hays. They received a percent of their collections. There was a definite advantage as all became very good at making change.

In Hays High, Clark was in music groups and worked as props man and such things as thunder and lightning or the sounds of a trotting horse accompanying dramatic events.

Somewhere in the grades, Clark took piano lessons at 25c each from Mrs. Elmer Schlegel. He wouldn't practice, so his mother gave up on him. His teacher and others liked to hear him play. As usual, vision was a problem as he had to get close to his music and peer. His teacher said he played with "authority". After he grew up, he was sorry he didn't continue lessons and practice.

Sometime over the years, he worked on the night shift at the White Palace Cafe across 9th Street from the old mill. They had to clean up the place and prepare things for morning.

Later, he drove a taxi for Otto Chew, father of J.R. Chew. He was interested in roller skating and good at it. One evening, he stopped at the skating rink to wait for a client. A Jacob’s girl slapped him. He slapped her right back. She told him what all her father would do about it, but nothing else happened.

Another evening, he asked a policeman to ride with him to observe his driving. When the officer got out he said, "I have just one question. Why did you want me to ride with you?" He didn't find out. And Clark continued to drive. He has not had any serious problems about driving even though his vision was always poor.

Clark's first soft drink job was with 7-up on what is called Vine now. The plant then was almost out in the country. In 1982, it is well inside Hays. One Sunday, he picked up another employee of 7-up to go to the plant for something. He called his mother and said they were stuck in a snow drift and would she come and push them out? She took the '46 Chevrolet Carryall and had them out in a hurry. It was blizzarding and Clark lost his new hat to the wind!

When he was a Senior at Hays High, he became ill at home and rushed to the doctor who decided it was an appendix problem, but not acute. A date for surgery was set. When the day came, he had a bad cold, but the family supposed they would treat him and delay surgery. Instead, they did the operation and he developed pneumonia. After a long stay at St. Anthony, he came home in a pneumonia jacket! During his November stay at the hospital, his doctor told him he could go to a Hays High football game if he was well wrapped up in the very good weather, if he came straight back to the hospital.

Beginning with kindergarten, he always had a girl! A neighbor remarked in Hays High days that he looked especially nice while dancing. He still loves to dance.

When an addition was built to the co-op elevator, Clark worked there with cement. He was allergic to the cement and had to quit for awhile so that he could soak his legs Ultra Violet often. The scarlet rash covered his feet and up to the top of his high boots he had to wear.

He married Frieda Rose Gnad of Ellis in 1952. As there was no bridal shop here, his mother took Frieda to Russell for her ballerina length lace dress. It was a size 5 and had to be taken in at the waist. Clark's mother made her blue and white veil. The wedding was at St. Joseph's Church. The Lamar Hotel (where First National Bank is now) gave the reception as Frieda was employed there. Their first home was a little house trailer at Rainbow Court. Clark had a large Boxer dog. Frieda didn't like it. When Clark was at work, she had to take care of it and it took her on the run wherever it chose to go!

At a later date, Clark was in Hadley Hospital with an allergy which was very severe. He was given lots of drugs to keep him comfortable. At Hadley Hospital, Frieda worked there in the laundry to hoped with the expenses. Doctors sent him to a group of dermatologists in Wichita. His mother and Friends picked him up at 2 a.m. to take him to see those doctors. He was given a shot so he would sleep until we arrived there. He woke up at Newton and when we got to the big city, he insisted on driving! We went all kinds of places; even wrong way on one way streets, but none caught us! Because he had had too many strong drugs, a "nerve" doctor was also required. He went to St. Francis Hospital where he stayed several weeks. He had good care by his five doctors. At that time, Evelyn and Bob lived in Wichita where Bob was in the Air Force, so we had a place to stay when we went to see him.

After that, they moved to Salina where he continued in the soft drink business. While living there, Clark was temporarily in another state. A teenage boy was driving for him and they were taking a load of pop to a client at a small town. A truck driving in front of them lost a water tank which the driver could not avoid. When their truck hit the tank, Clark was thrown out with the bottles on top of the truck falling on him. The boy ran to a house nearby to get towels to sop up the blood. Clark thought he was blind and was much relieved to see a bit of blue sky when he wiped the blood from his right eye. He was taken to a doctor and then his company took over and drove him to Iowa State Hospital's eye section, one of the best eye hospitals in the nation. There, they constructed a new lower lid complete with lashes, so his eye was sewed closed for three months. He visited Frieda during that time. He could eat by himself as she put his food on a white plate and telling what was at 3 o'clock, etc.. His coffee was in a white mug. During that time, the left eye improved some. While he was in Iowa to have the surgery completed, Frieda had to have gallbladder surgery, so he phoned home to ask his mother to take care of her because of a bad experience as a child, and she was frightened.

Sometime after that, they adopted Warren Lee and were surprised to learn there had been a Warren Carley before their son. He was adopted through a doctor in Kansas City.

The family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where Frieda and Warren still reside. His mother did not think she could care for another child.

Clark moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky where, now in 1982, he resides with his lovely wife Hazel Hanna Carley. Hazel's son, Richard, and Warren, visited Clark's parents for Mother's Day when they were in Bowling Green. Clark and Hazel have a lovely home and an rental house. There are plants everywhere, even hanging in the trees! Clark's caps say, "Me and My R.C.".

When Clark was a child, Mr. Andy Cull, the district man for the Topeka Capital, told us Clark would be a good salesman. Over the years, he has had awards for pop salesmanship. Several years ago, he and Frieda attended a national meeting in New Orleans, where he received an award.

From Salina, the C. L. Carleys went to Louisville, Kentucky, where they purchased a nice home. After he and Frieda divorced, Clark lived in an apartment in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His parents visited him there. They do not think Kentucky is a southern state. Thick ice was everywhere!

Ruth Carley had six nearly grown children. Clark bought a house on a one block street. When his family visited him, (they were driving), they got lost in the dark and asked a policeman to help them. He didn't know the address, but secured it at the station house.

Later, Clark and Mazine, with her two teenage girls, lived in her house and rented the other one. Over the years, Clark collected lots of step-children.

At present, he is married to Hazel Hanna Carley, who has a son Richard, who pleases Clark's parent by considering them as his Grandparents. Hazel had been a widow several years. She and Clark met in church and are very active there. Hazel works at Holly Carburetor Company, where she has been employed for more than twenty-five years. Recently, Clark's sister and family visited in their home and remarked that they found Hazel to be a "super lady'. During the last few years, Clark has suffered a stroke from which he has recovered and then at age 52, he had a heart attack from which he seems to be recovering and is anxious for his doctors in Bowling Green and in Nashville to tell him he can go back to the pop business.

At this time, January 1984, Clark is recovering from a second heart attack. He is anxious to be told he can drive. He very sweetly said, "Have you ever ridden with Hazel?" It seems she hasn't done too badly so far.

His adopted son Warren was married to Teresa last August. His relatives think that is the best thing that has happened to Warren Lee.

Step-son Richard Hanna is living in Bowling Green so they are able to see him often. He is doing well and working at night.

Curtis was recently in Kentucky and Tennessee promoting the Red Wolf being returned to the wild in the land between the Lakes. Clark was very interested in the project.

At this time Clark's lawyers proceeding with plans for Clark to retire for health reasons. He will be 54 on Washington's birthday. Did retire second heart attract, Sept. of 1983. Received workers comp. for the problem, call stress. In 1985 Hazel had to make a decision, me or her drug problem son, Richard. He won. Told me to get. I did. Attorney, Marriage Consular, Doctor and my Minister advised best to do or it would end up killing me.

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