Twelve Drops On A Brick Essay
Before the expansion of modern agribusiness, family farms dominated American agriculture and commercially viable communities provided merchandise and services within a convenient travel distance for the local farmers. On the farms, work filled the daylight hours. Therefore, as a convenience for their patrons, businesses in towns stayed open late into the evening to allow shopping after the completion of the daily farm routine. Even though each town set their own schedule, often communities, including Bradley, South Dakota, chose to remain open for business on both Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
In the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression of the 1930s, South Dakota prairies thirsted for moisture, wetlands dried up, and months of toil in the fields yielded meager returns. Although the weather mocked the farmers, as dark clouds gathered and even sent out lightning bolts and thunder, little or no rain fell. Winds blew unimpeded across the expansive treeless landscape and lifted parched topsoil into the sky. Consequently, people frequently wore handkerchiefs over their nose and mouth to filter the air. Furthermore, the dust-laden air blocked out the sun, turning daytime to an unnatural ominous darkness. A timer controlled the streetlights in the town of Bradley. However, in nearby Webster, the light sensors that controlled the illumination occasionally turned on the streetlamps in the middle of the day.
Bradley’s merchants depended on…