Film features resident

One of Tucumcari's own will be featured in the film "The Dust Bowl" on PBS 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

R. L. "Boots" McCoy was born in the Oklahoma Panhandle on Dec. 1, 1926, and was raised on a farm where they went to work in the mornings plowing the fields to raise wheat. McCoy said that he and his sister, who was two years older, didn't know any better and that was how life was.

In 1932, the McCoy's were blessed with twin boys, who unfortunately did not survive.

McCoy said the boys were too frail and in those days, doctors and medical services were for the most part non-exsistant.

McCoy and his family worked their farm every day and each day they looked at the sky watching for dust storms. He said animals would start running to get away from the storms and birds would fly into the barn seeking cover. He said the storms would get so bad that he couldn't see his sister sitting across the kitchen table from him.

McCoy said during these times, it was very scary for them and it was hard and tough on the family, but they got through the best they could.

The worst storm came on Easter, known as Black Sunday. His parents had dropped him and his sister off ay Sunday school.

McCoy said about half way through church services people started leaving. He took his sister's hand and they were able to find their way home.

McCoy said when they got home, the door was locked. They went around to his bedroom window that he kept unlocked and crawled into the house. He and his sister put handkerchiefs over their faces to get home and sat in the house waiting for their parents to come home.

When his parents arrived, he heard his dad tell his mom that the kids weren't home and that's when McCoy and his sister started yelling that they were there.

McCoy and his sister both ended up with dust pneumonia and McCoy's sister died of it.

McCoy said the storm killed so may people, that graveyards in Oklahoma are filled with children and elderly people who just couldn't make it through the storm.

McCoy said to this day he still has lung problems but he is as healthy as a horse.

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