Qala Bist II

May 24th, 2016

One basic theme on this site is the subject of water. Each post is headed by the words of wisdom of Warren Beck (See: above). Qala Bist (Afghanistan) collapsed with the collapse of the remarkable man-made irrigation system that supported over 1 million people in the ancient valley. With the collapse of irrigation came the consequent collapse of the areas very advanced civilization. With that in mind, the following article may prove to be both informative and illuminating.

Massive Navajo farm heads into week 2 with no irrigation

The largest farm on the Navajo Nation has been without water for more than a week after a pipeline break, endangering food crops worth millions of dollars and threatening jobs.

Most of the crops on the land managed by the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry near Farmington, New Mexico, were planted just before the concrete pipe failed, cutting off water to 72,000 acres of farmland. Officials have pegged June 11 as the date to have repairs completed, with water flowing through a canal system days later.

In the meantime, they’re holding out hope that the skies will stay cloudy and enough moisture will fall to sustain the plants in the desert.

“Hopefully with the small amount of rain we’ve gotten, that will help,” said LoRenzo Bates, a farmer who represents the region on the Navajo Nation Council. “At the end of the day, there will need to be some serious management decisions by all the growers as to whether or not to go with what’s still there or replant.”

The irrigation canal delivers water to the tribal farm from the San Juan River through Navajo Dam. The water that was in the canal when the 17-foot diameter pipe broke May 13 is being rationed among the crops grown by the tribal company and those who lease land.

A New Mexico State University research station is not taking water on its 250-acre plot nor is it planting anything new. Instead, the station is using the situation to study how plants respond to stress and the vulnerability of irrigation-dependent agriculture in the Southwest, said Kevin Lombard, superintendent of the school’s Agricultural Science Center in Farmington, New Mexico.

“It’s not a good time to be worrying about not having water,” he said. “It’s very stressful, very emotional.”

Contractors and the chief executive of NAPI, Wilton Charley, said they believe the crops that include alfalfa, corn, beans and pumpkins can weather three weeks with little to no water, but anything beyond that becomes risky.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for operating and maintenance of the irrigation system that was built decades ago by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, federal officials said. The Navajo Nation oversees all on-site activities on the farms. Crews have spent the past week excavating the 20-foot section of pipe and figuring out where a replacement could be manufactured, given its age of 44 years.

The expectation is that it could be fixed by June 11, but it would take a few days to refill the canal before crops could be watered from it, bureau spokeswoman Nedra Darling said. Darling did not have a cost estimate and didn’t immediately know the pipe’s last inspection date.

Hauling water to the farms or laying a pipe across the wash are not viable options because of the size of the farmland, Charley said.

Already, the tribal farm and contractors are making tough decisions to let some crops go dry, forgo additional planting and lay off workers.

John Hamby, whose family owns companies that grow pumpkins and popping corn on 5,100 acres of the tribal farm, cut half of the staff after the water break, leaving 15 workers. The number of people needed at harvest time swells to 600.

The 1,000 truckloads of pumpkins produced per year are destined for fundraising and the popped corn to the wholesale market. Hamby said popping corn is less important right now than the pumpkins, which haven’t sustained much damage but also don’t need a whole lot of water right now.

“If this would have happened in July, this would have been a disaster,” he said.

Mark Anderson, who heads Anderson Hay and Grain Co. Inc., said the company will expedite its first cut of alfalfa by a few days. From there, it goes to a compressing facility in Los Angeles and to domestic and export markets and to dairy farmers in the United States.

“So there’s plenty of jobs impacted and plenty of customers and marketplaces that expect hay,” he said. “If there wasn’t a fix in fairly short order, there could be a fairly big impact.”

Some of the tribal farm’s inventory from last year still is being shipped to the market, Charley said. Alfalfa, pinto beans, potatoes and corn are sold under the Navajo Pride label. He said it’s too early to tell whether this year’s expectations for harvest will be met.

“Once we get a better handle of where we’re at, we’ll approach those discussions then,” he said.

Carson City, Nevada: September 19, 1958

September 19th, 1958


Nevada State Appeal – Carson City, Nevada – Newspaper Article of Thursday, September 18, 1958:

Claytons Plan Open-House Party At Carson Home

Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Clayton have announced an impromptu “hello and goodbye” open-house for 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, in their home at 405 Roop St. in Carson.

Mr. Clayton, appointed transportation and industry officer with the US Operations Mission in Afghanistan, will leave Sunday for his new assignment.  He arrived in Carson Wednesday from Washington, D.C.  Mrs. Clayton will remain in Carson until next summer.

Note:  The last sentence in the article above reflected the anticipated plans at the time.  In reality Mrs. Clayton (Lloydine Clayton) left Carson City for Afghanistan on April 1, 1959.  The two sons of Fred & Lloydine Clayton living with Lloydine in Carson City at the time left for Afghanistan with her on April the first.  Kenneth Edward Clayton, a Senior at Carson High School, age 17, was granted an early graduation by Carson City Superintendent of Schools Albert Seeliger.   Donald Clayton, age 10 and in 5th grade, would complete his fifth grade year in school in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Fred & Lloydine Clayton’s third son, Frederick Martin Clayton, also a graduate of Carson High School was in the United States Navy at this time, serving aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Randolph.

Clayton Family Document from the Donald Clayton collection – This image is contributed to the Public Domain under the parameters of Qala Bist Blue.


Widespread earthquake damage

April 25th, 1954

____________________________________________________________________________ 1954

____________________________________________________________________________ April:

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————       [2] 37:121 – North America – United States of America – California – Santa Clara County
GilroyGilroy Advocate

Note:  The population of Gilroy, California in 1950 was 4,951 people.

Gilroy Advocate – Eighty-Seventh Year, No. 165 – April 26, 1954

Widespread earthquake damage
Plaster falls, windows break, in Sunday’s 1:33 p.m., 20 minute ‘quake

Widespread minor damage was reported from a rolling, 20-minute earthquake and a single aftershock that shook up a large area of Northern California.

The quake, at 1:33 p.m. PDT yesterday, centered in the GilroyHollisterWatsonville area.

Gilroy’s Damage
In Gilroy, bottles tumbled from store shelves, cracks appeared in downtown store walls and in residential area homes, several windows were broken and many others cracked.  A few chimneys in the residential area were reported damaged.

A check of downtown stores, groceries and city offices reveals extentive damage from the sharp earthquake.

An estimated $1000 damage in broken liquor and wine merchandize was reported this morning by McGuerns Grocery owner.

Blackburn’s Grocery reports $60 to $70 damage from broken bottles of liquors, while “only a few broken bottles” are reported by Mrs. Roger Stapleton, Gilroy Liquor Store, although she said, “my husband had the daylights shaken out of him and was dazed for a time after the ‘quake.”

Safeway Stores reports the most extensive grocery store damage, with an estimated $100 to $150 merchandise loss through broken bottles.  Richard Brooks, store manager, said the aisles were covered with merchandise fallen from the shelves and cases.  Brooks said the store was back to normal this morning, and that two men had cleaned up the mess in a couple of hours.

Fook Low, manager of the Victory Market, said the store sustained a loss of about $50 to $75 through breakage.  Town and Country Market manager, Alec Telfer, said his store lost only about $35 worth of merchandise.

Norman Goodrich, Sparkle Market, said his loss was very small – “about $15 worth of damage in breakage, and some $3 worth of cleanup work.  Bettancourt’s Market spokesman said the store lost about $100 in broken bottles.  No estimate was available from Purity Stores, but it was believed that the damage was not over $100.

City Hall Damaged
City Hall employees waded through fallen plaster and viewed huge cracks in the old building erected in 1905, just a year before the “big ‘quake” of 1906.  Judge Leon Thomas’ court was the hardest hit, with plaster lying all around the floor and hanging by a thread from great, spreading cracks from the walls and ceiling.

Nearly all second-floors in downtown buildings were damaged through cracks in walls, fallen plaster and rubble.

Crossbeams temporarily erected while remodeling goes on at Hall’s clothing store, were knocked out of plumb and work is going forward today to brace the front of the building.

Hotel Milias‘ rooms were damaged through cracks and falling plaster, and the elevator was reported damaged, but operating.

A movie was in progress at the time of the ‘quake, and the manager reports that the force of the earthquake broke the film.  He said the audience was quiet and the lights were turned on immediately while the break in the film was repaired.

Broken Window
Johnson’s Drug Store window was cracked, while a broken window was reported at the Toggery.  Pieces of plaster were thrown across the room at the E.E. Eustice Insurance Co. and several cracks in the wall appeared.

While little or no damage is reported from the various elementary schools in Gilroy, the high school reports minor damage from fallen plaster.

Residents report broken bric a brak, dishes and light pieces of furniture.  Cracks appeared in the walls and ceilings of homes, many of them new ones.

American Trust Buildings, Montogemery Ward and J.C. Penny Co. were among the hardest hit of the downtown buildings, all reporting extensive damage from cracks and falling plaster and cracked windows.

An insurance man said today that there is little earthquake insurance on homes or buildings here to cover the cost of repairs.

Watsonville Hard Hit
It cracked windows, plaster and walls, buckled floors, shattered chinmneys, broke pipes, tumbled merchandise from the shelves of stores and snapped a flagpole atop a Watsonville building.

“it shook the teeth out of everything,” said Police Sgt. J. S. Brandon of Watsonville.  “It sure caused a lot of excitement around here.”

Only One Injury
Only one injury was reported.  A 16-year-old girl was hurt slightly when a crowd of 500 persons attending a dog show in Watsonville panicked and rushed for the outdoors.

Seismologists said the tremblor registered 5 on a scale of 10.  The ‘quake came 48 years and one week to the day after the famed San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which measured 8.5.

The aftershocks followed at 2:25 p.m.  W. C. Marion, University of California seismologist, said an earthquake of such magnitude “continues to give surface waves for some time.”

Buildings Damaged
The ‘quake was also felt north of San Francisco at San Quentin Prison, where authorities said convicts remained calm, and to the east in the populous OaklandBerkeley area.

But it appeared to be most severely felt in the Watsonville area.

There a rope barricade was placed around a four-story building housing the Bank of America, where a crack opened in the granite facade.  The inside walls were laced with plaster cracks.  Five stores reported damage of $800 each.  A water main sprang a leak.  Power was off in neighboring communities.  Scores of chimneys toppled.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fiorovich said the jolt knocked them off their feet and moved every piece of furniture in their new ranch-type home six to eight inches.

Mirrors, pictures and everything on their walls were shaken off.  Plumbing fixtures were yanked from the walls.  They estimated it would cost $25,000 “to get our house in shape again.”

The ‘quake left a 50-foot crack in the Chittenden Pass highway nine miles east of Watsonville.  The ground was raised three inches on each side of the crack.  The highway was open to slow traffic.

San Francisco and Oakland police reported floods of calls, but damage was confined to cracked and broken plaster and swaying lights.

[Post originally written on March 8, 2011 @ 8:00 P.M. Mountain Time] updated: 2011.03.09






Scioto Marsh Strike

June 20th, 1934

____________________________________________________________________________ 1934

____________________________________________________________________________ June:

1934.06.20 – 1934.08.28  (10 weeks)
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————       [2] 41:083 – North America – United States of America – Ohio – Hardin County
LimaScioto Marsh

SCIOTO MARSH ONION STRIKE – June 20, 1934 ———————————————————————————————————————————————–

This is an undated type-written letter from “Susan” (husband: “Elmer”) to Hemme Martin, living in San Diego, California.  The letter is about the Scioto onion workers strike, and about other issues seen relevant to Susan in the summer of 1934.

Information contained in {braces} are for clarification and are not part of the original type-written letter.

Dear Hemmie;

You will never know how many times I’ve started letters to you and been interrupted.  Life has been pretty complicated and your Susan has been dizzy more than once.

Elizabeth is still at Antioch but has decided to finish at Iowa if she does not get the co-operative job she wants – reporter on the Augusta Georgia Constitution.   She is finding the lot of a newspaper woman is not all roses as newspapers want men in preference to women.  (The New York Times has over 300 men, they say, in all positions and only one woman!)

Well, to make a long story short, in order to better fit herself for the job she stayed on at Yellow Springs {in Greene County, Ohio – home of Antioch College} all summer and reported for the Associated Press , the Springfield News and the Dayton News. Hasn’t quite made expenses but as they only pay two dollars a column, but the summer has been far from wasted.

Seeing as we could not get home we went down there to see her and had a wonderful visit with her.  The country around Yellow Springs is is wooded with hardwood trees and quite New England in atmosphere.  Then we made long drives to Columbus, Xenia, Dayton, Cincinnati and Kentucky.  Now Elmer is gnashing his teeth that we didn’t go to the Tennessee Valley Project.

You might be interested in Kay’s experience with the onion strikers.  She had met a socialist organizer and introduced him to us when we were there.  He asked her why she didn’t write up the Sciota Marsh strike.  She told him it was too far and she couldn’t afford the trip for what they would pay.  He suggested a friend with a car – which she hadn’t on tap, so he told her he was hitch-hiking there the next day and if she cared to go along she was welcome.

So she said, “Take it or leave it, mother, that’s the way we got there.”

He introduced her to the strike leader, himself, who took her home and she found his wife was only eight months older than she was.  Home was a tiny box although the wife had done wonders with cretonne and boxes of ruffles.  Then she interviewed the policemen, sheriff, judge, and finally millionaire owner of the marsh.

Conditions are really terrible there.  They have brought in ignorant Tennessee mountain whites and kept them by themselves.  Children of five and six years are paid three and four cents an hour for weeding on their knees in the muck which is so irritating that it causes boils and abscesses if the skin is in any way broken.

Heads of families get as low as $1.50 A WEEK.  for trespass  While the owner had the strike leader safe in jail when they proved he  was three feet away from the lot line, the poor Kentuckians were told they had to load up their goods and go.  They had no place to go but had loaded up when the leader got out and he ordered them back in their homes.  The police man threatened arrest and the leader said, “Go get your warrant, you know where I live.  I’ve never run away yet.”  Of course they couldn’t arrest him.

Then, finally, she interviewed Mr. Edwards {Allen P. Edwards, manager of the Scioto Land Co., age 72}.  Two armed guards were at the gates of the grounds and a man was cutting a great lawn with a power mower.  The atmosphere was a little tense as Mr. Edwards had a loaded revolver on the desk between them.  His wife comes in, quite bitter, and said, “What newspaper are YOU with.”

Kay said she paused and then replied gently, “You see I’m a student at Antioch College and taking a course in labor relations and wanted to study this from all sides including yours.”

Then instead of having time to get material she had a time to get away.

As she was leaving a socialist mass meeting was in progress and she sat in on that.  Finally the lawyers for each side presented their cases and she started back for Springfield.

When Mr. Barton, the Associated press man saw her he said, “thank God, I thought you’d get shot.”

When she finally reached home she was so unstrung it was 3 o’clock before she could get to sleep.

I say this generation has all the fun.  We never had such adventures as that, did we, Hemmie.

It has been the hottest summer on record and you know well enough that we have had a drought.  Now fall has dropped out of a clear sky and Suzanne is getting ready for school.

She has decided to work a year before going to college, the way Elizabeth did.  Don’t know but what that is the best plan, always provided the job can be found.

She is quite an adept at sewing and has made herself a lot of clever clothes at little expense.  Also she has taken over Elizabeth’s fall underthings and gets some fetching effects.

Now tell me what you are doing.  Do you garden?  I believe I enjoyed the horticulture building as much as any at the fair.  how is business now in San Diego?  What do the people think of N R A ?  It has been my observation that as a people we are very impatient.  The N R A to my notion is far from perfect but is a step in the right direction and probably will take years, if not centuries to come near a perfect society.  But the fickle public, now the worst danger is passed, lack the far view to hold on and work for the future.

Anyway, I am convinced Roosevelt is sincere and earnestly trying to do what is right.  On every hand I see the selfish ones willing to pull down the temple to save their petty interests – and not keen enough to realize all will perish with the destruction of the part.  But things move so swiftly now-a-days we forget reforms usually take generations.

Tell me about yourselves.  Is Lloydine to teach this year?

With love in chunks,
Ever yours,


Click on letter image to enlarge.

Click on April 12, 1988 newspaper article image to enlarge.

[Post originally written on March 9, 2011 @ 7:30 P.M. Mountain Time] updated: 2011.03.09





Article regarding birth of Alfin Backlund

May 27th, 1878

____________________________________________________________________________ 1878

1878.05.27 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————       [2] 39:096  North America – United States of America – Kansas – Riley County
Lasita – Backlund Farm

BIRTH IN LASITA – Backlund Farm

Alfin Backlund

——————————————————————————————————————————————————  The following Newspaper Article, published in 1918 at the time of Alfin Backlund’s death records the date and location of his birth – May 27, 1878 – the Backlund Farm – (near) Lasita, Kansas.

This article also documents that Alfin Backlund left Lasita in 1899 for Kansas City, when he reached the “age of majority”, age 21.

[“Article regarding birth of Alfin Backlund” Post written on May 11, 2011 @ 01:15  ZLT / GMT / Zulu / UTC]