Anderson, Don 2000-07-18

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This interview features Don Anderson as he discusses his early years farming on his family’s farm and his memories of the drought’s of the thirties and fifties. Anderson also shares learning how to fly during World War II, and using flying to makes some money. He then moves on to describe his ventures in cotton farming and the boll weevil problem.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Don Anderson

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: July 18, 2000

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 02:04:47


Background, Born in Dawson County East of Lamesa near McCarty, Lived in Lamesa until sophomore in High School, Moved to Lubbock for two years, Moved to McAdoo, Finished High School in Crosby County, Wife: Louise, Father, Edward Palmer Anderson, Farmed cotton, Came to Texas to get away from the bull weevil, Worked as a deputy sheriff in town for a few years, Navy in WWI, Made 9 trips from the U.S to France on a transport ship, Chief Boiler, operated boilers on the ships, Germans sunk a lot of ships, Ships went in big groups in order to make it through safely, Ships transported soldiers, Typically lost a third of the convoy during the trips, Father was previously married, Previous wife was accidentally shot by her brother, Mother, Margaret Alma Moore, Siblings, Two brothers and two sisters, Andy James Anderson, Don Anderson, Mary Anderson, Owns Rocky River Ranch which is a girls camp, Earned an award for her help in Girl Scouts, Grandfather, Died when Anderson’s father was a child, Died of consumption in his early years, Grandmother, Married again to Judge Corns from Stanford, Wedding was arranged by Grandmothers brother John, who was a preacher, Growing up on the farm, Jobs on the farm, Hoeing, Running the scratcher and machines, Picked cotton, Hated picking cotton, Cotton was sharp, Kept records, Traded tractors for mules and horses in East Texas, Harvest time was August and September, 1949 had to drill on the farm in White River Valley, Drilled a well, one of the first wells drilled in that area, Well was 8in, butane pump, 1954 Built a gas line, one of the first gas lines built there, Crosby County had some of the earlier irrigation, High School/ During High School Years, Attended High School in the early 1940’s before the war, Hauled horses and mules to Stanford, Hillsboro, and Johnson to sell, Took the livestock by truck, Occasionally picked up roll binders, cultivators, tool planters on their way back, Sandstorm, Biggest sandstorm 1927 on Thanksgiving Day, Anderson was only 4, Early 30s remembered watching sandstorms roll in, Sandstorms were far worse during those times, Mother swept tons of sand out of the house, Sand came from Southeastern Colorado, Western Oklahoma, and Northern New Mexico, Chisel and Hamey tools helped stop a lot of the dust from blowing, 1950-1953 dust storms didn’t really occur because of the good machinery, The 30s were worse than the 50s because they did not have irrigation at the time, Schooling, West Texas State on a football scholarship, 1943 Transferred to Texas Tech while in Navy reserve, Dale Morgan contacted Anderson about playing football at Tech, School of business, Graduated in 1948, Finished school through the G.I Bill, Started the flying double t club at Texas Tech, Taught kids how to fly at Breedlove airport, Navy, Went to the Navy and stayed for two years, Pilot in the army, College Pilot Training program in Lawrence, Kansas, V-5 Cadet reserve, Brother was in the Navy as well, After the war Anderson went back to Texas Tech, Change in equipment on the farm, 1948-49 tractors that were being used had changed from old John Deere two cylinder, F-20 and F-30 to newer and faster equipment, Clint Breedlove, Breedlove died of a heart attack, Bought one of the first Beach Bonanza’s, Seated four people, Interesting individual, Flight school in Plainview and Lubbock, CPT program, Wife: Colleen Breedlove, Daughter: Mary Louise, Jack Burton took over the manager position of the flying school, Tried to get a loan to renovate the airport, Wife shut down the airport, Liquidated the airplanes, Planes and Flying, Created flight program at Tech called Economics 235, Trained about 30-40 veterans through Tech, Didn’t last a long time, Ran flight school until 1949, Stopped because lack of veterans, Government paid for the flight instruction, Veterans were able to earn their pilot license, Moved to Crosby to farm after leaving the school, South Plains Hanger, Helped build on base, Built a Chapel, Carried boards, and did small tasks, Burned with hot tar, “Workers comp”, Interest in the Navy, Father was in the Navy in WWI, Anderson was in the Navy in WWII as Naval Aviator, Joined the Navy Air Corps, Navy put the college students on reserve, Playing football at Tech when he was called to duty to the Navy, Went to Liberty College in Liberty, Missouri, Earliest Aviation Training, Initial training in Liberty, Missouri, Went to CPT in Lawrence, Kansas, Flew Cubs, Later training they flew M&N early version of the steerman and the TIM, a low flying plane, Acrobatics, Anderson got his wings in Corpus Christi, Texas, After Lawrence, Kansas, Anderson went through pre flight training in Iowa at the University, Had a little training in Florida, Dive Bomber training, When they were preparing to go overseas, a bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Cancelled deployments after bomb, Anderson was transferred, Flew junk planes to the junkyard from Florida to Oklahoma, Flew about 2 or 3 to the junkyard, After the Navy, First summer out of the Navy he bought a Steerman, Flew passengers over wheat fields, Stunt Rides, Slow Roll, Snap Roll, Advertisement, Would do stunts for the crowds, Charged $5 for a stunt ride and charged $3 for a regular ride, Taught people how to fly in McAdoo as a summer job, The Flying Double T’s, Founded by Don Anderson, Had about 10-15 members, Initiation fee was a couple hundred dollars, Had to pay for each flight as well, Breedlove airport, Ran flight school until 1949, Crop-dusting, Weldon George, Had three crop dusters, Don Anderson participated briefly in crop dusting, A.B Thompson also flew planes for George, Pilot for the war, 1947 Flew under the London Bridge to impress his sweetheart from the war, Anderson employed crop dusters himself when he was farming, Farming, 1949-1973, Over 300 acres in Crosby, Last farm house before ranching country, Horseback riding for Anderson’s children in Rio Blanco Canyon, Found several air heads while farming, Turned the farm over to his son, Bought multiple ranches from different families in 1974, Used to run cattle on the ranch, Interest in Ranching, Rode horses, Used to help round up cattle, Operated 3 little ranches, H.C Lewis had neighboring ranch, H.C Lewis and John Green, Robertson bought Calgary Park and sold Anderson 6 sections of the ranch, Sold the land back, Lewis was shot by his son in law, both were killed mid to late 1970s, Other ranching, Leased ranch from Melba Hines for a few years, Bought the Walker ranch, Bull Weevil eradication program, Farming two sections of land south of Crosbyton, Bull weevil made appearance in 1962, First sighting, Migrated from around Post, Grubbs in the cotton bowl, Sat down with George Fifenberger (Executive cotton grower) to discuss the problem, Anderson suggested that they set up a meeting with A&M Entomology dept to find a solution, Meeting in Floydada, Dr. Perry Atkinson and Dr. Gains (head of entomology), Diapauses program that could reduce bull weevil population, Plains cotton growers, Meeting called in Lubbock, Set up a technical advisory committee of entomologists as well as a committee of farmers (the bull weevil eradication committee), Federal Funding, A meeting was set up with the U.S department of agriculture to meet with the top people of USDA, 1969 Anderson was elected president of the cotton growers, Don Johnson was Vice President, Developing a product to sterilize the weevil, Sterile weevil were not aggressive

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Transcript: Transcript available in the reading room

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