Ken Burns’s latest documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” premiers Sunday and Monday, Nov. 18-19 on PBS (8 p.m./7 p.m. Central) and includes an interview with Dorothy Christenson Williamson ’34.
Ken Burns’s latest documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” which he calls the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, premiers Sunday and Monday, Nov. 18-19 on PBS (8 p.m./7 p.m. Central) and includes an interview with Dorothy Christenson Williamson ’34. Williamson, a Colorado College history major, was a social worker with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and worked in Prowers County, Colo., on the western edge of the Dust Bowl.
Williamson, who turns 100 next month, recalls visiting the hard-hit residents and sitting across from them at their kitchen tables. “They couldn’t believe what was happening to them. It wasn’t anything that anyone had experienced before,” she said. “It was black, black, black everywhere. If you left your shoes at night and didn’t turn them upside down, they would be full of sand in morning."
She appreciates the fact that she is, in some way, a part of history. “I was always glad I majored in history,” she said. “It gave me lifelong interests that I still have today, in reading and such. It’s interesting when I look back on my life; interesting to have lived through those times.”
Her daughters, Karen Williamson Andrews ’62 and Kristin Williamson Adcock ’67, and granddaughter Amelia Adcock ’00 are all CC graduates, as was her brother, the late Alton (“Chris”) Christenson ’35. Williamson will be featured in the December issue of the Bulletin, CC’s alumni magazine.