Texas State archaeology professor
brings ancient culture to life
Michael Collins came of age during a period Texas author Elmer Kelton referred to as “the time it never rained.”
One of the worst droughts on record gripped much of the United States, including Collins’ hometown of Midland, in the 1950s. Lakes dried up. Unceasing heat desiccated the soil. Agricultural activity slowed to a crawl.
The West Texas winds did not slow down. They stole the dirt, carrying it by the ton for hundreds of miles in swirling, choking clouds. Collins remembers a horseman riding under a barbed-wire fence — and not being able to touch the bottom strand.
But while the drought and the winds were stealing topsoil from West Texas, they were giving Mike Collins a gift: archaeology. Continue reading