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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LEON CHAPTER 26

Cellar
Courtesy photobucket.com
            
After Leon laid out his plans for the extension to his house he asked the black men what their needs were going to be.

Leon figured out what materials they needed, and said, “I will supply the materials needed, and you can supply the labor if that is satisfactory to you.”

They quickly agreed and Leon set about purchasing the building materials.

Leon was a little frightened of tornados, and wanted to dig a cellar under his house.
 
This was part of the project on his house remodel. He had been close to a tornado when it ripped out an oil derrick, and the power it generated was awesome.

The first step was to dig a hole and pour concrete around and over the top with steps both inside and out.  By the time the building materials arrived they were through with the cellar. Then they added the extra rooms on to  Leon’s house and made a few other upgrades he wanted.

Two rooms were added to the Black men's houses, and at last they had some privacy and more space to move around.

Leon allowed them to use a well digging machine to put down a well near their house, and he supplied the well casing for it also. He told them he had an old pump they could use, until they could afford a wind mill and tank.

Mr. Hughes finally was able to inspect the properties in San Francisco, and found some of the outlying properties were still in serviceable condition. He told Ellie her place was a total loss but the land was still usable. It just needed the debris removed from it.

The cleanup in San Francisco had started, and things were looking better already. The insurance companies went broke early on, and left most people with no money to rebuild. This meant there were many parcels of land for sale at a very cheap price.

Leon raised as much cash as he could, and with what money Ellie had they were able to invest in some prime San Francisco property.
         
Over the next two years, the price of oil had dropped to where you were lucky to get a dollar a barrel.  At that price it wasn't worth pumping it out of the ground.

Their partner, Digger had fallen from a derrick and died after a few days. He had left all his holdings to Leon for he had no kin.

Leon and Kathryn enjoyed their newly remodeled home for a couple of years, and also spent several nights in their cellar because of threatening weather.  A tornado had set down not far from where they lived which was scary and caused some concern for their safety.

The investments in Oakland and San Francisco were beginning to pay off big as rebuilding began in earnest. So Leon and Kathryn decided it was time to head for the Bay Area again.
 
Courtesy photobucket
As they packed their bags to leave, Kathryn informed Leon she was expecting a child.
 The timing for their move was right on course. 

After boarding the home place up, they headed to the rail road station and California. On the trip west they talked about the good times and the disappointments.

Kathryn was looking forward to being with Ellie again for she was just like a mother to her, and with the baby coming she needed Ellie.  

Leon had his mind set on a new car for he needed an automobile or so he thought he did.

Landing in Oakland there was a few things they were not going to miss about Oklahoma; one was the heat, the cold, and the humidity.  Especially the heat and humidity.

You could hardly breathe after a rain shower, and the sun coming out raising the temperature to over a hundred. The muddy roads were a trial and something you had to live with.

It was good to be home, back to their big Oakland house. It was much nicer than they remembered it to be.

After they greeted Ellie she said she had some bad news for them.     

To be Continued    

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