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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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somewhere along the time that the WW2 was winding down that my pa had another
rambling spell come on him.
to take a job in South America installing
machinery for a manufacture of cotton mill equipment.
Along with the newly purchased machines came
someone to see that it was installed properly which meant that the master
machinist did most of the work.
The job was
to be a couple of year’s project.
problem was what to do with a wife and two kids one of which was me.
were in California at the time Pa decided that
he would leave us in Tennessee
where my mother was born and had relatives there.He bought a small house and left us there
with a nearly new car.
help his marriage situation that was already shaky and shortly after he left my
mother filed for divorce.
that my eighth grade education was good enough for me and went to work logging
and working on a farm.
After my pa
finished the project in South America, he came
back to the states to pick up his car.
Let me say that
while he was gone he sent enough money to my mother to get by on but when he
returned that stopped and she had to go to work.
Along with a
job she also got a new boyfriend and eventually married him. He wasn’t a bad sort and was always good to
thought that I wasn’t going to amount to much the way I was going so he decided
to take me with him to his new job in SalemOregon and teach me all about the
drawback was, I was only fifteen and had to be sixteen before I could be
employed. We started out from Tennessee
and the tires on the car weren’t very good. They were recaps and the recapping
industry was still in its infancy. Their equipment didn’t do a very good job
and the tread would in many cases peel off after a few miles of hard driving.
at slower speeds they were a lot better.
You have to
understand you couldn’t buy tires for they were used for the war effort and you
couldn’t buy recaps without going through a long process and get what amounted
to a permit from the government.
This took a
considerable amount of time. We managed to get over into the heartland of the
country when the tires started failing. The weather was in excess of 100
degrees with high humidity and air condition was not one of the extras offered
on cars in those days.
There was no
end to the unkind words Pa had for my mom for wearing out the tires on the car
and putting the junk tires on it. We
would patch them up while sweat poured off of us and get a little further till
it was obvious we had to get at least one tire for the spare was on the car
made it into a station and the owner said he couldn’t sell us a tire because of
After some useless talk he said he could rent us a tire
but we would have to return it. A deposit of $25.00 would be required until we
returned it. So we rented the tire.
station owner and my pa knew he would never see us again but he got $25.00 for
a$2.00 dollar tire.
just beyond the Texas
border my pa saw a woman hitch hiking and he pulled over and picked her up.
After an hour or two she asked if she could ride in the front seat and at the
first stop we made I was told to get in the back seat and she got up in front.
This really angered me but I didn’t want to cross my pa.
We crossed New Mexico and by this
time she had moved over to the middle of the seat and had her arm around my
pa’s neck. I couldn’t hear much of their conversation but I got enough to know
she was willing to spend the night with him if he would let her ride all the
way to California which was our first stop on
the way to Oregon.
At dusk pa
took her out to the city limits and bid her farewell. We then got a room nearby
for the night. As I got out of the car to get in the front seat I saw her
walking toward a service man who was hitch hiking and she said; Hey sailor!
That was the last we saw of her.
worked on pa the whole day but he didn’t buy what she was selling.
wondered what the outcome would have been if I hadn’t had been along for pa was
known to be fond of the women.
We got to Oregon and my pa went to
work at his new job. He made arrangements for me to go to work but I had to
wait till I was Sixteen which was three months away. I worked in the harvest in
Salem and made
pretty good money.
We lived in
a house where they rented some of their rooms and pa became friendly with a
woman who lived there. Something made her think pa was going to marry her but
she was badly mistaken.
was favors she bestowed upon him. Just before I was to go to work and learn the
textile business something made my pa mad and shortly after he quit and my
career in the textile business was over.
As we left
there was a lot of squalling by the woman who was friends with pa but we were
soon out of earshot.
back to OaklandCalifornia
where I had several relatives and after a short time pa headed back to South America leaving me in an apartment we had rented
for years. The rent for so cheap pa had kept it even though he wasn’t there. He
paid the rent up for a couple of months after which I had to move out.
never heard from him after that and saw him once just before he died.