Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer was soon over and time to go home. Only two eventful things happened on the way home. I came home the northern route. I was wearing Southern California clothes and as we went over one of those mountain passes in Colorado, I think I would have frozen if a brake man had not felt sorry for us and opened a box car for us. The other time was in KC. I was sleeping in the ice compartment of a refrigerator car when I was awakened by someone yelling, "Do you want me to throw this ice down on you?"

I arrived home three days after school started.

I forgot to tell you about the summer of 1934. School got out a little earlier than it does now. As soon as school was out I started working, plowing a river bottom farm in preparation to plant corn. This field was large enough that it took an hour or more to plow around it. Of course, that steel wheeled Farmall didn't move very fast pulling two 14" plows. I had never driven anything except a Model "T" before. Spain Armstrong, the owner, had plowed the first furrow around the field. He said, "Just keep your right wheel in the furrow and keep going until 6 o'clock tonight when you will be relieved by a driver who will drive until 6 o'clock in the morning." The only thing that tractor stopped for was fuel and to change drivers. We were over a week getting this field ready to plant. My job here was done. I was paid ten cents per hour which was the same family men were getting at the stone crusher and they did not sit down. When I finished this job I went to work for Dale Anderson clearing buck brush from his farm. There were no bush hogs in those days. Six or eight men and boys (I thought I was a man then because I did as much or more work than any one on the crew) would line up with grubbing hoe in hand and work our way across the field digging out buck brush by the roots. Sometime during the summer I was taken off this crew and put to helping an old man (about the age of dad) who was building a stone fence on the farm. I don't know what this fence enclosed, unless it was an old cemetery, although I don't remember seeing any grave stones. Mr. Anderson paid us $.75 cents a day for ten hours work. I never had a five dollar bill in my hand all summer.

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