i A Time and a Place...: Long Ago and Far Away...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Long Ago and Far Away...

I've been reading my sister's blog and decided to post this story about her and the rest of our family when we lived in a tent on the desert near Phoenix, Arizona. I was about eighteen months old at that time. I am referred to as "the baby." This is right after a carnival closed and moved on. Daddy and my brother had worked for the carnival, helping to put it together and take it down at the end. Now we were out of a job. Enjoy...

Time to Move On...

"...The carnival is over and we, as most kids would, think every thing will be normal for us
again. However, Mom has different ideas. Daddy was able to work with the people putting the carnival back in the trucks and getting ready to go, so we had a little money. Mother decided that we should all go have our picture made as a family while we could pay for it. Hence, we have a family picture of when the baby was about 18 months old and what a card he was!

The Bues (family friends of ours) had moved to California about the time the carnival first came so we really didn't have any relatives close by,- not that there weren't plenty of neighbor kids to play with, but Mother began to get restless.

One day she had a talk with Daddy and decided she would go to California where she could get a job. Daddy wasn't too crazy about that but then, usually, when she got her mind made up, that's what she did. She took what money she could and she told Daddy she would take Buddy because he would be of some help to her.

So she put some clothes for her and Buddy and the baby in a cloth bag and decided it would be best to go in the evening so she told all of us goodbye and took Buddy and James and left. Mickey cried for the longest time but when Daddy was gone he would say, "Now you girls be sure and mind Mickey," and we did.

We learned long after that ,that Mom, Buddy and James had gotten on a freight train and rode all the way to Chowchilla, California in what seemed like just one night!! We were amazed!

I guess Daddy got a letter from her because he finally got tired of waiting and said, " Come on Girls, we are going to find your Mamma!" We didn't have anything that was not worth leaving so Daddy got a flour sack and put a change of clothes in it for each one of us girls and the next morning we started walking to California.

It was really hot on that highway! Once in awhile a car would stop and ask where we were going and Daddy would say, " California!!" They would give us a ride as far as they were going then we would start walking again.

One time we passed a small grocery store and Daddy bought a loaf of white bread. That was a novelty for us since we only had biscuits at home. He also got each of us girls a sucker; that was three more cents. He stuck three in his pocket and gave us one each and back on the road we went.

We walked 'till we got to a bridge. We went down under it and Daddy said we would have a picnic now. He had a little folding metal cup in his pocket which he took out and got some river water where it was running and looked clear. We really wouldn't have cared just so it was cool and wet. He showed us how to take a bite of the bread and then suck on the sucker a little to make the bread taste sweet and I guess we learned pretty well because we ate nearly half of that loaf of bread before we were done . It sure was good!

We rested till the sun started to go down then we started to walk again. Daddy had a little *bottle in his pocket that he took out and touched to his tongue every so often.

I'll have to stop for now and finish this later."

There is a lot more to this story. Maybe I'll post more of it later.

*That bottle was filled with kerosene. Daddy had TB and thought kerosene was good for him. I guess it worked. He lived until age 81.



Blogger tweetey30 said...

Cool story. Very neat what your father was doing.

8:27 AM  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Amazing. Beautiful set of kids in that pic, there.

10:05 PM  
Blogger J C said...

People used to do a lot of different things to heal themselves in the old days. I remember Daddy or Mom mixing a little kerosene with sugar and giving a half teaspoon to us kids when we caught colds.

Monicar, Donna and I were talking about our lives as young kids, me riding the freights and hitchhiking to get places, sleeping on the ground on pallets of quilts and blankets in the rain, going to the river every day and getting a whipping for it from Mother because she was afraid I'd get polio from the river water, just being poor in general and she axed me if I'd do the same things over if I could. I told her, "In a heartbeat!" I wouldn't change a thing!

4:57 PM  

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