Great Grandpa Amnesia Travels part 6

I had no trouble in finding a lumber shed partly filled and made my bed than for the night, sleeping fairly well but pretty cold through the night. On reaching Cleveland, started out to look for work but found was my case and clerical work out of the question as my work I could do seemingly could be done by girls and old men were not wanted in offices. Around several ados for attendant on an invalid but in each case they were big or stout men with weak limbs, unable to walk with out assistance and as I weighed less than 130 pounds was unable to raise them from a chair without their assistance. One particular appeared to me. A kindly old gentlemen, tall and heavy and willing to lend what power he had but a walk in the hall made in dubious as the whether I could handle him in crisis. When his bath was mentioned there was no doubt in my mind that if I succeeded in getting him I could never get him out without help. So a good paying job in a good home failed me and as the winter drifted on, age and inexperience being the principal obstacle in securing work and general business was none to good many men being off work and weary adn every day having numbers of applications. On one occasion in February I was offered a position as janitor of a small apartment houser. Board and room and $5.00 a week. The regular janitar had a steady job trucking and his wife looked after the apartment during the day but had been asked to return to a job she had previously held in a factory which paid her so well they could afford to hire someone too look after the apartment. Could not decide at once what to do and said I would let her know the next day, Sunday. Later in the evening I decided to take the job until Spring at least and in the morning went to the place only to be informed that I was taken by a man living in the neighborhood which suited them better especially as they could not be certain I would accept the job. The money I had laid back during the summer was dwindling fast and close economy was necessary and outside of room, meals, laundry, daily paper, tobacco for my was and the Saturday Evening Post with an occasional visit to the movies I spent but little. By the end of March I had only a few dollars left as it had been necessary in the early winter to buy a supply of clothing, new suit, hat, underwear, stockings, and it made a big drain on my small capital. As to my laundry I washed my underwear, socks and shirts but although all men in the house wore work shirts with attached collars I could not get away from white collars and having no way of ironing soft ones constantly wore the stiff variety with madras shirts and one broadcloth white shirt for Sundays. I finally at last it would come to going to “The Road” again and as the nights would be cold for another two months and the spring rains would make to until to travel on many days. However, i made ready to start Westward while I had a few dollars left, about ten and would leave my belongings in care of the landlady until able to send for them,. Towards morning I fell into a profound slumber and was awakened by someone growling at me and telling me to “Get out of here if you don’t want the boss to come along and kick you out” and it struck me that if he was any tougher looking than his watchman the kicking would be good and hard and I better not meet him so I left my night quarters almost at a speed. By this time it was quite warm and the chill in my bones soon thawed out and I made tracks for Big Stone Gap. After walking perhaps half a mile a man and wife came along and offered me a lift and were very companionable asking me about my wanderings and saying, you are quite to the good by not trying to over the mountains.” They stopped on the outskirts of the town and when I was on my feet the woman handed me 50 cents and they were off before I could do more than thank her and too surprised to ask their address for it would please me more than a little to get into contact with them again and although it was but a short time we were together they so impressed me with their friendliness, to this day. I can picture them as we rode together that bright morning,

On my way again stopped in a store and bought soda crackers for breakfast, munching them as I walked along. The road was now quite familiar to me having gone over it so recently and the sun having become very hot and my knee paining occasionally I rested at house along the road I asked for some food and was given a bowl of milk with crackers and some cold meat and the wife told me to sit on the porch and rest as long as I pleased while she went about her work. Long in that road the road i had passed the house where they had been so kind to me on my way up and saw the older woman working in the garden but was not seen by her.  A couple miles from Duffield rested at the house of a  young couples for an hour or more who said they would put me up for the night but everything was upside down on account of work being done in and out of the house, the man working on the porch while I was there. By the time I reached Duffield my knee was so painful and as the night would be cold, went to a house where I was informed I could get lodging and as before had to wait for the man of the house to come home from work. On his returns I was accepted and had supper with them and had sights of one of the victims of the flu which came to death so many during the Epidemic of 1917 or 1918 and left others who survived maim for life. The man’s wife had a serious attack and it left her cripple in her legs so she was unable to walk there after.  However, she did not give way to despair or morbidness but with returning strength and willpower  and a wheelchair returned to active duties on the lower floor. Her husband said, “she is a wonder and ____ going from floor to floor attends to everything as before.”

to be continued


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