Then she wanted me to stay the summer, but I know I could not stand the work, three horses and two cows to attend to handling bushel wood______ of pot stove and left Sunday morning of all the houses I had ever been in I never heard such swearing and the grandmother led them all. There were four generations, the youngest a boy of two years. That day I walked three miles west of Pembroke and slept in an abandoned barn having been refused shelter at a couple places.
Passing thru Buffalo which I reached by noon and I had my shoes soled and also was shaved, first time since leaving Selins Grove. It was a long hot walk thru the city to the Lake Shore and before I could get out of the city it was getting dark and coming by the freight sheds the Lehigh Valley Railroad. I hopped into one of the empty cars on a track outside to pass the night. Some time during the night I was awakened by the cars bumping and after some shifting the train whisked ahead and I was bound to go either East or West as it was too dark to get off. However, it finally backed again and into the long train shed. When leaving the car in the morning I found the big doors at the end closed and could not open them and no one about. I having moaned for an hour or more and then a guard came in thru a small door and seeing me threatened to arrest me. When I explained how I happened to be inside he eased up some and finally let me out.
I went by the Bethlehem Steel Plant and thought it would never end, but in time came on the main road to Erie stopped in a barn overnight near North Evans, the following day reached North Portland 52 miles from Buffalo. Applied at a farmer’s beyond the town for shelter, but he would not let me sleep in the barn, but I could use an old carriage shed. When I slept on some corn fodder. Before dark the hired man came to me and we talked for an hour and when I mentioned Salies Grove he said he had been there a few days before in a car to bring home some of the students who lived in the village, the school time having ended. He started to tell me about the escapade with the gin horse about which I have previously written and we had a good laugh over it.
The next evening I was 20 miles from Erie and passed the night in a barn. The following day it was intensely hot my knee pained and I made only 8 miles – came by a shed early and passed the night fairly comfortable. The following day was also very hot but I had a few miles ride. On walking through Erie which was sizzling hot I came be a fire station and finding some chairs on the shaded sidewalk sat down to rest and eat some soda crackers. A fireman came out and seeing what I was eating said it was pretty dry eating and if I would wait a few minutes he would make me some coffee in a few minutes he called me to follow him into the base. Went where they had a kitchen and in addition to the coffee gave me bread and butter and some cakes.
At Christmas I sent a card to the station. That night arrived at Swanville eight miles south of Erie and asking for supper at a house met a most kindly welcome from man and wife who kept me over night on a cot in the kitchen and provided supper and breakfast. On Sunday I walked about 15 miles and had no trouble in getting into a barn for the night. The next day had a long ride and by night was at a tourist camp 45 miles from Cleveland. There was only one barn about and I was refused entry so I went into the camp at dusk and located under a tree between two auto campers one of which parties became friendly and I sat up with the man and wife until late hour and then I made my bed on the hard ground but it was toss and turn all night. Strange to say altho there had been heavy dew every night there was normal at night, fortunately for me. In the morning the campers gave me breakfast and I started on expecting them to pass me on the road. They did not intend to start until a couple hours later. I had been walking for about an hour when a couple young ladies came along in a car and asked me where I was going? I said, “Cleveland” and they told me to get in and they could take me as far as Painsvilles a long distance to walk and arrived there about noon. One of the girls insisted on my taking a dollar she tendered me but would not give me their names and address.
I walked several miles further and stopping at a house to get a drink met a man in a Ford truck who said he could take me along for several miles. During our talk he asked if I wanted work and I said, “Yes, if it is any work I can do. “His son, he said, wanted a man to work about the place, have a room over the garage and board myself, there being a store in the village where I could get what I needed and the pay would be $2.00 a day. I agreed (June 26) to try it and if satisfactory to his son would stay. We turned off the main road and on the way passed thru Kirkland where the Mormon build their first temple which is still used by them but no longer known as the Mormon Church. About 2 o’clock we reached the place a village of about two dozen scattered houses and one store. The father lived in the village Fullertown and the son on the edge of the place when he had a fine house built on rising ground with large lawns on three sides and a private road on the other through the grounds.The garage some distance beyond the house was large enough for three cars and a work shop which of course made a large loft above where I found a cot, bedding, table and chair, and rocker.
to be continued…