There was a large garden and in addition a half acre of potatoes and the cause of sweet corn, all needing attention. The occupants of the house were the son, wife, three young children, a nurse and a cook. The next morning went to work in the garden and kept up that work until Saturday and was then paid $8.00. It came to my mind than that I had better come to an understanding about the $2.00 a day, whether it meant everyday or only days I worked so I spoke to the father about it as he had engaged me. I didn’t feel attached to him from the first but did like the son. He said his terms were only days I could work and I said mine was $2.00 a day rain or shine and including Sunday. After arguing the matter I said I would leave after he said, Well, John I guess you’ll have to go. ” and when I was walking away he called, “You’d had better see my son first.” I looked him up after talking the matter over he told me to stay and the pay would be $14.00 a week. Barring the Sunday, it turned out to be 50 -50 as it was a very dry summer and there was not more that a day and half all toll when could not work, those often being inside work that I could do when there was rain and I had to work all day July 4 Labor Day. It left a bad taste in the Father’s though and as he seemed to have as much direction about the place as the son, did all the “bossing” and we were at logger ____ heals most of teh time. After once telling me about what he wanted done about the place the son left it all to me except when he wanted something special done. He went to the nearest town, ten miles distant and purchased some tinware, coffee pot and gave me the use of two burner kerosene stove which they kept in the laundry on wash day , but I had to carry this back and forth each wash day.
The garden was backward and it took lots of work to get it going, but eventually there were all kinds with plenty tomatoes etc. I could utilize anything I wanted in the garden and later came potatoes and sweet corn. I managed well as to my meal,s but sometimes the work was terrific for one not accustomed to it for I knew I never had done any such work during my stay, I loaded gravel, dug ditches, mowed lawns, cleared lots of ground of weeds 3 x 4 high using a ____________, and many times hoed all day long until I thought my back would break and often went to bed with my underclothes still damp not having any others or a night shirt. One day I dug a hole five feet deep and about 6′ x 4′.
It was intensely hot and when evening came I as wet thru. not a dry stitch on me. Some notes I had in my pocket were wet I had to be most careful in separating them for fear of tearing the money. I made a point to save all possible for I did not want to go to the road again and did save $10.00 a week besides buying some necessaries in clothing. I was one away one day and there I had to go to Cleveland to see a podiatrist as a soft corn and callous on my feet became so bad I could not walk without pain and of course limping. At the end of October they closed the house and went to Florida for the winter, gave me the privilege of using the garage during the winter if I wished to stay and take up the work again in the spring. He was short of cash when he left and said he would mail the money which he did shortly after in addition to $5.00 dollars extra which he said was on account of faithful service etc. I than hired out to a farmer in the neighborhood $12.00 a week and board but I only stayed two weeks as the work was too hard, ten cows, three horses, to look after and a room without any heat.
Came to Cleveland and here I have been until the present, unable to get any work of any kind. The reserve is getting low and only by close economy can I hold out until April. This being Feb 15 a couple of jobs I missed by a few minutes, was turned down more than once on account of age. I gave 60 years uncertain as to what is correct but more I feel sure. Have been looking daily for something but it has been a dull winter here many being out of work and many applicants for all work. It has been an cold winter, though a couple times it has been almost zero but no heavy snowfalls. Spare time from looking for work I have passed at the library, searching newspapers and reading. Doesn’t appear much prospect of coming across any information about myself, but I’ll keep at it as the slightest incident might stir my memory.