Along the Santa Fe Chapter 1 page 2
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The farm on Wright Street

When I was ten years old, Father traded his place on Wellington for two and a half acres on Wright Street, about two miles east of town. There was an acre in fruit trees of various kinds all bearing, and an acre of alfalfa. There was a two story house with seven large rooms. Also a large barn and chicken pens. There was a hand pump on the back porch, and we had to pump our water for use in the house. Later Father set up a windmill. We had no bathroom, but every Saturday night we had to take a bath in a galvanized tub, which was also used for washing clothes. The toilet was out in the back yard, a two seater of the old Chick Sale style.

Father purchased a horse, we named him "Tom", and he also bought a two seated carriage. Sometimes on Sundays Father would hitch old Tom to this carriage and he would drive us to New Port Beach to spend the day. It was ten miles to New Port, and it would take us two hours to make the trip. Father would drive the carriage into a large corral and leave it here for the day, unhitch old Tom and put him in a stable. I believe there was a charge of 25 cents for this service; this was all before the day of the automobile. Then we children would will go bathing in the ocean and play in the sand.

There was an old man who had a boat concession on the row bay, and he rented boats for 25 cents a day. We used to row the boat to East New Port and Balboa Island, a distance of about three miles. There were no houses on the island at that time. All there was at East New Port was a lot of willow trees, and an old shack occupied by an hermit. Coming back to New Port, sometimes the boat would get stuck in sand bars, and we would have to wait for the tide to come in to get boat moving again. The bay was not dredged at that time, and the water was not very deep. Today it is dredged and is a harbor for numerous large private yachts and boat house boats.

Other Sundays and holidays Father used to take us to visit our relatives; we had numerous relatives living in Santa Ana at that time. They would take turns about entertaining each other. They would all gather together at a certain home and spend the day visiting. While the children would have the time of our lives playing. The entertainment always included a big chicken dinner. We kids always had to wait until the older folks had their fill before we were allowed anything to eat, and it always seemed a long time before they got through eating, and there usually wasn't very much chicken left when they got through. There was nothing we could do about it, although I didn't mind too much as the only part of the chicken I would eat was the liver, and I could always depend on Mother saving some for me. Today I couldn't be hired to eat any chicken liver. We children always enjoyed these get together with our cousins.

We also had a cow, and I remember it was my job to do the milking a good deal of the time. Every evening when I went out to milk I could depend on our old cat being right there, and he would sit down beside me and start begging for milk. I would squirt the milk in his face, and he would get up and start drinking, and he would catch the milk in his mouth as fast as I could squirt it at him. I used to get a big kick doing this.


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