Along the Santa Fe Chapter 2 page 2
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[1910] A Job in Oceanside

In November of that year, 1910, the Chief called me one day and wanted to know if I would accept the telegraph operator job at Oceanside working the second trick, from 3:00 p.m. to midnight. The job paid $77.00 per month, and I was anxious to get back in the telegraph work, so I was glad to accept this offer, and the extra money would come in handy also.

We were both very much enthused over the prospect of moving to the beach. So we packed up all our belongings and loaded them in a freight car to be shipped to Oceanside. Then we took the train for our new home.

Arriving at Oceanside we scouted around for a house to live in, and finally found one on the Ocean front for $10.00 a month. It wasn't much of a house, but as the rent was reasonable, we decided to take it until we could get something better.

I reported for work at the station and was assigned to the second trick. My hours were from 3:00 p.m. until midnight, which I thought were good hours as it would give me all morning to go fishing and swimming. There were four of us working at the station: the Agent, a Mr. Tulip, an Englishman, and not very friendly; the day operator, I don't remember his name, but he was more friendly; and the third trick operator, who relived me at night and worked until 9:00 the next morning. His name was Rymer, and he was married and had two little daughters. Mr. Rymer and his wife were very friendly folks, and we became good friends. They lived in the same block where we were living.

We liked our new home very much, and the town. It was not a very large place at that time. The people mostly were very friendly and we soon got acquainted. There was a Methodist Church and also a Christian Church, no Salvation Army, so we met some nice people who belonged to the Christian Church, and we got to attending there all the time we lived in Oceanside.

There was a wooden pier that extended out quite a way into the ocean, and the first thing I did was to buy a fishing pole and fishing line and try my luck at fishing. The fishing was pretty good off the pier, and we could usually get us a fish or two for our meals. If we didn't have any luck, one of our neighbors, who with his brother was making their living fishing, would give us a nice big one. They had a motor boat, and would go out early every morning about ten miles out, and they always came in with a fine lot of fish. They invited me to go out with them, and I accepted their kind invitation one morning, and had to get up at 4:00. It was lots of fun, but I didn't like these early hours, so I did most of my fishing from the pier.

I bought a bathing suit and nearly every morning would find me out at the beach taking a swim, or digging crabs for bait.

There was a plunge down on the beach that belonged to another neighbor of ours. I had a free pass to this plunge and I spent quite a lot of my spare time in it. The pass was given to me by the owner for a favor he said I had done for him. A few days after we had moved to Oceanside this man's wife took suddenly sick in the night, and he borrowed a bed pan from us which we happened to have, and he called that a very great favor. We were glad we could be of service to him.

The little woman would usually go out on the pier with me to fish, but she never cared very much about going in the ocean. We used to take long walks together along the beach, hunting for sea shells, and enjoyed this pastime very much.


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