Along the Santa Fe Chapter 4 page 5
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Hot Springs Junction

Nothing much happened for the next year. The summer of 1920 was mostly a round of picnics and parties. We put in another winter at Crown King, and in May 1921, the railroad closed the depot at Crown King, and I bumped the last assigned operator which happened to be the night job at Hot Springs Junction. I worked from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The agent's job at Cherry Creek was cut off a day or so ahead of Crown King and this man, named Otis Knee, bumped the agent at Hot Springs Junction. So we both went there together; the agent Knee bumped had to go up to Williams, Arizona.

There was no house at Hot Springs for the operator, and none I could rent, so Knee and I batched in the warehouse until school was out. Mother and the children had stayed for a week or so until I could get in the school house, and then we moved in there. And in the meantime I put up a yell for an outfit car we could live in. But the Company took their time about fixing one up and the school house was a lousy place to live in, right in the middle of the desert. We even had a snake come in to visit us.

It was during this time we saw an ad in a Los Angeles paper reading "a lot with tent house on it for sale at Redondo Beach for $400.00", and we bought it without seeing it. Mother and the children took the train and got out of the school house and went to Redondo to live in the tent house until the Company got living quarters for us. I moved back in the warehouse with Otis Knee. His wife and daughter had gone to Redlands, California to live; they wouldn't live in Hot Springs. So we were batching again for the rest of the summer.

Knee was a pretty good cook, and I remember when we wanted a chicken dinner. The storekeeper had some chickens running around loose, and all we had to do was leave the warehouse door open and a little chicken feed scattered around on the floor. When a chicken would happen to enter our kitchen unlawfully we would close the warehouse door, capture the chicken, and ring it's neck. Knee would clean and cook it. The storekeeper was short a chicken, and I don't think he ever knew what became of them.

We used to get our spuds from sacks that were shipped in. Some of them happened to be pretty well filled up, and maybe a few spuds would drop out on the warehouse floor. Perfectly good potatoes, so we would confiscate them, and in the kettle they would go with the chicken. That was a hot, lonesome summer for me.

Along the Santa Fe Chapter 4 | Prev | Next | Contents |