Along the Santa Fe Chapter 4 page 6
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Summer in Hot Springs

I did manage to lay off for a week that summer and went down to Redondo. By the time school started, the Company had our box car fixed up. So I moved our furniture in the car, and Mother and the children came back to Hot Springs and moved into the car. Otis Knee had a 20 acre ranch up at Cherry Creek that he sold for about $3,000, and then quit the railroad and moved up to Redlands. I still couldn't get the agent's job, as an older man by the name of Holly bid it in, and he made the former agent get out of the agent's house so he could move in. We still had to stay in the outfit car.

All our drinking water was shipped in tank cars from Wickenburg and unloaded into a cistern by the depot, and we had to pump it up and carry it to the car in a water pail. Anyone in town that wanted water had to pay the railroad 25 cents a barrel, or if they just bought a bucket full it cost a nickel a bucket. The employees didn't have to pay. We kept a lock on the pump. One day a party of Gypsies came in and pitched their tents. When they came up to the pump to get water and found out they had to pay for it, boy what a holler that went up to high heaven. One gypsy woman wanted to tell my fortune to pay for the water, but nothing doing. I think I must have collected about a quarter from them, but it was like pulling teeth to jar them loose. They didn't stay. They pulled stakes and left town in a hurry.

There was no barber in Hot Springs, and I had to go to Wickenburg to get a hair cut. I tried cutting Don's hair once, and made such a botch up job of it that I had to take him to Wickenburg and get the barber to straighten it out. That was the first and last time I tried to cut hair. Mother kept Oliver's hair trimmed up.

We did manage to get away one day and go to Phoenix to see a circus. In September school started, and Alice and Don attended. Oliver was too small to go to school.

In July 1922, Holly bid in the operator's job at Humboldt and I bid in his job as agent, so I finally got to move in the agent's house. It was a little better than the box car. We had water piped into the house, which helped a lot, and living was much better. We stayed there until October 1922, when the agency at Mayer came up for bid. I bid on it and was assigned to the job, so we had to pack up and move again.

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