Friday, June 25, 2010

From Boxcars to Limos

Working in the basement again last night, Dad was telling me stories of his life. Some I knew. Others I'd never heard.

Before Dad was born, his mom and dad and two older brothers lived in an abandoned boxcar for a while, probably during 1929 or 1930. Grandma baked pies and made sandwiches that Grandpa and his brother sold to men working in the train yard. Grandpa must have rigged up some kind of metal box Grandma could bake in over a campfire, because she sure didn't have an oven in the boxcar. Or a sink. Or a bathroom.

Eventually, Grandpa got a job driving a truck for Globe Cartage, and they were able to rent a small house. Times were so desperate that driving loads of valuable cargo--cigarettes and liquor--required two drivers and an armed guard. Grandpa and his brother Forest took turns driving/sleeping in the sleeper cab, and their guard Shorty slept in his seat with a shotgun in his lap. They once were highjacked, a story I'll write in detail later. That job ended when the truck got hit by a train, badly injuring Grandpa and costing Forest one of his legs. Grandpa used his $700 insurance settlement to buy a house, the first he ever owned.

While Dad was telling this story, my nephew sent a blast text to the 116 people coming to his Caribbean-themed wedding shower on Sunday. Not enough parking is available in my sister's neighborhood, so they've arranged permission to park at a nearby school. Limos will carry guests from the parking lot to the catered party, which is being held poolside.

He has no idea about the boxcar. His is a limousine life.


Deb Shucka said...

I love that you're getting these stories from your dad, and hope you'll continue to share them with us. This is such an amazing picture of how quickly things change - from baking pies in a box car to text blasting about limos. Cool!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

$700 to buy a house, wow, and living in a boxcar. OMHOG! said...

Isn't it amazing the leaps which can be made in a generation or two?

BTW...cute new look here!

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