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Friday, January 05, 2007

The Hop Yard Hobo - Part 3 (written by my late father)

In Part 1 of my father's short journal my father talked about the depression and his experiences in California. Part 2 told of a satisfying 5 weeks living off the fat of the land on a self sufficient farm in Southern Oregon. In Part 3, he is on the move once more. He was a restless man. His journal began in 1933. I believe prohibition ended officially on December 5, 1933.

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I wanted to get on the outside and rustle myself a job in competition with the unemployed. I arranged for a ride out of Cow Creek with the mail carrier, who also carried express, groceries, etc., for the scattered ranchers in the valley. He hauled me as far as Azalea, where once more I was on Highway 99. Its ever-rushing stream of traffic rolled passed me, the tires making that curious, slithering, lonesome sound so familiar to every hitch-hiker. I hadn't heard a train whistle for five weeks, but I did see a mail plane every day.

Having decided to go back to California to look for a job, I headed for Grant's Pass, Oregon.

Presently a man came along and gave me a lift for twelve miles. I walked only ten or twelve miles farther when another man gave me the horn. He pulled up to me and said, "Get in." He looked me over as I got in and said, "You drive". He slid from under the steering wheel and pushed me under before I could say a world.

I was surprised. His car was a Ford V-8. I put it into gear and we were away, rapidly gaining speed in spite of the heavy mountain grade.

My benefactor proceeded to ask me several questions, which I answered in monosyllables. I was busy rounding horseshoe turns, since he had told me he was tired and in a hurry to reach Grant's Pass. Was I looking for work? How much education had I? Where had I come from? Why go to California for work when there was plenty of it in Oregon -- hop yard work resulting from the advent of beer on April the sixth.

I soon learned that he was a hop dealer and a promoter of a new brewery proposed for Portland, Oregon. He was also a grower of hops and offered me a job driving for a few days, and after that, working on his hop ranch.

I asked him why he so quickly trusted me to drive. He answered that he had noticed the driver's badge on my cap when he stopped to pick me up.

We soon arrived at Grant's Pass. This is one of the finest little cities in Oregon. It is on that river noted for its gold, fish, and rich agricultural land - The Rogue River.

My new friend, Mr. Dave Putman, proceeded to a good hotel and registered for both of us. He didn't ask if I was without money, but calmly handed me a dollar and said, "Go eat your lunch while I look up Chris Wiseman, another hop grower".

I ate my lunch and drifted along the street admiring the fine little city. A large sign across the street proclaims, "It's the climate" - and I believe it is correct.

After a short wait, Mr. Putman and Mr. Wiseman found me. Putman told me to drive his car around. They wanted to look over some land to be planted in hops, as well as some old hop yards. when we came back to the hotel there was a call for Mr. Putman, asking him to come to Portland.

He checked out of the hotel and he and Mr. Wiseman asked me to head for Portland. It was now 3:30 in the afternoon. We stopped at Roseburg for supper and again at Eugene for gas and some coffee. At 12:30 a.m we went to bed in the Hotel Clyde, in Portland, two-hundred seventy-five miles from Grant's Pass.

11 comments:

Vicki said...

I like when you post things like this. I look forward to more.

In the picture your father has a gleam in his eyes. Were they blue or green?

Biker Betty said...

It's neat that you have a journal written by your Dad. It's real interesting. I look forward to more.

Karmyn R said...

I goggled Dave Putnum - but couldn't really find anything. I was hoping he was one of the founders of Henry Weinhard's or something -


I love these - this would make for a great book - include some of Alvin R's stories in there - a Collection of Stories or something,.

Willowtree said...

I am now firmly convinced that in your family the prose gene is hereditary!

"Its ever-rushing stream of traffic rolled passed me, the tires making that curious, slithering, lonesome sound so familiar to every hitch-hiker." This passage would not look out of place in one of Karmyn's pieces.

Smalltown RN said...

wow thank you for sharing...I look forward to reading more.

BTW Part 3 of "Wolfden Bar and Grill" is up check out my blog and see what you are up to....

BarnGoddess said...

wonderful post. I enjoy these. Your father is a handsome man. I agree w/ vicki, I see a definite twinkle in his eyes :)

kate said...

its so great to have these papers! It gives you insight into who your relatives really were. I just have a few unclear stories (who knows if they are even accurate... I wonder what story someone would tell about me if I were dead and if that would be an accurate reflection on who I was in my life... )I love the post! Thanks for sharing!

DesLily said...

you are so lucky to have this ..`I never knew my father. They were divorced and he never tried to see us or send a card or keep in touch... I wanted to see him just once, but never had the chance.

Claudia said...

That is so cool. I love the story.

LittleJen said...

Gday mate, loved the story, couldn't imagine things like that happening these days.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message.

Yarrawonga Yarrawonga Yarrawonga

LoL

Jeanette said...

Gday Pamela
Thank you for sharing this story
your Dad sure has a twinkle in his eye and a cheeky grin .
Yes I live in "Yarrawonga".