As I Remember, Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 39 in the series Ted Bio


      It was late in the fall of the year when we finally got settled in Boise. Dad immediately went to work hauling wood. Us kids didn’t start school for a few days after we arrived. This gave me an opportunity to look the neighborhood over. Across the street and down a block, lived Aunt Mamie, Dad’s sister. The number was 410 South Third. So we weren’t alone. She had three daughters and two boys. She worked for the governor. Hawley was his name. She did cooking and housework. Quite a gal Aunt Mamie was.

      That first day out, I made a great discovery. We were about only three blocks from the beautiful Julia Davis Park. Winding through the park was a part of the Boise River. The water was clear and cool. I took off my shoes and wading. Then to my amazement, darting out from behind most every rock, was a beautiful trout. I could hardly believe my eyes. Never before had I seen anything like this! I put on my shoes and ran home. I found a shovel, went out in the back yard and began to dig for worms.

      They were plentiful and in a short time, I had a can full of night crawlers. I found some fish line and some hooks. My pocket knife was good and sharp. I headed to the park. I had no pole but there was plenty of willows growing along the creek bank. I pulled out my knife and went to work. My old Granddad had taught me well. The first hook that I tossed into the water was hit by a big one! I drug him in and run a branch of a forked willow through the gill and out the mouth. I laid him down in the water and put on a fresh worm. Time was wasting!

      A crowd began to gather around. They seemed to get a kick out of watching me catch fish after fish. I wondered why they didn’t join me. It wasn’t long until I found out why. A great, big guy wearing a badge walked up to me and grabbed the pole out of my hand. “Just what the hell do you think you are doing?” he yelled. I was startled, to say the least. “Just fishing…” I told him. He pulled the string of fish out of the water and looked them over. “Too far gone to put back.” he muttered. He turned to me. “Don’t you know that it’s against the law to fish in here?” I shook my head. “I don’t see any signs.” The guy slowly shook his head. “I didn’t think we needed any. Are you new around here?” He asked. “Yes.” I told him. “We just moved over here from the ranch below Emmett.” As I think back, this guy must of been a kid once himself. He handed me the string of fish. “Young man.” he said. “Take these and get the hell out of here. And don’t you let me catch you fishing in here again.” Anyhow, that evening, we had fish for supper.

      I guess we were country hicks alright but we caught on fast. We got started in school and I got myself a job selling newspapers. The Evening Capitol News was the name of the paper. It come out after school was let out. All us newsboys would line up in front of the window and buy any amount you wished. You got two for a nickel and sold them for five cents a piece.

      At first, I didn’t do very well. All the good corners were taken up. In front of every hotel was a newsboy. I got quite discouraged. One evening, I asked the fellow that sold us the papers.

“How does a person go about getting a good spot in this town? They seem to be all taken up.” The guy grinned at me. “Find a spot you want and move on. You might have to whip a couple of kids.” I thought this over. I could hold my own with most any kid over in the old Mountain View school house in Emmett Valley. I got a few black eyes and a bloody nose, but in a short time I was holding down the best corner in the city. The one in front of the IDANHA hotel.

      There was headlines on the paper telling the latest news of the war. I would stand there

and yell until I was sold out. I didn’t get rich on this job, but it sure kept me in spending money. At the same time, I was really learning to use my fists.

      One evening, after I had sold my papers, I come home sick. And I mean I was really sick. I was burning up with fever and black spots were dancing in front of my eyes. Mother told me to go to bed. Then she took my temperature. It was 104 and going up. When Dad come home, he looked me over and decided that I would be alright. A little thing like one of his kids getting sick didn’t bother him much.

      I put in one hell of a night. Little, red spiders were crawling everywhere. They were coming out of the walls… I yelled and screamed. Somehow I made it through the night. Mother left the light on and took my temperature every hour or so. Then she would shake her head and go for the ice box. Chop up some ice and put it on my forehead. When morning finally come, Dad and Mother held a conference. I remember him saying. “You had better call a doctor.” We didn’t have a phone but Aunt Mamie did. Mother took off on the run.

      About the only place that Mother ever went, was to church. There, she had met a young doctor. She called him. Also, she called the Bishop and told him to send over a couple of the Elders. Then she come back home. Now I know my darling mother meant well, and she did what she thought was best. Soon she come running home and told me. “You are going to be just fine now. The doctor will soon be here.” Then the doctor come walking in. He didn’t have a black bag. Just himself. He was a young man just out of school and just starting up in business. Not an M.D. But one of those bone poppers and neck twisters. Not much for credentials, but he was a good Mormon.

      I will say one thing for the guy, he wasn’t stupid. After taking my temperature, he popped all my vertebras. Then twisted my neck and gave me a good rub down. Then he turned to Mother and said; “This boy is coming down with the Measles. A new kind that has been brought over from Germany. They are very dangerous.” Then he gave her a bunch of directions. “Keep this room dark. Don’t turn on the light. Pull down all the window blinds, the light can cause permanent damage to his eyes.” And there was more. “If we can just get him to break out, the big danger will be over.” The doctor left and the Elders come. They promised me that I would live. And of course I did. For years, my eyes were weak, but I did survive. In a couple of weeks, I was back on my corner selling my newspapers.

      Then one evening, I broke all my previous records. The big four inch headlines read…

GERMAN GOVERNMENT OVERTHROWN! Everyone went crazy. A big parade come marching down the street. Everyone joined in. The Governor stood up on the balcony of the hotel and dumped sacks of flour and sugar on the screaming crowd below. For the last couple of years, these items had been rationed. No longer would they be. The big war was over.

      Shortly after this, Dad come home one evening and there was a big smile on his face. He had been seeing a lot of Mister Feldman lately. The man that owned the fruit ranch in Emmett Valley. Feldman also owned a pawn shop and loan office here in Boise. Things hadn’t been going so good at the ranch. The guy that he had hired to take care of the place, was drunk all the time. His last name was Ray. Vanilla Ray, the neighbors called him. Back in those days of prohibition, there were many sources of obtaining alcohol. One of the easiest was the Watkins and the Raleigh man. Peddlers that called on most everyone about twice a month. Two of their biggest selling items was lemon and vanilla extract. They contained about eighty percent pure alcohol.

      Feldman wanted Dad to move back on the ranch. Here, there would be work for all of us. That time Dad really used his head. We would move back alright, but under only certain conditions. Feldman must sell him half interest in the ranch. Finally they come to an agreement. Feldman would sell him half interest. Every month Dad would draw a salary of seventy five dollars a month. At the end of each year, he would receive a lump sum of five hundred dollars. This would be a bonus for the work that us kids would do. They agreed on a total price. Half of the profit each year would go as payment for Dad’s share. There was no way that we could lose. We would keep the truck. It would be needed at the ranch. This would be the only down payment.

      Now that the war was over, real estate was booming. In a short time, Dad sold the house in Boise and we were on our way back to the ranch. And I am sure that we were all in favor of this move and would be glad to be on our way back to where we called home.

      As I write this story, I think of the many things that I could tell about. But it would take a lot of time and paper to put it all down. So if I happen to miss something that you think I should of mentioned, please forgive me.

Series NavigationAs I Remember, Chapter 2As I Remember, Chapter 4

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