This is increment no –4 – of my story
him laying there crying, and I went to the school house and class had already been assembled back in class room after recess period. So the teacher ask us why we were late and what we had been doing, and some of the other boys were very eager to tell her that John L. and Sullivan Kid had been fighting. The teacher started scribbling a note to the principal and she handed that note to us and told us to go give that note to the principal, which we did. When we arrive in to the principals office there were three or four senior boys sitting around and I was scared near to death my heart felt that it was in my throat, I have always thought that was when my heart trouble first started.
The principal was a large ugly man and had a deep source voice and sounded horrible when he laughed, so he read the note to the senior boys and they all laughed and clapped their hands, now I was beginning to get a little mad and loosening some of my fright.
Any way the principal was talking to the seniors and both to me and the Sullivan Kid and he said that these lads like to fight so lets us let them fight for us and show us how they can fight. So come own boys start fighting and he made us fight from then until lunch time and every time we slowed down a little, he would say come on boys you like to fight and he had a long ruler which was about an ¼ inch thick and he would tap us in our rear end come on boys and he and the seniors sat there laughing at us, that cured me for all my fighting for all my life.
Another memory from Buhl was my Dad went to the little town of Gordo, AL. and purchased his first and only new automobile that he ever owned. That was the year that that the stock market collapsed but my Dad was being paid a pretty good salary prior to the collapse of the market. The company that my Dad was working for collapsed shortly after the stock collapsed. The great depression occurred to our family shortly after the company ceased operations, because my Father had spent most of his cash purchasing the automobile. People that worked in public works was hit the fastest and hardest then others, people that lived on the farms survived fairly well at least they had plenty to eat, and people that worked in public works did not have any money and could not find any kind of work to make any money. So people had to do any kind of things to get some food for the family. The company started selling the houses the past employees as they vacated them, my Dad would contract to tare the houses down and pull the nails from the lumber, and stack the lumber in neat stacks and clean the brick stack the brick in stacks of twenty five in each stack. To my best recollection that he was paid about twenty dollars for this job, my brother and I helped him to pull the nails and clean the brick. If you don’t think that a nine or 11-year-old boys can do a man's job then you haven’t lived thru a depression.
When my Dad did not have a house to take down my brother and I would get jobs from other contractors to poll nails from the lumber and clean the brick and stack the lumber and the brick they would pay us ten cents to clean and stack a hundred brick. My Dad and my brother would hire out to farmers to strip ribbon cane or pick peas. They would be paid with syrup or peas. My brother and I would hire out to the mill foreman to straighten and stack the stacking sticks that came from the old lumber stacks and they would pay us twenty-five cents per day. My brother and I would catch crawfish and give them to the fishermen and they would sometime give us catfish to take home.
In one week probably along in the latter part of the year 0f 1931, Dad went to a local farmer and ask if his family could come and pick cotton and be paid. The farmer told him that would be fine that he would pay him .50 cents per one hundred pounds picked. My Dad and my mother and my big brother and I picked about two days and all four of us together did not pick a 100-pound, so we found out that we were not very good cotton pickers.
Another event that stands out in my mind was also in latter part of the year of 1931, my Dad had been given a job to run a small pecker wood sawmill cutting cross-tie’s for the railroad company. This little sawmill was located in Maplesville, AL., and was about forty miles from home, so he would have to stay there for the week and board there. This may have been early of year of 1932, because it was snowing when this event occurred. Anyway my mother got up that morning and looked up into the elements and stated that we are going to have a big snow and we do not have much burning wood for heat and my mother stated to my older brother and me that we are going to the woods and get burning wood to keep this family and this baby warm. My Dad and my brother and I had cut some wood the week