Someone has suggested that I write down as much as I can remember about ,my life and times, as a means of passing along to the soon to be 16 grand children and the soon to be 8 great grand children. I am going to try and I can only hope that it will be of interest.
My mother's maiden name was Iva Belle Swezey. She had two brothers and a sister. There was Louis Hibbard; who was killed on the last day of World War I, and who won a Regimental Citation from the 385th Infantry, awarded posthumously, for rallying his company after all the officers were killed. He was killed when on patrol the next day and trying to save a wounded comrade. I seem to vaguely remember being on my father's shoulders and hearing the rifle salute when Uncle Lou was interred in the cemetery at Patchogue. Mom's older brother was Hiram Chester. Uncle Chet was blind by age fourteen, having been hit in one eye by a baseball and in the other by a snowball which was molded around a clam shell. Both retinas had become detached. He used to tell of going to blind school in NYC and riding on the back of trolleys, keeping track of where he was by counting the sounds of the streets they passed and dropping off when where he wanted to be. He apparently did not care for piano tuning, which was the standard course for blind men at the time, but went on to marry, found a trucking company (H.E. Swezey & Son), which became the largest on Long Island, and father to three daughters: Ruth, Dorothy, & Lois, of whom Ruth and Lois survive at this writing. Mom's sister was Edna Mae, affectionately known as "Aunty" by one and all. Her husband, Charles A. Collins, was incidentally, brother to Aunt Armorel, Uncle Chet's wife.
The trucking company was named for my Grandfather, Hiram Edward, who never had anything to do with it except lend his name. He was a bayman first, last, and, always. At one time he had owned and operated two ferries. The Edna A. ran from Patchogue to Water Island and the Hattie F. Bircham ran to Cherry Grove, both on the barrier beach across the Great South Bay and both resorts of good repute at that time. Uncle Chet, in spite of his blindness, was for years Grandpa's engineer and could take apart, repair and reassemble the engines as well as any sighted person. But later <he> gave it up for the trucking, he doing all <the> bull work of lifting and loading while Aunt Armorel did the driving of their first truck. As it grew, of course, she was able to get out of that part. In later years Grandpa was a commercial fisherman. More about that shortly. Grandma was first Annie Valentine, I believe adopted. I never heard much about her family. Still alive who <when> I was a small boy was great Grandpa Swezey, Hiram naturally but I never heard a second name, and great Grandma, whose given name I don not ever recall hearing either.
Some of this is going to be out of order, but I have to get it in as I recall it. I was able to go with Grandpa a time or two when he went out fishing, and it was a strenuous life. During the day at home he might "hang" a net, that is, he would weave one and it was fascinating to watch him create a net out of nothing but a roll of tarred twine. His real work of the day started at about 4 p.m., when he went to where his boat was moored and unreeled the gill net and loaded it into the dory that rode behind the Edna A (she'd gone to fishing too). By the time he gets that the mate will be along and we get on our way out into the bay where we will be trying for Weak Fish. The net is about a quarter mile long and when we get to the fishing grounds the mate gets into the dory to pay out the net while Grandpa tows him along. Then he comes back aboard and we get supper ready and sit back to take it easy a while. Around 8 or 9 o'clock Grandpa and the mate get into the dory and starting at one end lift the net over the dory so that as they pull, the net slides sideways over the dory and they pick out the fish and toss them in the bilge and the junk goes overboard, everyone hoping that no sea urchins or other spiny things get inadvertently grabbed and hands stuck by poisonous spines. The fish are brought aboard, gutted and iced down, and, the whole process repeated about midnight. At daylight all is done once more, only this time the net is taken in and piled neatly in the stern and the fish is <are> gutted by the mate and I as Grandpa brings us back into port. Once in, the fish is <are> boxed and iced and tagged for a truck will pick it up later in the morning to haul to Fulton Fish Market in NYC. The net is carefully reeled onto the big drying reel and any holes made by fish such as sand sharks must be noted for repair later in the day after it is dry and that can cost Grandpa a few hours sleep. On a lucky day Grandpa will have had maybe 5-6 boxes to ship.
On to a bit about the Bristow side. Dad was Edward Bronson and I Jr. Grandfather was Edward Halsey who was a writer and artist. He wrote some of those notorious dime novels, I believe a series called "The Old Sleuth" and did some pen and ink sketches of which I have one; as well as one of his water colors. He was, I have been told, beginning to make quite a name for himself, but he died young, when Dad was only a few months old. Grandmother was Frances Smith, of whom I have little knowledge about, but many years later I ran into one of her relatives in Ct. whose last name was Skilton. She (Grandmother) had died young also and Dad was an orphan by age 7 or 8 and lived around the family all the time he was growing up. He lived with Smiths and Frenchs and also an uncle in Brooklyn, N.Y. named Walter Bristow. Uncle Walter was a member of the Long Island Country Club in Eastport, N.Y. and we visited there once when I was very small. I only remember going in that long drive that goes through the woods from Union Ave. I have also been told that great Grandfather Bristow was once Governor of the Azores (when they had belonged to Britain) and appointed by the King of England.
My earliest memories are of Bristol, Ct. (where the folks lived when I was born on Jan. 9, 1918). I remember Dad tenting on the back hill with me, out beyond the garden, particularly, the smudge fires he lit to try to keep the mosquitoes away, and sliding down that hill on a sled and once having my leg too far off the sled and being knocked off halfway down. The older folks used to slide down Chipens Hill at night, about three miles to the foot of the hill, across Main St. and up the other side as far as across the railroad tracks. I was privileged to go once or twice. What a ride and how little traffic in those days, you only had to know when the trains were due to go through. One of my fondest memories is of going just a bit farther up the hill from home and playing with my cousin Norman French. In the summer it was playing a lot in the brook that ran through his yard and in the winter we used to slide down his side yard in dishpans. Norm's dad was Calvin and his mother was Sarah and she made the best root beer I have ever tasted. Norman's sister Mavis was about my sister Shirley's age and they played together too, but Norm & I had little time for them at the time. There were other cousins in and around Bristol in those days. Edgar French (Calvin's brother) and his wife Hattie were even farther up the hill. Their children were Merle, Virginia and Esther and their bedridden Grandmother lived their too. Virginia and her husband (Ed Wall) and Esther are still living. It was on that place that I was supposed to have bounced down the stone stairs in the barn, on my head. Now you need no more explanations!
Another cousin of Dad's was Christine Norton (nee French) whose husband, Percy (better know as Perk), and his brother owned Lake Compounce. We were occasionally privileged to enjoy the lake and free rides and amusements there. There was a large ballroom there. In particular I remember Fats Waller. Christine had I believe two children Janet and Billy. The last we saw of any of them Christine and Janet were running the park and we heard no mention of anyone else.
Susan French married Ed Cole and he worked as pilot of the speed boat ride at Lake Compounce. He also had one of the earliest radios around and was forever trying to get others to here what he claimed to hear on it. They had no children and are long since gone. Still they were amongst our favorite cousins.
While we lived on Chippens Hill was when we knew of a man whose model T would not go up the hill in forward gear. I guess that the planetary clutch was too worn for that so he backed up! And his engine had moss growing on it!
Dad was a foreman at the New Departure Ball Bearing Plant in Bristol when I was born. My sister, Shirley was also born while we lived there. However we moved to Patchogue when I was about to go into the first or second grade. Whichever it was, the schools in Ct. were enough better than NY that I was pushed ahead a grade. At the time we were living with Grandma & Grandpa. I recall clearly the layout of the property there. It was at 363 Grove Ave. and ran from Grove Ave. to Swan Creek. As soon as you turned into the driveway there was a little old house on your right. That was where me <my> great grandparents and Aunty & Uncle Charlie lived. A few feet further in, on the left was a much newer cottage where Uncle Chet and Aunt Armorel lived. About 400 feet further was the larger house where my grandparents lived, still about 200 feet from the creek. Swan Creek was shallow enough that Grandpa never kept his big boats there. We lived there a few years before we moved to Eastport. Acutally we came to Eastport in order that Dad could join Uncle Chet's growing trucking firm, which was now hauling live ducks to NYC wholesale markets for kosher slaughter and sale in the Jewish markets, and returning with empty barrels and general merchandise to the Island.
It was while we lived here I used to go up morning and have "brunch" with Uncle Chet and Aunt Armorel almost every morning. I also got an extra Xmas stocking up there and generally found myself with an extra home and extra benefits. But then their family began to expand and that took care of that. I spent many happy hours on the shore of the creek learning to fish for snapper blues, crabs and how to row a boat. It was while we lived here that Dad was bucked off the front step of a truck and run over, which resulted in a broken pelvis. The Dr. thought he might never walk again, but he later went on to play catcher on the Eastport town team! How he came to fall off was that the truck hit a stump coming out of a duck farm (you could hardly miss them on a fairly new farm) and the front step on an old Autocar was in front of the front wheel. The wheels were solid steel, with solid rubber tires and the back wheels were almost a foot wide. Dad always said that if anyone other than Charlie Dayton had been driving, he would have been a dead man right there.
Uncle Chet had an office in Eastport in what was known as the Salamone Block. It was located at the Main St. end of Union Ave on the corner where there was a gas station last I knew, next to where the firehouse stands. Uncle Chet and Aunt Armorel moved to Eastport some time before we did and Dad would sometimes let me ride on his lap and steer whatever car or truck he was driving that day. I really learned to drive on an old Reo sedan, up the driveway from Grandma's to Aunty's (she and Uncle Charlie had moved into Uncle Chet's little house by now) turn around and back down the drive and around the big oak tree and back up again, over and over. Before we got around to moving Shirley one cool day fell off the dock into the Creek and I had to pull her out: She was wet and scared but not hurt at all and I was in trouble for not watching her more closely.
When we first moved to Eastport, we lived in a house on Bay Ave. It belonged to Peter Kostuk and was the furthest building from the bay and still on his property. Not much noteworthy happened while we lived there. As soon as old Mr. Hallock's second house (Where Kippy Olish lives now) <Old Country Road> became available, we moved over there. Mr. Hallock had a large German Sheperd named "Lindy", of which he was somewhat afraid, as the dog when he jumped up on the old man was as tall as he and sometimes knocked the old fellow down. That was the only dog I ever knew who liked to catch cracked corn and eat it. He was kept chained to a doghouse next to the cowpen and he would jump over and harass the cows a while and then jump back out. After Mr. Hallock gave him to me, he lived in the garage and managed to wear out two thirty foot cow chains a year from his continual pacing when not allowed to be loose. To break him of chasing cars, I staked him in the front yard with no collar, just the chain wrapped around and his neck and hooked. It took about three times of hitting the end of that and flipping to convince him that chasing cars was a painful thing.
Lindy was my pal and he wanted to be with me at all times that he could see me. He once was so frustrated at watching me play ball in the lot across the road that he chewed a hammock in two and it was cleanly as if it had been clipped with shears. I never saw him pick a fight, but I did see him put a bull mastiff back into his own yard when the mastiff charged out at us when we were walking by. Lindy was on a leash, which I simply dropped. It didn't hinder him a bit. He was death on cats and when he could chase one he would run it down, grab it and throw it into the air. The cat was usually dead when it landed. We got Shirley a cat and brought them both in the house, making Lindy lay still by the hearth while the cat roamed free. I don't think it cured Lindy, but it taught the cat he didn't have to be afraid of the dog, and he never ran from him again unless surprised and he was never caught. Usually the cat would sit, slowly turning as the dog walked around him, until the dog got tired and left. Once Dad got Shirley a young ram. My stock pens at that point were not too strong and occasionally the ram got out. This happened one day when Mom was home alone and she, being afraid the dog might harm the ram called Dad at the office and he sent some men to catch it and re-pen it. However, the ram took refuge in Lindy's dog house and no one dared get him out until I got home. Those two became real friends. Lindy was also a great jumper and loved to fetch a ball. One day to test him a bit I pulled Dad's car against the garage and threw a ball over the hood for him. He cleared the hood and brought back the ball. Shortly he found it was less effort to run around the car and he never jumped the hood again. A good jumper but too smart for me. He was real strong too. One day in winter I was walking him on a woven leather leash (about three eighths of an inch thick on his end) and he saw a cat. He took off, pulled me onto a snow bank at the roadside up to my shoulder, and broke the leash and was gone.
Some of these events occurred at the house Dad had built when I was about twelve or thirteen (the one that Fran and Ray <Wolfe> later got from Mom). Dixon Warner and Bob Pitney were about my best friends in Eastport. We spent a lot of time playing around the Warner duck farm and the Pitney trout hatchery. One fascinating thing about the hatchery and Bob's home was the gasoline power plant. Bob's father had gotten angry with LILCO at some point and had had it installed and ran it for quite a few years until rising gasoline prices forced him to reconsider. It was fun to watch the hungry trout rise for the feed that was thrown to them. Mostly it was horsemeat from some old nag that could just barely make it up to there, where it was slaughtered and butchered. We could always find skeletons of horses around in the woods on the place for the bones were left right where they were dropped. That was the cheapest trout food to be had.
We used to chase rats on the duck farm. They lived in holes in the ground, underneath the wooden feed trays that were placed in the various duck pens. We would take BB guns and Bob's rat terrier, then we'd flip the boxes and the fun would begin. With so many pens to check it was a good day's entertainment. In those days all the pens ran from the duck houses into a creek for several feet, so that the ducks had free access to water. There may be some still doing that, but the pollution that got into Moriches Bay was terrible and later on there were coffer dams put around the pens or wide, shallow concrete troughs made for water to run through and the pollution kept out of the creeks, but it took a long time to clear it up. We also would watch the mixing of the duck feed, which was a combination of grains, water and semisolid cod liver oil, all mixed in what appeared to be large cement mixers, dumped into large boxes on train wheels, run out to the pens on narrow railroad tracks and shoveled into the shallow feed boxes. At a later time there was quite a furor when one of the workers slipped and fell into one of the mixers and was killed, but I never heard of anything being done to change that system.
I guess that at one point we spent more time making and preparing a slide than we ever did in using it. It was on the duck farm, where there was a building with a roof that had two different pitches (shallower near the ground) and the eaves were less than three feet above the ground on one side. We got hold of some pine boards and nailed them on the roof, two wide as I recall. Then we spent hours waxing the whole setup with candle wax. After we finished we could sit on an old feed bag and slide down and drop to the ground. We spent other hours just wandering around the farm looking for mischief to get into. Another fascinating place was the slaughter and picking house. The live ducks were hung by their feet in specially contrived racks and they had a brick hung from their beaks by bailing wire, in order to slow their struggles and then the artery in the roof of the mouth was cut and they hung until they bled clean. The blood dripped into a wooden trough which ran to a bucket. The blood was collected by the Polish workers and taken to make blood pudding, a favorite meal of theirs from the old country. After being bled the ducks were dipped in scalding water and placed where the pickers could get them and they were picked by hand. Some times the pickers could make more a day than their husbands who did the hard labor. The ducks were then chilled in ice water and later packed in barrels of ice for shipment to market. Later much of the process was mechanized. The dead ducks being carried by electric conveyor belt from the time they were first hung, past the slaughter room, then dipping into vats of hot was (thus nearly a whole side of feathers could be stripped in one motion) and onto the many fewer pickers. The pin feathers were finished off by holding the duck against a rotating drum with many rubber fingers and after chilling taken by the barrel to a local evisceration plant. Even later they were taken live to the eviscerating plant where the whole operation was done, including their freezing and packaging. For a while during the transition period, Harry Baker operated a picking plant for his own ducks and contracted to do it for other farmers. Later, he and all the others hauled the ducks live to the plant in low double decked trailers.
At one point we had a little club of about four of us and we met in an old building on the duck farm. It had been a tenant farmer's house once and still had a stove where we could cook. We were raided one night by some of the older boys who had found out about our fun. They got into the wood shed. There was a sliding window between the wood shed and the kitchen and there was a large hunk of two by four in the kitchen. Bob Pitney grabbed it and some one quickly slid the door back. Bob threw it and got someone a good whack and we were never bothered again.
I remember that on one occasion Bob and I presented an "Amos and Andy" skit for probably the fire department annual meeting. I'm not sure it was any good but we did it and got a free meal.
Nicknames were a trademark of Eastport. Nearly everyone had one and no other town ever issued so many. Mine was Biscuit, presumably from Bristow. It was later expanded to Cinnamon Biscuit when I took up sucking on cinnamon sticks. Dixon Warner became Shingles because he took his father's shotgun to kill some pigeons and blew nearly half the shingles off the roof of a farm building. There was an old lady know as Edie Red Dog from an incident in her childhood when she went under a fence and the Red Dog on the feed bag from which her mother had made her drawers was momentarily visible, Linoleum Strongfoot seems to be quite obvious. Steam Bicycle came from what that Polish gentleman called his motorcycle. Handlebar Steve was of course named for his moustache. Paul Monkey Wrench because of his almost unpronounceable last name, Melnikowich (sp?). My sister, Shirley, was called Shirts and the list goes on.
Eastport abounded in characters, but you need to include some of the surrounding area to get the full flavor. There was one Tar Heel who spent about seven years in jail because he blew a hole in his friends belly with a shotgun. They had shared wives peacefully but this day the friend would not shut his dog up so the fellow could sleep. After he got out of jail he scared the pants off me one day. He was drunk as a lord, coming at me on my side of the highway. I slipped a little off to the right and he veered back to his right at the last minute. Close but no cigar. Clarence Hulse lived in East Moriches. He had been a quite brilliant teacher (or maybe a professor), but he came home to take over the family farm. A visitor would see a large pile of tin cans behind the stove in the kitchen. He apparently ate only from cans and never took any to the dump. Also, he seemed never to have bought a handkerchief and carried a roll of toilet paper in his back pocket, with maybe a foot or so hanging down behind. He never seemed to wear a shirt and his dirty old long john shirt was his trademark. Dad sure hated to see him come to the office to visit, for he invariably sat right in the front window. Clarence upset Frog Chapman one day in Stupe Lachalle's ice cream store. Just as Frog came in Clarence was finishing up a dish of ice cream. When he had he took out his uppers and carefully licked them clean. Frog zoomed out and refused ever to come into the store again if Clarence was there. Frog of course was a character in his own right. One day, out back of his Buick Garage, he was talking to a lady as she sat in her car. She had the motor running, the car in reverse and her foot on the clutch. Frog had the door next the building open and his hand near the top of the door. The lady's foot slipped, the car jumped back and Frog's hand was pinned by the little finger up against the building. After a visit to the doctor, Frog took his plane up for a spin, presumably to show that he had guts and when he went home, his hand all in bandages, he threw a paper bag on the table in front of his wife. It contained his amputated finger. I guess he must have gotten the reaction he was hoping for. Then there was an old timer who had spent the spring, summer and early fall on the beach. He never went near a barber in all that time and complained bitterly about paying full price for a shave and haircut. He lived alone in an old cabin up near Bald Hill and when in town traveled always on roller skates.
Halloween was quite destructive in those days. Both deliberately and accidentally. People's outhouses were in danger every year and one never knew where they would be come morning. One even got tipped over while still occupied. Needless to say, no one hung around to see how he got out. Some of the accidents happened because owners wouldn't take breakables in and would sit and try to catch some one moving them. Very often the pranksters were scared into dropping whatever they were bent on moving and breakage resulted. That happened to a pair of large mirror-like glass balls that sat on concrete pedestals. Kids never caught and glass balls demolished. A favorite thing among older kids was to steal a wagon, take it to the wall by the Country Club Lake and after piling it high with whatever could be taken from the back yards of the local store, set afire. Eventually the skeletal remains were heaved into the lake. It holds lots of those skeletons. Walking the highways was an adventure, for you never knew when you might be pelted with walnuts (or worse) by the occupants of a passing car. In later years when I spent a time as an auxiliary Brookhaven Town Cop, we were asked to accompany the regulars on Halloween. On one trip I saw an out house in front of Center Moriches HS. There was a rowboat balanced on top. The outhouse faced the highway and the door was open. Inside was a kid sitting forlornly. Investigation proved that he couldn't run from us as he was tied hand and foot. He was lucky we came along because the ropes were too tight and his hand were beginning to swell already. Some one worked hard on that one and the kid was too scared to ever reveal who did it.
Going to school in Eastport could be an adventure in those days. On inclement days the boys would gather in the bicycle shed at recess and push and shove a couple of smaller ones at each other until they finally would fight in self defense. A favorite game when there was snow on the ground was Fox & Geese. In case you don't know, you tramped out a large circle in the snow with several radials going to the center. One was always the fox and every one else the geese. It was really a form of tag where it was necessary <to> stay on the paths. It always seemed that as soon as you got the paths made it was just a short time till recess was over. Of course, on good clear days, baseball was the favorite, usually one 'o cat, or "work up". Some snowy days, of course, produced snowball fights.
We had a character or two in school too. Eddie Rogers was tall and skinny and had been left back for several years, moving ahead only when the desks got too small for him. He was called " Daddy Long Legs". Bernell Seaman was always in trouble with the teachers because he spent most of his time drawing pictures of Indy racers. In later years we used to go with him as part of his pit crew (I usually poured the ether into the gas tank). Brud (Bernell) was later killed on a race track in Virginia. He and his brother Grant (his twin brother) were always at odds about something. One day they got home from school and there was only one piece of pie in the ice box. Of course they argued about whose it was, finally Brud spit on it and said, "That's mine." Grant spat on it too and said "You can have it."
We would occasionally get a caddying job at the country club, or some of the older boys would get to row the members around as they fished for trout. Just east of Union Ave. on Old Country Road there was a little pond which sat in front of a tee. I used to wade around in it and find balls which I sold back to the members and occasionally some one would give me a buck for a dozen frog's legs, which I got from the same source. I recall that one spring after a forage in that pond I wound up with a severe case of poison oak. I couldn't even open my eyes, let alone go to school and it was exam time. Some kind teacher came to the house to give me my exams and I did make it to the next grade.
On the north side of the road just after the little pond, almost up the hill, if you went in across the fairway and into the edge of the woods you would find an old crypt where there was said to buried, an Indian princess. Which reminds me that between Quogue and Hampton Bays, between the highway and the railroad track, there was a grave which was said to be that of a seven foot Indian. I can't recall his name.
One year I had the great idea of raising pigeons to make a little money. Squab was bringing about a dollar a pound that year and each one marketed at a pound. Only somehow I could never get one to live long enough. After so much of my entire allowance going to pigeon feed and no return insight, I said, "Enough" Shirley and I hung them all on the clothes line by their feet and cut all their throats. Later we had some fairly tough pot pies.
After graduating from eighth grade the folks decided that Eastport did not have as advanced a high school as I should go to, so they enrolled me in Patchogue High and paid tuition for the extent of my high school career. Most of the time I traveled to school by train which gave me a fair amount of time in Patchogue before school in the morning, as well as quite a bit in the afternoon before the train east came through. During our Senior year Gram <Betty Hallock> and I met to play tennis most mornings in good weather.
I had had a couple of years of piano lessons and even a disastrous attempt at violin earlier, but when I started high school I also started taking trumpet lessons. There was a teacher who came out from NY to give lessons the first couple of years. When he gave up we traveled to NY so I could take lessons from Max Schlossberg, who had been the teacher of my former teacher. Max played 5th chair in the NY Philharmonic and his students filled the first four chairs. He was a well known and famous brass teacher and many a time he would get a telegram from the west coast asking for an hour instruction when a player was to be in NY. After HS I went to Juilliard School of Music and had him still for the first year. However he died during the first summer vacation. No one was notified of this when it happened, we just were assigned a new teacher in the fall. That was a disaster, because the one I got taught an entirely different method and wanted me to start again from the beginning. After much complaining and maneuvering I was able to get with one of Max's former students. I cannot recall his name for sure, but I do remember he was of Italian descent.
To get back to Patchogue, I started in Freshman football but when I developed a large carbuncle on the back of my neck, I could not wear shoulder pads so gave that up and switched to soccer. I played halfback, when I played, but the next year the school dropped soccer as an interscholastic sport and we were confined to intramural. We still enjoyed the sport, however. Later we organized a wrestling team and talked the football coach into at least being faculty in charge. We started principally because of a new student, straight out of Germany, who talked big about his wrestling prowess and who was forever going around poking guys in the belly. Amongst other things he claimed to have been a member of the club where Max Schmeling trained, and maybe he did for knew every dirty trick in the book and never hesitated to use them on the rest of us. As you may imagine, this did nothing for his popularity. One day we'd had enough and took turns in practice in getting him in a scissors grip and squeezing him until at last Ed Bright (the coach) interfered with our fun. But Verner Ichstodt never came out again for wrestling. The best I ever did in a meet was to draw "byes" until the quarter final and then get soundly trounced by the current LI champ. Still we had fun.
Among other things, I was on the negative side of our debating team. I was much better at talking than at wrestling! We were quite successful in several meets. I got into that in a kind of flukey way. We were on the athletic field observing a bunch who were protesting the US participation in helping Great Britain prior to our entrance into WW II. I turned to the guy next to me and said, "That's a crock of s--t." I then felt a hand on my shoulder and a voice said "Do you really believe that?" It turned out to be Percy Proctor (the principal) and when I answered in the affirmative he said, "OK, you're going to <be> on the negative team when we debate this in assembly next week." And that's how that started, and I always debated on the negative side. Good fun. Incidentally, the baseball coach had a joke that fits the four letter word previously mentioned. He would stand at home plate knocking out flies and holler to the outfielders, "Can you tell me a four letter word that begins with "s" and ends with "t" and comes from bull?" After a long silent wait he would shout, "Not what you're thinkin' -- SUET!" He'd get some one with that every year.
Percy's daughters both played in the school orchestra, as did I. After one year the leading trumpeter graduated and I found myself in first chair, I guess by default. We had a 52 piece symphony type orchestra and played a wide variety of classical music. The orchestra did, one year, go to NY and play on (I think) the Sunday morning "Children's Hour". At least it was on Commercial Radio and, at the time, we were quite proud. Most of us played other places too. At one point in my post Graduate year, I played in the HS Band (newly organized the year before), the Elk's Club Band, the Lace Mill Band and a dance band, as well as the orchestra. We all continually had our fingers crossed that there would be no conflict of playing dates. Those of use who played in dance bands (and there were several around school at the time) were the richest kids in school. On a good weekend any one of us might have amassed as much as twenty or occasionally twenty-five dollars! During that post-graduate year several of us had our own home room with no teacher, where we had a ball. We took our own attendance and were forever having parties. I don't think anyone carried more than three easy subjects. Many were like me, and were blackmailed into being there for another year, by Marion Flanders (music director) withholding our regents credits for music participation unless we agreed to come back an extra year. We sure got a lot of practice in that year. Five or more hours a day plus rehersals.
During HS Adolpho "Sonny" Salinas, Jr. and I were bosom buddies. Sonny played piano in one of the dance bands. We spent a lot of time on Swan Creek, where his dad had an old speed boat that we spent a lot of time trying to re-float and get going. Usually we would get tired and revert to whatever we could do around the creek in a rowboat. One weekend my folks went in to Coney Island but we both had playing jobs so we stayed at our house and after we got back when the jobs were over we decided to make a cake to have when the folks got back later that day. The cake was okay but we had no confectioner's sugar, so we made the icing with granulated. It was rough on the teeth and no great triumph for us. One other time we tried a cake and got the oven screwed up so we ran the soup over to Aunt Armorel's to use her oven, but it turned out like hard rubber. Sometimes, we were more successful.
Sonny's father at that time had the Cadillac agency in Patchogue and Sonny wound up with an old Pontiac two door sedan to run around in. One day we pulled into the back yard of one of the girls in our crowd and proceeded with a hacksaw to cut the entire top of the car off, even with the top of the back seats. The windshield went with the rest of the top. As I recall, we simply left the debris there and started riding around. Later we painted it red, white, and blue and found some old sleigh bells, which we used in place of a horn. This last was necessary, as the battery was in such bad shape and the generator so useless that our method of starting was for everyone but the driver to push, and when it started there was a mad scramble to get over the sides and into the seats.
One weekend we took Bill Goddard (Gimble Goddard 'cause that's where he got his clothes) and went camping down the north fork of the Island. We were looking for a nice spot on the sound to camp and asked the Coast Guard where should be a good spot and were told that on a certain point there was always a breeze. In order to get there we had to <drive> down a private road through a corn field. It turned out to be field corn, but we didn't find that out until we tried to roast a few ears! We set up camp and headed for Greenport, where I knew a young lady from having worked on Uncle Chet's trucks as a helper and we went often to her father's place to make deliveries etc. She called a couple of other girls and we all went to a local dance spot. You can almost guess what happened in a car with no top and no way to cover it -- it rained. We got the girls home and never saw them again, probably fortunate for us, and went back to our camp, where there was a breeze all night. It was a real brisk one and we never got warm again till the next day when the sun came to our rescue.
One summer when we had been to Wading River for the day, we ran out of gas on the way home through our wilderness shortcut. There was a whole gang of us along and I forget who went for gas. We were all in swim suits and nobody had much money, anyway we scrounged up some gas from someone and carried it in one of the girl's swim caps. It was enough to get us out to a gas station where, as usual, we took up a collection from among ourselves and bought two or three gallons. That was how we got to many a football game and a lot more places, just round up enough people to get a few gallons of gas, and take off.
We used to play a lot of handball at school, especially at noon hour and often started the afternoon with pretty sore hands, as nobody ever wore a glove. That would have been too sissy. Speaking of which, we had an English teacher who was quite handsome, with wavy blond hair and who wore a pince-nez. He walked with a funny gate rising up on his toes with every step. Everyone though of him as a sissy until one day one of the big bruisers in our class started mouthing off and wouldn't stop. Mr. Booke took him by the scruff of the neck and the seat of the pants and waltzed him out of the room so quick it made his head spin. We found out later he had been a championship boxer when he was in college, which probably accounted for his going up on his toes at every step. He turned out to be a regular guy and the only teacher who did not get upset when someone tried to take his derby off with a snowball.
I was a member of the school police force which directed traffic through the halls between classes, generally kept order in the halls and directed car traffic at the spot where the school driveway entered S. Ocean Ave. We had regular forms on which we wrote summonses for violations and which had to be answered in the school court, which was also run by students (with a faculty advisor, of course). Still, the penalties handed out by that court were upheld by the school authorities and had to be complied with. Betty was a member of the court. Penalties Were not really severe, even for the greatest of crimes. The worst were having to fill a 16 court pail with stones from either the football field or from the lawn. However, having to carry one out was humiliating and being disciplined by one's peers was probably much more effective than by the principal or a teacher.
I was very late for school one morning because the train from Eastport was stopped by a trailer hung up on the crossing just west of the bridge as you leave Center Moriches going west. It was a low-bed trailer hauling a large crane. As the driver tried to cross the tracks a section of the underside of the trailer caught on the far-side rail. When he tried to back up it caught on the near side. That was about when the train reached the spot. We had to wait while they unloaded the crane and devised a way of sliding each part of the trailer over the rails. I know the engineer never made up his time that day.
Summers I worked for Uncle Chet as a helper on the trucks that went east. We delivered all kinds of merchandise going out and usually brought back fish for Fulton Fish Market, NY. My first driver was Uncle Charlie. He and I got along well and for some nutty reason I called him "Jake" and he called me "Jasper". The one place he liked least to deliver to was the Smith Meal Works in Promised Land. They processed Bunkers, boiling them in a very strong acid. The oil was pressed out and sold as a fine lubricant and the resultant meal as fertilizer. The whole place smelled like about forty million dirty dirty diapers all left to ripen. One day we brought back only one fish - a 750 lb (dressed weight) tuna. When loaded on that small trailer his tail curled up almost a foot in the front and the point of his nose was flattened by the tailgate. That tuna was 9 1/2 ft. in girth.
I also rode with "Chick" Butler and we had some hefty loads for Smith. One day it was 25 bbls of acid, weighing 800 lbs each, they constituted our entire load as we left the yard. We tried to figure out how we would unload them. We needn't have worried. When we got there and found Mr. Haverstraw, he simply yelled once and workers poured out <of> several buildings. Chick and I alone, together, upended those barrels but that was all we had to do. After setting up a heavy plank the workers stood at the bottom and each caught a barrel as it rolled down and pushed it off to the cooking building. One other time four of them took a press part that had taken eight of us to load form the platform to the truck, and marched off to where it was to be used.
Some of our waiting time was at Perry Duryea's docks. Perry bought fish from several fishermen and then packed and shipped it. It was packed in ice in both shad (300lb) and 1/2 shad boxes and hoisted aboard by use of winches powered by donkey engines. When we picked up from individuals along the way in to Eastport, Chick & I usually had to load stuff the hard way. One other place we sometimes waited was a smaller dock over on the inlet to Montauk Lake (there was a yacht club inside). There were some interesting characters there, one of which was Fokker (of aircraft fame). He once came from Holland in his yacht (the Helga) in four days. He also had a speedboat which was powered by twin aircraft engines and called "The Son of A" for reasons which are probably obvious. Fokker would take it out to sea for swordfish, by himself, instructing his yacht captain that if he was not back by a certain the captain should put out to sea and look for him. He often had the captain throw empty bottles over the side in Montauk Lake when the tide was running out and he'd come to the dock where we waited and use them for target practice with his rifle. He once changed the props on the speedboat while it was still in the water and he was fully dressed. As he came up all soaked there was obviously a 100 dollar bill loose in his shirt pocket. It made quite and impression at the time because at my pay it would have taken many weeks to amass that much.
There was also a crew of Norwegians at that dock. They would fish only until they got enough money to stock their boat with food and whiskey and fuel. Then they would take off for New London, anchor off shore, go get some women and have a wild orgy until they had nothing left to eat or drink, then they'd put the women ashore and go back to fishing until they were wealthy enough to do it again. At Duryea's was Captain Zeke, a Solomon Islander who did somewhat the same, but he only had a dory for fishing and only went to Southampton to look for women. He was in great demand when the locals had a rope caught in the prop or some similar emergency requiring someone to go overboard to correct it, for Zeke could stay under longer than anyone.
On one occasion Chick and I had a large kitchen range to deliver, weight 1400 pounds. It went to a big house on the beach at Southampton. It was long enough so that it could be slid off the tailgate and stood on end. The problem came when we found that only the interior decorator was there to sign for delivery, and she wanted the range inside the kitchen. Luckily, she had to go somewhere after she went to send the carpenters to uncrate it and to remove the door frame so it would go through, so she signed the receipt before she went looking for them. We got it off and left and assume they got it inside, we never heard.
We often had to make pick ups on our way back from Montauk, in Hampton Bays, Quogue, Westhampton, etc for fish of various kinds from small shippers. This could lead to some hilarious times, as many shipments were live crabs in baskets, many of which managed to get out onto the floor of the trailer, and Chick was deathly afraid of crabs. Often someone would pick one up and chase Chick all over the place. On one occasion we had a 200 lb turtle to load. It was not crated nor restricted in any way. We finally solved the dilemma by grabbing hind legs on one end and neck on the other and stuffing it, upside down, high up on the load with boxes on all sides piled higher than it lay. Deliveries and pick ups were much the same on the north shore, Greenport run.
Bill Powell was one of the drivers, the only one I never heard cuss. He was rolling barrels of oysters from a truck to the platform one day, and the truck was about 8 inches higher than the platform. He missed with one of the barrels and the edge of the rime landed on his foot. Bill's comment was, "You rascal." Not even an excalmation point in his voice!
Peerless Hicks was a big man, tall and extremely strong. When asked his shoe size he invariably replied two ones (11). One could seldom tell when Peerless had been on a binge, for his step never faltered and he never looked sickly. That all changed one night when the crew gathered at a gin mill in Speonk and Peerless got into an argument with someone. Apparently after the rest of Peerless' friends left the other guy's friends ganged up on Peerless and took him pretty much apart. He as never the same again, could no longer stack 100 lb feedbags 11 high by himself, and just generally went down hill from there.
One summer, while in high school, Dad got me to raise Lima beans. He had about a quarter acre, I could use. I'm afraid he had to keep after me quite a bit to tend that crop (it wasn't until much later that I really became interested in gardening), but because the plot was fairly small and got more attention that a farmer gave his crop the return per bushel was higher than any one else shipping from Eastport that year. However, it was only a one year venture, it being a royal pain to Dad & Mom to keep me enough in the garden. Another year Dad and I put asparagus in that quarter acre, but by the time it started to produce, I was working for Uncle Chet in the summer, so it fizzeled to.
The year after my post-graduate year at high-school I entered Julliard, which I guess I've already mentioned once. During the school year I lived with a family in an apartment on about 123rd St. in Manhatten. I forget the name of the family where I had the room, but I ate with the Frank Otto family on the floor below and when not practicing or at school spent some extra time with them. Frank was a big German and Mrs Otto was a feisty Irish lady. They had a daughter and a border. I forget the daughter's name (she was a bit older that I) but the boarder was a Miss Britain, a maiden lady of advanced years, who had at one time been a governess for several families in England. She got a little pin money out of those families each year by making up scrap books and sending them to her former charges. I recall that she was very incensed when Edward the VIII gave up the throne for Wally Simpson, got so angry that she called him a "young whipper snapper" (very violent language for that proper old lady).
It was while at Juilliard that I joined the NY National Guard to play in the band and became a "Monday night soldier". I was in the guard for three years and managed to become so exalted as to be Stable Sgt.! It was fun and I did learn to be a half decent rider (my discharge papers indicated my equestrianism was excellent). When the band played for an occasion I usually rode the outside right rank in the front row, right behind the drum major. There was one occasion that did not really workout too well. We were playing for a Hq. Troop party and they decided that they must have the best looking horses to ride and my regular horse was commandeered for them to use. I was not told this until I had wrapped the white stockings on all four of his legs. The only way I had to show my resentment was to remove what I had put on and go get the substitute I was assigned to. Sad to say I took a great deal of pleasure out of the fact that "Big Boy" gave them a real hard time when they tried to rewrap his legs. Two troopers together could not do it and it was necessary to get the head stableman to help them. I got my comeuppance when the non-band mare I drew to ride decided that the sight of the flag being lowered from the ceiling was too much when added to all that noise and decided to take off for the far end of the field. We usually rode sitting on the reins, our both hands for the instrument. Before I could get off the reins and <free> one hand to grab them I had busted that whole front rank wide open and ended up on the other end of the world.
We did play some mounted game: - musical chairs, now that's fun, never let go of your horse, ride bareback mounting & dismounting at every change of the music. Rescue rides were fun too as was Roman riding - that's standing up, the horses bare back and riding first one, then two and later as many as four horses at once. Of course when you have more than two the extras are between the two you have your feet on.
I did also learn an important thing about horses, they will not step on anything, like a log, that doesn't move as they go over it. Very valuable as I saw a fellow at near the front rank of a long column get tossed and by staying dead still, the entire column went over him and he was untouched.
It was because of this hitch in the Cavelry that I was assigned by Uncle Chet to take care of a pony that he got for the girls. All went well until one March day he had a visitor from some important shipper and the man brought along his young son. It was a cold windy day but nothing would do but the girls had to take this kid riding in their pony cart. They had the poor little devil running up and down the road for a couple of hours or more and when I started home for lunch they had left him, all sweat soaked, tied to a tree and still standing in the shafts. So I unhitched him and put him in the stall, washed him down and rubbed him until dry, put a blanket on him and went and had a quick lunch. When I came back across to the garage that afternoon I was accosted by an irate trio of girls, whom I advised that I would not re-hitch the pony and that we was to rest for the balance of the day. I was soon called into Uncle Chet's office and told that the kids owned the pony and could do as they pleased with him. And of course the big shot shipper had never heard of washing a horse down. I got mad and said if I couldn't take care of the pony properly I wouldn't have anything to do with it at all. Several weeks later it was suggested that maybe I had better get back to tending the pony, which I did. But I never could break the girls of the habit of loosening the collar by which the pony was tethered out on the lawn. The result was that one day they loosened it and went immediately away for the day. The pony slipped the collar (you couldn't keep any kind of halter on him) and ran across the road. Tut (forman at the garage) sent a crew out to catch him, but he went around a house across Old Country Rd. and when he came out the front he ran into a small truck going by and by the time a vet got there he was about dead from internal injuries. He was gone and buried somewhere before the girls got back home and that was the end of that adventure.
Another job I had while working for Uncle Chet was following breakage claims. Of course, I had to inspect the broken items, but more importantly, it was necessary to pick them up and give the merchant a receipt. If this was not done, the merchant was apt to save the items and make another claim the following year, especially on such items as imported clay figurines of a seasonal nature that he might order each year. Other than these things, I kept the rate manuals up to date and read transportation publications, marking those which might be of interest to my immediate boss (my father).
While I was still working for Uncle Chet, Aug. 25. 1940 to be exact, and earning the magnificent salary of 15 dollars per week, your mother and I were married. She outranked me, she was earning 16 dollars a week. However our combined earnings were not too bad for those times. We took a week for a honeymoon and toured a good bit of New England, excluding Maine. Our first apartment, which we rented before we left, was across the street from what was then the Main Street Diner, in Patchogue. We quite often would go there at midnight or thereabouts for a burger or something. It was while living there that I graduated from the Academy of Advanced Traffic, a school about transportation of goods which had a two year course and began thinking about some way to advance. Many letters and resumes went forth, resulting in a trip to Baltimore but no job appeared. Later I went to Hartford for an interview with a trucking company and determined to leave where I was, I went to G. Fox & Co. department store and was hired to work in the receiving department.
We moved to Ct. and wound up in a little summer cabin in Berlin and I went to work for Fox. I did get to work in the temporary P.O. substation which they had on a mezzanine, later handling the Parcel Post section. This job was only seasonal as it existed only during Christmas sales time. Shortly after Christmas Betty went home to her mother's, as our little cabin was no fit place to bring a baby. Shortly after New Year's I gave up the cabin and moved into a room with Shorty (he was about 6' 4" and his right name was Paul Drew). He came from Houlton, Me. He introduced me to his Aunt and Uncle, Elaine and Hector Russell. Together we began a search for a large house that we might possibly rent together or something, anything, so we could all live some more normal way.
Meantime, Frances Elizabeth was born and I made a hurried trip home to see both Mom and Fran. It was a weekend and I stayed until fairly late on Sunday night before I started back to Hartford. Result being that I was too tired to go to work that day and Shorty & I wound up looking for better paying jobs. He wound up in Pratt & Whitney and I in Colt's putting up spare parts orders. More about Colt's later. Meanwhile, back to our search for housing--the final result was that both the Russells & the Bristows bought houses in a development in East Hartford. The houses were not large, we had LR-K-B-2 BR and a full basement with hot water heater, coke fired. A nice little house, where we had a yard large enough for a nice garden, and where we were able to find friendly neighbors.
Back to Colt's; - After a few months packing spare parts, there was a small break, an asst. supervisor on the night shift had trouble maintaining discipline and made some serious mistakes, so they were looking for someone else. My record showed my former duty in NYNG, so I was offered the spot. It meant a bit more cash so I accepted, but the bosses misrepresented my experience to the guys who worked there, telling them they were bringing in a "tough ex-army Sgt." Fortunately I got along well with the guys and never had to live up to the false billing. Part of the job was to grease all the spare parts for overseas shipment as well as to make up the orders. I'm sure that many a GI cussed the daylights out of us when they had to get that stuff ready to use. Not only spare parts but entire guns had to be soaked in Cosmolene before shipping. The cosmolene was heated to a hot liquid and the cold steel parts dipped in it and of course the grease congealed very thickly on that cold steel. Occasionally we would be called on to assemble small components for a rush order, but we never got assembler's wages for doing it. I almost got into difficulty for signing a pass for a worker to take out a small box. This was usual practice and the boss had OK'd it and told me to do so. The trouble was that the guy in question had been taking out individual parts and assembling revolvers, eventually using the box I'd signed out to him for mailing a revolver home to his father. Much ado. Nevertheless, I was promoted again to co-supervisor when the former night boss shifted jobs.
Later I was able to get a transfer to be a "stock chaser" for another pay raise. The job was to roam the plant searching for parts on the "critical list" and push as hard as possible to speed up their production. A rather tough job, as we had no real authority to make anyone hurry. We often wound up physically moving parts form one operation to another in order to try to get them along to the assembly line.
Later on, as the war in Europe began to wind down, I was transferred to the Flower Street Plant, where I had to learn to operate some other machines, however the orders were dropping so badly that Colts effected a 50% cut in wages. The union sold us down the river by having a phony meeting to talk about the offered wage scale. They let nobody talk who opposed the change and the resulting hubbub was enough for them to close the meeting, after which they went to the Co. and accepted on our behalf.
Two days later when I went to work in the morning, I found that the midnight shift had gone out on strike and the dayshift was milling around in the street. We finally went in, to find that the shop stewards had been instructed to tell us to go to work and to set an example they were to go to work themselves. Ours tried to, but everyone gathered around his drill press and just stood there, silently. He did about 3 pieces of his operation and then gave up in a cold sweat. I'm sure that he could almost feel a hunk of steel headed for him all the time he was at the machine.
It was shortly after this (not more than a week) that we made arrangements to sell our equity in the house to the man next door (he wanted it for his son) and moved back to Eastport, where, while looking for some kind of job, I helped an old timer put in the foundation for Sandy Sorrell's garage (the last I knew it was Raynor Bros.). When all set up Sandy opened a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. Fortunately, it was not too long before the opportunity to go to Camp Upton as Chief Clerk in the Transportation office opened up. It was while I was there that we bought the place on Jennings Ave. in Patchogue. (Incidently, it was while we still <lived> in Ct. that Glenn was born). Pat and Bruce were both born while we lived in Patchogue. Uncle Chet wanted to give us a house on a street about a block and a half from the bay, off S. Ocean Ave. Fortunately we were to wise to get caught in that trap (we had seen him manipulate people before).
While at Camp Upton I was later promoted to Civilian Transportation Agent, primarily because Lt. Jones (Transportation Officer) was so often away from the office on other business, we needed someone around authorized to sign various documents. Poor Jonesey was also Motor Pool Officer, member of the Section 8 Board, & member of the Review Board, and at various meetings he could not be called out, when needed. So, the chance for new job description and pay raise. While there was a large amount of office routine, there was much more. I was also second in command of the transportation warehouse. We arranged for shipping and decided in our office by what means good shipped out would be transported.
The first Trans. Officer I worked under was Captain Weinberg and he made all decisions, without exception. He had the bright idea to bring charges against the Exec. Officer (Major Toft) and didn't bother to find out until too late that no other officer would back him up. So-- instead of a cushy job close to his family in Brooklyn, he found himself transferred to extreme upstate N.Y. Lt. Jones was transferred out of Supply to replace him, and was quite a different person. The first time I followed what had been usual procedure and went to his office to ask him how he wanted something handled he said, "Bristow, I don't care how you do it, just don't get me in trouble. You know what to do, do it." That of course made life a lot easier for me. When we began looking at the Civilian Agent thing, he said that things were not quite ripe at that time, to wait a bit. Just when I began to think he had forgotten it he came to me and told me to prepare a new job description and he would send it through channels. He never failed one of his employees and always seemed to know when "the time was ripe."
While I was there I had to order the train necessary to ship out a field artillery unit which had been stationed in Montauk and do the inspection after it was loaded on the train. All Hush-hush of course, but Mother <Betty> knew about it before I got home from work. How? Grandma H <Fannie Fee Hallock of North Ocean Ave., Patchogue> had been talking to the local dog-catcher who had been called to take all their pets, who, of course, could not move with them. So much for security around the military.
We had a PW section to the camp and the Pws were used, at least to some degree, as workers around the various offices and warehouses. They were mostly old men and kids, some as young as 14. There was just one Luftwaffe officer in the entire group. They were seemingly pleased to be out of the war and exceedingly proud as they were able to speak their first greetings to us in English. When the camp was changed from a training post to a hospital, we lost the Pws, but we got a cadre of General Prisoners instead. They took over the menial duties and some were not nearly as easy to get along with as the Pws. One in particular was very obviously resentful when the guards who came to check on his whereabouts called him by number instead of name We had one work for us who told about having been in a Nat'l Guard unit when it was activated. He had had a good friend as a captain. When they went from England to the beachhead in France, his friend did or said something he didn't like so he belted him one. Unfortunately other officers saw it happen and a barrel head court marshall was inevitable. All these guys were in Honor Company from the stockade that's how they could earn their way back to regular duty, with the guardhouse time added to their enlistments. This particular guy was extremely anxious to make it back because he was extremely afraid his brothers, one Army, one Marine, would do him bodily harm for disgracing the family if he did not.
Their were a lot of borderline Psychos sent to the hospital. There was one fellow came in the office for his transportation out who declared he was in the wrong hospital. The night before there had been guys riding down the stairs in the barracks on their footlockers, others set fire to the curtains. He was anxious to leave. We had a Lt. assigned to our office who did absolutely nothing but tell lies to the girls in the office. He claimed he had been in Italy and was assigned to a training flight one night. The plane crashed into a mountain and did a wing-over. He was in the nose with the plane crew and thus escaped death, all in the tail section were lost. We found out later he was in a jeep accident and had a silver plate in his head.
I got to see a couple of big league games because I had compensatory time coming for overtime I had put in, and had to hang around for my riders, so I just took a couple of hours for that.
When the RR employees went home in the afternoon, in as much as their office was in the same room as we were, with only a low fence separating us, we would answer their phone if it rang. I picked it up one day and said, "Duffy's Tavern, Duffy ain't here, Archie the Bartender speaking." I was immediately sorry I had been goofing around when I recognized the voice of Col. Quigley saying "Who is this?" I figured I was in for it, but he simply told me what he wanted of the RR people first thing in the morning, and forever after called me Duffy, when ever he saw me. One other thing about my job there, I was eternally in trouble with Uncle Chet and with Reich Bros. Each accused me of giving all the jobs to the other. Truth was, very little we shipped was of an urgent nature, so the RR got most of it because of the lower rates. What went by truck was divided pretty evenly between the two outfits.
Next time we'll talk about my job with the Pennsylvania RR, which came right after Camp Upton.
Dad's bio ends here. He died in Jan. '94 without finishing it.
Glenn A. Bristow