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OUR STORY -continued


     When we got back to the cabin their shoes were loaded.  I sat up half that night with a pencil digging the mud out of the lugs.  When I finished, the waste basket was nearly full of mud.  The floor was certainly going to need washing when we left.  When we set up our three army cots, the room looked like one big bed and we had to crawl over them to get in our respective places.  The single bathroom was flushing continuously for quite a spell and we wondered what the people on the other side of the duplex cabin thought was going on.  We were glad the manager did not have occasion to rap on the door for anything as it would have been one for the book had he seen the room then.  Had it been necessary to open the door, I do not know which one of us could have managed it.  When morning came it took some time to carry all the things back to the car as we had three cots and all their bedding.  I was afraid any minute the manager would think we were going off with his belongings but apparently he did not happen to see us leaving.  The children were instructed to go out two at a time and get placed in the car.  I was the last to leave and felt a little guilty about leaving such a dirty floor but there was nothing I could do about it.  I often wondered what the manager thought when he found the waste basket full of dirt.
     The next day was to be a memorable one for we were to meet one of my brothers who worked in Texas.  We had reached him by telephone from Springfield and he was going to meet us in Oklahoma City.  When we got there he had a nice cottage rented for the night.  It was a complete house and he had ordered a full course dinner for each of us to be served there.  We were all famished as our diet had been mainly bologna, cheese and cookies.  It would have been out of the question to think of going into a restaurant and ordering a dinner with our family.  We all dug into the dinner as if we had never seen food before, I guess.  We certainly enjoyed that stop and it was all gratis.  I told my brother I bet he was glad he didn`t run into poor relatives very often.  The next day we said our good-byes and thankyous and started again on our trip west.  We planned to get to Amarillo, Texas, that night.  We found a nice cabin and were able to get two rooms with a double bed in each.  We set up our three cots and were fairly comfortable.  That morning it was necessary that all the boys get haircuts.  That meant 6 haircuts.  The children had crewcuts when we left so all they needed was the back of their necks trimmed.  When the barber finished with the children my husband asked how much.  The barber said $1.00 and we thought that very reasonable but it turned out the barber meant $1.00 each so that trip to the barber shop cost $6.00.  We got on our way bemoaning the price of haircuts in Texas.  However, we were soon to learn that haircuts in California were $1.25.  We reached Albuquerque, New Mexico, that night and found a place to stay.  None of us were very fond of New Mexico.  It is called the land of enchantment but to us it did not seem so.  The next stop was Flagstaff, Arizona.  It was here we stopped at a very ritzy looking motel.  The manager looked like a distinguished Englishman and had an air of superiority about him.  He did not bother to take us to the cabin but let us wait on ourselves.  We rented one with two double beds.  Because he did not show us around, we put our car into the wrong garage by mistake so the next morning when we were getting ready to leave, he was outside and was telling my husband what trouble he had the night before because of it.  My husband was packing the trunk and we started coming out of the cabin one at a time as instructed to get into the car.  The manager stood there, his mouth open with amazement as he watched.  I suppose he could not believe his eyes.  He is probably still wondering just where we all slept.  Had he known the number in our party, I am sure he would have charged more or made us rent an extra cabin.  However, we felt we paid enough as it was in Flagstaff that my husband lost his $18.00 pen.   The next stop was Prescott, Arizona.  The motel we stopped at here was a very nice one and we found it had a for sale sign on it.  When we got settled in our cabin, we started talking and figuring and had very faint visions of maybe being able to figure out some way to own it.  You see, my brother was a GI and had not used any of his loan privileges, etc.  we were debating as to what it might cost.  My brother said we ought to be able to get it for $15,000.  I said it would be nearer $50,000.  My husband decided he would go in and have a talk with the owner.  It seems the owner was sickly and wanted to retire from business.  The price was $75,000.  They said we would not need all cash.  They would take $35,000 and the rest on easy terms.  We sure got a laugh out of that when my husband came back and told us the story.  It was in Prescott that we had a little experience which was sort of humiliating.  We decided to have a sandwich for supper and all filed into an ordinary looking cafe.  The waitress led us all the way down to the back and set us up at a large table.  She got water and had everything set up then gave us the menu to look over.  We nearly fainted when we saw the prices.  An ordinary hamburger was 60 cents each and the rest of the prices were in line with that.  One thing was sure, there wasn`t an article on the menu we could afford to eat.  The next thing was how to get out of ordering.  We decided we would make a move, and fast.  We all got up and started out.  Frank, my brother, was left doing the explaining to the waitress.  I don`t know exactly what excuse he gave except that there wasn`t anything on the menu we wanted.  It was a poor excuse but we left anyway and found a nice drugstore where we could get a hamburger for 25 cents.  We planned on going out of the way a few miles the next day in order to be able to take in the Grand Canyon as we were within fifty miles of it and knew it would be very educational for all of us.  We still can hardly believe that such a place exists.  It was like reading a fairy story.  That was one sight we shall never forget.  We had stopped at the Meramec Caves in Missouri and thought they were wonderful but the Grand Canyon was more of a wonder to us.
     The next day we arrived in Ontario, California.  We were anxious to try some of the California orange juice so stopped at a road side stand where the sign said all you can drink for 10 cents.  Everyone had a large glass full and it was all I could possibly hold, but my brother who is on the plump side and likes to eat, held his glass out for a second time.  Frank drank that one down and held the glass out again and the man filled it up a third time.  However, he then took the jug and put it in the refrigerator, mumbling something about not having very much juice made up.  We all got a big laugh out of that.  Frank said he just wanted to see how far the fellow would go in living up to his sign.  The next day we drove into Long Beach.  Upon arriving there we immediately looked for a place to live, at least temporarily.  We found a partially furnished house near the school and as the landlady did not object to children we rented it immediately although the rent of $85 was too high for us.  As my husband is a salesman and can sell practically anything, he had no difficulty in locating something to sell.  My brother found himself a good paying job in a few weeks.  He had a college degree so did not have too much trouble getting situated.  We had been in this house three months when our landlady notified us they wanted to move into the place themselves.  However, they were very considerate and gave us time.  We are now buying our own home in Lakewood, California, which is the largest development of its kind in the country.  It is a $250,000,000 planned community.  It is really quite a problem starting from scratch again but we like California and are glad we made the trip.  Where else but in the United States could a family of our means have the privilege of enjoying such an experience?