Tuesday, May 02, 2006


It is hard to imagine the havoc of The Great Depression at this point. A friend of the family managed a shoe store. He was there long before normal morning openng and often worked on his bookkeeping and inventory late into the night. He had to protect his job. As a manager he was paid $15.00 per week.

Dad and mother were feeling the tough times too. Scrap metals that today sell for dollars a pound at that time were valued in pennies.

Dad had one stroke of luck. There was a fire in nearby Yellowstone Park. Trucks and drivers were needed to haul firefighters to the blaze. The pay was good and in cash.

Part of the money went for new tires for the truck.

In a happy mood Dad loaded the truck for a weekend in Missoula. Sell the scrap to Uncle Ike and spend some time with the family. With Mother in the passenger seat holding me on her lap they drove into the dusk.

Montana main roads in the 1930's would not pass as alleys in slums today. Dad pulled wide to avoid an oncoming car the little truck caught its wheel momentarily in the soft shoulder and then lurched accross the road reeling over onto its side.

Mother at that time weighed far more than she did in later life and was wearing a bulky fur coat. As the truck careened and flipped she slid accross the slick bench seat onto the top of Dad who was pinned in the drivers seat. It took some time to extricate themselves.

They could hear me crying but could not find me in the truck. Finally, crawling out of the truck mother spied me sitting in the middle of the highway screaming my lungs out. Somehow I had been thrown out the door onto the the dark road Obviously this was before car seats and seatbelts and few people were foolhardy enough to drive "roads" of Montana at night.

Well, I was a tough kid. I weighed ten pounds at birth.


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Wow it's amazing there were no trucks coming. I came very close to not happening.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Dave Zarkin said...

This is an fascinating story and glad that you posted it. I am sure this accident was quite unsettling.

12:08 PM  

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