prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baltimore. I walked out of town.

Baltimore has been in the news lately. Especially all the killings and violence. It was once in the news for the defense of Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner. Baltimore always had a stately ring to the name. It does not nowadays. Here is a hope that we will recover from these sad times.

 In the fall of 1942 I rode the Greyhound bus into Baltimore from New York City. I was 16, flat broke, and a continent away from my home stomping grounds in Pomona, California. I have always remembered how strange and foreign the city seemed to me. The streets of row houses looked so strange.

I found a shop that would buy clothes. I had a suitcase full of clothes. I put on two pairs of pants, several shirts, and a jacket. (It was cold weather anyhow) I sold the suitcase and every thing else to the shop. I received about ten dollars. I was ready to hitch hike 2500 miles to Pomona! I walked out of town and got a ride to Washington DC. I had to walk half way across Baltimore to get on the highway. But I walked all the way across DC. A long walk.

Walking through Virginia it got so cold one night that I paid $1.50 to sleep inside. I only did this one night. I bought a loaf of bread and a pound of bologna. That was my food for the five days of hitch hiking to Pomona. However, I must have bought several meals and bowls of oatmeal.

I have a question. In the middle of WW II how come a 16 year old boy (me) landed in the middle of Baltimore, broke, and 2500 miles from home? Answer. It took a lot of planning and luck (bad).

In Pomona I was on my own and frustrated that I could not get in the service. I sold a car and had a little money. I was well read and had always wanted to see New York City. I bought a bus ticket to NYC (about $55). The trip was seven days and nights. Got a small hotel room near the bus station. Traveled around the city, ate in an automat, and rode the subway. I tried to join the Navy but could not. I thought about finding a job, but I suddenly got home sick. NYC was so big that I did not know where to start hitch hiking. I used all the money I had left and bought a bus ticket to as far as the money would buy. Which was Baltimore.

I have driven through Baltimore several times since. I always think about that day in 1942 when I do.


  1. You had many adventures but some of them make me sad.

  2. You are right in your feelings.

  3. It is sad. It breaks my heart to read it. But you are an inspiration, living through that and good and bad times to come, and gaining wisdom along the way.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. I am going to make another post on the subject. Please check it out.


!-- Site Meter -->