Ford I Gano History – Tape 5

As I finished up that year of driving for Penley at Oak Creek, I went back to school again. When I got back there that year, I was given another part time job, this time, well for a while I worked in the dining hall, like I had finished up the year, when I’d left the a year before after my freshman year. And roomed in East Hall with my old roomie, Norris, I had a lot more fun that year than I did the first year because I had more or less got acquainted, and I wasn’t afraid of the girls so much. The girls who lived in the new dormitory that they called West Hall (I was in the East Hall – it was for boys only). I guess it was kind of the location of the dorms on the campus there. Anyway, the two dorms would share parties together, and dances and one thing or another. I got acquainted with, I had a few dates that year, dances at the dormitory the girls would hold or the boys would hold, inviting one of the girls from across the hall. So I got acquainted with several of the young ladies there, and also got to meet them in the dining hall there, whenever they came through behind the counter for the their meals. Many of the girls didn’t like eating in the dining hall, they said that the meals were not their kind, so they went off campus to eat sometimes. Usually up to the corner café that was not too far off, and cooked according to the strict regulations of the head residents around the dining hall.

I was a sophomore that year, I was a year behind all my roommates who formerly I had been in the freshman class with. But nevertheless, very glad to be back and enjoying the times there at the school. I worked harder on my studies, and was able to get a B average that year in my class work. I got acquainted with the professors also, learned to like them, learned to enjoy them, learned how to cooperate with them in getting the lesson prepared. That really helps, you know. I didn’t go out for football, so I had time for a few extra-curricular activities that I mentioned.

We went on parties together; usually there was a gang of about four boys and four girls. Well, wait a minute, we couldn’t get everybody in one car; usually a gang that went out and which all got in one car, and we’d all go out for Sunday picnics, and by the way, I went to church every Sunday morning. I wasn’t going to a Mormon church, that was for sure, but I enjoyed my opportunities down there, and met my wife at one of the meetings there at church, one of the youth meetings that they had in the evening. I met Nellie, your grandmother (your great-grandmother, for the kids).

We had several outings that year, several picnics I should say, when East Hall had their dances, they would invite somebody, and Nellie used to always invite me. Then when the West Hall had their dances or parties, then I in turn would invite Nellie. We would do more than just go out there on hills. There were several school activities that we got to travel along on, and enjoy the scenery around that area, and so forth and so on.

I made it through my sophomore year without any further ado. At the end of the sophomore year, my mother had, through my sister Paula who lived in San Diego, had made acquaintances with a politician over there who did lots of traveling and had lots of friends, and he had a person he knew who had a big farm. My mother asked him to try to get me a job over there in San Diego. So he did that. He made arrangements for me to come over there, and I went over there, between my sophomore year and the following year. That year, the reason I did, was that I thought it would be a good experience for me as I was majoring in agriculture, or wanting to, which by the way, they could not me, I could not enroll as a major in Agriculture at Tempe. I had to enroll in another course that they did have, and that was Orcharding. They did have Orcharding, and since I was acquainted with orcharding, I enrolled in horticulture.

Anyway, I worked for this rancher over there at the Harry Empe farm. It was rather a large bean farm, and wheat, up the coast from San Diego, maybe 40 or 50 miles up the coast; Ensenito. There I got a job with Harry Empe for $2.50 an hour, and board and room. My job there was completely different from the one over in Oak Creek, and I got a chance to learn to drive a Caterpillar, pull heavy equipment with a ‘cat’ instead of a team of horses, although Harry had a team of horses also. He assigned me, since I had grown up on a farm, he assigned me the job of hooking up his team each morning, which I did at 6:30. I had to have that team hooked up, harnessed and hooked up and ready to go before breakfast. So that got me up pretty early every morning in the summer.

Now I did not get to go to church, while working out there that summer, because I didn’t have any way of getting to go into town. The Empes did not go to church either, or if they did they went in Ensenito, and my sister lived in San Diego. I never made it into San Diego more than 2 or 3 times all summer long. But I stuck right there with that job, $2.50 an hour, board and room.

They were amazed that they could find anybody who would not go to town to get soused, and come back and work it off the next week. That’s what my roommate did, that summer that I was working there for Harry Empe. Along with the beans he grew a lot of wheat, and this had to be taken care of. Or cut, and sacked up, piled up I should say, in the summer time when it was time to harvest. It was put up with a binder in little bundles, and then later on when it was combined, they would throw it up on the wagon and take it over to the thresher, which was a stationary threshing machine located at a different place. Now that’s when I got the job of driving the horses. I hooked them up to the wagon, and I always got at least a ride on the wagon, and I didn’t have to go walking along throwing up those bundles, those sheaves of wheat onto the wagon. I had to stack them up as they came up, in order to get as good a load on there as I could.

I didn’t mind doing that, the team had one balky horse, which was a little hard sometimes when I got a heavy load on there, trying to make them start up the side of the rolling coastal farmland there that Harry Empe’s place was located on. But I also got acquainted with driving a Caterpillar tractor, and did some plowing with it, and discing and everything else, which enabled me to avoid the heavy work. Although I did help throw sheaves off of the wagon there on to the threshing machine. The thresher there would gobble up those old sheaves just as fast as you could throw them into it, which kept two of us busy up there on the wagon. Then off to the field they would go to get another load, and them there at the thresher got to rest until we got back.

Now, the heavy work came that I got that summer was when we started trying to bail up those piles of straw that were out there in the field. Of course you’d pile up a big old pile of straw as high as you could get the thresher machine to pile it, and then come along with a bailer and bail it up. When it was bailed up it was stacked up alongside in a pile. In order to get it from the unstacked pile over to the mountain you might call it (I used to think it was a mountain), you had to use a mankiller derrick. It had a great big old grab hook on one end of it, and it had to be pulled over to the piles of straw, sunk down into it, piles of sheaves (at that time it had been put into piles of sheaves), then pulled over, raised by the derrick up into the air, and the derrick was operated by a team of horses.

Now I wish that all that I had to do was drive that team of horses around there. But it wasn’t because the team of horses was hitched so that all they had to do was to follow a pole out in front of them, which was attached to a winder-upper that took care of pulling the sheaves up out of the stack as high as you could get them with the derrick, and then swung around and stacked them into big stacks.

I’m anxious to leave this Harry Empe place, so I’m not going to try to recall everything I did there, my memory kind of fails me sometimes and I just can’t bring it back to mind. But I do want to get back to my Junior year in College, which was the one I was headed for when I finished that summer’s work on the coast there. Mr. Empe did pay me a little extra salary though, because I was the only one that ever could do any work. He told me when he paid me off, he said "you did more than any two of these that I find when I go into town to find somebody to help out. So I’m going to pay you a little extra for your work here this summer." I enjoyed that, and I took it without objecting any at all.

When I got back to school that year, which I did just in time to enroll in my Junior year, I was not much worse for the wear. I’d spent part of my salary from the summer for clothing that I thought I ought to have as an upper classman in school, and most of it went in for books in order to get me back in to the scholastical enterprise. I still had my job in the dining hall, dorm, which I never did mind having because, well, sneak a piece of pie as I was bringing it out of the pantry into the serving tables there. But I had to hide the saucer on which it was placed underneath a saucer that had pie on it. I guess somebody usually wondered how come they got two saucers under their piece of cake or pie or whatever. I enjoyed all that work, and it was work too, but I enjoyed most was that I was given the opportunity to be a tutor, a laboratory assistant to a professor in the science department. Mr. Mortenson was a very, a man that I really admired all the time that I was there. I found out later on that he was a Mormon. It didn’t mean all that much to me at that time, because of course I wasn’t, but as a lab assistant, I had a choice operative procedure of writing up the lab techniques for all the classes that we had.

An interesting note for that year was that I had Nellie in one of my classes. I think she was a junior, but she had neglected to take all of her lab courses when she should have, so she had to take this extra class when she was a junior. So I had the pleasure of tutoring Nellie Waddington in my biology class. I like biology, and I liked to teach it. Professor Mortenson took care of all the lectures of course, in a different area from where the lab was located. But in the lab area, I had a big blackboard, and large desks for the students to sit by, where they could do their extracurricular activities. By that I mean that sometimes they had to draw and list all the names of creatures we were studying, and so forth and so on. Sometimes they had to draw pictures of them.

Nellie was not really interested in Biological items, in biological study. So she didn’t get very high grades in that class. In fact, we had to give her a C, Professor Mortenson did [unintelligble for next sentence or two].

She told me, many years after I got married to her, that I had picked on her, using my upper classman rights to not listen to her what she had to say and one thing or another. I didn’t know for sure that I was going to marry Nellie later on. In fact, when we made a scientific study with a bus trip, led by the geology students (I was one of the geology students, and I enjoyed that very much – I enjoyed that bus trip, too) I wasn’t necessarily courting my future wife at that time. So I had the chance to flirt around with some of the other girls on that trip. I think it made Nellie a little bit offended because I did. We saw some very interesting places on that bus trip, with that group of students. I imagine there were at least 30 of them that took the bus down to Carlsbad Cavern.

We studied that part of geology as you saw it from the field, as well as the great sand flats in New Mexico. Those were really something to me! Boy, piles of sand, they looked like a desert, great high mountains of sand! Well, the interesting part of the trip was we got to go into the Carlsbad Cavern cave, and visit all the great things that the science of ages told us there in that cave. The guide that supervised our trip there in that cave was a very capable man in describing, telling all about the way that cave had come about over the millions of years it had been in the process of developing. We went down more than two miles into the earth to see all the stalactites and stalagmites. In the great cavern where we finally stopped for that trip, and there in that cavern was more or less around the giant stalactites…

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