living poor…

The coded statement on my DD214 form gave enough reference to many potential employer to stay away from me or at least give me some low caste job the furthest at the bottem one can go. Things improved when I earned my chauffers license but trusting the son of a judge put me in such a position I could never catch up.

The property I found-where I still live , as I said before is located two miles off a paved highway-that highway is six miles from the nearest town-a one light town. That town is eleven miles from the city.

To move there with just some money in our pockets-and not at all much…the riches from that years tax refund check we were able to pay the 100 dollars down and buy a coleman stove. We did have a small british Ford-but it parked more than it ran and by the time we got a tent set and the coleman stove set up the Cortina quit running forever.

There was no house and no bank would have been interested in me building one either-there was no money there. No car-and no phone…the nearest pay phone nearly eight miles away-how it was to stay by that stupid phone and wait???for prospective job calls was something I did countless times unable to believe my patience which could only do it a few hours at a time. The water tank company was the only job I could find-all thier tasks in my section were menial ‘sit on a bucket’ jobs and do things like count 5 gallon bucket after 5 gallon bucket of ‘beam clips’…usually a thousand to a bucket and there were hundreds of buckets-hundreds!!. The company did’nt care if you lasted or not-there were rows of derelects in line to take a job sitting on a bucket all day long-there ws no need for skill. Never the less-off and on for years I would get a job there and either my PTSD would cause me a riff somehow and I’d quit…or they’d get tired of me showing up so late after trying to hitch a ride all morning and fire me. It went back and forth like that.

And I became defeated and would just give up until it was so desperate there was no other choice but to get up or sink and stay sunk. Finding the job with the steel company was a boost-they too hired me with out the look at the DD214 instead needing someone to drive the semi truck-the football stadium job at the university was breaking ground and this place was going to be really busy for about a year ( I stayed there five) and the truck was the key part of moving things transfering finished beams to Jacksonville to be painted or galvenized to sepec’s and driving back with the finished material and deliver it to the stadium. Mind you-I was still walking several miles every day to get to work-a 35 mile journey each way. We by this time had built a small cabin and aquired a really small travel trailer….really small and despite the lack of transportation the steel job kept us fed and eventuqally the old man that owned the place gave me 500 bucks and told me to buy a car…a clunker was all you could get for 500 bucks. Clunkers were the family car for a long time. It was better than having to wake at three in the morning and start hoofing it and that did improve things some. But the thing really hard to explain is when there is a situation like we had with the judges son and the way that cost us so much that it took forever to regain ourself-renting a place one has to have deposits ready for the house and utilities and no one is going to let you walk into a place for free. And when you spent everything to stay afloat while helping a handful of white coller criminals get ahead in thier lives you really don’t have anything….nothing. And from there it is hard to get back up. It’d been different if I was in town-the city,where I could have gotten to and from quicker…but there was no money to do that. The only option was getting the land-five acres…ever heard the term ‘dirt poor’?? That was us. We had the dirt-but nothing else…nothing!

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