Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

May 2, 2014

Everyone has a story

(Continued)

When they got to Kansas City, though, they weren’t allowed off the train. There weren’t enough jobs for the people there, much less these guys jumping trains. Instead, the two men rode the rails across the country, getting off when they thought they could find work. Often times, they worked for meals to keep themselves from starving.

The only clothes they had were on their backs, and Ray said his coat was his blanket. When he slept on top of the box cars, he laid on his stomach with his head on his hands because it was so bumpy.

Sometimes he found other places to sleep. Once it was in the doorway of a building to keep warm. That time police showed up and told him and his friend to move on. But then the cop told them they could sleep in the jail overnight and have a warm breakfast in the morning. They couldn’t pass that up.

Other times they slept in train yards. He remembered a time in Lincoln, Nebraska, when a policeman came with a flashlight, a .38 revolver and a garden hose he used as a whip. They later learned the train cars there had been broken into and police thought they were responsible.

Ray recalled another time he tore his only pair of pants while jumping a train. When he reached town, he stopped at a home and asked for a needle and a thread. The lady of the house was kind enough to give him that plus a jelly bread sandwich.

“I told Ray I thought his hoboing life was a hard life,” my grandmother wrote. “He said ‘it was like going to college, only harder.’”

The story had a happy ending, though. Ray finally found a job at Sunbeam working for 25 cents an hour. He rode a bicycle eight miles to and from work. But it sure beat hopping trains.

The moral of this column is that even ordinary people often have extraordinary stories to tell. So next time you have the opportunity to speak with someone new, give them a chance to really tell you about themselves.

You may find the kind of golden nugget that my grandma was so good at digging up.

—Lindsey Ziliak

[friday] editor / still learning from Grandma

Text Only | Photo Reprints
[friday]
  • Editor's Picks An angel’s taleCarmel Community Players presents “I Married an Angel” all weekend in Carmel.Shows are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.In the production, a wealthy Budapest banker, Count Perrin, is love-weary. He ends his engagement,

    July 25, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Look to the skies Several rockstars of the aviation aerobatics world are set to perform Saturday afternoon at the Kokomo Airshow. The show is free and starts at 1 p.m. at the Kokomo Municipal Airport. It will feature award-winning airshow performe

    July 25, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Living out my dream My high school chemistry teacher eight years ago basically told me I was dumb. It wasn’t because I was failing his class. I actually excelled in it and picked up this catchy tune while I was there. “A mole is a unit; Oh have you heard,” I remember si

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marques Bunn Kokomo native returning for hometown comedy show A comedian who grew up in Kokomo is back in his hometown performing all weekend – his second time here this year.Marques Bunn opens for longtime friend and fellow comedian Troy Davis at Laugh House Kokomo downtown. There are shows at 8 p.m. today and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • This week's best bets 1) Rockin' in the park Stray Cat, Lee Rocker and Band performs a free show Saturday night at Foster Park, so don't miss it. The show goes from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and features special guests Tony Funk and the Homewreckers. Lee Rocker made his mark singin

    July 18, 2014

  • Editor's Picks 1) The Nutcracker Show Ron White performs his Nutcracker show at Honeywell Center in Wabash Saturday night. Ron “Tater Salad” White first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Now, as a chart-t

    July 18, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Searching for my lovable goof He busted a move on the dance floor while wearing a woman’s straw hat, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. They say that girls want to marry men like their fathers. For years, I swore that wasn’t true. Then one day I realized it actually was. That means

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Picks 1) Everyone's favorite ogre Footlite Musicals in Indianapolis presents Shrek the Musical at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at 1847 N. Alabama St. The musical, based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of ev

    July 11, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Fair Entertainment Check out local acts Shiny Penny, Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers at the Howard County 4-H Fair throughout the weekend. Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel and The Time Travelers take the stage tonight, with Mik

    July 11, 2014

  • NWS - duckderby 33 Rubber ducks are back at Kokomo Beach On Thursday 2,000 tiny, rubber ducks will race down the lazy river at Kokomo Beach to raise money for an organization that may be one of Kokomo’s best-kept secrets. Jamey Henderson said there are still many people who don’t know what Samaritan Caregi

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller