2 "Flames To Embers To Ashes"- The Whole Story.
True love story
Chapter one (1)
Flames To Embers To Ashes
When a woman gets married and has three children, then realizes that she made a mistake, how does she get out of this marriage and find someone that she feels really loves her?
Other people feel that she is a terrible woman because she can’t love the man she married and who fathered her three children. He expects her to stay home and take care of the kids, house and farm while he works. Even when he goes to town for groceries and supplies, she and the children have to stay home. About the only time she gets out of the house is to go to church, the few times that would happen, and to go visit family.
Having this relationship/marriage behind her, she finally finds someone that she falls totally and completely in love with. That’s where the Flames of this relationship start. They were both in love with each other with a love that any movie would envy. She would have given here life for him at that time and he would have done the same for her and her three children. The Flames lasted for a few years.
Then, over a period of time, like most relationships, the Flames started fading. They turned to Embers where there was enough love to keep them together but cooling more and more with time.
As time went by, the bitterness between the two just kept getting colder. The man was working almost all of the time and the woman would become more bitter with each passing day. The arguments turned into fights and when it came to the point where she was pulling knives on him and threatening to kill him, that‘s when those Flame’s went from the Embers and finally became very cold Ashes.
This is chapter two. (2)
A Message From Farrell
Exactly four weeks went by, long lonely weeks, and then one day there was a knock on the door. Polly caught her heart somewhere between her chest and her throat. And it stayed there until she got to the door, and opened it slowly, to find Charlie Maxday, Farrell’s uncle standing there.
For a moment his face darkened. Then he said, “I’ve never understood you, Polly, have I? Not once, not ever. God knows I’ve tried. I don’t understand what you see in Farrell and more so, why you would be willing to leave Adam for him.”
She thrust her hand to him with a sudden brilliant smile that had always touched him. As he shook her hand she pulled him into the room. He took an envelope from his pocket and handed it to her, “This came this morning, you’ll be interested. You see, I wanted to surprise you.”
It was just one long page, but she didn’t have to read it. Hours, duties & love- she knew what it said. One sentence only burned at her: “I would have liked to have known Polly sooner, in fact three babies ago.” Polly would never understand how kindly Farrell had meant it, how honestly he had thought it best for both of them. How could she know that this tall man would/could act independently? She felt like such a fool. But he said he was coming back, coming back to Rockyford, and then she would see Farrell once more. She knew that sometime they would meet again. But she hadn’t known it would be so soon. But it wasn’t soon, it was Farrell’s brother Lee she seen more of. No matter what Lee said, surely Farrell wanted her.
One day Lee had come by to see her. “Lee”, she said pleadingly. And then, repeated questioningly, “Lee?” Then all of a sudden she noticed something that had never caught her eye before about the man standing beside her with the sickening sweet odor of cough drops. Wasn’t it strange that as Lee turned from her and the hateful eyes were hidden, she saw it for the first time ever that he had the same high, proud and hard chin of his brother, Farrell.
Chapter three (3)
At The Picnic
…………from the others in that way- what did he mean by it? It was unlike him. So was the smile he gave her. How excited she was! Just to have him show her that she did matter to him. And give her, what seemed to her, a very special look that showed he cared about her and that he might even want her in his life forever. Then she thought, “That’s just my wishful dreaming.”
But she walked solemnly beside him up the canyon to the old buildings. She knew what this place meant to him and listened reverently while, in his halting way, he talked. He stood there with his blue eyes dreaming over the ruined town.
Note: Because of Farrell’s seeming infatuation with this town, Saratoga, WY, I did some research and included the following information.
In 1884 Fenimore C. Chatterton named the town Saratoga after an
Iroquois Indian word Sarachtoue, which translates to “place of
miraculous water in the rock.” Saratoga sits atop one of the most
active mineral hot springs in Wyoming. Natives, and later European
settlers, both believed in the healing powers of the natural mineral
baths. In 1877, William Caldwell set up a bathhouse near the springs
which attracted visitors from all over the country, and even from as
far away as England. It was believed at the time that the mineral
baths could cure all sorts of ailments and conditions. In the past,
Saratoga has depended on such industries as copper mining, lumber
milling, cattle ranching, sheep herding, and local supply depot. More
recently Saratoga has rediscovered itself as a second home for the
rich-and-famous and a must-see place for visitors.
Once over 500 people had lived here in a brief frenzy of hope and greed. Freight wagons had crawled up with supplies, with food and whiskey – yes and with billiard tables, with rich red wallpaper for the leaning walls, kerosene lamps, frosted and fragile as dandelion globes, mahogany bars. “You see, it was going to be a city,” Farrell said.
But by fall of the following year something was wrong. This plan played out, and then this man was gone, and then that one. Before the first snow flew there was word of a better plan somewhere else and by December only George Everist was left it seemed? But six months later he bought out a grocery store and started his own business. “Good”, his wife said and it was that strike that the Everist’s still celebrate.
Above the skeleton of the town there was a hill with a handful of sunken graves. Three of the men buried there had been hanged. They lay in the impartial dust with a few honest citizens and little Georgie Everist, age 6 months. Farrell touched that stone with a gentle finger.
From here the others were out of sight and sound; the others were over the hill and a hundred years away. The graves that the dry wind was keeping in the sage made Polly feel a little melancholy. “Farrell”, she asked, “was it better back then?”
“I think it was,” he said. “Anyway, there was room for people then.” And then he added, “If a man wanted more than he had, he didn’t have to go off his own earth after it.”
She took a cigarette from Farrell and watched him through the first blue coil of smoke. He is a lonely person, she thought and sighed. Both of us – the strong and lonely ones seem like they would be so good together. And she grieved for herself, knowing he was the one she could have loved. And she would never be alone with him again.
Was it shameless of her to want him once – just once – to kiss her? She leaned a little toward him, felt the hard muscle of his shoulder and a warm flowing of excitement as she raised her lashes and saw the bewilderment grow in his blue eyes.
For a long moment he looked straight into her eyes, that direct, deeply personal look that made her heart thump so hard under her thin shirt that could have sworn he could hear it and just the thought of that made her even more nervous.
Bright honor stood between them. More so him than her.
He said, “I guess we had better get back.” Going down the path was steep. Farrell put his hand beneath her arm to steady her.
Uneasily he wondered if Adam understood her, because by golly he didn’t understand her. She seemed to be a very complicated woman. Then he thought to himself, “But then, aren’t all women somewhat complicated?”
Back there she looked sort of funny, sort of sick – while now she was gliding along all right and smiley and not even watching where she went. He just didn’t realize that what he saw as a funny look was the look of want. She just wanted him to kiss her and tell her that he at least cared for her.
“Beautiful”, she said. “It was just beautiful.” “Yeah”, he said anxiously. “Just watch your step.” And as he assisted her down the rocky slope, he was thinking how good it was just to be holding her arm.
It was a clear afternoon when the table was cleared and the hampers packed and the long shadows began to stroke the hills. They piled the fire high and gathered around it. It was time for old lady Abbott to sing. That was just something that over the years had become the highlight of these picnics.
She had been lying in a hammock strung between two tamaracks, a comfortable thing once you were in it, but skittish to get in and out of. It was pleasant there, a nice place to watch the evening sky flush and pale and to think her own thoughts. Wouldn’t they be surprised to know those thoughts?
The fact was old lady Abbott had never liked the picnics. She was afraid of the roads; she knew what rock slides did to it and the summer rains. But she was trapped by their terrible pride in her.
Years ago she discovered that it helped if she had a double whiskey right before she started. And in a minute now, they were going to make her sing. She felt a spasm of rebellion.
Did it occur to them that she was not an institution? That during her long life she had problems, had been in tears, had despaired, had lived, even as they lived? It did not. All that seemed to matter to them is that she would sing and entertain them.
Now at her elbow they asked gently, “Aren’t you going to sing?”
All day the altitude had made her rebellious old heart drum against her ribs. Crossly she thought, some day I won’t have to come because I won’t be able to. Some day I won’t be able to sing. Somebody else will just have to do it.
But she said, “Well, then you’ll have to help me up.” There they were, all with waiting faces. And she was swept with love and pity for them all, these people who had so far to go. She raised her chin and smiled, “My guitar.”
Farrell stirred the fire. Her bright eyes lingered on him tenderly. Her hands moved up the strings and she glanced at Polly, gently in the shadows with the tired baby, Greg, on her lap. Dear child, she thought, you haven’t any idea what’s ahead of you. She strummed the first chord clear. It spread out like a backdrop and she sang.
Polly was moved, deeply moved. But the whiskey had left a stale taste in her mouth and she was not as happy as she wished to be.
“Come my love, come”, the lines of the old song went. Her love would never come. Sadly she smiled. As strong as she felt about Farrell really brought the sadness because she just knew, deep down, that he really wasn’t going to let himself become attracted to her.
In every fiber Farrell was out of his time, out of his century – a true knight.
Chapter four (4)
The Next Day
On the morning after the picnic Farrell woke to a fresh wind and a sky filled with white fluffy clouds and for the first time since he met Polly he realized how much he needed her and depended upon her soft kind words. This made him feel almost like a different man now. He thought back to the day before and wished that he had let her know how he really feels. The funny thing is, he wasn’t sure then, not like he is now.
He got up and got dressed to leave for work at the store like he did every morning. Glancing from left to right and seeing no one, Farrell walked across the street to the store soberly, with his usual dignity.
From the storeroom Farrell was getting stock to re-stock the shelves in the store. “Good morning”, his father said and wondered briefly what was wrong with Farrell, who sounded funny and wouldn’t meet his eyes. He knew that there was something serious on his son’s mind this morning.
Some trouble with that woman, he thought tolerantly to himself. He did wish that if his son got stuck on someone, it would have been a different sort. Someone less bossy, prettier and more of a comfort to a man, then he smiled to himself, what he meant was, someone like Marian Aden. Not some woman with three children. He was really hoping his son wouldn’t get tied up with a ready made family. He had already had to deal with some tough times in his life.
Farrell’s father thought back about the way his son’s life could have turned out if only he hadn’t gotten sick. He was about to go to college when he was struck down by a case of polio. He was so sick that the doctors were going to give up on him. His son had told him that the night the doctors were standing over his bed talking and one doctor said to the other doctor as he pulled the sheet over Farrell’s head, “He will be dead by morning”. Farrell wasn’t as unconscious as they thought. He heard that and made up his mind that he would live no matter what.
I’m sure the doctor’s were shocked when they came in the next day and found he was still alive. He had live in an iron lung for a couple of years. Then, once he was out of the iron lung, he was told he would never walk. He proved them wrong there too. Even though it was with leg braces and crutches, he did walk. He worked really hard at it and finally one day he asked his father to take him up on the mountain to a certain place that he loved to go, overlooking a cliff with a beautiful view. His father took him there, a little reluctant because of the mood Farrell had been in lately. When they got there he remembered Farrell walking over to the edge of the cliff. It scared him so bad he started running toward Farrell because he thought his son was so depressed he was going to jump. Then he stopped as he saw his son reach down and loosen the straps on one brace and remove it and then the other one. Then Farrell stood up straight, had the braces and crutches in his hands, he held them over his head and through them over the cliff just as far as he could throw them. He turned to his father and said, “Dad, I am going to walk back down this mountain and if I can’t make it I don’t want to live.” He walked ever since. That’s why I think my son deserves better than her, he thought to himself.
Upstairs in the old hotel, Polly sat in her room with her jacket on, her hands in its pockets. And she was overcome with homesickness and loneliness.
She wanted her own house, wanted to slip the lock behind her and sit in silence with a china teacup, thin as a shell, and a spoon like a silver wafer. While her children slept in their own cozy beds. She wanted back the cool self from which these farm folk had seduced her.
She pressed her hands to her eyes, feeling warm with shame. If she could afford it she would take a plane out of Rockyford right now.
One thing she would admit, if she had not known Farrell, she might not have recognized that Adam was wrong for her. She wished him well, but there was nothing more she could do for him. Or was there?
Suddenly there was a knock on the door, she opened it slowly and there stood Farrell. He said, “I came to say good-bye.” It was like when a cow had kicked her once. And suddenly the smell of his shaving lotion and his leather jacket on his tall thin body was the only dear thing in her awful life.
“Good-bye?” she cried. “You can’t just walk out on your dad like that.”
His bitter laugh recalled the terrible pride in men. Already the answer stirred in her mind. “Your dad fired you, didn’t he?”
“Nobody fires me, ever.”
Then why? And how could she tell him that without him, there would be no reason for anything? Better not to have been born. Then why again?
He looked at her almost coldly. “There are some things,” he said, “no man will take from another man.”
She said, “I think you ought to tell me. I think it concerns me too, whatever he said.”
Farrell said, “He said to stop fooling around with a woman that’s been married.” The phrase was ugly between them. How could she blame him?
The streams of sunlight coming through the window flashed with tears. “Well,” he said, “so now I’ll be a drifter.”
She heard the engine of the car start. “Farrell,” she cried, “where are you going?”
He shrugged, “It don’t matter much, I guess, where I go.” His hand moved on the gearshift. She took one stumbling step, her knuckles at her mouth. And then he drifted.
“Oh, Farrell,” she sobbed. “It’s too late, it’s too late”, and ran to her room. It wasn’t the best day Farrell had ever spent.
Chapter five (5)
Farrell and Polly
A Summary of Their Years Together
Farrell and Polly did eventually get together and Farrell was very happy to have the opportunity to be with Polly and be a part of raising her kids. He just didn’t realize how much of a part of raising those kids he would really be. They started their lives out happy together. Polly had a bad back almost their whole lives together. This part will explain why. A real good start to a relationship.
It was one evening that Farrell, Polly and the two girls, were going to visit friends out in the middle of nowhere. You have to remember, this was in 1950/1951 so almost everywhere was the middle of nowhere back then. It
isn’t clear who it was they were visiting. It may have been a friend of
Farrell’s. But they got word that there was a storm coming and being winter
it was going to be a snow storm. Farrell had said, “We had better get going if we want to beat this storm.” Well, they didn’t beat it. Once they were on the road, the snow was coming down so hard that visibility was “0”. With that kind of weather and the really curvy roads, Farrell was driving extra careful. After all he had his treasured cargo in the car. Even as careful as he was, he couldn’t avoid the one patch of icy gravel as he went around one curve. The car spun out of control and off the road. There was just enough of a hill to cause the car to roll over 3 times and luckily it landed on the wheels. Farrell and Jean were thrown from the car, one on each side. Judy had been lying in the back seat and the back of the seat had come loose and was on her. Polly was caught or pinned between the front seat and the dash. Jean helped Judy get out. They had to work together to get the back part of the seat off of Judy. Farrell was trying to find his glasses so that he could help Polly. He was helping Polly and the girls found his glasses which had been broken in half straight across from one ear to the other ear. Amazingly he could still use them to see. When Polly finally got out from between the seat and dash she walked around to help Farrell find the rest of his glasses and make sure everyone was OK. The car was pretty new, either a 1950 or 1951 Ford, and luckily it was still drivable. All of the windows were broken out except for the windshield. That was cracked though, like spider webs. They all got back in the car that was still running, and prayed that they could get up the hill and back on the road. This all happened around 9 or 10 at night, in the middle of nowhere and in a white-out storm. They did, by some miracle get back up to and on the road. There were no houses to be seen. It was pitch black and they had only one dim headlight working. They were driving with no windows. Luckily the windshield was still there. Even though he couldn’t see out very well, which didn’t matter because he couldn’t see where he was going anyway, at least it kept the snow from blowing right in his face. With no windows it was freezing. Farrell had 2 blankets in the trunk he got out. Polly had crawled over the seat to be in the back with the girls. When they asked if she was alright, she said that her back hurt a little. Farrell retrieved the blankets from the trunk and handed them to Polly and the girls. She told him no, they would huddle together and keep warm. He had to use one of them to keep himself warm. If he froze to death, they would all die anyway.
He didn’t like it but he did it for her. Though it was hard to see, he managed to stay on the road at about 2 miles an hour. They drove about 10 miles or so. They asked Polly again how she was and she did say her back hurt a little more.
They finally came to a house. It was a big two story house and when Farrell pulled up into the driveway, Polly jumped out of the car, ran to the door and the girls and Farrell were close behind. She started pounding on the door. No one came to answer the door so they all started yelling and still there was no one coming to the door. There was a light on so Polly said someone must be home. She tried to open the door and it wasn’t locked. She opened it and walked in on her shaky legs. About that time an older couple came from the living room and of course, they were scared to death with these wild strangers coming into their house in the middle of the night. Polly just said, “We need a phone, we just had an accident.” Then she passed out on the kitchen floor. Farrell picked her up and carried her to the couch where the lady showed him to place her where she could be comfortable. They called for an ambulance but, because of the storm, no one could make it out there.
They said that the road crews couldn’t even get on the roads. That’s how bad the storm was. They had to stay the night at the nice couple’s house. They made Polly as comfortable as possible. The couple stayed up all night making food and drinks for this family that was so in need of help. They even cleaned them up. They made beds on the floor so they could sleep. They put Farrell’s arm in a sling when they found out that it was hurt. He never was one to complain. The lady just happened to see him favoring it and asked to look at it. She insisted on a sling for the arm and it did help. He thanked her and she just smiled and told him it was no problem. They found out later that he had broken his collar bone in two places. But, he was still able to pick up and carry her to the couch when she passed out. They came to the conclusion later that the collar bone was broken when he put his arm across to try and protect mom and Jean. Jean and Judy were only bruised, scared and cold.
When the plows got through in the morning the ambulance was right there. They took Polly into emergency and said that she sprained her back. With that they decided to let her go home with a light brace.
At that time they were living in a little apartment where they had a bed in the living room. Polly was in bed and for some reason someone called the dad, Adam, and had him take the three kids for awhile. At least until Polly could move around better. Then all of a sudden, for no reason, things seemed to go crazy. All of a sudden Polly couldn’t feel her legs and she passed out. That’s when they took her to the hospital where she was for months.
They told Farrell that she had a broken back and they didn’t think she was going to live and if she did chances were that she would never walk again. They didn’t know that she was awake and overheard them. She decided she didn’t want to live if she wasn’t going to be able to walk so she tried to take her life. She told the nurse on duty that she had not had her pain shot (Morphine) for the night. The nurse that had given her the shot had forgotten to record it, (mom had distracted her). So the new nurse gave her another shot and it did almost kill her. When that failed and she lived, she decided that if she was going to live she would walk again. So the long process and hard work started of her learning all over again to control her legs and muscles to make them carry her and walk. They did put her in a body cast from the neck to down below her hips. She was one miserable woman.
When they finally let Polly go home, she wanted out of the cast. She tried to talk everyone into cutting it off. No one would oblige her so she took her own steps. With her home, we were able to go home and live with mom and Farrell. (That was great.) Well when no one would help her cut the cast off, she decided to devise a plan and get out of it on her own. She went on a diet and lost a lot of weight. One day she was able to catch the bottom of the cast on the edge of a cabinet and was able to wiggle out of that cumbersome thing. Everyone was really surprised to see her out of the cast. Her doctors told her she shouldn’t have done that. Of course they would say that.
Note; later the doctors told her it was a good thing she took it off when she did because her spine was healing wrong.
After that they moved to Wray, Colorado where they lived in a small house on some property where there was actually enough land for Farrell to have a small farm and Polly had chickens and some rabbits. There was a small
creek that ran around the front and side of the property and there was a forest in the back of the property. At that time, Polly and Farrell were having a good life. Then, I don’t know if it was just because he had a hard time keeping a job in the small town, or if the two of them just decided to make the move, but they did decide to move to California.
During their move to California they went by his parent’s. The visit didn’t last long because there were still hard feelings between at least two of the adults. But they visited and left. They got to California and the first place they settled was in City of Commerce, a part of Los Angeles, on Sheila Ave. This is where they lived for about a year.
The kids went back to Colorado that next summer to be with their dad. When the kids arrived back Polly and Farrell had moved to Bell on Woodward Street. It seemed like Farrell was always working two jobs. But any time he had a free Sunday when he wasn’t working, they always managed to go for a family drive. It seemed that the kids really loved those trips.
It was when they lived on Woodward Street that things really started happening between Polly and Farrell. Without going into details we will just say this was the start of their downfall and that it seemed like they argued more.
Chapter six (6)
Then it seemed like things got a little better. One thing Polly always wanted was to have a little café. They found a place in Cudahy that would work perfect. It was a house on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Elizabeth Street. It was a house that had been converted into a half house and half café and since Polly had always wanted a café she had the name picked out too. It was “The Pickwick”. The living room and dining room were opened to make the dining area of the café. And then the kitchen was in the back. That was on the right side as you walked in. Then there was the left side where there were three bedrooms and bathrooms.
It looked like things must have been really going good with Polly and Farrell at this time because she became pregnant. She was still running the café and Farrell was working his job and helping when he was home. That’s when her mom and dad came and stayed a couple of weeks to help Polly. I believe it was around the time that Steven was born that they had to let the café go. They moved into a house across Elizabeth Street and lived there for awhile. Polly and Farrell were still getting along OK with the new baby. But now Farrell was working a lot more hours and then they moved again.
This time they moved onto Clara Street, still in Cudahy. Things must have still been going pretty good while they lived here because at Christmas they took the kids to the Huntington Park Christmas Parade. The kids were dropped off for the parade and when they came back to pick them up, they were driving a newer Dodge. They had traded the one they had driven to California in for a green 1955.
Things were going pretty good and they moved to La Mirada. That’s where things started falling apart between the two of them. That’s about the time Farrell was laid off from Chrysler. That was his main job. There was a lot of arguing and long nights. It scared Steve and Greg and they would go crawl in bed with their sister, Judy, who was so sick they almost lost her at that time.
When it came to a certain point and they had to move out of that house, the move took them to a little place in Baldwin Park. Judy, the daughter that was so sick moved in with her married sister and her husband. They hadn’t been living there very long when the car and all of the furniture was repossessed. That caused another move and sure didn’t help the relationship.
Where they went from there was another tumultuous period in Bell Gardens. They lived in a tiny trailer. More like a camper trailer. The two boys shared the wall to wall bed in the little bedroom. The one daughter, that was still living with the older daughter and her husband stayed there. Polly and Farrell slept in the living where the table and couch made into a bed. These cramped quarters didn’t help the situation at all. After being there for a little over a year, they then found a house in Bell.
Once moving into the house in Bell, things seemed good for awhile. Judy moved backing with the family. The two boys seemed to be doing well at this time.
Judy had a job working downtown Los Angeles and met someone to whom she married. They got an apartment around the corner.
Polly and Farrell would do good for awhile and then she would get on a kick where Farrell would come home from one of his jobs and she would start arguing with him. They would yell the whole time he was home. There would be times when he would come home from one job and go to the next one without any sleep. It’s really hard to see how he survived. He would never hit her, but there were times when she would hit him and beat him. She would even threaten him with knives. There was one time that she actually cut his arm, bad enough to leave a nasty scar.
That’s when he decided to leave. He had based his decision upon the fact that she was getting so violent with him that if he didn’t leave she just might kill him and then the kids wouldn’t have a mother either.
Chapter seven (7)
7 The Ashes
When Farrell Left
The man had been working very long hours. He had always either worked long hours or worked two jobs. He would come home from one job and instead of getting at least a couple of hours of sleep before having to go to his next job; he would walk in the door and be met by her. She would start in on him about one thing or another. I’m not sure exactly what the arguments were always about, but I do know that once in awhile I would hear something about money and every now and then she would accuse him of seeing other women. I don’t know how that could have been. It seemed like he was always bringing home the checks.
And as for the money, I don’t know how there could be a shortage since he worked all of the time.
I do know that when he wasn’t working, he would spend his time with us as a family. Even if it was just to go for a drive on Sunday.
I guess it just came to a point when he just couldn’t take it any longer.
I had heard them during one of their arguments when he threatened killing himself and ending it all. One of the few times when he and I were alone I asked him if he would really kill himself. He acted shocked that I would even know about that. But then, I guess he realized that we must hear all of the arguments. They never were very subtle about what they said. His comment to me was, “Killing yourself is really the cowards’ way out and I would never do that. To be a real man, you have to take the life you have been dealt and make the best of it for yourself, because you are responsible for your own life, and handle it the best way you can. Live and let live and things will work out.”
He came home from work one morning and instead of coming in the house, he parked the ’52 Chevy in the parking lot across from the house. He left most of what little money he had in his pocket in the car. He took one pack of cigarettes from the carton on the back seat and left the rest so he could be sure she had some. He left the keys in the visor, locked the door with the note lying on the seat, turned and walked away from the life that would never be his again.
He walked away from the woman he loved, her three children and the son he and her had together. The two girls were both married with children of their own. Her son was about 13 or 14 and their son was 2 or 3.
He left all of this because he just couldn’t handle all of the arguing and fighting any longer. He felt that it would be better for the two boys if they didn’t have to hear all of the fighting any more. The point is, he wasn’t leaving for another woman.
He had kept enough change to catch a bus to the north side of Los Angeles. There he got on the highway and hitchhiked up to San Francisco.
Once in San Francisco he lived on the streets and stayed in a shelter once in awhile. He did eventually meet a gentleman that helped him out. I know he was always good at talking. And through this gentleman he was able to get a job on a newspaper.
After working for the newspaper for a while, Farrell was able to save a little money. He wanted to send some back home to the family, but he couldn’t risk her finding out or getting any clue as to his whereabouts.
One day while working he saw someone that he felt he recognized. He was very determined not to let anyone find out where he was. He gave notice to the newspaper that he had to leave and go home for family health problems. When he received his check that last day, he was already packed and left the motel where he had been staying on a weekly basis. He wasn’t about to settle down to something that would be even semi-permanent because he knew this day would come sooner or later. He was hoping for later, but now seemed to be the time.
He picked up his one suitcase and few clothes, all of which he had picked up at the local thrift store. He checked out and headed out toward the highway. He had no idea where he was going. He just knew he was heading east, away from everything he knew. He couldn’t go to Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. That’s where his family was and couldn’t risk going around there because they would be looking there for sure.
As he was standing on the side of the highway thinking, he came up with the idea to head for Florida.
He was picked up by a trucker that was actually headed for Oklahoma. The trucker said he would welcome the company if he wanted to ride all the way. Farrell decided that would be perfect if they could put up with each other for that long, because the less he had to stand on the side of the road with his thumb out, the less chance there was of someone recognizing him. The further he could get from California, the better he would feel.
Farrell kept the trucker entertained with his jokes and stories. He was really good at telling stories. Anyway, he was entertaining for the three days that it took them to get to Oklahoma. The trucker was heading up Route 66 from there, so he let Farrell off just west of Oklahoma City.
Farrell found a dumpy, cheap motel and got a room. The room was cheap enough so he decided to stay at least a couple of days. He really wasn’t tired since he had been sleeping when he wasn’t talking for the past 3 days. So he went for a walk and found a little hole in the wall café. He ordered something to eat. As I said before, he was a very good talker and never met anyone that wasn’t a potential friend. Anyway, he started talking to the waitress and she introduced him to the owner. It just so happened that they could use a dishwasher for a few days. Farrell was always willing to do almost anything for a few bucks. He went back to the motel and let the manager know he would be there for a few days.
For the next few days Farrell would work for 8 to 10 hours at that little hole in the wall café, keeping to himself, making sure that he didn’t get to close to anyone or let anyone know to much about him. It was a very hard way to live for someone that liked people close to him and liked to talk as much as he did. The one thing he was doing that he liked to do, was fabricate stories. He was a real story teller.
After a few days of being here, the person he was replacing on the temporary basis, came back. This just told Farrell it was time to move on. While working at the hole in the wall café he had the opportunity to talk to truckers. He was very careful about what he said, but he did ask a lot of questions when it seemed safe to do so. He was able to find out that there were freighters going out of Florida that were hiring on new hands all of the time.
Well, now that he was standing on the side of the highway again, he had decided that he was definitely heading for Florida. He wasn’t standing there for 15 minutes when a trucker pulled over and offered him a ride. He got in the truck and the trucker said he was going as far east as Memphis, TN. Farrell said that would be great. Once again, he was welcomed company for the trucker.
When they arrived just outside of Memphis he was dropped off. He then got on the highway toward Atlanta, GA and within just a few minutes had another ride. This trucker was going all the way to Jacksonville, FL. Exactly where Farrell wanted to go.
Once in Jacksonville, Farrell started asking around about the merchant ships that were hiring new hands. Just to find out the bad news, he needed to go to Pensacola, FL. That was about 360 miles west in the panhandle of Florida.
So, after one more truck ride, Farrell was in Pensacola and asking around for what he was after. He was able to get a ship lined up and get hired on, but it wasn’t shipping out for three days. He found another cheap motel. He wasn’t real picky these days. He waited out the next three days without communicating with anyone that he didn’t need to deal with. He wanted to draw as little attention to himself as possible. The more people he talked to, the more chance there was that someone would be able to identify him if anyone started nosing around.
Chapter eight (8)
Polly came from a German farm family of seven kids. Two sisters, four brothers and herself, were raised on a farm outside of Sugar City, Colorado. I don’t know how big the farm was, but I do remember her saying that they raised Sugar beets, watermelons and cantaloupes. They had milking cows that they sold the milk and after separating, they also sold the cream.
They also raised turkeys on the farm. I remember her telling the story about how grandpa would go out some mornings and find some of the young turkeys laying inside the pen with no heads. He thought at first some animal was doing this. But after a couple of times, he found out that Polly’s youngest brother would sprinkle some feed along the outside of the pen and when the turkeys would stick their head through fence he would grab the head and yank it off.
That’s just one of the stories that Polly would tell.
While Polly was married to Adam, she said he would go to town all the time and leave her home to take care of the farming and chores. She was kicked in the stomach once by a cow when she was pregnant with one of the two girls, it may have been Judy.
Polly said that Adam always claimed Judy was the iceman’s child. When they lived in Rockyford, CO, Polly wanted to work and Adam didn’t want her out of the house. She liked to cook, bake, clean and be a mother, but she always wanted to work. She remodeled the house. She landscaped the yard. She was always busy doing something.
Chapter nine (9)
9 Polly After Farrell’s Departure
After Farrell left, Polly had her short period of down time. She had a detective looking for him and there were a lot of speculations about where he went or disappeared to in thin air. Someone had even suggested that Farrell had been involved with some illegal dealings and they may have killed him.
After a period of time, no one knows exactly how long, Polly actually dated the detective that had been searching for Farrell. She met a professional photographer through the detective and she dated him too. His name was Hal Link.
When Christmas came around there was a charity group that actually came around. They brought them food for the holidays with toys and gifts for the two boys.
Then there came another man in her life, Joe Vasser. They moved to the west side of Bell. Joe had a son that was older than Polly’s two boys. He was rather bossy and a know it all. His name was Bill and he stayed for awhile. Then Joe and Polly moved to Cudahy into a small apartment on Elizabeth Street. They weren’t there very long and Joe decided to leave.
While Polly and the boys lived there, she met Vernon Beal and he came into their lives. While living there with Vern, Judy and Pete, Judy’s husband, moved in right across the sidewalk. Vern showed Polly a lot of love. He really treated her like a lady, at first.
After that Polly, Vern and the boys moved to a little house in Maywood for a very short time and then they moved back to Bell into a multi-apartment complex. After they were there for a few months, they moved again to a fairly nice house in Downey. This is where Greg met Sandra, who he would at a later date marry.
Then they moved again, this time back to a small apartment in back in Maywood. While living there Greg finished high school. Polly gave Greg a choice. He could get out and get a job so he could marry Sandra. He could join the military. Or, he could stay there and live under her rule. He made his choice and she didn’t know that he had joined the Air Force until after he had taken the oath and was leaving for basic training at Lackland, AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
The Friday before Greg went into the Air Force, Vern, Polly and Steve left for a visit to Colorado. They were in a 19588 Thunderbird. Well, for some reason the car broke down in Needles, CA. If the car hadn’t broke down at that time and forced them to take a bus home, Greg would have been in the Air Force and in Texas before she even knew he had joined. Whether it was some divine power or just sheer coincidence, Polly was there at the airport when her son left.
Chapter ten (10)
10 Farrell’s Last Years
After two or three years at working at sea Farrel found his way to Las Vegas where the rest of his life started.
Farrell was living in Las Vegas when he met Marilyn. Obviously he won her heart because she went back home to Ohio and informed her daughters that she had found her love and they made all the arrangements and moved back to Las Vegas.
Farrell and Marilyn were married in a quaint little wedding chapel in Las
Vegas, The Little Church of the West. They lived there for about a year and a half. Things were going very well and they were very happy together. As time went on Marilyn was beginning to miss her kids and grandkids in Ohio and talked Farrell into moving back.
Kay, one of Marilyn’s daughters was 11 at the time and she had a very good relationship with Farrell while in Las Vegas. Once they made their move back to Ohio, Farrell seemed to change. It was obvious that Farrell wasn’t real happy in Ohio. He seemed to distance himself somewhat for awhile. Even from Kay who had really gotten so close to him.
He worked at different jobs but just never seemed to be satisfied until he met Art and went on the road as a salesman.
Then as he got older Kay got married and had a little girl. Nothing seemed to change much. But then she had her first son, Sam, and he seemed to come back to life to a certain extent. Kay reminded him that he was the only grandpa that her kids would ever know. He would hide chicken bones in the yard and tell her son that there were dinosaur bones in the yard and give him hints about where they might be.
That kind of reminds me of when I was little and when we moved from Colorado to California. When we went through the mountains and when we saw the signs that said “Watch For Fallen Rock”, he said that reminded him of the story of the old Indian chief that lost his son. The chief is the one that put up all of those signs. His son’s name was Fallen Rock. That’s just one of those little things that you don’t forget. I just hope Kay’s son doesn’t forget those little things.
Farrell and Marilyn were married for 26 years. They had their ups and downs, just like anyone else, but managed to work things out and make it last. From what I know about his life with my mom, he deserved to have a good life and he obviously did with Marilyn and her kids.
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