Albuquerque

I stayed several months until Daddy became seriously ill. He was in the Veteran’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was very concerned about him so I finally managed to get enough money for a one-way Greyhound bus ticket to Albuquerque. When I got there it was winter with snow on the ground. I had about $5.00 and I needed a place to live. I started walking, stopping at all the “room for rent” signs. They all cost more than I had. Finally, cold, hungry and desperate, the Lord led me to Mrs. Pearson’s house. She was a widow lady trying to support two small children by renting rooms in the home left by her deceased husband. She must have felt sorry for me because she said she would rent a tiny little enclose side porch with a single bed to me for $2.50 a week. Then the dear lady explained that she and the children had a left-over bowl of stew from lunch with my name on it. I left my “suitcase” in my new found room and set out to find a job. I found one that afternoon as clerk in a ten cent store a few blocks away, salary $10.00/week. I was overjoyed, I had a room, a job and a bowl of stew in my tummy. With a portion of the $2.50 I had left from my original $5.00 I caught the city bus to the hospital to see Daddy. On my way home I went to a grocery store and got a few groceries with the change left. I started on my new job the next day. There was a restaurant next door. I ate lunch there each day. The dinner soup was ten cents and I soon made friends with the waitress. She always re-filled the bowl and provided plenty of crackers. Dear Mrs. Pearson frequently “just happened” to have bits of left-over food that she prevailed on me to eat so she wouldn’t “have to throw it away”. I returned the favor by staying with her children sometimes when she needed to go out. Maybe living through those days instilled in me the respect I still have for any bit of leftovers – they should be eaten, and appreciated.
My first job in Albequerque was at this 10-cent store (top). Part of the time I worked behind the candy counter. The manager was wise, and said I could eat all the candy I wanted. I did that first day, but eventually I ate less and less. If he had forbidden me to eat any, it would have been much more tempting. Later, a new drive-in restrauant opened. It was the first in that part of the country, so it was a novelty and very popular. I took a job there for more money.

Laurene Jones - My best girl friend in Albequerque.

I lived in Albequerque several months, and made friends through activities of First Baptist Church. These friends included Laurene Jones, Bob Holmes, and Liutenant Cedric Drake. Albequerque and the surrounding Sandia mountains was a colorful place in which to be young.
Bob Holmes - the adventures and fun times we had would take pages to tell.
Bob knew a lot about the Indians of the area. One Saturday night, before Easter morning, he took me to the mountains to see an Indian religious ceremony. We hid in the woods on the outskirts since they didn't approve of uninvited visitors. When they began to grow suspicious, we made a hasty run for the car, which we had left a ways down the road.
Lieutenant Cedric Drake.
Soon after this picture was taken, he became very involved in the war in the Pacific. He was captured in the Corregidor, escaped, then went with the Air Force to other South Pacific battles. He returned home as a Major.
Many happy times exploring the Sandia Mountains near Albequerque.
Bill French and I.
Late spring of 1941. I was getting restless with a growing sense of spinning my wheels – didn’t feel that I was accomplishing very much in Albuquerque. There had to be a way of at least finishing “business College”. As ancestors before me – I decided to “go west”. Problem was I didn’t have any money for bus or train fare and besides, I didn’t know what part of the “west” to head for.
There was a method of travel commonly used in those days that in the 90’s would be considered quite dangerous. Newspapers frequently had ads in the classified section from people about to start on a car trip asking for passengers to share gasoline expenses. So that’s the way I began my trek to the west.
I travelled all over the west that summer – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, etc. I’d work in each place for a while for more gasoline money then join another group of strangers for the next leg of the journey. In retrospect I realize that even in those safer days I was taking an awful chance. How Daddy must have worried, and how he must have prayed that my Heavenly Father would take care of me – and He did.
My first stop was Los Angeles. As most young girls of that era, I had movie star idols so it was thrilling to explore Hollywood. Then to San Francisco. The most serious boyfriend from Albuquerque, Bob Holmes, caught up with me in San Francisco and followed me when I went up the coast to Portland and Seattle. So I had company exploring those areas. (Unconventional, but quite moral – we never missed attending the nearest Baptist church…)
Next stop was Denver and Pueblo, Colorado. On this trip I met a really nice young man who invited me to his home. His parents were most hospitable. We had fun seeing some of the beautiful sights of Colorado. Late Fall of 1941 I returned to Albuquerque mostly to see Mrs. Pearson. She had become very dear to me, almost a mother figure. I returned to visit her periodically for the next several years until her death.
Late November, 1941. War was raging in Europe. It was reported that work was plentiful in California. SO TO SAN DIEGO…………