Saturday, March 29, 2008

Newly Weds - Part Two

After arriving back to Charlotte I got my job back working for Rob. Hazel and I rented a three room upstairs apartment in the old army barracks at Morris Field. It had a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen. Before we moved from Statesville to Tuckeseegee Road in Charlotte, I went to Peoples Saving and Loan Bank and borrowed four hundred dollars to buy a small gas stove, wringer washer machine, gas heater, table with four chairs, and refrigerator. All I had to do was sign a note indicating that I would pay it back in six months or renew the note for six more months. I paid it back in four months and that is when I bought my forest green 1950 Chevy Truck.

I worked for Rob for about six months until I got my truck paid for in full. I decided to get a job with a general contractor so I would not have to work so hard and I could make more money. Since I came back to Charlotte I had been working forty to fifty hours during the week and then I would take on side jobs every Saturday and Sunday so that I could get everything paid off.

At Morris Field, the Newhouses lived under us; he was a mason too. We became good friends with them. We later met another couple, Brad and Vivian Bradshaw, who lived near us and Brad was a mason too. Brad encouraged me to apply to work with his company and told me I could make a little more money. I started working for his company and it was not long before an addition was being built onto the Barringer Hotel in downtown Charlotte. We were asked to work for them. The only thing we did not like was that we had to work two weeks before we would get a check.

We went to work on the new addition of the hotel, and Brad and I were to be the lay out masons. We were to lay out the rooms on each of the twelve floors and the other masons would come along and finish the rooms. When we got to the last floor, I told Brad about the time I went to Washington, DC. Brad wanted us to go up for a week and make some of that good money. We decided to go after talking it over with Hazel and Vivian. Our plan was to finish the twelfth floor on the hotel by Friday and then we would go up on Saturday. We ask the boss man to give our pay for two weeks that they held out so we would have enough money to go on. He said the only way that we could get our pay when we left was to get fired. We thought about that for a little while and then Brad and I started to build a big pier of bricks right in the middle of the room we were working on. After about an hour, the boss came around and asked us what we were doing. We told him that the roof looked like it was going to fall in so we were building piers up to it before it fell. He looked at us and wrote out a slip of paper for us to take to the office and get our full pay because he had fired us. We got our pay and then we went back up on the twelfth floor and took down the piers. When we were telling everyone goodbye, the boss came to use and said when we got back home to look him up since he needed good bricklayers that could think on their feet.

The next morning we headed out for Washington, DC. After we arrived, we went to 14th Street NW and got a room in the same building that we had before. It had two beds with a curtain hanging between them. We got up Sundaymorning and ate leftover food before Brad and I headed out to look for work. It was our lucky day! We saw a man working on a house that needed bricking up. We stopped and he said that he really needed someone to do the rest of his brickwork. We said that we would do even if it took us all week. He was a seven day Adventist and that we could work every day except Saturday. We said that we would start immediately if he would mix our mortar and bring us the bricks. We told him that he would have to pay us at lunch time for the mornings work and at the end of the day pay us for the remainder of the day we worked. He agreed and we went to work making twelve dollars an hour working from daylight until dark. We finished his house that week before Saturday! He was happy and pleased. He gave us each an extra hundred dollar bill for our good work.

Vivian and Hazel stayed in the room or walked around the neighborhood all day while we were working. There was a little grocery store a couple blocks from our room. The girls would buy food that did not have to be cooked since there was no place to prepare the meal. We worked on another job for the next week, got our money, and headed home. The first couple days after we arrived home we went out to the fish camp and any other place where we could get a good hot something to eat. Listen to me tell this story.

4 comments:

Betsy Mauney said...

Hey Pawpaw!
These are great stories, and as always we love reading them! What an adventure - for you and your friend to take your wives to DC for a couple weeks to make the "big bucks"! :) And how clever you were to get fired in order to be able to do that, but your boss still wanted you to come back if you needed work. You are showing your readers what a hard working, honest, man of integrity you were and are. I am proud that you are my grandpa!

Love you!
Betsy (and Steven & Isaac!)

Mike said...

Besty, I have always known that my Dad was someone that always seemed to know that "something".

Had a grasp on "common sense", not really common sense, but a sense of what was needed to be done to get the job done..that kinda sense.

I guess if you had to nail it down, to put a word on it that most folks could understand..it would be the word "confidence" My dad has confidence in what he does.

Barb said...

Always great reading your blog!!!

Mike said...

Just looked at your blog and saw the picture of the truck..


Now that's a truck