Experience on the farm for the first time.
| The spring of 1972 found me on a bus, heading for Tennessee for the very first time, on my own. I was staying with some people in Gainesville, Fla. at the time. I had contacted some people I knew, in Tennessee. They had come from Melbourne, Fla. and bought some land up there, years ago. A change was needed, it was time to move on.
The couple that took me in were about to have a baby anyhow, and I didn't want to get in the way-- or be another mouth to feed! They took me up to Tallahassee, as they had some business there anyway. I had about $24.00 on
me, form a job in town that I had. Took a bus from there to Florence, Alabama; hitched the rest of the way into Waynesboro, Tenn. Had a forty pound pack on my back,
hair down to my shoulders and a blue kepi ( civil war cap).
Not real popular with the locals!
One or two would stop, but as soon as I got up to the
car, they'd take off, laughing! I kept walking, thumbing for a while until, finally someone actually stopped and gave me
a lift. He was a minister at a local church in the next town.
I told him where I was going, he said he would take me there, all the way. That was a blessing!
At the town square, I thanked the minister for the lift
and said goodbye. Not knowing where to go, or what to do next, I stood in a doorway of a building on the old square,
with my pack beside me. It had started to drizzle a bit, so I stayed put. Before too long, an old farmer came up the sidewalk towards me, in a pair of bib coverhauls. He asked
me if I was waiting for someone or something. I told him I had travelled there to see some people. I gave him the name of the folks and he said he knew them. But I would have to go see a deputy at the jail. Meanwhile, there were two choices of places to stay overnight; one was the local hotel which was only three dollars. Whic would have been my first choice, but I had no money left after the trip up.
The other choice was the jail. I could go there, talk to whoever was left in charge and talk to them. They would put me up for the night, free of charge ( no charges, either!).
I took the last choice, of course.