From Darryl's Desk
The Road I Traveled
"While My Mother Prayed"

My name is Darryl W Foshee, father of Thad Foshee, Michele Foshee and Matthew Foshee. I leave this scrapbook as a brief record of my life. I hope it brings a few smiles and answers. This attempt is little more than a brief outline of my life. If I really thought any person were truly interested I would take the many months to record a more detailed account. At least this will give the reader a "clue" to the intent of this record. If you like this, perhaps I can tell you about my operation:)

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I learned at a very early age to be self-reliant... left home at fourteen. Home was Hot Springs, Arkansas. I graduated from the ninth grade May 1959, at fourteen years of age... the next day I was on my way to California. Dad was not the typical father. He gave me $100 and a hug goodbye. Mother was in tears as I crawled into the backseat of a stranger's car, who I had paid $25.00 to ride to California. There were two other paid riders. As we approached Hot Springs' city limits, the driver pulled into the "Last Chance" liquor store and bought a case of beer. We made a lot of stops at liquor stores... he was drunk the entire trip.

I landed in Seal Beach, California, called my brother who lived about an hour north. He and his wife drove down and took me to their home. I borrowed a suit from my brother who was eight years older and slightly heavier. I was 6'3" and weighed 160. The suit looked a little shabby on me but it served the purpose. The first job I applied for I landed. I told the manager I was eighteen and just graduated high school. The company was Hardy Shoe Store. I was a shoe salesman!

A few days earlier, I was in jeans and a 'T' shirt, spotlighting rabbits at night on the back roads of rural Arkansas. Now I was a shoe salesman, dressed in shirt and tie, telling people why they needed my shoe! What a difference a day makes!

Later, my boss confessed as he chuckled, "I had to hire you! You were the funniest looking kid I had ever seen in that baggy suit... from Arkansas."

I paid my brother $15.00 per week for room and board. In those days, that just about bought all of the groceries for the entire household. My sister-in-law cooked the greatest yeast rolls, pinto beans and cold slaw! We ate a lot of that. Dotty, my brother's wife worked for the telephone company, my brother was a full time student at UCLA.

I did well! I broke all sales record in the district (of that chain) and was promoted to assistant manager. Over the summer I acquired a very nice wardrobe, thanks to Robert Hall, a fantastic discount clothier! I had several dozen pairs of shoes.

September rolled around. I explained to my boss that I was only 14 and would need to enroll in high school. He liked me and we were friends! He came with a plan... He would open the store at 9 AM, leave at 3 PM... I got out of school at 2:30 PM, I could be at work and dressed by 3 pm and close the store at 9 PM. It was a great plan! We both only worked 6 hours a day. Of course Saturday was a big day we all worked all day Saturday.

Several of my teachers were actually jealous of me. I dressed better than they did, a few of my teachers were really upset that I made nearly as much money as they did. They ultimately caused trouble for me. I should mention here that I had taken on a second job. After closing the shoe store at 9 PM I would run across the street and begin a three to four hour shift as a manager-trainee. Thriftymart Drugs was a major chain store. Some of my duties; I relieved the checkers at the cash registers, audited the Blue Chip Stamps and restocked the shelves.

When I turned 15 my brother signed for my drivers license, stating I was 16. I bought a 1956 Chevy, only 4 years old at the time! I moved into my own apartment and continued in school. The officials discovered that I was living on my own and told me that I was going to be committed to a Boys Home. I was not allowed by state law to be on my own so I would have to be a ward of the state and be confined to a home for boys. That put an end to my high school career! Six weeks to go to graduate the 10th grade and I had to drop out and go into hiding. I moved, quit my job and started selling sewing machines. The company I worked for was owned by three brothers in their early 30's. They taught me direct sales and marketing. In-house closing or as I later came to know as One-Call-Closing! 15 years old and I was a high powered salesman.

This was much different than being a shoe salesman (clerk). Later we started a cookware sales organization. These men took me under their wing and taught me the ropes. We advertised an inexpensive set of aluminum cookware at a cheap price on television. The prospective buyer would call in for the special offer... I would go into their home and step them up from the $29.00 set, which we advertised, to a $300.00 set. I was rolling!

After a few months, "Bunko Squad" shut us down. I sold my car and prepared to hit the road. Hitchhiking, riding trains. I traveled! The things I lived through are beyond imagination. A fiction writer could not imagine the things I did and lived through.

OOOPS! Let's Go Back...

I failed to mention that I had met the most beautiful girl in the world on April 23rd, 1960. I was fifteen she was eighteen. Florita was from Costa Rica. She lived in Beverly Hills, California and attended Beverly High. In those days movie-star's kids went to Beverly High, a public school. Things have sure changed! My good buddy bought the hot-rod Ford that Robert Mitchum drove in the movie "THUNDER ROAD." I think it was a '49 ford with a HOT engine and the trunk floor had been cut out where they had installed the tank that carried the moonshine whiskey that Mitchum ran in the movie.

Florita (Flora) was my first love and very hard to leave her behind! I was a loner and had gotten used to being alone and 'missing' people. I used to go off by myself, on the side of a hill on the school ground, where I attended the 10th grade and cry for my mother.

In those days, at that school, you either belonged to the Ho-Daddies or The Socialites. One group, the Ho-Daddies, being mainly Mexican and a few caucasian hoods who played with drugs. These guys wore suits with shoulder pads, sport shirt, top button, buttoned and pointed dress shoes. Some wore little gangster hats. The Socialites wore Levis, 'T' shirts and tennis shoes and were athletes, surfers and body builders. I was a loner, I belonged to neither, therefore, I had no support group and I fought a lot... both sides. Everyday I went down into that 'valley' and met the bear. Some days I beat the bear, some days the bear beat me. Everyday was hard! I fought the Ho-daddies, I fought the Socialites.

Give it all up, just travel around, hustle, make a living, see the USA and wait until I was old enough to join the service. That was my plan. I prayed a lot, I prayed as my mother had taught me. Jesus took care of me.

I spent my sixteenth birthday passing through Dallas, Texas. My birthday meal consisted of mashed potatoes and a roll. I had learned I could go into a small restaurant, baby-eye the waitress and order french fries, which were 10 to 15 cents in those days. Then I would say to the waitress, "Could I have mashed potatoes instead of french fries? Almost always they would say "yes" then I would ask, "could you put a roll or two on there? It always worked. A pretty filling meal for a dime. I was always clean, well dressed and well mannered... I was learning "the con" and didn't know it! Next Page (2)

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