|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:)
|Photographs that are
relevant to this page.
|Below is the INDEX of
pages. Click on the page number.
Page 1 of many
have to start somewhere...
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
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
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
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
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
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Darryl Foshee All Rights Reserved