As I got into my old car, (my old car and me have a lot in common, we both were much nicer to look at in days gone by) – but, that’s life! – I drove away from the “little house on the prairie” where I live now and got on the Port O’Connor road to Seadrift. I passed by “Dead Man’s Mott” that took my mind way back in time.
I talk to Mabel on the phone and she tells me her dad, Mr. Strane, was a carpenter and he did build a “wooden coffin” for the Hobo that hitched a ride on the old steam locomotive train that came to Seadrift Depot, then went on to Port O’Connor many years ago.
This Hobo got off at the Seadrift Depot, but decided to walk on to Port O’Connor. It was a very cold day in January, just like today, New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2015.
The Hobo was very cold and gathered brush and built a nice, warm fire under “Dead Man’s Mott”. He did fall asleep too close to his warm fire and his clothes caught on fire and burned him so bad he died.
Mr. Strane built him a wooden coffin and the City of Seadrift buried him in “potters field” in the Seadrift Cemetery. His bones are there today.
I drove on toward town and as I passed the “old Seadrift Depot”, where it is today, my mind wandered back in time again to when the Dave Williams and Mary Alma Wooldridge family lived north of town on the “old Tom Dowda” place with their seven kinds: J.D., Geraldine, Wallace, David, Sugarfoot, Dennis and Donald.
We did not have a car, so when we went anywhere we walked down the railroad track to “tent picture shows” in town – “Rin Tin Tin, the Wonder Dog”, Hoot Gibson and Roy Rogers and his horse.
We passed the Depot where the freight wagons there had hobos sleeping on top of them. Seadrift was full of hobos looking for work for a handout of food. Most people did give them a small job to get some food to eat. They did get a few hens out of a chicken house now and then, but, no big deal. A few people, old timers, were not very well fed back in that day and time either.
Today “street people” around here are not called “hobos”; they are called “homeless people” and are given clothes and a place to sleep and food at the Salvation Army in Victoria.
The Salvation Army is a good place to donate money if you have any money to donate.
By the way, maybe the old Depot here could use a few donations also, so it can open and be useful to a few “old timers” that are left. They, like the hobos and old fishermen, are fast fading away.