The Loneliest Man - the Story of My Father

He arrived home from the VA Hospital with a gunshot wound in his shattered ankle from the battle Chateaux Thierry in WWI and became a cripple for the rest of his live. He met & married an 18-year old woman, settled down next to the homestead area and attempted to make a living farming this arid land. His wife grew to hate this land with no modem conveniences and she nagged with him to move to town. He finally sold his few cows and horse machinery. He was able to get work on farms for $2-3 a day and a little more pay working on irrigation canals.

His wife had a large family who left Montana and were living in the sunshine state of California. They would tell the wife that there was plenty of work with better pay and to come on out, so the wife nagged him day and night and wore him down. They packed and moved to Oakland, Calif. WWII had just started so he was able to go right to work. His oldest son had permission and joined the Navy at 17. He had two daughters and two boys left at home. The school system and the city of Oakland was a very bad place for the kids so the wife talked him into moving the family 70 miles north and he would drive up to visit family every week or so.

The wife was able to go to work in a local bar and became an alcoholic. When the war ended, the wife fell in love with a bar patron and wanted out of the marriage. The four kids wanted to go back to Montana and they had a choice to stay with their mother or go with their dad. They all went with their dad. There he was, a crippled man tending four kids, chief cook and bottle washer. He and the two boys were able to work on the section of the North Pacific Railroad. The work was hard on his crippled foot, but he, being a prideful man, always did his share and more. He taught the two boys to work with pick and shovel. They had all loved him to no end. As the time passed, his oldest daughter married and moved away, one boy went in the service, the other boy was working and having a good time and the other daughter graduated and moved away, while the other boy was drafted and left him.

Now, he was all alone. His old war wound was ulcerating and he could no longer work or walk. One son was trying to take care of him and was there for him, but it was too late. He passed away in agony with gangrene in the small intestine. He had lived 64 year years and when one looks back - he had a hard life. He was a good man, honest and a gentleman. To me - he became the "Loneliest Man."

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