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After the C.C.C’s or A Little Larceny Enters My Life…

Story ID:8269
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Continued from, Guess What…

After the C.C.C’s or A Little Larceny Enters My Life…
By Chuck Dishno

After the United States entered WWII the C.C.C. camps disbanded and most of the men/boys were drafted for the duration. This ended my source for penny candy. I never intended to be a beggar but if those lonesome boys wanted to give me a penny or two, who was I to turn them down.

One day I was going through my parents closet and saw my Dad’s “town” pants hanging on a hook in the back.

I should explain that Pop, a timber faller, always wore overalls to work and when he came home from the woods, he would clean up then put on his town pants, eat dinner, sit down in the living room, read the newspaper and listen to the radio. This was a nightly ritual that almost never changed. After about an hour he would get up and go down town to the local pool hall and beer joint to watch the other loggers play pool or cards. On a rare occasion he would drink a beer but never more than one. After about an hour he would walk back home and he and mom would play cards – either cribbage or pinochle. After Pop lost a game or two he would throw the cards and head for bed, usually about 9pm.

Back to Pops town pants; I reached into Pops pockets and much to my surprise, I found a few cents, which I promptly took for my own. Well, it wasn’t long before Pop wondered where his pocket money was going. At first he asked my Mom but she didn’t know anything about it. The only other ones there were my two half brothers, Shad & Bud. They both were married and had jobs, so a few extra cents wouldn’t mean much to them. It finally boiled down to me.

When Pop asked me if I had been taking his change, I owned up to it immediately. He wasn’t mad but told me how hard he had to work for those few cents and if I wanted to earn some money, I could pick dandelions out of the front yard.

I jumped at the chance to make a nickel for every 100 dandelions I picked. This was quite a chore for a little boy but at least it was a job. It wasn’t long before I had picked all the dandelions in my yard and started on the neighbor’s lawn and then a field that was near my house.

Pop couldn’t believe how many dandelions our small lawn produced and when he confronted me I told him what I had done. I then got my next object lesson about not cheating and to do an honest job for the person you worked for. I have never forgotten these lessons and tried to instill them in my own children.

Pop has long since gone to Heaven and I hope he is staking out a few fields of dandelions for me. I’m sure there is no need for money in Heaven but I sure would like to earn a few of those Heavenly nickels. Maybe I will be allowed to pick them from the devil’s garden.