After the ovation for Limpy the Clown, Hobo Harry stood and started his tale of how he became a Hobo.
First of all, I was not always a Hobo. I was once the President of a large import, export company. I started out as the janitor for my Father’s business. I listened intently to all the conversations that the sales men and businessmen had. I have a photographic mind and can remember anything I hear and can recall it immediately. I was the top of my class in High School and College and received all kinds of awards for my ability to learn.
I moved up to office boy with a substantial raise. As I looked over the invoices and sales presentations, I would memorize them. I moved to junior sales clerk and was given the award for selling the most of the entire older salesman. It came easy for me. I was appointed sales manager, with a substantial raise and was called in on all the Board meetings. My Father retired and I rose to the top at 27 years of age, with a substantial raise. I had no idea that a human could make such a high salary.
I was never one to set on my behind and let someone else do my work. I had my own plane that I used to fly all over the world.
I would fly to Tangiers for tangerines then hop to Cordoba, Spain for Cordage for Jean materials. On to Limoges, France for Limes and to meet Mimi. I would take off for Helsinki, Finland Vanuatu airport and take a hop to Bekola for the ingredients of Koko Kola. Olga the blonde beauty was my escort while there and would show me a good time. Then to Russia to Kamchatka to purchase some fine Kameras and to meet Katrina and party heartily.
The next day I flew to Seoul Korea for Sole material for fine shoes. Mai Chong Lee was a beautiful Korean maiden and was my personal secretary and tour guide while in South Korea. This beauty was a trained Masseuse and could make my tired body come to life, I hated to leave but on to Hong Kong. We landed in Hong Kong and took a short flight to the Island of Lantau. I ordered several crates of Chinese Lanterns and was escorted by Mai Tai a Chinese beauty and she was at my disposal.
I arrived back in Eureka, Kansas, to buy wheat and moved on to Wichita, Kansas to my office building. I made this trip once a month for years.
While back home I would go to my Palatial Mansion where my live in maid (Barbara) awaited my return.
On my return, Barbara would invite fifty or sixty of our friends and top men of the Import Export business to a sit down dinner and cocktails.
I had one of my boats on the El Dorado Lake and moored it at Manka Point. It was a thirty footer and was just right for some good bass fishing. I caught the most bass at Becker Cove and Paulsen Cove. There was always a bevy of beauties on board. The upper deck was used for sun tanning for the ladies and the lower deck a bar. The fishing was just an excuse to get away from all the traveling.
I am telling you this because I had forgotten where I came from. I, at the age of thirty-five, was burned out. I started hating to go on the buying trips. I hated the idea of making money, paying taxes and keeping up a front. I had everything that any man could want but peace.
The women were fickle and would use me. My friends were friends as long as I was footing the bill. The people that worked for me were only interested in how much sick leave they could use. The Union never let me alone and was always threatening to strike.
The Union talked my employees into striking and that was the last straw. I sold the business and fired all 1200 employees and closed the doors.
As the workers were leaving the building they were crying, not because of me, but they had lost their jobs. I tried to compromise with them but the Union said “no” so I had no alternative.
I sold my house, boats, gave the money to several charities, and left with nothing. I found a staff and hung my bindle on the end, here I am free, and at peace with friends that I know care less whether I have money or not.
Fellow Hobo’s thank you for accepting me and letting me share your warm fire with you. I consider it an honor to be in your company, I thank you.
While Harry was still standing each Hobo rose to shake his hand and pat him on the back and welcome him to their Hobo Circle.
Monte L. Manka 12-14-99