Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Trip For An Eight-Year Old

     Garna Bell McBee was born on Feb. 5, 1928.  She had a tough childhood.  Her entire childhood was spent in the Great Depression; roughly all of the 1930s.  Her family had come from the Dust Bowl; from the hardest hit part - the Oklahoma panhandle.  They left Oklahoma and headed to California, looking for work. 
    Her father, Guy McBee, was a meticulous and hard worker but the family moved around to find jobs.  And in the midst of this her parents separated.  They eventually divorced in 1937.
    So Garna moved even more often as she spent time with her father and then her mother.  At times she even moved in with other relatives.  
    One particular time about the age of eight, she was supposed to be with her father.  But he needed to be off working a job. So he hired an acquaintance to care for her. The job must have taken longer than expected.  And unfortunately this family grew tired of having an extra person around so they took Garna down to the train station and bought her a one-way ticket to where her dad was working.  If that seems bad it got worse.  For some reason they failed to notify Guy that she was coming.
   When she arrived at the end of her ride she got off and sat down on a bench to wait for her father.  After a lengthy stay someone at the train depot noticed her and asked her what she was doing.  She told them that she was waiting for her father.  They eventually asked for the name of her father.  She responded "My father is Guy McBee, the tile setter".  With that information the helpful strangers along with the police tracked Guy down and he showed up to take her home with him. 
     Events like this had a profound effect on Garna's life.  Times have changed.

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