Doris Leininger remembers the vagabonds 2012.02.01

Written by David Green.

When Doris Leininger read that the Observer was collecting hitch hiking stories, she stopped by to tell some stories that might best be described as vagabond tales.

She presented three recollections from her childhood:

When I was a little girl, probably about eight or nine, we lived just off 127 north of the Triangle [the curves west of Fayette]. My dad was out fixing fence and a man came up to him. This was the first black man I’d ever seen.

“Do you think your missus could fix me something to eat?” he asked.

My father told him to go up by the barn and call to the house.

“Tell her I told her to fix you something,” my father said.

She made a couple of fried egg sandwiches and got a bottle of milk and had my brother, Russell, take it out to him.

The man took the food back out to where my father was working and sat down to eat. When he was done, he put the empty bottle up on the fence post and left.

I was at my cousin’s south of Fayette and stayed overnight. In the morning we went out to the barn to play in the hay mow. It was all loose hay back then.

We climbed the ladder and there lay a man sleeping. We went back down the ladder faster than we went up it.

One day several cars stopped in front of our family’s home and little kids ran out holding pails and headed for the chicken coop. The missus came up to the house and said, “Have you got a chicken to spare? We have someone sick and we need to make them broth.”

About that time my uncle came around the corner holding a gun. It wasn’t loaded. He told them to hit the road.

“Those were hard times,” Doris said. “Some people think these are hard times now. They don’t know what hard times are.”

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017