My Grandfather’s Journey con’t.
When Bumpa and Alton started their incredible adventure, they had a plan. Being the friendly, almost gregarious boys that they were, they made friends easily. Somehow, they had acquaintances strung all over the country that they planned to visit and hopefully stay overnight with as they journeyed. The best laid plans, however, are not always possible. There were days when the twins didn’t get rides and were forced to walk. Those days, they certainly weren’t able to travel as many miles as they had wanted, so they were forced to sleep wherever they could.
One particular day when no one stopped to offer either of them a ride, they walked until they came to a good sized town. Perhaps it was even a city. The boys were exhausted. They found a grocery and bought some milk, fig newtons and bologna to eat and also a newspaper. After they ate, they walked until they found a park with benches. It was summer and the weather was fine. They split the newspaper between them and found two adjacent benches on which to sleep. Both fell asleep immediately.
The next thing Bumpa knew, he was awakened by a horrible pain in his feet. He opened his eyes to see a policeman standing over him with a billy club in his hand. The cop had just hit him on the bottoms of his feet.
The boys stumbled awake and stood before the policeman. He questioned their reasons for being in the park and they explained that they were just a couple of kids off to see the country for the summer. The policeman answered, “Are you crazy?! You could be killed sleeping out here in those good shoes.” (Remember, Nonny had given each of them a brand new pair when they started their trip).
He took the boys back to the police station and without arresting them, locked them in a jail cell for the night so they would be safe and warm. In the morning he brought them a good breakfast and sent them on their way, but not without another warning about sleeping in the open with a pair of new shoes on their feet.