Paul, Crawford, Donald Noll 2. Three Boys Ride the Bus to See Grandpa

We are off to see our Grandpa In 1936 my mother had moved to Arlington, California. She was still completing her college degree. My Grandpa lived in Gig Harbor, Washington. Although my parents were separated my Grandpa loved us boys very much. Each year starting in 1936 he would send my mother enough money for the three of us boys to ride the Greyhound Bus to Seattle, Washington where he would meet us. The bus driver was given our tickets and money for food and he would watch over us on the trip. He always made sure we sat in the front seats so he could watch over us. That was wonderful as far as I was concerned because we could see everything. It was an exciting ride for a young boy.

People were kind to us on the trip. I was five, Crawford was 6, and Donald was 7. Crawford is now known as JC and Donald later was known as Mark when he went into the Air Force. I'm not sure how long the trip took but I suspect it was several days. In those days there were no freeways and almost all the roads were just two lanes. I think the speed limit was just 35 mph as well. Whenever we stopped for breakfast, lunch or dinner we went with the driver and got food. I guess because we were such cute kids and looked so poor that almost always someone would pay for our food. Remember this was during the depression years. My mother had taught us well and we always ate wholesome food and never just ate junk food. When it was time for us to return to Los Angeles my Grandpa would give the driver money and tickets for the return trip.
Paul, Crawford, and Donald
Grandpa lived on a farm My Grandpa's farm was far out of town. The nearest town was Gig Harbor, which wasn't very big in 1936. The house had two rooms, no running water and no electricity. It was a wonderful place for a five year-old boy. Grandpa was a good cook and he loved to fix custard for his grandkids. I still remember the big wood stove and the good food he cooked for us. He had a 1924 Reo Truck that he would crank up so we would go cut firewood for cooking and heat. We rarely went to town. Grandpa had a big garden, some chickens, and ducks so we had our own food. A neighbor about a mile away had a cow so we would go there to get milk. We played in the woods and had some marvelous times. We went to see my grandpa for about 3-4 years.

I see him for the last Time in 1949 I loved him so much. In 1949, just before I went into the army I drove my car to Seattle to see him for the last time. We had a wonderful visit. He gave me $20. I told him he didn't need to, but he said "I don't get to spend any of my money these days." He was quite old then and not in good health. He could just walk with a cane. I walked with him to the store slowly and had a chance to thank him for those wonderful years and all that he taught me about being a man and honestly. I sure three boys 5, 6 and 7 were a great deal of trouble for him. He took us many places and taught us so many things about life. Not long after he died while I was in Korea in the war.