Dec.5-30 Six oclock and darkness has been over the desert for an hour and a half. The moon is shining full and save for the fore knowledge to the contrary one would think they were alone on the earth, the car broken down and watching now for over 3 hrs for a car on the highway without one passing, one can appreciate what others have gone thru, especially now that our food + water supply is getting dangerously low, and if we don’t connect with a car tomorrow one of us must start walking to Moapa for supplies and tube repair material; what a lot of grief a (this was crossed out: car can make after all) The loss of a small tube of cement can make.
Dec. 7-30 After a two day wait we were able to get a tube of cement from a car driven by two Indian trappers for which we paid 25c and which when opened proved to be almost empty. After three attempts we finally succeeded in getting the stem to hold air, and thinking all was now ready we stepted on the starter and lo the battery was dead; hailing a passing car (we were fortunate to see two cars in one day) Greg went to Moapa to get another battery. I have just eaten just about all the grub if Greg doesn’t get back today I will have to start for Moapa myself tomorrow morning. This desert life after nearly two weeks is getting frightfully monotonous especially now that I’ve been here alone The nearest water is 15 miles and I have grub enough for two more meals by using up all I have. I will surely appreciate some home made bread again as we have live almost entirely on hot cakes + din bobs since we came here two weeks ago. I can hardly realize that this is early Dec., except for a north wind that blows night + day the weather is fine, the days are almost hot but the nights are cold or what is considered cold, barely freezing. I wonder what luck Greg will have today and when we will leave here. Still I can wonder very long, for I must leave here tomorrow morning if he doesn’t come today, yet there is a certain fascination for this desert waste one feels awed at natures formidable claim of drouth + waste, which ever way I look I see gray sand and mesquite brush and low Mts in the offing, if I only had company.
5:30 P.m At last we are back in the states again having one of the most harrowing experiences in the desert; I am glad I made the trip now that it is over all tho had I known what was ahead of me before going, I don’t think I could have been induced to make the attempt. I hope I may say farewell to the desert all tho sometime when nature is in a relenting mood it may yet become a paradice.
transcription was copied word for word.
My grandfather, Leon Augustus Valentine, made this ‘adventure’ during
eras. Why he did I don’t know nor do I
know the final destination. The journal
stopped at “paradice”. I have done some research
and I believe the Indians he spoke of
were most likely the Paiutes. The
Indians and their dirt-poor and barren reservations were no better off. Although I do have to wonder about the “new Americas ”. Who knows?
I have read this journal many times and copied it three and each and
every time I get another picture in my head, another view of this grandfather
that I never knew but who was SO loved by his children! And how he could flower his words! Levis
The Moapa practiced irrigation agriculture before contact with Europeans. The Moapa suffered from Spanish slave raiders attacks in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
In 1869 the
They later suffered from decimation by disease in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1941, they organized with a formal constitution. In 1980 the
High rates of unemployment have plagued the reservation and caused some of the Moapa to relocate elsewhere.
An Excerpt From Hobo Jungle:
The name "Hobo" first started appearing in the early 1800's. Before the Civil War many hoboes had taken to the rails as a way of life. Around the time of the Civil War, railroads were being built a an astonishing rate and in the early 1870's there were between 50,000 and 60,000 miles of track interwoven throughout the United States. During the early days late 1880's a depressed economy was certainly prevalent, times were hard and hoboes took to the rails in great numbers, hitchhikers were also increasing, nobody had any money to go anywhere and pay the ticket to get there. By the 1930's this had grown to about 241,000 miles of track and the trains were running to all the bustling markets, Chicago, Michigan and from all points south to move raw goods to the industrial northern areas, hauling cattle grain and everything else imaginable. Some during the early days would say that the hobo was one into doing a lot of bad things, stealing and you name it., that they would derail trains and take over the entire train. But in the rural communities people would help them and give them jobs during the harvest time. Every hobo had a thing that he do real well, repair shoes, make wire fruit bowls and he sure could hoe a garden for a little something to eat. Many could play good music with a guitar or harmonica, or some other musical instruments. It was not uncommon to see a hobo standing in the rear of a house drinking a cup of coffee and eating a sandwich, standing up, then doing a little chore for the donor of the coffee and food. In around the time that World War 1 was raging and we were yet to join in the war, hoboes were running rampant, trying to get into a stable work force and maybe settle down and some did, but the number continued to grow.
By the 1920' the unsettling image was making a change , there were some very notable people that had rode the rails, among them Jack London, and author Carl Sandburg, they made it big in their field so many people took this to mean that there were some that had it all together and could make a go of it , without living around a bunch of trains. A clown made up as a hobo caught a lot of attention , what they really did was depict a way of life in
In 1932 the Bonus marchers arrived to pressure