Page 69 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneMy Father — Living By His WitsIt was during The Great Depression and in the dead of winter with much snow and ice on the roofs. My parents were married at the time and there wasn’t any food in the house and my father was still working as a roofer.He went to the office of the roofing company where he worked and as he walked in, the bosses were sitting in front of a wood burning pot-belly stove playing checkers. “Any work?” my father asked. “No work,” was the reply. My father then walked out and placed a ladder against the wall and climbed up on the roof. He had picked up a tin can along the way and placed it over the smoke stack for the pot-belly stove that was in the office. He then climbed back down and went into the office and proceeded to watch the office fill up with smoke and the bosses started to hack and cough. My father then said, “Looks like something is blocking the chimney. For ten dollars I could take a look and probably fix it.” With that, the bosses said, “OK.”My father then went out, climbed back up the ladder and sat down and smoked a cigarette. When he thought that it was enough time, he removed the tin can, climbed back down and went into the office. He then said, “There was a bunch of twigs and such blocking the smoke stack and I cleaned it out.” With that, they gave him the ten dollars and he returned home and gave it to my mother for food.69

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