A Land so Fair and Bright; The True Story of a Young Man's Adventures across Depression America

A Land so Fair and Bright; The True Story of a Young Man's Adventures across Depression America

by Russ Hofvendahl, Russ Hofvehdahl
     
 

Hofvendahl's travels at 16 seem right out of Woody Guthrie. When he jumped ahip in 1938, he headed east through Canada, south to New Orleans via New York, and across to San Francisco. He rode the rails often, and here he tells of catching freights on the fly, of panaoramas viewed from side-door pullmans or from open gondolas snaking down California peaks. There

Overview

Hofvendahl's travels at 16 seem right out of Woody Guthrie. When he jumped ahip in 1938, he headed east through Canada, south to New Orleans via New York, and across to San Francisco. He rode the rails often, and here he tells of catching freights on the fly, of panaoramas viewed from side-door pullmans or from open gondolas snaking down California peaks. There were also times without shelter, food, or water...A rare and exhilarating true-life tale. Booklist

Editorial Reviews

San Jose Mercury News
Those who survived the Depression never forgot it. Veterans selling apples on street corners. Women taking in washing to survive. Children going without lunch. But along with the bitter memories come the sweet. It was a time when a hungry traveler appearing at the back door of a house might get a job, or at least a glass of cold water. A period when the homeless weren't seen as eyesores, but as neighbors who'd fallen on hard times. Campbell attorney Russell L. Hofvendahl remembers those times well. A San Francisco 15-year-old with a strong case of wanderlust and a pressing need of a job he worked on a four-masted schooner, a story he told in 1983's Hard on the Wind. Now, in A Land So Fair and Bright, he tells what happened when he stepped ashore. Hofvendahl liked sailing, a lot. But he didn't much like his new berth as a messman on a Swedish freighter. So, with a friend, he jumped ship in Canada in 1938 and set out to find his fortune working the wheat harvest. At $1 a day, the fortune wasn't there to be found. But what Hofvendahl did discover was life as a Knight of the Road a hobo. Riding boxcars, hitching rides and tramping on foot he crossed the continent twice. In North Dakota he bluffed his way into a job driving a team of horses and almost lost his life. In New York he found a job as a clothes presser, and a romance. Crossing the Southwest, he had to be careful to elude police, railroad thugs and violent drifters. Yet almost everywhere, he found trusting people, willing to help. This is a wonderful tale of one boy's coming of age and a country and a life that may never be again.
Booklist
Hofvendahl's travels at 16 seem right out of Woody Guthrie. When he jumped ship in 1938, he headed east through Canada, south to New Orleans via New York, and across to San Francisco. He rode the rails often, and here he tells of catching freights on the fly, of panoramas viewed from 'side-door Pullmans' or from open gondolas snaking down California peaks. There were also times without shelter, food, or water....A rare and exhilarating true-life tale
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At age 16 in 1938 Hofvendahl ( Hard on the Wind ) shipped out from his native San Francisco on a merchant vessel headed north. The pay was low and the workload enormous, so he and a Danish fellow sailor jumped ship in Canada and went east, looking for work harvesting grain in the prairie provinces. They were caught by U.S. immigration authorities right after they had crossed the border, and Hofvendahl's companion was sent to New York to be deported. The author made his way to New York where he worked for awhile, then journeyed back to the Bay Area via a southern route. Along the way he learned the rules of the road, traveled with many fine companions, met several willing women and, above all, encountered kindness and generosity from people who had little to give but seemed always ready to share. A heartwarming tale. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780924486104
Publisher:
Sheridan House, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/25/1991
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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