Saturday, September 10, 2005

Arrival of the Detroit-kies

September 10, 1947
Santa Monica

For nearly a week, a broken truck has been parked just off Wilshire Blvd. Inside it, always inside it, Mr. Samuel C. Pirkey and his five tots, ages 2 through 10.

The family came out from Detroit in their "covered wagon" in hopes of finding work and housing, but the truck broke down before they found either. Mom was able to get a temporary gig at a cannery in the Valley, leaving dad to putter with the truck and watch the kids all day. By night, they all cram into their wheeled studio apartment, and dream of the California paradise they imagined while on the road.

1 comment:

Larry said...

There are some obstacles that even love cannot overcome, or so David Everett has discovered. The 30-year-old mechanic is in critical condition at Torrance General Hospital after shooting himself in the head and neck in despondency over his frustrated love for his 17-year-old first cousin Janet. And yes, she lives in a trailer park.

Everett is the man who was handing out $100 tips the other day after withdrawing all his money from the bank. Not just to Flora Killingsworth for bringing him ham and eggs, but to 15-year-old newsboy Edward Grant for a nickel paper, and to a cabdriver who took him to Glendale. To top it off, Everett ripped up some $100 bills and threw them in the street.

According to Hermosa Beach Police Chief Jack Harlow, Everett considered himself engaged to young Janet. He went to call on her at the family trailer but got into an argument with his uncle R.S. Everett, who is Janet’s father. When his uncle refused to let Everett see his intended—because of her age and because they were first cousins—Everett fired two shots at him and then tried to commit suicide.

The Times never followed up on this story, and public records don’t list a death for David Everett in 1947, so he apparently lived through his ordeal. Harlow said that despite Everett’s generosity, he still had $1,100 when he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.