Friday, December 11, 2015

Ernie Margheim: My First Job with the Ochs family and my Truck Driving Lessons

Left to right: Lydia (Ochs), Lefa, Alfred, Lavern,
Ernest and Mollie Margheim
Mollie's sons are Alfred and Ernest.
Lydia's children are Lefa and Lavern. 
Excerpt from an email Ernie Margheim wrote to me in March, 2008, when he was 86 years old. He was forwarding an obituary to me of Florence Ochs, wife of Paul Ochs. Her memorial at Find-a-Grave can be found here.

I wanted to add some comments on this obituary. Working for the Paul Ochs family was probably my first job other than helping Uncle Jake (Margheim) for harvest. 

The Ochs family owned one of the grain elevators in Hoisington. I worked four places with that family. I washed the train smoke off their office windows. The office was by the elevator right next to the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks, so that smoke film was something to deal with! The Ochs family also had a produce warehouse with fresh vegetables, potatoes, lettuce, the whole gamut. I worked in the warehouse trimming vegetables from the crates, then I rode with Paul Ochs on the delivery truck, making deliveries to the grocery stores, including stores in Russell (KS). Then they also had a hardware store on Main Street in Hoisington. I worked in the store dusting stuff, counting stuff during inventory time, etc. Paul paid me $3.50 each week. He was really nice to me and helped me known "how to" on jobs that I'd never done before. He gave me good "job learning experience".

One time they had purchased a used truck in Ellinwood (KS). I had NEVER driven a truck. I could drive the folks' car, however. When I was a sophomore in high school, Paul took me to Ellinwood and had me drive their purchased used OLD truck to Hoisington, via north of Ellinwood to Claflin and then to Hoisington. (See map below). It was a new experience for me. I was VERY, VERY CAREFUL. I think that was my first DOUBLE CLUTCHING experience. 
I was NEVER a truck driver. But I had to LEARN in the Army. Those GMC (Jimmy) 6x6 were a hunk to handle. Six wheel drive. We had stream crossing exercises and I was also towing a trailer and the back of he truck was full of other GIs. I had it in six-wheel drive to go down a steep hill, and cross the river about three feet deep, and getting out of the water it was a steep hill again going up. Being in six-wheel drive it was just creeping, but somehow, maybe with thedouble clutching, I stalled getting out of the water. Hmmmmm! I was in a hot seat. I finally got it started again and made it through the exercise. I probably tried to shift gears, but probably should just have it creep until I got on the top of that hill. But the training included learning to shift gears with that double clutching.     
George and Lydia (Ochs) Margheim, married 9 Nov 1919 
Lefa (1920-1990) and Lavern (1922-1947) Margheim
 Note from Becky:
As I read of Dad's work experience with Paul Ochs, I wondered if Paul might be related to Lydia Ochs, who married George Margheim, my dad's uncle. A picture of Lydia with my dad and his mother and brother is shown at the top of this story. By researching on Family Tree I discovered that Paul was a cousin of Lydia. And since Lydia was married to my dad's uncle, her children were cousins of my dad. I've create a couple of charts to illustrate this. 

I could easily have read Dad's email and learned of his first work experience with the Ochs family, as well as his experience learning to drive the Army trucks, but discovering the relationships between those mentioned in his email has made it more relevant and meaningful. I encourage my readers to "dig a little deeper" when learning the stories of our ancestors. I know Dad would agree!

No comments: