I've had an interest in Characters, and I've known a few, in my time. I've even been called one, a time or two. I think the most interesting Character I ever met was a small black man, I knew was at Ellensburg. The only name, I ever heard him called, at that time, was Friday. Some time in the mid-thirties, he bought himself a huge, eight cylinder, Hupmobile Sedan, and did he keep that car shining? It was 10 or 15 years old. Those early day sedans had a lot of head room, which was customary, at that time. In fact, when I was in aircraft school, in 1929, there was a 16 White, touring car, stored in the same building as the school. The top was so high that I, being 5' 6″ tall, could stand up straight, in back of the front seat.
We had heard that Friday was living in his car but thought nothing of it. One morning Friday drove his car into the Auto Electric Shop, where I worked, and asked me if we could fix it. On inspection, we found just about every wire in sight, around the front and under the hood, was cut. He was reluctant to reveal what had happened but we finally got the story from him. It seemed that he was sleeping in the car, over on a back street, when in the middle of the night the horn started blowing. He got up and rapped on the horn but to no avail. Finally he got his pocket knife and cut the wires to the horn, which didn't do any good so he kept cutting wires until a police car drove up and rapped on the horn, on the car just in front of his, and the noise stopped. His car was not at fault.
Years later, after we opened the shop in Ephrata, a colored man came in soliciting funds for a Mission, in Seattle. In our conversation, Ellensburg, some 60 miles way, was mentioned, and I asked him if he knew that fellow, Friday, and he admitted that he was the man. I apologized for having called him Friday and asked him for his proper name. I found it to be Charles George, which I used very carefully, from then on. Actually, the name, Friday, was not all that derogatory. He had been a Handy-.man and worked for a lot of people. He remembered the incident of the horn blowing but not the humor of it. He called on us for many years. He was a odd little fellow. One hot summer day he showed up in our shop wearing a heavy winter over-coat. I asked him how he could stand it and he answered that the coat insulated him from the heat. I couldn't understand his logic but he said, “You don't see me sweating, do you? And not only the coat but I have a pair of long-john underwear on, as well. I keeps the heat out. These young bucks that go around with hardly any cloths on, are going about it, the wrong way.” I could hardly argue the point, though he didn't have me convinced enough to try it..
It was just after we had landed a man on the moon and he would, in no way believe it had been done. I said I had watched it on TV, but he that you can't believe everything you see on TV. He said, just recently, he had seen a girl come out of a bottle, on TV, ( I Dream of Genie.) I asked why he didn't believe it and he said, ( “The moon is in God's Heaven and there ain't nobody going there and come back again.” I tried to explain the difference between the a
atmospheric and the Celestial Heaven, but he was no more convinced than I was about insulating from the heat. Maybe we were both, like they say about Texans, “You can always tell a Texan, but not very much.”