Riding The Rails by: jimmy fitzgerald

My name is Jon Burger, I am 17 years old, my father has recently lost his job at the factory. My mother has always stayed at home and did chores around the house ans help out his my younger siblings. I have 2 younger brothers and 1 sister. Father has no more money, he has lost it all. He will never get a dime back. That was when I decided to leave. I thought that it would put less of a burden on my parents, it is one less mouth to feed.

When I left home, I hugged and kissed my family goodbye, and I walked, I didn't know where I was going. I always wanted to go to the city and see what was there. So that was my destination, go to the big city of New York. I didn't think that it was as nearly as long as thought. I thought I would be there in just a day or two. But it took much longer than that. I must have walked for five days straight it felt like. But I thought that it would finally be worth it all when I got there. I finally arrived to New York City. It was much bigger than I imagined, one thing that I noticed was that there were many homeless people lying on the ground, begging for food. Wandering around in filth. I had to find a way to get some food and my own money. I looked around and everything was closed. Nothing was open. It was hopeless here. No one stopped to ask you if you needed any help or asked where you were going. Everyone fought only themselves.

I had to get out and find some sort of entertainment. I've been filled with negativity for the past several days. I walked around the city some more to find if there was anything, until I found the movie theater. I had no clue what was showing but I was very interested to see what was in there. I made my way in until I was stopped at the front door. The man that stopped me told me that I had to pay 25 cents to get in. I needed to find a quarter somewhere, I had no money for anything. I walked around the streets of New York City and asked if anybody had some spare change or if they could just lend me some money. I lied and said that I would pay them back but no one cared. I walked around for another hour, and right before I lost hope and stopped searching, an old man came up to me and asked if I needed any money, he said that he saw me looking around and asking people. He noticed that I looked desperate. He gave me five dollars! When I first saw that money I thought that this man was rich! but he said that that was the last of his money. I said that I wouldn't take if from him, he needs it more than I do. He kept refusing, he kept telling me that he doesn't need that money anymore. I couldn't just leave him there with nothing, but he just refused and told me that he doesn't want it. I was in shock, i couldn't believe that this man was going to give me money and asked for nothing in return. So I took the money and ran off into the theater. That was probably one of the best times of my life. They had music, actors, and so much more. I must have had the time of my life in there. I never saw that old man again. He saved my life, he gave me entertainment, food. That was all I needed to survive.

While I tried to make some sort of living in New York City. I have only been living on scraps in the streets. When I got really hungry, I ate the dead animals in the roads that no one has picked up yet. Every night I would have to sleep on the benches, that is only if I am lucky. It didn't feel safe at night when I was about to go to sleep. I heard every night that there have been murders over the night. Everyday that I wake up I feel lucky to be alive. All around me I have ti see people everyday beg for food and starve to death. It haunted me every night.

After some months of depression I started losing hope, this was nothing that I could have ever imagined. But then I heard of the CCC, they promised that as long as we did work that they would send 25 dollars to my family back home and give me 5 dollars to spend for myself. There was no way that I would let up an opportunity like this. I had to do it. So I signed up and got to work. we had to work so much, but the other people there that I was working with. We all got along and worked very nicely together, we all bonded very quickly. My family sent me letters from home saying thank you and that they miss me. I would write back saying i miss them too. I worked there for years and it all really paid off.

When I finally got done with the CCC I went back home to my family. My dad finally got a job and some factory and I got a job too. We never had lots of money most of the time, but it was just enough to put food on the table.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.