What would you do if you found a vintage, broken rolltop desk on the side of the road?
My father, Frank Claycomb, and his good friend, Otto Eickhoff, did find one that had obviously fallen off a vehicle. They, of course, picked up all the pieces and brought them home. It took a while, but they put it all back together and here they are posing with the rebuilt rolltop desk. 1989.
I found an unused pack of business cards for Dad. Anaconda, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dad never transferred to the Cincinnati office.
He worked for Anaconda in St. Louis, transferred to Detroit, and again to Los Angeles. The family lived on Stanley Hills Drive in Hollywood in 1939 and during the Second World War. Not an easy time, but they liked the Southern California winters more than those in the Midwest.
Dad left Anaconda when they wanted to transfer him to Cincinnati. He took a job in San Diego with Pacific Wholesale Electric Company in 1945. I was born in San Diego rather than Ohio.
Another applicant for a teaching position in the Wayne, Nebraska, school district. Lillie Scott wrote on May 21, 1923. She even enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope, which sadly was not returned to her.
In the 1950s and 1960s Dad’s best friend was Jim Humphries. Jim, his wife Thelma, Mom, and Dad spent a lot of time together – golfing, traveling, swimming, eating, and playing cards. Dad and Jim would bet on anything. Not serious addictive gambling, but nickel and dime gambling. Maybe a quarter bet and one would pick a corner in the Friday Night Fights before they knew which boxer they had bet on. And all the winnings from all the games went into a pot. That pot paid for many of those dinners and vacations – but that’s another story.
Jim was handsome, charming, and funny. His drink was a martini. His dinner order in a restaurant was always NY steak and baked potato.
Dad was devastated when Jim died. In a letter to my brother he wrote “This man had a real influence in my life and I believe all of you were influenced by him also… It was an unusual friendship Jim and I had – I don’t believe we ever shook hands – we didn’t need to… Everybody should look for and find a friendship like our during your lifetime.”
On his calendar 7 August 1970, Dad noted “I lost a real, genuine friend today – Jim Humphries passed away this afternoon at McCain’s ranch near Jacumba. It was his 8th heart attack – he had never really recovered from his 7th attack on Easter Sunday this year. He was scheduled to go for tests at Sharp hospital on 8/18/70 to see about open heart surgery. “Everybody that knew him and I mean everybody, will miss this man.”
Dad had many friends, but never one as close as Jim.