This past June the seventh I turned 78 years old. Looking back at my life there has been some good times and bad times.
I recall how I got my class A driver’s license and started driving a dump truck for Val Verde County pct.2 at that time I recall that Thomas Rose was the County Commissioner had a place where we stayed during the week. It was located about a mile past the store at Loma Alta Tx. You could not really call it a house, there was no inside plumbing, no water inside, there was only two rooms. One was the kitchen area with a table with six chairs and a wood stove. The other room was wide open
with cots where we slept.
In the summer time you would sweat so bad and be so hot you could not sleep and then in the winter it was so cold at night you had to sleep with your clothes on and with all of the quilts and blankets you could stand. If it was 30 degrees in Del Rio it was 20 degrees in the area where we were. Outside the kitchen door which by the way was the
only door it had there was a faucet where you could drink water or wash up whatever the case might be.
We worked on county roads from what they called the lower county road all the way up to the county line going towards Sonora Tx.
I enjoyed working outside and I enjoyed learning to drive the dump truck but I hated the place where we had to stay.
I would argue with the foreman that the county should be ashamed of themselves allowing those living conditions.
Years later they built a new place up off of the highway and although I never saw it, I heard it was really set up good.
I started off as a dump truck driver but later on the county bought a Caterpillar front end loader and the person that was the operator did not follow instructions and got hurt. When we got him to the hospital here in Del Rio, he told the foreman he would not go back. They offered it to me and I took it. Once I learned the do’s and do nots it was a hell of a machine it was fun.
There were a few things that happened during the time I worked there. One time we were eating lunch along side of a county road and a group of men that were not here legally stopped and ask for water. We gave them water and gave them food. They talked among themselves that they were going to rob us and take one of the dump trucks. I understood what they said and made some excuse to get something out of the truck and went and got a 22 rifle we carried for snakes. They
took off running and I shot up in the air and let them go.
One time I was loading the dump trucks with caliche and I dug up a nest of copper head snakes, they started crawling up on the machine and I had to get off of the loader and get inside a truck. We had to use gasoline to get rid of them and we quit using that pit. There was another time we came to work and when I opened the cab to get inside the loader there was a bobcat. He jumped at me and I moved and he hit on my shoulder and kept going.
On every other Friday we would work until 3 o’clock and then drive in to Del Rio and sit on the grass at the court house and wait for the foreman to come out with our checks. It was not a lot of money but I was young and thought I was rich. I was off every weekend to play music and live life such as it was.
I have lived in Del Rio all my life and as my life is coming to the end. I feel it more every day I give thanks to god that I was born and raised in Del Rio Texas. How much more time do I have only god knows but I am
proud to say that Del Rio Texas is my home town. Stay safe and take care of yourself and your family. God bless. Thanks to the Val Verde County Library and Victor Cirilo.