COBWEB CORNERS: A breakfast story
By Mel McFarland
I have for you an interesting tale of a breakfast. It seems one morning this fellow stopped by the Colorado Avenue home of a lady who took in boarders. It was early enough that she was still serving breakfast, but most of the boarders had already eaten and started their day. The fellow appeared respectable. He informed the lady that he and a partner roomed nearby and that they were carpenters engaged on a house being erected in the area. He said that they would like to find a place to have their meals. They would come by at noon, pay for the meals in advance. The conversation included all of the expected negotiations, save a few. After the arrangements were completed, he remarked that he had not yet had breakfast, as he was waiting for a load of lumber to arrive, and while he waited could he take a meal? The lady consented and he enjoyed an ample meal. Then he sat down and read the morning paper and chatted pleasantly about the weather and other events with the lady. After nearly an hour he left.
At the noon meal, the man and his partner never showed up. Nor for the next two days. In the afternoon of the third day, after they again failed to show for their lunch, she marched over to the construction site to find the two. The men at work on the house were quite entertained, but had to tell her there were no two such men working there.
It seems she had been taken in by a shrewd tramp. He may have been riding on the trains that passed down in the Midland yards; those tracks were not far away. Not to worry about the lady. She probably told the tale many times, because this happened in the late 1890s.
Times have changed; we do not have many places that take in boarders. If someone turned up at your door looking for a place to get a steady hot lunch, you would probably direct them to the 7-11, Wendy's or McDonald's, then, once they were gone, perhaps make a call to the police station.
One more little thing: I suppose hobos were more of a problem over on the south side of the tracks, but the bigger, finer houses were on Colorado and Pikes Peak.