11 August 2010
California Quotes: Crammers of Wheat
"It may be well in this place to say something briefly of country life in California. And the thing first to be said is that there is not another State in the Union where everything outside of city limits is so unrural, so contractor-like, so temporizing, so devoid of whatever is poetical, romantic and snug in the old farmer-life of our East. I did not see ten honest, hard-fisted farmers in my whole journey. There are plenty of city-haunting old bachelors and libertines who own great ranchos and lease them; and there are enough crammers of wheat, crammers of beans, crammers of mulberries, crammers of anything that will make their fortune in a year or two, and permit them to go and live and die in "Frisco". Then, for laborers, there are runaway sailors; reformed street thieves; bankrupt German scene-painters, who carry sixty pounds of blankets; old soldiers, who drink their employer's whiskey in his absence, and then fall into the ditch which they dug for a fence-row; all looking for "jobs" or "little jobs" but never for steady work."
From: Afoot and Alone: A Walk from Sea to Sea by the Southern Route, by Stephen Powers