Bad Luck with the San Angelo Mail Route

G.M.C. "Cade" Massey

G.M.C. “Cade” Massey

My grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, moved to San Angelo, Texas to run the Star Route mail run, just as San Angelo experienced a rare rainy season. The severe weather issues and road problems would cause him to give up the route sooner than contracted.

There had been no rain here in two years to speak of, and the roads had been good for dirt roads, But there were no pavements on the route; and when the rains began in October of that year And the roads became soaked with the moisture, My expense began sure enough..

And the weather never let up for over a year, and the roads were impassable for several days at the time. And when we could go at all; we were loaded to full capacity. And it would, and did, cause the mail to pile up till we had to make several extra trips to catch up with it. And the roads were worn out so badly that we were in deep ruts so much that it wore out the side walls of the tires, and they would blow out on the side walls; when the reads were as good seemingly as when they were new, and they (the tires) were so high that I soon spent all that I had ever saved and was several thousand dollars behind, and all of my equipment was worn out and the cars were either in a garage for repairs; or was down on the road…

I remember very well that the tires for those big cars, was costing about $75.00 apiece, and that when we had to run them in ruts that the side walls lasted about two weeks, and the cars were wearing fast, when they were put to such heavy and long service.

By this time I could see the handwriting on the wall. I knew that if the weather didn’t hold up that I was not going to go on without calling in the Bondsmen that had made it possible at the start that I could even bid on the contracts, and knowing now that it would have been for my good If they had turned me down, and refused me, going not on my bond. It made me sick at heart  to have to write them that I was going to have to have at least $3000.00 or that they were going to have to take over the route; Well that is just what I had to write them; and all at once they were here, and went out on the route with me, and they saw just what I had to do with; and just what I had to do; For every car that I had was either in a garage somewhere for repair; Or was down on the road but one, and that was a Ford; and was too light for the mail; for I could only handle the First Class mail and the daily papers with that light car.

Well after a few days here watching me and the movements of the mail, and seeing the need of more equipment to handle the Mail; They decided that they could take the Contract, and furnish the vehicles to move the mail; and hire someone to do the work; and save the day for them, And I found out that they were not looking out for me any further; So they spent over a 1000 dollars while they were here for a truck, and two Ford cars, and went on back home after arranging with me to carry on for two months, and they agreed to have some one here to take over at the end of two months, And sure enough they had two men here to take over; But they were not used to the job, and could not just step in; and carry on in the Express, and the passenger service, as I had and they were not able to retain me to get them acquainted with the affairs  of the business, and therefore they didn’t keep up with the business; and lost money from the start till the finish; And it caused the Bondsmen to lose another 5000 dollars besides what they were out when they came out to see me.

And what got me, was after the contract was over, and they knew just what it had cost them was, that they came back to me, and wanted me to sign a note to them for all that it had caused them to be out.

I had offered them to sign a note to them for the 3000 dollars that I wanted to be able to carry on; But as they had turned that down, and my promise to pay so that it would give me a chance to redeem myself from what debts that I could never hope to pay without the route; And it proved that I could have scratched out for the weather changed  about this time, so that the roads were passable; And I could have done well with the equipment that I had if I could have them repaired; and settled up with my creditors; so as to have been able to hold my head up till I could get BY.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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