Dusty & Big-Grin
Dusty and “Big-Grin” Johansson have been partners for several years now. They share everything; food, work, and even the bedroll. How they formed their association is a long story, but if you have the time I’ll tell it.
B.G. made his fortune shipping freight on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and lost it in the crash of ’29. What little he didn’t lose, his wife took when she left him for a Chicago nightclub owner.
That was pretty much the final straw for Johansson; he caught a
west-bound with just the clothes on his back. That was a few years ago and his possibles haven’t increased a whole lot.
The aspen leaves were just starting to turn when Big Grin found a couple days work on a small farm outside Denver. Digging spuds wasn’t B.G.’s favorite work but he did have a fondness for tater soup. Each night he was allowed to bed down in the barn with the animals. Alfalfa hay is the Waldorf Astoria of hobo bedding; soft, clean, and so fresh smelling you can’t help but have sweet dreams.
One rainy night the farmer’s dog brought her litter of pups inside the barn. Farmers have little use for more than one good dog at a time, so pups are not generally considered an asset. Next morning the dog and her pups were long-gone; except for one little mutt who had taken shelter inside Big Grin’s bedroll.
That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
B.G. named him Dusty because each evening when they bed down for the night he would be all dusty from the days travel.
This is the anniversary of their partnership; each year they celebrate the day with a fine dinner; just “Big-Grin” and Dusty.