I was born in Othello, Washington, and we lived there until I was in the first grade, six years old.
A memorable character from Othello Washington was Shorty. He was called Shorty, because he had no legs. He would transport himself by using his arms, pushing his body up and then swinging forward. In this manner he could travel fairly quickly. I have a faint memory that he also sometimes used a creeper to get around. I asked Mom about this and she said only when he worked on cars, which is what everyone uses a creeper for. I do not ever remember seeing him in a wheel chair. Nor do I ever remember him begging or asking for a hand out. Things seemed to be different in those days. He worked. I know my father employed him on the farm. My Mom says he worked as a mechanic. He would even climb up on top of the engine to do his work. It was always a special treat to see Shorty in town when we might be that way with my mother. We would say, “There goes Shorty” or something to that effect. Mom couldn't remember Shorty's last name, or his true given name. Nor did she have any idea as to how he lost his legs. He was just Shorty, and he was a citizen of Othello, a community of 2000 at the time we lived there.