He was born June 29, 1899 and raised in the wilderness of Eastern Oregon. So maybe it wasn't a surprise that Harold joined the Merchant Marines as a young man, intent on seeing the world.
And see it, he did!
He sailed the seas and followed his dreams, for over 50 years.
A friend of my parents, I saw him maybe once a year when I was a kid. He was very kind, and a really interesting person to know.
One of my earliest memories is of spiderwebs on his elbows. And they opened out when he bent his arms! He was covered with tattoos -- only his face, neck, and hands, were tattoo-free.
Harold had so many interests... life aboard ship was just one. Below he is ready to board the S.S. Dorothy Alexander, heading for Juneau, Alaska.
Fishing at sea looks exciting, too.... Harold is holding a skate, which is a type of shark! (Thank you Jim in Juneau!)
No, I don't think he saw the movie JAWS....
|Harold had a passion for the outdoors. Being raised in the mountains, he was a talented trapper and used to spend months at a time camped out. Especially in the winters -- trapping was another income for him when he was not at sea.|
The photo on the left was taken in February of 1937, at Elgin, Oregon, and he is holding $21.00 worth of fur!
L-R, Mink, Muskrat, Harold, Coyote
And on the right ..... is his 1930 Model Henderson.
This photo was taken in June of 1932.
Harold was enroute to San Diego, CA
On August 25, 1948, at age 49, Harold married for the first and only time. Her name was Christina, she lived in Nicaragua, and although she was gorgeous, she spoke only Spanish and he
spoke only English! They never did learn each other's language -- just enough to get by, Harold told me. I guess it was, they were really a very happy couple. |
One other thing Harold did for his entire life, was COLLECT stuff. He collected and saved everything from Oriental artifacts to junk mail. I'm not kidding. He had a small piece of property in the town I live in, and since he only came here about once a year, he used it for storage. After he passed through this world Christina couldn't begin to haul all the 'stuff' out of that little house.... She gave up and left a bunch of it with me. Stuff like postcards from all over the world ... a library full of the most wonderful books ... and yes, a lot of that junk mail too, all tied up in neat little bundles, in the loveliest seaman's knots...
Fascinating stuff. All of it. I've shared it with a lot of folks now, but none of it found it's way to the garbage. Hmmmm.... Guess I'm a bit like Harold. :)
The summer of 1983 was the last time I saw my childhood friend. He spent more time in Oregon that year than usual, and we had the most wonderful visit. He spent hours and hours telling me tales of his worldly wanderings... did you ever read the book or see the movie, Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Harold's life reminded me of that story... there wasn't much he hadn't done or many places he hadn't gone. He certainly had a captive audience in me.
Harold Marquis Hough is one of my most cherished memories. When he left this world he left a lot of himself with me.... these historical postcards I want to share with you. I hope you get as much enjoyment from them as I have!