Dad would truly “Walk a mile for a Camel.” He thoroughly enjoyed his Camel cigarettes. No other brand would do. Why at that time their advertisements stated, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Purchases were made by the carton.
Needless to say, Dad always knew how many packs of cigarettes he still had left. One day when Dad and Mom returned from town, he found some of his packs of cigarettes missing. Mom questioned him as to whether he had smoked more than he thought. “No, Kate, I didn’t smoke that many packs. Someone had to take some.”
Two weeks later, the same thing happened. This time they noticed that someone had come in through the cellar door while they were gone as the door was still wide open.
Then Dad decided to play detective. He sent Mom to town at the regular time with me, wearing his work hat and white shirt, driving their car. We headed down the road to Indian Camp as we didn’t plan on staying away too long just in case Dad needed help.
Before long, Dad heard someone pushing open the cellar door. Now was his chance to see who had been taking his cigarettes. He patiently waited at the top of the steps as he heard what sounded like young laughter.
When the door to the upstairs opened, there stood Dad to greet the intruders. They happened to be two neighbor boys who wanted something to smoke and of course, their parents would not permit that.
How surprised they were! He told them to come on upstairs and sit down in the living room. “Well, boys, should I call your parents? Will they approve of what you have done? You both know that stealing is wrong.”
“Oh, please, Rudy, don’t call them. We’ll be in big trouble. We promise never to take your cigarettes again if you don’t tell.”
Then Dad surprised them both by saying, “It will be our secret. If you ever want to smoke a cigarette, come over and ask me for one.”
When Mom and I came back to the house, Dad was sitting on the porch with a smile on his face. “I caught two young boys and taught them a lesson. I don’t think it will ever happen again.” He was hoping that might cure their desire to take things that didn’t belong to them…and it did!