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Raoul Hashimoto

Editor-in-waiting

Raoul was born at a very early age somewhere in New York City. He was placed on the doorstep of one of the organizations that took in the unwanted children of factory workers.

When maximum capacity at the home was reached, this home would place their charges on one of the orphan trains that were sent out West. The reasoning was that life on the farm was a happy and healthy life.

The name Raoul came from a handbill advertising a French restaurant that someone had placed on the building's door. The wind blew it to where the name Raoul appeared just below the baby's chin. Since Raoul was born with a full set of teeth and a tattoo of a mermaid embracing an anchor - he frightened the staff. He was placed on the first train out. The ten-car train grew smaller as it went further west. It was down to five cars when it reached Ft. Worth and by the time the train reached Marfa only Raoul was left - in the baggage car.

People at the station who were there to adopt a family were shown Raoul. One disappointed couple after another came to the various depots only to find Raoul was the only "child" left. They peeked into Raoul's little box that someone had thoughtfully punched some breathing holes in the top of.

They always thanked the express-car man and they always said the same thing: "We don't need a family that bad". He was taken home by the railroad agent and fed table scraps. The man's wife was less than overjoyed. While the adopted father slept, his wife basted the babe in animal fat, placed him in a wicker basket and left him out for the Coyotes. When the telegrapher woke and asked about Raoul the wife replied that he had died suddenly during the night and she had buried him. She had some explaining to do the next night when the man was sitting on his porch and a coyote came up the path and dropped off Raoul.

Raoul was sent to San Francisco "accidentally" in a load of laundry. It was a common practice at the time to send laundry out on the Westbound train. It was in San Francisco that he was taken in by a Chinese family who gave him to Japanese neighbors named Hashimoto who had recently lost a child. They took pity on the 60 pound infant that was half as big as they were and did their best to raise him.


John Troesser
January 2002

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