James San Jule's world disintegrated when the crash of 1929 ruined his father's oil land leasing business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. San Jule had enrolled at Amherst College and planned to go on to Harvard Law School. Instead the ex-millionaire's son rode the rails for two and a half years, gaining an education radically different from that which he had anticipated.
He ran away from home in 1930, partly because be did not want to be a burden on parents reeling from a crushing financial blow. Like other boys of his generation, he had read the books of Richard Halliburton, a young globe-trotting adventurer “bumming” his way around the world. In the long, dark winter of 1929-30, Hallibur-ton's exotic ideas captivated San Jule:
Delhi was a sort of terminus, a relay station where one re-ori-ented oneself and began again with new destinations. New enthusiasms! What was to come? Whither would the road to romance lead me? To Kabul-as I hoped-or to Argentina?
San Jule left home wanting to ship out and see the world. Reality came quickly to a “happy-go-lucky kid living the spoiled life” as he crossed the country at the onset of the Great Depression.
I was six years old when my mother and father moved from New York to Oklahoma in 1919. Father had been vice president of the Buick Motor Car Corporation in New York City, a man about