blacklist because of his part in organizing a postwar strike in the Sun Shipyards of Chester, Pennsylvania. He had also walked off his brakeman's job on the Pennsylvania Railroad when his union, the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, called the 1922 strike. Now there was real unemployment in the valley and he was out of a job.
Pete resolved to break out of the dead end of working for wages and go into business for himself. Like generations of ambitious young men before him he looked to the West. He had read about the building of Boulder Dam and had the idea of forming a small construction company to haul gravel and other construction material. His father approved and made him a gift of the family Pontiac, a year's groceries and added a small sum of money to his son's life savings.
The venture was a failure. Competition for hauling jobs was severe and one day Pete discovered that the partner he had picked up in Las Vegas had skipped with money and trucks. He had kicked his way up into a business partnership and was promptly kicked out into the biggest depression in the world.
Once more he set out to hire himself out as a laborer. First, he tried the dam. Part of a battalion of jobless men, he made a daily trek to the employment office which was twenty miles out in the desert.
"We would start walking every night at seven o'clock," he recalled, "for it was impossible to walk by day under the blazing sun. At the employment office we found twenty men lined up for every job. I'll never forget the desert sunset and the look in the eyes of the men as we started back." It began to get worse. "They shoved us into boxcars and shipped us to another town, there again to be loaded into boxcars and shipped to further unemployment."
It went that way month after month. He stood on job lines and breadlines. He heard men in boxcars and around burning refuse curse Herbert Hoover and Wall Street and threaten vague vengeance. He knew that something had gone wrong in the country but he also wondered if something wasn't wrong with him.
Homesick and troubled, he began beating his way back East, meeting other men who were beating their way through the country and looking for a back door into the warmth of America. He heard stories like his own and his quick sympathy suffered long after the telling of these stories. Finally, anger against the depression-makers took up permanent residence in Pete Cacchione.
One night he swung off a freight in Sayre. He was unable to bring