As soon as the school year ended in June 1940, Jim set off to join the RCAF. The nearest RCAF recruiting office was in Saskatoon, 90 miles away along a gravel road. Jim planned to hitchhike to save money, and fortunately he soon got a lift that took him most of the way. He walked the last 10 miles. Jim had enough money with him for supper and an inexpensive hotel room. By the end of the interview and tests, Jim was feeling pretty confident about how well he’d done.
It was too late in the day for Jim to start for home. He had only enough money for supper and one more night in the hotel; he didn’t have anything left for travel or for breakfast. The next morning, with an empty stomach, he started walking home. This time, no one would stop to pick him up. By dinner hour, he’d reached the town of Borden, about 40 miles north of Saskatoon. Jim went into a roadside restaurant and asked for a drink of water. When the proprietor noticed how tired and worn out Stocky appeared, he offered him a cup of coffee. Not only did the man serve Stocky dinner, but he also lent him $3.75 for bus fare home to Battleford. Stocky later repaid him the money.
Adapted from: Hehner, Barbara. Desert Hawk: The True Story of Stocky Edwards, World War II Flying Ace (Kindle Locations 59-61). HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition.