Boomer and three friends, Chuck Manoyan, Slicker Mauers, and Babe Brearton want to escape the 1929 Great Depression, so they head west in a used sedan only to discover the predicament is everywhere. The account begins as Boomer Ryan and his pals experience a series of adventures and misadventures throughout Texas, Arizona, California and Nevada.
Homesick and broke they are essentially honest men from good homes who sometimes find themselves among dishonest people who enjoy making life miserable for others. Hey work at odd jobs, discover their car stolen, are arrested for vagrancy and face a small town kangaroo court.
Tired after a hard day’s work, Boomer and one of friend Chuck hitch-hike a ride only to find them unjustly arrested for a crime (car theft) they did not commit. The actual thief, a local resident is not arrested, but Boomer Ryan and his companion Chuck Manoyan without benefit of an attorney, are convicted and sent to state prison.
After several oppressive months in prison Ryan and Manoyan are freed and return home. They work as cab drivers and several odd jobs while working their way through college. Ryan begins a distinguishing career as an aeronautical engineer while Manoyan graduates form law school, and successfully pursues a political career. Ryan accepts an invitation to study rocket science in Germany
The advent of WW II changes things; Ryan and Manoyan change also. They expand their careers; look for marriage and a home. One misgiving secret will haunt Ryan perpetually; he suspects his cousin may be a murderer, but he eventually resolves the dilemma he faces.
Library of Congress