A recent “Look Back” told of three boys who ran away from home with a stash of cash. Here’s what happened.
When Paul Yoculan ran away from home with friends 68 years ago, he was stunned to see his picture on the front page of the Erie Daily Times.
He was stunned again to read about the exploit in the Erie Times-News on March 18. The daily Look Back feature, about Erie’s past, retold in brief the story of the three boys, ages 11, 12 and 14, who ran away in March 1950 with a stash of cash that belonged to one of their dads.
Paul, now 82, was one of those boys. He called this past week to tell me more, and how the story ended.
The boys came from broken homes. When one of their dads sold his business, the boys decided that the “money, cached in a cigar box hidden in a clothes closet,” according to the 1950 newspaper, would finance new lives.
“We had no idea how much money there was,” Yoculan said. “I probably had $1.75 in my pocket.”
The third boy had about $2, he said.
Together, they bought bus tickets, got off at “the first stop,” in Meadville, hired a cab and checked into the David Mead Inn.
“Mike, the oldest of us, had the gift of gab,” Paul said. “He gave them a story that we were waiting for our grandmother to pick us up there.”
In a big, “kind of scary” room with banging noises coming from an air duct all night, the boys finally opened the cigar box.
“There were a bunch of tens, then twenties — a lot of those — then fifties — a lot of those, then a…