Could you imagine being all alone in the world, without anyone to care about you? Having to figure out where your next meal will come from, or where you will spent the night? Unfortunately this is a reality for many children in the world, and this was the case of ten year old Bud Caldwell. Bud begins his search for family because he needs family. Although there are many reasons why everyone needs a family, I am going to list only three. Everyone needs family because family protects you from harm, family provides you with the basic needs, and family gives you love. No matter who you are, everyone needs family!
Everyone needs family because family protects you from harm. In the story Bud starts off in an orphanage which he’s been living in since he was six years old. Bud gets placed in his third foster home and gets in a big jam. The son of his new foster parents (Tod) is a bully and a spoiled brat! Bud gets beat up by Tod and gets blamed for something he didn’t do. The Amoses love his son to the point that they are blind to see that their son Tod is a real bad kid. The Amoses are mean to him and called him horrible names. They are selfish, vulgar, brutal, unkind, unsympathetic, and extremely mean to Bud. They represent everything a family shouldn’t be. Even if they thought Bud was hurting Tod, they should have been more compassionate to an orphan who had no one in the world. So they locked him up in a horrible shed, but he manages to break free and runs away. At first he wasn’t sure what to do and goes looking for Ms. Hill, the librarian to ask for advise on what to do. But when he finds out she is not there anymore, he decides not to go back to the orphanage because it wouldn’t do him any good. He figured that the people working at the orphanage didn’t even bother to remember the children’s names (So how much could they really care?), his best friend Bugs was on his way to Chicago, and he would probably just get sent to another abusing foster home. So “being on the lam” made more sense to him. That’s how he began his search for the man he thought was his father. He needed to find his father so that he could protect him.
Another reason that everyone needs family is because family provides you with your basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Throughout the story Bud didn’t know where he would get his next meal or where he would spend the night. Luckily for Bud, he meets good hearted people and loving families that help him while he was in need. One morning he was starving and he was late for breakfast at the Mission and a mean man sent him away. But a nice family let him cut the line pretending that he was their son, and he was so happy to spend time with them, his pretend family. Then when Bud goes to Hooverville, he meets many people that welcome him and his best friend Bugs. They fed them, and tried to help them get to Chicago (he was going there to find his father). Then he met Lefty Lewis who helps him when he was traveling through Owosso, Michigan (actually saves his life because black people were not allowed to walk through there at night, and he would probably have been killed). Lefty Lewis brings him home, and takes care of Bud by feeding him, & letting him stay for the night. Lefty Lewis’ daughter gives Bud clean clothes to wear. Lefty Lewis is a happy, generous, kind, loving, and funny man. He has a great relationship with his daughter and grandchildren. He is playful and jokes around with them. To him family is very important and this is why he was trying to reunite Bud and Herman E. Calloway (he believed Bud’s story that he ran away from his dad’s house). And when he gets to Grand Rapids, Mrs. Thomas invites him to join her for dinner, he gets to spend the night in his mom’s old bedroom and Mrs. Thomas cleans and changes him. He felt like he was in heaven!
Finally, everyone needs family because family gives you love. Bud is all alone in the world with no one to love him. The only thing left of family for Bud is a picture of his mother, some rocks with writing on them, and some fliers which he thinks are somehow connected to his father. He keeps all of these items and a blanket in his suitcase, which he always keeps by his side. He feels a certain connection and attachment to them because they were important to his mother. Bud remembers how carefully she had kept these fliers. He remembers the time when his mom saw the flier which showed Herman Calloway playing in Flint, and had become very upset. He remembers how much his mother loved him, how she read to him every night, and the way she took care of him when he was sick. He remembers how his mom told him his name was Bud, not Buddy. He remembers and now understand what she meant by “when one door closes, another one opens”. This helps him not to give up and keep on going. Bud is looking for his dad because he wants someone to love and wants someone to love him. He was so desperate for family that he even becomes pretend brothers with Bugs (even though it didn’t last too long).
When Bud finally meets the person he believes is his dad, Herman E. Calloway’s reaction is not what Bud was expecting. Bud was dissappointed that the man he though was his father was so old and grumpy! To him Herman Calloway was a grumpy, untrustful, mean, old man. Bud later finds out through Ms. Thomas that Herman Calloway is not his father, but his grandfather! He also finds out that Calloway had loved Bud’s mom so much, but had been very hard on her because he just wanted to prepare her for her negro life. Once when she was a little girl ( 5 years old) Herman asked Bud’s mom what she wanted from his trip to Chicago and she said “ A wock daddy, bring me back a wock”, and ever since then even when she was gone, Herman would still bring home the rocks after each trip. He also showed he loved his daughter because he left her room the way it was when she was a kid. We learned from Ms. Thomas that he is the way he is, because he doesn’t like to show his feelings, that he has high standards and he just doesn’t want to be let down. Deep inside Calloway is really a kind person (he lets people live in his house, and takes care of stray dogs). His actions show that family is important to him. Family is also important to Ms. Thomas. We know that Ms. Thomas loved Bud’s mom because she spoke kindly of her. She also had kept a picture of Bud’s mom for the past eleven years. From the moment she saw Bud, she was kind and caring towards him.
Everyone needs family and that includes Bud Cadwell. Family doesn’t mean just a mom, dad and siblings. Family is anyone who shows that they care for you, that they will be there for you when you need them. The band, Herman Calloway, and Ms. Thomas are “like a huge big family” and Ms. Thomas is the mother figure. They all live together in one big house, work together, help each other, and take care of each other. The band members and Ms. Thomas welcomed Bud into their lives, even before they knew he was Calloway’s grandson. It shows that they are loving, generous, and kind. Bud had began his search for his father but now he has an “expanded family” since the band and Miss Thomas are part of it too. He would now not only have a grandfather, he would also have a mom figure and “uncles”. Ultimately Bud felt safe, taken care of, and most importantly, he finally had a family of his own to love, and who would love him back!