Prune picker

Prune picker is a Depression Era term for a native Californian. It was not a complement. In the thirties when I was a boy there were times that I was the only prune picker in a group. Everyone else had been born somewhere else.

My posts are placed down the left column. Personal data is placed in the right column along with a list of blogs I check and a listing of my past posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My cousin was a Senator of The Republic of Texas.

When Texas was annexed by the United States in 1846 a Munson was there. In Volume II of the five volume set of The Munson Record on page 871 the following is written.

Henry J Munson b 26 Jun 1807 d 11 Aug 1863.
Received a Medical degree from Fairfield Medical College,
He practiced in several cities. The last was in Caldwell, Texas.
He was a Senator in the The Republic of Texas when Texas became part of the United States.



The citizens of The Republic of Texas were called Texians. Henry was one. Caldwell is close to College Station. I will be driving through College Station on the way to San Antonio next week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gone To Texas.

Have you ever heard that old expression? Starting early in the 19th century many people moved from the East and the North to settle in Texas. They would paint "Gone To Texas" on their abandoned homes and fences so people would know where they were.

Well next week I will be writing that phrase on my trailer and blog. But it is only temporary. I will be back the following week. I did enjoy my ten years of living in Texas and am excitedly looking forward to my visit to San Antonio.


Between walks to the Alamo I will be attending lectures at the FGS Conference. The Conference will be held at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center.

In 1985 (my last year of working) I attended an oilfield convention in this building. It will be interesting to see it 30 years later. My how time flies! I will ride a river boat again.






Monday, August 18, 2014

(Widower 35) My corkscrewed esophagus caused my brain to bleed.

Let me explain. Hard swallowing caused by the corkscrewed esophagus caused me to pass out and hit the floor hard with my head. This hitting the floor damaged my brain and started it bleeding. This incident and the recovery took up most of the first half of 2013. And a good part of my recent widowerhood.

On January 25, 2013 I had trouble swallowing (almost the first swallow of the day).  I was standing and held on to the counter. I thought that as usual the feeling of passing out soon would go away. I was wrong. I passed out and awoke laying on my back. I did not feel any concern because there was no feeling of pain like a severe blow to the head should have caused. My brain was damaged and was slowly bleeding until I had a slight stroke two months later on March 24. John took me to the emergency room. An x-ray showed the bleeding. The next day a surgeon opened my skull and stopped the bleeding.

A couple of weeks later in rehab two nurses removed 38 staples and one stitch.

I spent about two weeks in rehab plus some time at home. I was a star at rehab.

It was good to get home. A year and a half later I feel completely recovered from the head trauma. I still have trouble swallowing. It seems to be getting worse. I may have to go and have my esophagus stretched. I am careful about swallowing and try to eat sitting down. 

Well that almost brings my notes on my life story up to date. I have covered various stories from birth to now. I hope to pull these notes from my blog archives, edit, and combine them into one volume. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chickens eat flowers and flower plants!

I was reading the paper in the gazeba. As usual the six chickens came to visit. They do not linger, however.





I noticed a group feeding on a flower.


This what they left of the flower plant.


This picture was taken a day later. The chickens really like that plant. They may dig it out and eat the roots!




Saturday, August 16, 2014

John is given a banty rooster.

Big excitement for us chicken watchers. John and the old prune picker. Thursday night John answered an add for a free banty rooster. That evening John added him to the coop after the six hens had bedded down. No problem. The rooster jumped on a roost and settled down. Friday night the rooster was the first to enter the coop. He settled down on the end that the hens usually used. The hens were leery at first but eventually settled in the other end.

The banty rooster is a colorful character. Crows real good. He seems to have settled right into his new home.








The last picture was obtained from google. It was in an article about the Golden-Laced-Sebright-Rooster. Some beautiful bird. There is no doubt that John is the proud owner of a Sebright Banty Rooster.

This rooster was developed by Sir John Sebright in 1810. The rooster is an exciting addition to John's flock.


























Friday, August 15, 2014

I hang my head in shame!

Four weeks ago around the middle of July I reported that my weight was down to 238. This was from 255. I was so proud of myself that I put 5 pounds back on!

The figures in the table below are date, daily steps, weight, blood pressure high/low. and pulse.


Isn't that stupid? Too lose weight I have to live like I am on a mission. (Which I am) I have to eat, drink, and breathe weight lose. Otherwise I gain weight.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Suicide. I have been around it.

My wife Jackie and I were in the San Fernando Valley visiting friends. Our children were with us except for our oldest son, Chris who had stayed at home alone in Coalinga. He was a teenager. In the middle of the night we received a phone call from the Coalinga police that Chris was in the hospital having his stomach pumped out. He had swallowed a killing dose of aspirin. He had attempted suicide. But he changed his mind and called for help.

We found out Chris suffered from depression. He had a lot of treatment, including electroshock. He lived with his problem for almost fifty more years (with treatment) before being killed in an accident at the age of 63.

That phone call in the night was a shock. Chris was way above average in intelligence. We thought that he was happy. He was a very good student. Jackie and I had no idea of his problem with depression.

I had three brothers. Keith, George, and Warren. They were handsome men. They were happy men.
They drank alcohol quite a bit. Keith was a very good mechanic. He was a jolly man, usually laughing and joking. George had been a Marine Pilot in WW II. He was a superintendent for the gas company. Warren was considered to be the black sheep of the family. He lived a long life and died from cancer at the age of 82.

Keith and George shot themselves in the head. They died quickly. Keith was 59 and George was 85. The news of their deaths shocked and dumfounded me. I was so saddened.

That is a lot of suicide in the male part of my family. I used to carry a small pistol in my pocket. I have a Concealed Handgun Permit. It is valid until 2017. After consideration I have turned my gun over to my son in law, John Adams. It is locked up in his gun safe. I will not keep it with me any more.


Keith. Died at the age of 59.


George. Died at the age of 85.


Warren. Died at the age of 82.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

(Widower 34) A bare foot wedding. My last trip in 2012.

In 2012 I made three trips. 1) a trip to England and France, 2) a trip to Jackson Hole, Olympic Peninsula, California, and 3) a trip to Panama City. This is a link to my pictures of the wedding of Rhonda Blakley and Michael Ray. See Bare Foot Wedding. I was so happy to attend the wedding of these two friends of mine. I also enjoyed getting acquainted with this part of Florida. Had breakfast with Rosa.

The marriage seems to be holding up. It is almost two years now. I wish them all the best for the years ahead.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

(Widower 33) I left after a month in Port Ludlow for the trip home to Ruston.

I stopped in Oregon City to have lunch with the family of my sister Dallas. Grandson David, daughter in law, Lynna Mae, and son Monte.
Dallas had passed away since my previous visit to Oregon City. We talked about her last years. I miss Dallas. She was my last sibling. Now I am the only one left of nine children.

I had a sister in law left. Novelle, the widow of my brother George, was still alive in Van Nuys, California. I planned to go by and see her. And I did. She and I were the only ones left alive from the eighteen adults of the families of the nine Monson children. I did stop to see her. I am glad I did. She recently passed away. On my last phone call to her a few months ago we talked for an hour and a half.

From Oregon City I drove to Roseburg, Oregon. Two children of my sister Thelma live there. They were raised in the sage brush covered oil fields of Kern County. (Weedpatch and Taft) They retired to the green country of Oregon. I think that they like the change.

Standing in front of ten acres of watermelons. Niece Dorothy and nephew Bobbie are in the center. 
Spouses are Harry and Janet

From Roseburg I drove to Eureka, California. I wanted to visit my old walking buddy, Jim Spaulding. We had supper at the old lumber camp cookhouse in Samoa.


The meals are served cookhouse style. Delicious. If you are ever in Eureka, California be sure to eat at the Samoa Cookhouse.

After a night of rest I drove to Modesto, California to visit my son, Mike and family.


Drew, Lily, Mike, and Rebecca. What a good group.

From Modesto to Hanford to visit Donna Sue, the daughter of my sister Donna. A special girl lives here. She is Bella, my only great great great great grand niece. She walked over and sat in my lap. Was I a happy great great great great grand uncle? I sure was.


Over to Coalinga to visit Charlyn and Keith Hintergardt. Our dear friends of our stay in Coalinga in the 1960s.


On to Van Nuys and lunch with Novelle Monson and her family. This is the last time that I saw Novelle. Novelle's grandson Lee, her daughter in law, and her son George Monson joined us for lunch.


Then a wonderful visit with Nancy and Bob in Dana Point. Bob's Mother, Jerry, treated us to supper.


A short ride over to Corona to the Shaifai home. As usual we go to eat. My sweet Annie and her three boys. Jack, Charlie, and Max at the local Big Boy.


A long ride to Maricopa, Arizona to visit Sharon Jordan. She took me to the Casino.


A long long ride to Las Cruces, New Mexico to see the Friels. Bill and Lois.


A double long ride to Ruston, Louisiana. See the cake that Rhonda had for me?


Welcome Home, Prune Picker. So there is a brief review of my return from Washington in 2012. There are blogs for these stops. See my archives of August, 2012.

 Next and last trip in 2012 was to Panama City. Stay tuned. (A Wedding)

















Monday, August 11, 2014

I admire and enjoy archivists.

Last April at a meeting of the Ruston Museum and Historical Society, Florent Hardy, Jr, State Archivist and a Director of the Louisiana Department of State gave a lecture on the Archives in Baton Rouge. I enjoyed the talk very much.  See April 2014 lecture.

So when I heard that he was to speak at the Northeast Louisiana Historical and Genealogical Society  yesterday I went to hear him again. (I am a slow learner and one more listen would help me.)



Dr Hardy mentioned an exciting find recently. In an old cabin in the Minden area a person found a letter from the Governor of New York to President Lincoln dated in 1862! I wonder about the history of that letter and how it showed up some 150 years later.

There was a good slide show.


President Theodore Roosevelt at the hunting trip that gave birth to the 'Teddy Bear".


Dr Hardy at work in the archives. I have been to two Dr Hardy lectures this year. I am ready for another. I plan to visit the State Archives.



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