prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


While in the Army I was involved in only one mutiny. And I was forced into that mutiny by my fellow soldiers. I did not resist the acton of my fellow soldiers too hard. Let me explain.

Definition of mutiny.

Yes that is what I was involved in. It was in my last month of service. I was on a troopship in Tacoma, Washington.

We had shipped out of Seoul, Korea. It was several months after VJ Day. There were several thousand of us on the ship. Most of us had been over seas for some time. Our ship had been docked for several hours in Tacoma. Across the dock from us were busses waiting to take us downtown. We had been standing shoulder to shoulder waiting for the officers to let us off the ship. There were rumors of passes, and when the passes would be issued. We were thinking about steak dinners and the bright lights of Tacoma.

And then the mutiny started! Slowly several thousand men started to go down the gang plank. I was in the middle of them. The officers were yelling orders and trying to stop us. We pushed them aside.
the officers did not have a chance. Thousands versus several. Across the dock we went to the busses. I must admit that I was a participant in the mutiny. Boy, was that steak good! And with a big fresh salad.

The ship was docked and waiting to unload for several days. Many of us stayed at the USO in town while we waited to be sent to Fort Lewis. I remember being in a huge field house and listening to Betty Hutton sing "Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief".

We had our Christmas, 1945 meal at Fort Lewis. The meal was served by German prisoners of war.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Vital Signs for June 2018.

Good signs. Blood pressure is good. Weight from 240 to 234. Six pounds in June and 9 pounds in May. 15 pounds since I started back on Apple Cider Vinegar.

Notice I did 6700 steps on June 17. That is the day I flew home from Washington DC.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Karl Malone opens a 511 rock climbing store in Ruston.

The store has an alcove with a coffee bar that serves free coffee to veterans. There is a design in the cement that honors KIA and MIAs. At the dedication for the alcove there was a patriotic program. Complete with flag folding and the playing of taps. The picture below (by Cheryl Maxwell) was taken at the end of the program. Notice that the old prunepicker managed to get in the center of the pic. See green shirt.

Pictures like this were featured on the evening TV news from Monroe. Friday evening June 29, 2018.
Here are more pics.

Flag folding.

Karl gave the closing remarks. Black Rifle Coffee Company makes a good coffee, I bet.

His honor Mayor Walker.

This morning I visited the store. Karl told me that 511 is a rock climbing term and the name of the company that makes the clothing and equipment in his store. The clothing is tough and stylish. You do not have to climb rocks to put it to good use. This is the first of several 511 stores scheduled to be built. The next one will be in Meterie.

Incidentally Karl is considered to be the best power forward in basketball history.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Day at the Races with Lizard.

Lizard's legal name is Richard Wayne Howard. He has three perfect first names and settled on Lizard. The road he lives on is marked Lazard on the Parish map! He is from a family that settled several generations ago in the Pea Ridge community. Pea Ridge is a part of the town of Dubach.

Here he is in his office at the track. He handled all of our bets. Things did not go to well.

We could watch and bet on races at the seven tracks operating in the US.

Beauty parade of empty horses.

Then they dressed up.

The end of a race on turf. Inside the normal track.

Here is a link to a previous Day at the Races with Lizard.  Link

Monday, June 18, 2018

Two museums a day for two days.

Here is the Prunepicker and his nephew Daryl on the morning of the first day. We are at the Newseum. It is a real good museum that celebrates the first amendment. Daryl is like a brother to me. His Mom (my sister Jean) was like a Mom to me. We had a great two days together. Riding around to the different museums was like an adventure to me. Seeing all the big buildings and all the many busses full of school kids was exciting. 40 to 50 teenagers in maching tee shirts were going by us all the time

Daryl was so good to me. Pushed me in a wheel chair for hours. Thanks Daryl.

View of the Capital from the Newseum.

Then it was on to African American Museum. The newest Smithsonian Museum. It was very impressive. Very different architecture.

There was a long line.

The next morning we went to the Museum of the Bible. Off the Mall and all private money. Mr Green of Hobby Lobby.

This is our guide. Mr Bill Fraser. He gave a lecture also. Very good. He is in the Church Class where Daryl goes.

Our last museum was the International Spy Museum. Soon to be moved and rebuilt. We learned all about James Bond!

Nice Car.

For dinner on our last evening together Daryl took me to a restaurant in Oldtown Alexandria. It was in the old building that was a torpedo factory in World Wars I and II. Wonder where they make them now. Maybe we do not need any more. Daryl is standing by a torpedo.

Saturday morning I toured Arlington Cemetery again. I saw the changing of the guard for the umpteenth time. It is so impressive!

At the Visitor Center there a wax statue of the soldier who played taps in the changing that I had just attended. I stood by him for a while to see if he would move. Boy did that statue look alive.

I spent a couple of hours at my grave again before heading for the airport. I left some money on top of the monument. Jackie always liked money. (who doesn't?)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Trip to my grave. June 2018.

It was some day yesterday. I arrived at the Monroe Airport at 4 am. I was scheduled to fly to Dallas on American Airlines at 6 am. American had a problem. I flew on United at 5  am to Houston. Barely made a United flight to Washington DC. Arrived at Reagan a couple hours earlier than I was scheduled to arrive on American.

I took Uber over to the Arlington National Cemetery. I had a pass that was given to me years ago. It let me in to visit my grave. However, it would not work unless the Uber car stayed at the grave with me. I planned to stay several hours. I excused Uber and went to the Visitor Center. Busy busy. I had my flight bag with me. We had to go through a security check like at the airport!

My grave was just a walk away but I used the Grave Visitor van. (I did walk back to the Visitor Center when I left the grave). It was a long day by the time I arrived at my hotel. From two in the morning to six in the evening. I walked 5900 steps. (Usually 2000) I used a wheel chair in two airports. I was extremely tired.

But I made it!

Chris is listed on the back of the monument.

Friday, June 8, 2018

1939 San Francisco World's Fair. The old Prunepicker was there.

I sure wanted to go. I was 13 and a student at Fremont Junior High School in Pomona. It was over 400 miles to the Bay Area. I had been there before. My Aunt Majorie lived in Berkeley and I had been there when I was 10 or 11. We went to a Knowlton Family (my Mother's family) picnic at the Golden State Park in San Francisco. We rode the ferry all the way from Oakland to San Francisco because the Oakland Bay Bridge was not yet built. It opened in 1936 when I was 11.

How to get to the Fair? At 13 I was an experienced hitch hiker. So off I went. North on Highway 99 (now 5) over the mountains, through Bakersfield and Fresno. At about Manteca I turned to the west to Berkeley.

Aunt Majorie went with me to the Fair the first time I went. Then I went by myself. I really enjoyed the Fair. They had a huge outdoor play (horses and stage coaches). They used jets of water for a curtain! The Fair was on Treasure Island and now is a Navy Installation. When I returned to school I gave a talk to a class (home room?) on my trip. I was notorious for a moment.

Where did I get money to eat on and pay for Fair tickets? At 13? About this time I started washing dishes at the U and I Cafe.

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