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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tommy Ledford, lunch buddy of mine.

Tommy and I have had hundreds of meals together over my years in Ruston. Senior Lunch; several times a week. VFW; a luncheon meeting once per month and breakfast at the VFW Post every Tuesday morning. Plus many other outings. Besides being a good eater Tommy is a real nice, lovable guy. He is one the unforgettable characters that I have met in my life.

We were stationed at Camp Cook in Lompoc, California at the same time during WW II. He was a Sargent and I was in basic training. We never met there. Tommy is a retired plumber.

He very recently celebrated his 96th Birthday. I hope to go to his 100th Birthday Party! Happy Birthday, Tommy.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Septic valves all fixed!

Charles Wooley with RV Solutions came yesterday and finished repairing my valves. He had to manufactured the black water pulling rod. He is a very skilled RV repairman. I will keep his phone number handy. Here is a very short video.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Family Picture

I just came across this picture. It is a nice picture of Jackie and I and our four children in 1957. I like it.

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We were living on Minniehaha Street in Granada Hills. Granada Hills is in the NW corner of the San Fernando Valley. Jackie is holding Mike (1 year), standing in front of Jackie is Nancy (11 years), in front of me is Chris (9 years), who is hugging Kerry (3 years).

We had just moved from Santa Maria. The swing set had moved with us. At the far end of the swing set is an incinerator. It was called the General Pershing. Every house in the tract had a General Pershing in the backyard. (Fancy neighborhood) Unfortunately, it was against the law to use the incinerator. Due to the terrible smog, Los Angeles County had outlawed backyard burning of trash.

Jackie and I were important in those days. Our four wonderful children depended on us. Sixty years later I depend on them. They were and are a blessing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Big Ass Fans.

This is Miss Smiley. She has been leading my water aerobics class for ten years. So pleasant . I have fallen in love with her.


The other day she told me that the pool was going to be closed for a few days. I asked her why. She said that they were going to install some big ass fans. I was shocked! My sweet Miss Smiley does not talk like this. I really looked askance at her and almost suggested that she wash her mouth out with soap. She said that Big Ass Fans was the commercial name of the fans and the name of the company that engineered, manufactured and installed them.





Two were installed above the pool. They are a recent development in building air conditioning. They turn slow but move a huge amount of air. Circulating the hot stagnant air in the high space gives a good saving in energy costs. They are big! Around thirty feet in diameter.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Saturday night basketball. Tech vs UTSA.

Exciting end to the game. Wish we had won!


Friday, January 6, 2017

RV Solutions (Charles Wooley) to the rescue.



Charles drove up, grabbed his tools and went under my trailer.



After an hour and a half working on his back he brought out the rod that had connected my pull handle with the valve.


One end of the rod had wallered out and let the pull handle pull out. The aluminum had crystallized over 20 years. Charles will get a new rod and return next week to finish the job. You know the meaning of wallered? The treads had enlarged from wear and would not grip.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Vital Signs for December 2016.

First a brief discussion of my recent weight history. I was on a diet for three months. July, August, and September. Weight dropped from 255 to 222 pounds. 33 pounds. Great! Felt better and my pants fit. Off the diet October. November, and December. Weight up to 228 pounds. Up 6 pounds. Boo! Time to go back on the diet. My blood pressure is increasing.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Monson did not make the cut!


In 1941 I was in the 11th grade and on the Pomona High School football squad. I was not too good. Semi qualified for standing tackle or guard. I can remember throwing a block on the tackle dummy and Assistant Coach Stan Acres would admonish me on how I could do better. I thought that I was doing good, but I guess not. Mr Acres was also my History Teacher. I admired and liked him. I have fond memories of his American History class. First day in class he asked me to go out for football. I was a big boy (for 1941) at six feet tall.

I was washing dishes for a living and living in a $4 1/2 a month room on East 2nd Street. I can remember buying a quart of cold chocolate milk at the Pomona Creamery on the way to my room from football practice. It tasted so good! I would drink the whole thing right then. It seems strange that I was supporting myself, and going to high school, and going out for football at 16 years old.

The Pomona High School team was scheduled to go to Phoenix and play a game. It involved a train ride. I was so excited! Thirty players were to make the trip. The list was posted and there I was at number thirty! The next day a new list was posted. Joe Beck was at number thirty and I was not on the list at all. My heart was broken. (It still is) I wonder if the persons responsible had any idea of the heart break that they had dealt the Old PrunePicker

The night that the team loaded on the train I was there wishing them all a good trip and a good time. I remember the railroad car full of 30 happy team mates while I stood on the platform and waved. This was such a bitter pill. It would have been better if I had not been on the first list. I mean it was a serious disappointment. I still feel the bitter pain 65 years later.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

What is better? Ford or Chevy?

Early in my life (5 to 10 years old. From around 1930 to 1935 plus.) at any family gathering a big discussion (argument?) would take place on which was the better car, Ford or Chevy. My Father was not involved. He was born (1881) in the age of horse power. He had been an expert teamster. He plowed many a mile. I saw him using a team of horses digging out the basement for a building. Probably when I was around five (1930). My Dad was a heroic figure directing the work of powerful horses. He never did get much good with internal combustion engines.

The discussion on the Ford/Chevy was held by two opposing camps. The Ford camp was my brother in law from Taft, Marion Mott. His able assistant was my brother George. The Chevy camp was my bothers, Keith and Warren. The many other current cars (Buick, Studebaker, Plymouth, etc) did not get involved in the arguments. The Monsons were Ford/Chevy people.

Remember, this when the automobile was a recent invention. Exciting times. Every new model of any car was greeted with crowds of people visiting the show rooms. Much oohing and awing. Cars were an important part of our lives.

My brother Keith was famous for taking a Model T Ford apart and putting it back together. And it ran. He was only 12 years old at the time! Late 1920s. He was a mechanic all his life.

The arguments would cover all aspects of the cars. Starters, brakes, ignition, etc.

Here are pics of the cars.


My first car was a 1930 Model A sedan.


It was not that shiny. I paid 35 dollars for it and drove it for a year. The timing gear went out and I sold it in Fresno for ten dollars. The majority of my cars have been Fords. Mustang, Taurus, etc. Even my company cars were mostly Fords. I think that the present day Ford and Chevy are comparable. There is probably not a lick of difference.

Here are the front ends of a modern Ford and Chevy. I am just more comfortable in a Ford. After ten years in a Toyota I just bought a Ford. It seems like coming home



See any important difference? There could have been back in the 1920s and 30s but I do not believe there is now.

Happy Holidays!
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