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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A visit with Patches.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quaint Cajun Funeral Music.

Went to Tech last night and saw The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. The orchestra is run by two Louisiana Tech graduates, Clay Johnson and Jeremy Davis. These fellows met in the 7th grade in Wast Monroe and have been together (musically) ever since. The orchestra is based in Savannah, Georgia. They play very very good. Old standards and new standards.


Below is Clay singing and Jeremy playing first saxophone.


The second from the right saxophone player is the famous Laurence Gibbs. Lawrence recently retired from the Tech music faculty.


They can play the tune played in the video below at my funeral.



Monday, September 26, 2016

PrunePicker Memories of my brother, James Keith Monson

Keith was born in 1916 in Redlands, California and passed away in 1975 in Pomona, California at the age of 59.

Keith was the jolliest and funniest of my siblings. I can remember him taking his teeth out and making faces. He loved to make people laugh. I could not believe the news when I was told that he had committed suicide. So as not to mess up the house he had gone out in to the backyard and shot himself with his shotgun. Keith was a heavy drinker and I heard that he was having problems at work.  Keith died at the youngest age of all my siblings. 59 next Jean at 65 (brain tumor). The oldest was Dallas at 98. I do not expect to break Dallas's record.

An oft told Monson family story was that at the age of 12 Keith had taken a Model T Ford engine apart and put it back together. And it ran! Keith was a mechanic or in mechanical maintenance all of his life.

Keith was eight years older than me. I remember him coming home on leave from the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) in his sun tan uniform and telling us about his adventures in the Corps.

About this time Keith was in a terrible motorcycle accident. His right leg below the knee was really mangled. The doctors wanted to cut the leg off. But my Father insisted no. Keith had to wear a metal and leather brace on that leg the rest of his life. I can remember Keith healing for months in the living room of the house on Third Street. I can still remember seeing the terrible wound healing up. To help pass time Keith would play a guitar and sing for us.

I remember being in the living room of a house down the street at Keith's first wedding. The room was packed with people. The wedding was annulled in a month.  This was sort of dramatic to me. The Matthews Family (Okies from Oklahoma) lived across the alley from us and Keith married LaVerne Mathews. They had three beautiful girls. They were a beautiful family.



After Keith married LaVerne they were living in El Segundo, where Keith had a job. I can remember staying with them a few days once, early in their wedding. Years later they were still living in El Segundo when I came home from the war. Jackie and I visited Keith's home. On a trip to the grocery store, Keith used my celebrity as a returning veteran to get the butcher to sell him some bacon! Bacon, shoes, gasoline and coffee were in very short supply in those days.

Keith worked in an airplane factory all during World Wr II. I told people that I had a brother in the Marines (George), and a brother (Warren) in the Navy, a brother (Keith) who was a defense worker, and I was in the Army. Soldiers at that time were called Dogfaces. My brothers enjoyed calling me a Dogface! My brothers were all involved with airplanes. One built them, one flew them, and one repaired them. I operated a rifle and a shovel in the Combat Engineers.

I love Keith. He was a sweet guy. My heart is heavy when I think about his last years. I am sure that those years were sad and tragic because of alcohol.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Sunday morning walk.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Number 55. Ross John Newberry.

Rode over to Sterlington last night with John and Kerry to see Ross (a great grandson) play football. Boy he did good. Several tackles. He plays center line backer. When I played in junior high, I always looked up to line backers. They were faster and tougher than us guards.


Ross is even a captain. See 55 walking in for the coin toss. Imagine, the old PrunePicker is the great grand father of a captain!


One of sterlington's players was hurt. I hope that it is not too serious.


The final handshake.


A pretty sunset saw us off to drive home.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

A walk in Cook Park.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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