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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Civil War Study Group

My good friend Richard Maxwell drove us over to Vicksburg, Mississippi the other night. Very interesting meeting and good grub. (Vicksburg Country Club).

Marc Thompson, in dress as Nathan Bedford Forrest, gave an interesting talk on the Civil War. I heard about the Wide-Awakes. They were a youth group in the North. The group had 500,000 members in 1860, Their uniform included a six foot whale oil torch. Give them a google.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

12th Annual Senior Sheriff's Expo.

Free continental breakfast, free catered lunch. entertainment, informative talks. and many many door prices. Many informational booths.

I went. So did Tommy Speights, a friend from the VFW.

A wonderful quartet from Ruston High.

Sheriff Mike Stone was the MC and announced the prizes.

The Star of the Day was Miss Louisiana. She is beautiful and so talented.

Laryssa Bacquisti (Miss Louisiana) and her dummies even yodeled.

Ricky Davis sang and added to the merriment.

Cynthia Harper and Patsy Bullock sang an inspirational song.

A song by the Ruston High Quartet.

A lot of Lincoln Parish citizens had a real good time!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Eleven years ago today.

My beloved wife, Jackie, passed away on Saint Patricks Day, March 17, 2007. I have and do miss her so much. This picture indicates how sweet she was and how much I love her. Also in the picture is Nancy and Chris, our two oldest children. We are in our student housing at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

In June I am going to Arlington, Virginia and spend several hours sitting on our grave and visiting. Not so long from now my ashes will also be in the grave.

I love you, Jacqueline Lois (Ireton) Monson.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Smiley Reeves throws the first ball!

Attended a Techster soft ball game last night (3.14.2018). They played against LSU-Alexandria. My swim class instructor of many years (11), Smiley Reeves threw out the first ball. Smiley graduated from Tech in 1985. Knowing her is one of the primary joys of my life in Louisiana.

The following four pics are of the opening ceremony of the game. Sorry about the poor focus. Smiley deserves a better photographer.

Some call March 14 (3.14) Pi day. You know, the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter of the circle rounds off to 3.14.

The lucky girls below were in a pie eqaing contest.

Looks like the Techsters are going to win. It got cold and I went home.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Three man machine gun squad...and I was in charge.

After being wounded on Peleliu I spent some time in a hospital and then casual camps. I was looking forward to rejoining my old outfit. But no luck. When I arrived at Leyte I found that my old outfit was in New Guinea. I was assigned to another combat engineer battalion. It was the 50th Engineers assigned to the 7th Infantry Division. I was promoted to corporal. I had been reduced from PFC to PVT at a court martial when AWOL in California. I was on my way back up in the Army.

We were loading up for the invasion of Okinawa. I was assigned to a three man machine gun squad. And I was in charge. We were to carry an air cooled 50 caliber machine gun ashore and set it up at a Japanese airport. The gun breaks down for carrying into three parts. Barrel, body, and tripod, The barrel weighs 80 pounds and I believe is the heaviest part. I assigned my self to the barrel. At 19 years old I was proud of being picked to lead a machine gun squad.

The invasion force assembled for the invasion of Okinawa was the largest in history. I will always remember looking out at the ships around our ship. As far as you could see there were shops. At night it was an eerie spooky scene. I had a front row seat at an historic event.

The invasion was on Easter Sunday, the first day of April 1945. We had to carry our gun over several hundred feet of sharp jagged coral which was covered with 3 or 4 feet of water. We were not fired on but saw some action the next day. Unfortunately some of the action was the shooting down of an American Plane by friendly  fire.

After the battle, between games of volley ball I lived in the luxurious camp pictured below. Until we were sent to Seoul, Korea.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tennis at Lake Darbonne State Park.

I was lucky to witness a tennis match between Michael and Rhonda Ray. What verve! What passion! What a hard fought match. They did not keep score.

Lake Darbonne State Park has several tennis courts and a swimming pool at the Reception Center. Michael awaits the serve from his opponent and wife Rhonda.

Rosa Lee Blakley and the tennis players enjoyed a morning snack.

The old Prunepicker was so worn out from watching the match that Rhonda had to help him back to his car.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bert Monson is wounded.

I came across this newspaper clipping the other day. It was published in the Pomona, California Progress Bulletin in 1944. I was 19. Don't you think that I thought that I was really something? (A hero maybe?)

I was known as Bert for my life prior to the Army. I am Charles Elbert Monson. My Dad was also Charles. My Dad did not want me called Charles so I was Bert to my family. I still get called Uncle Bert by some.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Vital Signs for February 2018.

Very exciting month. I hate very exciting months when presenting vital signs. Slipped and fell hard on the fifth wheel steps (those steps really did a number on my wife Jackie) and severely twisted left hip and knee. Could barely hobble for two days. Seems to be ok now.

In the middle of the above adventure I had a gout attack in the left big toe. Lucky for me it went away in a little over 24 hours.

Held steady on my weight. My blood pressure was low.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Great grand son Ethan is installed in the Honor Society.

I am so proud. Ethan is a great guy.

Ethan gets his candle and walks the stage.

Lovely photo of Dana Point.

I really like this photo of Dana Point taken by my grandson Mark. I can remember the harbor when only three or four boats were at anchor out from the beach. There are a lot of boats there now. Over half of the city of Dana Point was vacant lots. It was 100 % vacant lots when Richard Dana first saw Dana Point.

That is San Clemente on down the coast.
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