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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Fish Fry.

John and I attended the annual fish fry for veterans at the Cook Baptist Church today. It is the third time for us at this event. The food is delicious and many of our friends were there. The man in the white tee shirt in the first picture played football with John at Louisiana Tech when they were both 17 years old. That was a lot more than 10 years ago!

On my plate is catfish, hush puppies, slaw,  french fries, and a slice of fresh onion. Sure was good!

A choir sang for us.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Census work.

I have completed four weeks working for the Census. Two more and I will drive away to Bean Blossom, Indiana. The work can be interesting, boring, tedious, and sometimes kinda spooky. It is hard sometimes to tear myself away from being retired. But I tell myself that it will soon be over until 2020. I wonder if I will have a Census job then.

I have seen many homes and many people. Some people really have beautiful places to live in this area. There are lovely houses and tracts of lovely houses out in the middle of the woods.

There is some detective work required. I can enter an address in the parish assessor web site and get a picture of the home and the owners name and address. I have looked up phone numbers and called people. It seems intrusive but I guess it is no worse then knocking on front doors. This sort of thing is not done until three or more notices have been left at the address.

I have seen reports that the 2020 census will use email and electronics.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My new coveralls.

I wanted to post something funny. Well, this is kind of a funny picture. Tommy Boddie, the President of the Jefferson Corner Liars Club, gave these coveralls to me. He said that I mentioned that I would like a pair. Now I have to wear them. He said that I could have them modified into a pair of shorts.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

John on the job!

We had a power outage last night but things were soon back to normal. John in his purple shorts soon had things fixed. You can see the men listening to him.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

85th Birthday Party

I was so thrilled and appreciative of this party. So many of my Ruston friends enjoyed the good food, cake, and ice cream with me. Thanks to Kerry, John, Joy, and Katie and others for all their hard work. It was a group effort and it was so well done!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Remarks to be made at 85th birthday party.

Thoughts on my 85th birthday.

I can not tell you how pleased and excited I am to see all of you here. I want to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy lives to be here for this party. I really appreciate your being here. You and others like you who could not be here today make my life a happy one. I like living in Ruston and you are the reason. I want to express my gratitude to my family for dreaming up this affair and putting it on. My Louisiana family is so good to me. I want to thank my daughter, Kerry. Kerry is my youngest daughter and the only blue eyed child that I have. You know brown eyes are dominant and my wife Jackie had lovely brown eyes. I really had a soft spot in my heart for that lovely blue-eyed blonde little girl. It is hard to believe that little girl is now a grandmother. I want to thank Kerry’s husband, John. John and Kerry have done so much for me. John and Kerry’s daughters have done so much work on this party. Thank you Joy and Katie and David and Justin.

When you are 85 it behooves you to be nice to your family. It is possible they will choose your rest home in the not too distant future.

In 2006 Jackie and I moved our fifth wheel trailer from Chimacum, Washington to Ruston.  Chimacum is between Bremerton and Port Angeles, about 8 miles from Port Townsend. Jackie and I had our summer RV home there in a Co-op for 17 years. This is the longest we had ever lived anywhere and we loved it.  The area is sort of a mixture of Ruston and the coast of Maine with snow covered mountains.

We moved here to enlist the help of John and Kerry in the care of Jackie. But in six short months Jackie passed away. I am sure that you all realize how much you miss some one who lived with you for 63 years. I knew that I had to stay busy and fill a big void.  I turned to Ruston and got involved in many activities and interests. You folks are a big part in filling a void in my life and I cannot tell you how much you have meant to me and mean to me every day.

I joined the Jefferson Corner Liars Club. Club President Tommy Boddie, vice President John Roebuck, and Secretary Lizard Howard welcomed me with open arms. They did look askance at me because of my weird accent and having moved from a tree-hugging environment. However the Treasurer of the Liars Club Rhonda Blakely has always stood up for me. I do not know how to talk her into not hugging me all the time. It gets embarrassing!

I joined the Louisiana Tech Aquatic Seniors. They tolerate me very well. Coach Miss Smiley does a great job and is a good friend. Her class is one of the best things that have happened to me. My lungpower and endurance have increased greatly. I have spent many happy hours in the water class.  I have met and enjoyed many in the class.

I started going for lunch at the Senior Center. I have met many wonderful people there. It is a very social place with many activities in addition to lunches.  There are very lively people there. Two of them cannot remember their 85th birthday.  If you do not believe me just ask Dan Falon or Margaret Shadow.

I joined the VFW and started going to the monthly lunch and weekly breakfast at the VFW building. What a wonderful group of people. I enjoy the VFW. The current post commander J D Harper does a great job and cooks a great breakfast.

As a member of Smiley’s class I have a Tech University Student Body Card. This card gets me into all home games! I am busy studying how to be a sport fan! I am even learning the rules of baseball and what a power forward is.

I do research on genealogy projects. I attend meetings of the Northwest Genealogical Society in Monroe.  I am a history and political junkie. I love trivia and Google is one of my most used tools. I go to bluegrass festivals. Believe it or not with all of the listed activities I still have time to be lonely and to miss Jackie. I am dealing with this aspect of my life better as time goes by. It is true that time is a great healer.

Let me confess, it is I who is always hugging Rhonda and I am not embarrassed at all!  I am a serious fan of hugging. Please do not be offended if I hug you. Once again I want to tell you that I love you all very much. Thanks again for being here.

I love Ruston, it is a wonderful place to be until I join Jackie at Arlington. God bless you all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Frac Job

This is a gas well just off Pea Ridge Road. I have been watching preparations for a frac job for a week or two. A frac job is the pumping of a sand/special fluid mix into a production formation at very high pressure. This procedure creates many deep cracks into the formation that increases the productivity of the well. The red trailers are filled with sand. There are three large mixing/pumping units on the well site. When I drove by yesterday two dozen men were getting their final marching orders for a frac job. I believe that I can remember the first frac job ever in the 1950s. It is standard practice now, especially in the tight gas formations in this area.

Isn't that interesting?
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birthday Party Picture Boards

Posted by PicasaMy Louisiana family is so good to me. I will be in Washington on my 85th birthday. They volunteered to give a party before I left on my trip. They said that I could invite most of my friends. They are serving chicken spaghetti, cake and ice cream on the lawn in front of my trailer. I invited (Joy sent a lot of invitations) my friends from the Jefferson Corner Liars Club, the Tech Water Exercise Class, the Tuesday morning VFW Breakfast group, and the Senior Center Lunch Bunch. It is a large group and if half show up there will be 25 to 30 guests. We hope it will not rain. I am thrilled and excited about how many have indicated they will come to the party.

I have prepared some picture boards as shown on this blog. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mom and Dad

This is a picture of my Dad and Mom. Charles Abner Monson and Olive Knowlton. Mom did not have a middle name. I have less than a dozen pictures of my folks. This is blown up from a strip taken in a photo booth. I would guess that they are about 40 and 30. This would date the picture at about 1920. A few years before I was born. They look happy.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stan Pody washes my home!

Notice how much cleaner the front door is. My home looks so nice. At least on the outside. Stan washed the trailer two years ago. It gets so dirty and moldy just sitting here.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Brooks cuts the tree in front of the Senior Center.

I was on my way home from census work when Brooks called and said he had his chain saw working. I drove to the Senior Center and helped him haul the trees to the street. Brooks really did a good job. We wanted the trees down so that the sign on the front of the building would be visible. Note the before and after pictures.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Opening Day! Adams Pool.

Ethan, Ross, and Christian had a ball at the first day of swimming in the Adams pool. One adult, David, got in the pool. The rest of us enjoyed watching.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Took the day off from census.

Went to a 9 am meeting with the census crew leaders. Came home and crashed. I was just tired from going out on the census five days in a row. I just go for a partial day. The job must be more stressful than I thought because I sure get burned out.

Went over to the track meet and saw the ladies 100 meter and the triple jump. It is a WAC trackmeet and there were teams from Idaho, Fresno, Hawaii, etc.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Ladies Pole Vault

The ladies were pole vaulting today. Something that I could never do!

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Discus and broadjump.

In between census work, I saw some of the track meet at Tech. The men's discus and the ladies broadjump. Some atheletes!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pea Ridge Horse Show

There are beautiful horses along Pea Ridge Road where I have been working on
the Census. I found one scratching his back. I believe that these are quarter horses but I am not sure. Theodore Roosevelt said that there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. I believe it.
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