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, February 4, 2011

My son Christopher David Monson aka snaggletoothie

Isn't he a nice looking boy? He was a nice boy.
Kerry, Nancy, Mike, and Chris (snaggletoothie) Monson. 
Chris was taller than his Dad.
Chris with his Mother sporting a great mustache. 
Why not a full beard?
Notice the arms casts. His legs were also in casts. We brought Chris home from the hospital. We thought we could take care of him. I had a hospital bed and a hoist for lifting him. In a few days the visiting nurse recommended that Chris be moved to Rancho Los Amigos where he could get proper care.
Arm casts off but not the leg casts. I forget the dog's name but the little boy is my grand son, Matt.
Chris and his brother Mike. Mike is holding his daughter Lilly who is now 18. Chris would have been about 45.
A picture of Chris. Picture taken by me in 2007 at Dana Point Harbor. Chris was 59.

Chris was born on April 1, 1948. He passed away on January 28, 2011. He was 62. He lived a full life.  He had more than his share of pain. He had periods of depression, good times, learning, pain, rehabilitation, and addiction. He was a long time member of and worker in AA. He had a career in Nursing.

In his fifties he had a spinal injury and could no longer work. He used a cane and was almost a shut in.  He was a blogger and spent many hours at it.  He posted several times a day and corresponded with other bloggers. He had two blogs, which can still be called up on your computer. They are snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition which was his primary blog devoted to conservative politics and The Chinese Jar which was devoted to the discussion of the great books.

He was born in San Luis Obispo, California while I was a student at California Polytechnic University. While he was still living at home and I was working in the oil fields of California he lived in Bakersfield, Oildale, Sacramento, Ventura, Santa Maria, Van Nuys, Coalinga, and Seal Beach. During one 15-year period we lived in 22 houses as I followed a career working in the well drilling industry. This moving so often is not good for a stable life.

After Chris left home he lived in Long Beach, San Clemente, and Laguna Beach. I do not think that Chris ever left California.

Chris was very intelligent and a good student. He was interested in learning all his life. In his backpack when he passed away was a book on the history of the Ottoman Empire and a thriller political novel. While he was living in Coalinga his grades earned him a spot on a Fresno TV program. The program was a copy of the GE College Bowl program that was popular at the time. I was one proud Daddy!

During his teen years Chris suffered with severe depression. Once he took a large amount of aspirin in a suicide attempt. For a short time he was in a medical institution.

When he was twenty years old Chris had a bad accident that wounded him severely and left him with physical problems that would haunt the rest of his life and would cause his accidental death 42 years later. Early one foggy morning before daylight Chris was riding his motorcycle to work on the freeway. A person had stopped their car in the driving lane to take a nap. Chris hit the car at full speed. He flew through the air for some distance and came down on his back with arms and legs spread out. He landed with such force that he broke both wrists and both legs. It was not known for several months that he also had suffered a brain injury that caused him to have seizures the rest of his life. On Monday January 24, 2011 Chris had a seizure and fell. His head hit the floor. He suffered a stroke and passed away Friday January 28, 2011.  

Chris studied at Long Beach State for some time. He graduated from Long Beach Junior College and qualified for a Licensed Vocational Nurse certificate. He worked many years in hospitals for people with chemical addictions. I believe that he did a great job. I am so proud how he fought his disabilities and was able to give a positive contribution to people. He did well with the cards that were dealt him.

I spent some time with Chris in August 2010. We had made plans to tour the Getty Museum but Chris did not feel up to it. He did not look well but seemed to be at peace. I love Chris very much. I have cried so hard that my body hurt. I will miss visiting him. Once every year or so in person and over the phone several times a month. Chris had very eclectic interests and we could visit for an hour or more at a time.

Goodbye Chris. Rest in peace. I love you.


  1. Great post today Papa. I enjoyed reading about him and the pictures were wonderful to see.

  2. Hey Chuck - I enjoyed reading about Chris' life. As you said it sounds like he did very well with the cards that life had given him. God bless you and your family.


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