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, June 30, 2011

Waiting for lunch.

Great grandson Christian Steven Newberry and great grandfather Charles Elbert Monson were caught by photographer/Mom Joy Kathleen Newberry waiting for lunch at the Cracker-barrel in West Monroe.

6/30/11 244.6 50.3 125 59 63 96.2 4320 96 75 0

View from my grand daughter, Corries's front porch in Jackson, Wyoming

Photo courtesy of my daughter, Nancy. Down the hill at the curve is the entrance to the National Elk Refuge. Every winter thousands of elk are there.

6/29/11 243 50.5 110 54 60 96 3550 94 73 0

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I thought that this was a pretty scene. A bunch of pretty cows taking a break from grazing.

The cows were interested in the weird guy with a camera.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Capt Lyman Bennett Munson. 2nd cousin, 5 times removed.

Here is an item I culled out of The Munson Record. Should be interesting to my family and friends in the Northwest. Especially those near Boise. He was captain of a company raised to fight in the Oregon Indian Wars of 1855-1856. He followed in the steps of his ancestor, Captain Thomas Munson, who fought in the New England Indian Wars of the 17th century.  The news article on his death is dated 1884. He could have lived in Boise 20 to 30 years.

VFW porch this am.

JD Harper, Tommy Ledford, James Fallin, and Richard Jones. Waiting for JD's Tuesday Breakfast. Sure is a delicious feed!

6/27/11 243.2 50.1 120 57 68 96.2 3150 94 76 0

Monday, June 27, 2011


I have always been a nostalgia nut. I really am now. My life is almost all memories. I spend many moments remembering. I get the feeling sometimes that my life is all over and all the good times are in my memories. Then I dig into exercise, genealogy, and music.This picture is of one of my wonderful memories. The wedding of my oldest child Nancy Ann on December 17, 1966.

1833 cholera epidemic in Lexington, Kentucky

I recently mentioned that my 5th great grandfather had died of cholera in 1833 and was buried in Millersburg, Kentucky. I was curious and googled cholera epidemic in Kentucky. I found out the following terrible story.

In June of 1833 cholera started killing people in the Lexington, Kentucky area. Within 10 days 1500 people were sick, and were dying at the rate of 50 per day. This was in a population of 7000. A total of 500 died. You can visualize how terrible this was. One family of 19 lost 17 people. Probably more of my ancestors died in addition to my great grandfather Samuel.

6/26/11 242 49.9 115 54 69 96.4 2730 94 74 0

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peach Festival. A walk around downtown.

It was warm. About 93. I walked a big circle of several blocks. I was gratified to see my step total for the day was 5180. This the first time I broke 5000 in a month. I would often find a place to sit in the shade and rest. I had the traditional dish of peach ice cream. There were two large area for craft tents.

I had to ask what these were for. They are for hanging on a wall.

There was a large number of pretty old cars.

No one was lined up for the climbing wall.

Or the ring a bell.

The Marines had an enlistment display.

Two nights at the Peach Festival Rodeo.

I had fun at the rodeo. Last night I was in my seat for 3 1/2 hours. I was waiting for the bull riding. After 3 bulls and noticing that it was a quarter to eleven I went home and collapsed into bed, My thanks to Skip Russell for the tickets.

The patriotic opening lasted for  30 minutes.

There was pretty singer at the intermission.

The clown and the kids were a big part of the show.

This bull is a big part of anything he is in.

6/25/11 241.2 50.1 134 64 67 96.3 5180 92 73 0

Saturday, June 25, 2011

September Search for great grandfather gravesites.

After more searching, reading, and map study I believe that my quest to locate the gravesites of my great grandfathers, number one through eight, is less of a job than I first thought. Basically I will be looking in two areas.Three died in New Haven county, CT which is about 30 miles square. A fourth died a hundred miles away in Morris County, NJ. Three or four days should be enough for this group.

The remaining four died in three counties in Kentucky. Fayette, Harrison, and Robertson. This area is about 50 square miles. I have learned that one of these is buried in Millersburg, Bourbon county. Four or five days could be enough for this area.

The plan for my September trip now looks like this.

Leg one to Springfield, IL to attend a genealogy conference.
Leg two to Arlington National Cemetery to place the ashes of Chris (my late son) in the gravesite with his mother, Jackie.
Leg three to New Haven CT and Morristown, NJ. Looking for the gravesites of Thomas, Samuel, Samuel, and Solomon.
Leg four to Lexington, KY. Looking for the gravesites of Samuel, Samuel, Joel, and Abner.
Leg five back home to Ruston, LA.

Did you notice four of my great grandfathers have the name Samuel? Very popular name in those days. 

The miles indicated on the map add up to 3540. I am looking forward to the trip. It will be interesting and constructive.

Jefferson D. Munson. 3rd cousin, 3 times removed.

I just heard about the tragic death of my cousin and his wife.

269.  JEFFERSON D11 MUNSON (GEORGE10, ISAAC9, SAMUEL8 MONSON/MUNSON, SAMUEL7 MUNSON, SOLOMON6, SAMUEL5, SAMUEL4, THOMAS3, JOHN2, RICHARD1) was born July 1874 in Kansas, and died 16 April 1944 in Burge Hospital, Springfield, Greene Co, Missouri.  He married KATIE ANNA MARTIN 1899 in Pawnee Co, Oklahoma? (Source: 1900 Census of Coal Creek Twp, Pawnee Co, Oklahoma - m. 1 year.), daughter of HENRY MARTIN and KATHERINE MICHEL.

Biography - The Marshfield Mail, Marshfield, Webster Co, Missouri
Thurs April 20 1944    Front page story
Munson Home Burns After Storm Overturns It, Resulting In Tragic Death Of Two Occupants
A tornado which hit four and a half miles south of Marshfield late last Friday afternoon left one person dead and another fatally injured by burns and shock.  The storm's accompanying winds did considerable damage to other farms through a path three-fourths mile in southern-central Webster county.
Hitting the Jeff D Munson farm four and a half miles south of there directly, the tornado over-turned the house and set it afire, killing Mrs Munson probably instantly and burning Mr Munson fatally.  The 69 year old farmer was taken to the Burge hospital at Springfield, where he died Sunday.  He was able to relate to his family Saturday some details of the tragedy and how the storm hit the house.
He told relatives that he "had just turned to his wife and remarked he wouldn't try to do his chores until the rain let up," said a cousin, Mrs Stanley Russell of Springfield, to a reporter from the Springfield newspapers.
"He had hardly spoke when the tornado hit."
The house was bowled over and flattened.
"I was standing by my wife, close to the stove," Munson related to Mrs Russell.  "That was the last time I saw her."
Funeral services for Mr and Mrs Munson were held at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasant Hill Methodist Church, with the Rev L L Rodgers officiating.  Burial was in the cemetery there under direction of the Rainey Funeral Home.

Occupation: 1930 - Railroad Shop - Coach carpenter
Burial: 19 April 1944, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Webster Co, Missouri
Fact 5: 1880, Census of Belleville Twp, Chautauqua Co, Kansas
Fact 6: 1885, State census of Colorado, Custer Co - liv/w parents & siblings
Fact 7: 1900, Census of Coal Creek Twp, Pawnee Co, Oklahoma
Fact 8: 1910, Census of Good Twp, Harper Co, Oklahoma
Fact 9: 1920, Census of Ozark Twp, city of Marshfield, Webster Co, Missouri
Fact 10: 1930, Census of Campbell Twp, Greene Co, Missouri
Fact 11: 1936, resided in Marshfield, Webster Co, Missouri
Cause of Death: Died from burns from fire after house was blown away by tornado

Burial: 19 April 1944, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Webster Co, Missouri
Cause of Death: Killed when tornado blew house away

6/24/11 242.8 50.1 124 63 69 96.1 4830 91 73 0

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ethan and Ross visit the Military Museum.

John escorted Ethan and Ross through the Ruston Military Museum and the displays outside.

They enjoyed the visit. We will have to work on how to salute.

Ruston, Louisiana Peach Festival, today and tomorrow.

I went downtown at nine to be sure they getting ready. The stage tent was up and they were checking the keyboard.

The north-south highway splits into two one streets a block apart going through town. At the RR tracks this block is a nice downtown area for civic events. Some genius named this area Railroad Park. The city has recently refurbished the downtown area. See the lovely alley.

Something really exciting is going on downtown. A new coffee shop is about to open. Starbucks can really use some competition.

Saw this Peach Rodeo poster. I have never seen a Peach Rodeo. I think I will go tonight.

6/23/11 242.8 50.3 122 60 65 95.7 3420 89 70 0

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Millersburg, Kentucky. pop 842.

I am excited about visiting Millersburg in September. I have run across a reference about the death and place of burial of my 3rd great grandfather. I have challenged myself to get a photograph of the gravesite of  each of my eight American great grandfathers. With this information I now know the location of two of the eight gravesites.

My 3rd great grandfather was Samuel Munson who was born between 1760 and 1765. He died in a cholera epidemic in 1833. He was buried in the Millersburg Cemetery in Millersburg, Kentucky.

Millersburg is located in North Central Kentucky some 20 miles northeast of Lexington. The direct route is through Paris. I believe that the gravesites of three more of my great grandfathers are in this area. I hope to get to them all in September. Exciting, huh?

5/22/11 243.2 50.2 115 59 70 96.2 2820 78 74 0.3  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiddle-guitar teamwork.

This looks hard to do. I assume they must play the same tune.

6/21/11 243.8 50.3 118 62 67 96 2350 90 69 0.8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

374 years of monson/munsons in North America.

In 1637 my 8th great grandfather, Captain Thomas Munson appeared in an Indian War in New England. In 2011 I am living in Ruston, Louisiana.That makes 374 years that America has been blessed with Monsons. My direct line ancestors from Captain Thomas have lived these eras.

1637-1765, 128 years, 34 %  is the New England era.
1765-1907, 142 years, 38 % is the Kentucky era.
1907-2011, 104 years, 28 % is the California era.

I am sorry to say that as a boy, adult, and retiree I had no conception of this. My grandfather lived until 1939. I was 14 and had never heard him mentioned, let alone the 7 American grandfathers that had proceeded him. I do not recall any notification that my grandfather had passed away. He was living in Kentucky. I thought the Monsons had come from over the ocean some 150 years ago and settled in Kentucky. With the Monson name I thought they were Swedish. It turns out that they were Normans from Normandy who settled in England after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Before their stay in Normandy they were probably Vikings.

The last few years I have had time to study up on my ancestors. I think that they are a pretty interesting group. I would like to leave a written up family tree for my descendants. In the meantime I will occasionally spice up my blog with Munson vignettes.

Louisiana Cousins.

Doesn't this delightful picture of two cousins make you dizzy? It does me. Christian on the left and Johnny on the right. They are right side up in the next picture.

These four cousins are Ethan Newberry 10 years, Johnny Miller 23 months, Christian Newberry 30 months, and Ross Newberry 7 years. I am fortunate to have these four of my nine great grand children close by. These pictures courtesy of Joy Newberry, Mother and Photographer.

6/20/11 243.8 50.9 138 61 71 96.7 3160 100 78 0  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Too busy to blog.

Making birthday cards for great grand daughter Winter Wrock  who will be five, going on 21. She lives in Woodenville, Washington.

And my youngest grandson Drew Monson who will be sixteen. Drew lives in Modesto, California. He is the producer of the YouTube show "mytoecold". In his spare time he is a stand up comedian.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Going Lazy.

I am lazy. I was born lazy. It is hard to change at 86 years old. But I believe that following my natural inclination to lay around will result in a shorter life. And that life will be one with low stamina. I would like to see some of my great grandchildren vote.This blog is an attempt to shame myself into getting up and exercising. I need to take 5000 steps or more most every day. I take 1500 to 2000 steps in a normal lazy day. This graph shows my current trend. It is not good. I call it "going lazy".

6/18/11 243.2 50.1 125 57 64 96.6 1600 101 77 0

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011

Happy Father's Day to my children and their loved ones. I wish you all the very best! Bless you.

Trip to Jackson, Mississippi

John, Kerry, and I just arrived in Jackson to meet Katie and Johnny Lynn. John and JL were glad to see each other. JL is going home with us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lunch at Barksdale AFB.

This was a nice luncheon. My son in law John Adams drove me, Robert Rinehart and Tommy Ledford over to Shreveport to the Barksdale Air Force Base for the affair. Robert and Tommy are also my companions at the Senior Citizen lunch. Robert and I were wounded on Peleliu Island, Tommy and I were stationed at Camp Cooke in California at the same time.

Robert visiting with a fellow Marine.

There was a large attendance..

They issued pretty hats.

The ceremony was closed with the playing of taps.

6/16/11 242/6 51.1 129 62 69 96.7 1700 99 78 0

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