Prune picker

This is the blog site of an old man. As a native Californian I call myself a prune picker. I live in a fifth wheel trailer. My front door is 25 steps from my daughter’s front door in the Piney Woods of North Louisiana. My blogs are often silly and or trivial, and some times educational and serious. I hope that some are interesting. None are long.

Preparing these blogs seems to fill a need in my life. I am compelled to do it. It helps fill the time until I die. I always have a job to do.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Places that Chris and I frequented.

I visited Chris most every year at his apartment in Laguna Beach. He lived at 1131 Catalina Street about 4 blocks from the ocean. In his last years he was a busy blogger. He had two blogs. One he called snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition (It was a conservative political blog with music, pretty girls, and classic cars.). The other  he named The Chinese Jar ( It was for discussions about great books.). Until recently he posted new entries on his blogs several times a day.

We would often go for coffee on Pacific Coast Highway at the Laguna Coffee Shop.


We would sit at the table in front of the window. It was usually sunny and we would watch the traffic go by and work on solving the problems of the world.


Sometimes we would adjourn to Ruby's Autodiner. Ruby's served big greasy hamburgers and thick milkshakes. The kind of milk shake where they brought the metal mixing container to the table.

I will really miss my visits with Chris in Laguna Beach. I will also miss the long visits we had over the phone. We just almost had figured out the problems with the world! I love you, Chris.

Monday morning (1-31-2011) walk in Dana Point.

It was pretty morning in Dana Point. Yesterday was cold, windy, and raining. The weather here changes as fast as the weather in Ruston. Below is a pic of the Pacific Coat Highway.
Here is a view of Saddleback Mountain from Dana Point.

Have a great day! I will be in Ruston Wednesday night.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coast Hills Community Church

Bob and I attended Church a moment ago. Chris was a Christian.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nancy Ann Wright, artist in cloth.


My daughter, Nancy Ann, is truly an artist. Her quilts are beautiful!

Laguna Beach Walk with Bob

My son in law, Bob Wright and I went for a walk along the beach. It was a beautiful morning. We were in Laguna Beach to to look at Chris's apartment. Bob gassed up his car and paid $3.59 per gallon!

Sure a pretty walk.

Saw a group working on their jujitsu skills.

I am scheduled to fly home on Wednesday. Good old Ruston!


My son Chris, in happier days.

This picture was taken a few years ago at Dana Point Harbor.

I want to thank all of my dear friends in Ruston and my family for their expressions of sympathy on the loss of Chris. They have been a blessing and a big help to me. God bless you all.  Chuck

Friday, January 28, 2011

Christopher David Monson. 1948- 2011

My heart is breaking, My oldest son, Chris,  passed away this afternoon. He would have been 63 on April 1.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flying to Orange County in the morning.

My oldest son, Chris had a seizure and fell. He suffered a severe head injury. He is in ICU in a hospital in Mission Viejo. I will keep you posted.

John is happy to be 62 today!

We had a party for him at Applebees.

My Darling Wife - Long before we met.

Three of my favorite people.

Don't they look happy? They are my son in law, Bob Wright, who lives in Dana Point, California. His daughter, Annie and her son Max who live in Corona, California.

I think that this is a wonderful happy picture that will dress up my blog.

1/26/11 239.8 49.4 114 64 70 96.3 3260 59 30 0

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

George J Smith, egg man and pinochle player.

This is George Smith, husband of Newie, and my wife Jackie's grandfather. He is a nice looking young man holding a document. He was a lot older when I met him in San Luis Obispo. Jackie had always lived with Newie and George. George had chickens in the backyard and harvested lots of eggs. Jackie used to help candle the eggs. George delivered many dozens of eggs to people in San Luis Obispo.

George went downtown to a card room every night to play pinochle. When he came home he and Newie would eat cheese and crackers and discuss the days Dodger game. Newie loved Sandy Koufax. She was an avid baseball fan.

1/25/11 239 49.8 131 65 65 96 3068 52 38 0.9

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trip #2 to Does. As good as I remembered from Trip #1.

A crew of four assembled at Jefferson Corner.
A driver with car volunteered. He had a nice car and was well insured.
The new bridge over the Mississippi at Greenville helped. The trip from Ruston to Does Eat Place is 145 miles and takes 3 hours each way. But the meal is worth it.
We found Does Eat Place (established in 1941). It was not as busy as our last trip.

The man on the left is an armed guard.

We entered through the kitchen.

The flames are above the steaks. This makes it handy to catch the juice and pour it back over the steaks.

The four gentlemen from the Jefferson Corner Liars Club are waiting for their steaks. They are Roger Shelby, Skip Russell, Chuck Monson, and John Roebuck.


And were they good! I am ready to go back.

Newie's Mother and Sister.

This is a picture of Mrs Dinwoodie and daughter Jeanette taken probably in the 1890s. Mrs Dinwoodie is Newie's Mother . Jeanette was Newie's sister. Mrs Dinwoodie is the great great grandmother of my children. The picture was taken in Toronto, Canada. Great Great Grandmother Dinwoodie and her children were born in Scotland and moved to Toronto sometime before this picture. Don't you admire those hats?

1/24/11 239.4 49.7 127 57 66 96.4 4210 48 44 0.7

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jackie's Mother and Grandparents.

This is a rare picture of my wife Jackie's Mother and parents probably taken around 1920. Jackie's Mother Helen is the teenage girl standing between her parents George and Newie Smith.


I posted picture because it is the best picture I have of a younger Newie. Newie played a big role in my marriage to Jackie and our children. My daughter Nancy thought that an actress on TV looks like Newie. I agree that the actress favors this picture of Newie.

It is an interesting picture that I plan to enter in our family tree.

Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi

Does Eat Place was founded in 1941. It is in the wrong part of a Mississippi River town. Does keeps an armed guard at the door. You enter through the kitchen. The steaks are the best that I have ever had. A delegation from the Jefferson Corner Liars Club made a trip there about a year ago. It is a three hour drive from Ruston and worth every minute.

We are going again tomorrow night and I can not keep my mouth from watering. I will have to take a one meal break from Nutrisystem. I will post a blog about our trip.

1/23/11 240 50.5 122 61 68 96.3 3050 62 34 0

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seven or eight pound weight loss.


Feel better at 240 instead of 249. Putting on my socks is much easier. 










Billy Goat


Took a nice walk. Almost got a good picture of a neighborhood billy goat. You can get the idea from the pictures I got, however. I will return.

Combined party. John's 62nd Birthday and John and Kerry's 33 Wedding Anniversary.






John and Kerry had a lovely family celebration of John's  62nd Birthday and Kerry and John's 33rd Wedding Anniversary. John's sister, husband, and daughter drove up from Lake Arthur. We were all so disappointed that John and Kerry's grandsons in West Monroe did not get to attend the party. They had the flu. But their daughter Joy did attend. Their younger daughter Katie drove up from Franklinton with her daughter JL. We spent two days following JL around. What a circus she is! 19 months old.

1/22/11 240.6 50.1 134 64 64 95.7 7591 55 26 0

Notice the 7591 steps. This is the most I have taken in one day. 10,000 here I come!!



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Do you know the little girl in the swing?



1/21/11 241 49.7 133 61 64 96 5282 42 28 0

Friday, January 21, 2011

John and Kerry Adams. They have been married 33 years today.


Kerry Lee is my youngest daughter. This picture was taken 33 years ago today at her wedding to John Morgan Adams. I wish them a very happy anniversary. May they have many more! I love them.

In this picture (the only one I could find of the two of them at the wedding) John and Kerry are concentrating on cutting their wedding cake. They were married in the front room of our house on Crater Circle in Huntington Beach, California on January 21, 1978.

Jim and Jane Ball




This morning I attended entertainment at the Lincoln Parish Library. Jim and Jane Ball played and sang country music. They have been doing this for 30 years so were very good. There was a strong assortment of honky tonk music. But they also did gospel and closed with the Louisiana State Song.

1/20/11 240.2 49.8 121 60 67 96.1 4922 41 38 0.2
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