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, October 31, 2013

Fifth wheel travels in Western Canada, Part One.

In 1988 Jackie and I decided to tour some of Western Canada. Jackie's  maternal grand folks, George and Neway Smith,  lived in San Luis Obispo. We spent five years living at Cal Poly in SLO from 1946 to 1951. We spent a lot of time with the Smith's. They were lovely people. We heard the stories of their life many times. (I wish that I had taken notes.)

In 1915 George and Neway, who were living in Chicago, homesteaded in Elk Point, Alberta. It was a long way off on the north edge of the world. It is Northeast of Edmonton on the north edge of the plains. There was not any civilization North of Elk Point. That is probably true today. The Smith's homesteading came to a tragic end when George fell off a roof and broke his neck. He was a semi invalid the rest of his life. He retired to that garden spot of the world, Taft, California and opened a grocery store. This led to the birth of Jackie. Life is wonderful, huh? I owe my sweet marriage and four wonderful children to the broken neck of George Smith.

Jackie and I decided to visit Elk Point that we had heard so much about. And extend our trip to the West Coast. We were living in Willis, Texas.

We added a couple side trips (Winnipeg and Moose Jaw) on the way to Elk Point. I made a reservation at a large RV park in Winnipeg. The park had a thousand sites. We arrived in the middle of May 1988. The park was empty! It was like Canada was not open yet. Two more rigs arrived in the evening and parked by us. We huddled and visited and stared at the rolling hills of vacant RV sites surrounding us.

Good thing that I had a reservation, huh?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last session on Muslims in America.

I attended the last of five sessions studying Muslims in America. The two hour sessions were held on the five Tuesdays in October, 2013. They were led by Dr. Ahmad Nazir Atassi of the Department of History of Louisiana Tech University. I enjoyed them and learned quite a bit. We read and discussed five books about Muslims. Most of what I learned was from the books. For years I had banished book reading from my life. Now that I have dipped my toe into the pool of reading books I think that I will read some more. Early in my life I read many books, Then I stopped. May be I will leave this vale of tears reading.

Muslim treatment of ladies got much attention as well as dress codes. There was some intense discussions. I listened. At least two of the people in the group were Muslims.  One of the Muslims quoted the Koran as saying that a Muslim could have sexual relations with a wife or a concubine, but that sex with a slave was forbidden, I do not think that I needed to know that.

Ethan Newberry. Runner.

Here is a couple of pictures that shows what it takes to run a sub six minute mile when you are 12  years old. It looks hard. Not fun and games.

I am sure proud of my oldest great grandson, Ethan.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Maverick operating system for MAC for free/or if it aint broke don't fix it!

In the middle of feeling bad the last few days. I heard about the great new operating system for your MAC. And it was free. Oh what fun. I installed it.

Took five hours.
Hung up, had to power down to get unstuck
When I got my MacBook back on it was so goofed up that I had to use my iphone and Windows computer for blogging.

There is a term for this experience. It is called turning your computer into a brick. Or bricking your computer.

Today I got well enough to call Apple Care. I whined "Can I get rid of Maverick and get my old computer back?" The nice young man said no but in a few moments had my MacBook back in the pink. I feel so much better now, both in the body and in the computer,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Fall Yall!

Our neighbors down the street have put up their fall decorations again. They are pretty and it is a pretty day. They have a sign that says "Happy Fall Yall" They like fall like I do.

I am taking more time off. Want to shake this "whatever" before I go to the Munson reunion in Napoleonville on Friday

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Should I increase my daily dose of cranberry extract?

Thursday evening I got real sick. It was like a combination of a urinary infection, pleurisy, sore throat with severe coughinjg, runny nose and a cold. I developed a two degree fever. My chest cavity hurt. .Boy did I feel bad. I am still getting over it. I think that I have one more bad night coming.

I could not sleep. It hurt when I coughed which was all the time. I slept for moments sitting up. One time I took four aspirin, laid own and slept for 20 minutes.

For many years I have suffered urinary infections. I drank cranberry juice for years, Then I went to capsules of cranberry extract. A while ago I cut my dosage in half. I am going to at least double it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

They have moved in!

These three Mallard ducks have moved into Kerry and John's Koi Pond full time. When they first appeared five weeks ago they used to leave at night, No more, they are there all the time and look so happy.

Wonder if we will get some little ducks?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Have I converted to Islam?

I have recently been asked this question.

Prunepicker Blog readers know that I am engaged in five Tuesday evening sessions on the study of Muslims in America. The sessions are led by a history professor in the LaTech History Department. It is sponsored the American Library Association and the Endowment for the Humanities.

We have been loaned five substantial books on different subjects about Muslims in America. The first time I have read five books in a few weeks for years. The group sits in a circle and discusses the books. Concentrating on one a week. The topic of conversion, both into and out of Islam, are covered in the books. Any discussion on any religion could be considered an attempt at talking you into converting.

I have not converted to Islam. I do not believe that I will convert to any religion. It has taken 88 years to get to where I am. I am happy with where I am.

Fall is my favorite time of the year My daughter Kerry has created this work of art at her front door.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Orphan Trains.

The story of the Orphan Trains is some American History that many of us have never heard of. Between 1854 and 1929  over a quarter of a million orphans and abandoned children were put on trains and taken to different locations in the West. People came and picked them up at the train station. Sort of like going and picking out a kitten, but different. I attended a program on the event today. There was music, film clips, photos and stories, The stories were both chilling and heart warming.

For sure such a thing could not happen today.

To some it was an opportunity to get a slave.

Joe Allet, the winningest  Coach in Tech history was one of the orphans. The current football stadium is named after him. He must have been on one of the last trains.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monson out. Pilgreen in by unanimous vote!

The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Lincoln Council on Aging was held yesterday at 11:00 am on Monday 10/21/2013. Five members of the Board of Directors were elected at the meeting.

Henry Roane and Liz White count the ballots.

In the after noon at the first meeting of the new Board of Directors James Pilgreen was elected President.

Pilgreen conducting his first meeting. I think that he will be a great President.

I was glad to serve the Council on Aging for two years as President of the Board of Directors. I know that my performance fell off in the second year of my term. In March of this year I had brain surgery to fix bleeding from my brain caused by a fall. I was several months returning to what for me is normal. My mental performance took a beating, and physical. Thanks to you (especially Michelle) all for pitching in and doing my job. I will be on the Board for one more year. It will be my sixth year.

During my time with the Council on Aging I have noticed members looking at me askance. You can tell that they think that I am strange. Probably one of the strangest things about me (in this area) is that I was born and raised in California. The title of this blog is Prunepicker, which is depression era speak for native born Californian. Another strange thing about me, and one that causes the most askance looks in my direction, is that I have a weird sense of humor. I say things that I think are funny, but are just strange to many others. I often wish that I had not said something. I mean well but it comes off weird. So often that best thing to say is nothing.  Maybe I will learn that some day. I am only 88. There is still some hope.

I wish the very best to James Pilgreen and the new Board. I hope to be of help in the future.

Monday, October 21, 2013

High Tea with the English Speaking Union at Layton Castle in Monroe.

I went to the Tea with high expectations. I envisioned a dozen bagpipes, everyone in kilts, and bowler hats. There was only one bagpipe, one bowler hat. and two kilts. But there were a hundred or so very charming people, hundreds of tea cookies and goodies, and a lady (with an accompanist) who sang beautiful broadway show tunes. And the most wonderful My Fair Lady hats. It was fun and nice!

Layton Castle was built in the early 1800s.

The Tea was in honor of the new Prince George. He is very big with the English Speaking Union crowd!

The man in the kilt (one of two at the tea) is John McCarter. John invited me to the tea. Thank you, John.

More John. John smiled at me and said that he once owned a castle in Scotland. I believe him. John is quite a guy.

The one bowler.

Nice party. Nice people. I am glad that I went.

One bag pipe.

Ethan Charles Newberry is 13! I am too young to have a teenage great grandson.

Grand folks couch.

Crawfish and pasta. Delicious.

We all love Ethan. Happy Birthday Ethan. We pray that you have many more.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Corrie moves from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Kona, Hawaii.

Corrie Faith Wright, world renowned Four Star Pastry Chef, has moved from one scenic spot to another. From Wyoming to Hawaii. She is one of my five grand daughters. I am so fortunate. I have wonderful grand daughters and love then all so much.

Corrie is at Papakolea Green Sand Beach at Mahana Bay. This beach is one of the only four green sand beaches in the world.

Corrie and a visitor are at the top of the Teton Village Lift in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Can Corrie pick the places to live?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Techster Volleyball vs Central Tennessee.

The game was last night 10/18/2013 in the old Gymnasium. That was the only gym when my son in law John Morgan Adams came to Tech in 1967. He said he ran the bleachers every day for conditioning.

These folks are always in the best seats.


We lost three straight games. Darn.

Bagpipe Party at a Castle Garden on the Banks of the Ouachita River.

And I am invited!. Below is my invitation.


What kind of an outfit is "The English Speaking Union" ?  Sounds subversive.

Who is England's Prince DII?

How do you get to the Layton Castle in Monroe?

What kind of a gathering would recommend that guests wear a Bowler hat and/or Kilts?

I normally do not go to affairs like this, but I feel that I owe it to the faithful readers of the Prunepicker Blog to investigate. Maybe I can record some bagpipe music?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Switch.

The County Switch is a bluegrass group in Bossier City. One half of the group is the Switch. They are Jerry Buchanan and Ron Coffee. The Switch performed for us at the Lincoln Parish Library this morning. It was a very enjoyable program.

A few hours before the program.

No extra charge for the harmonica solo.

Emily draws for door prizes.

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