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, January 31, 2014

John's 65th Birthday Party.

John went home from his Retirement Party and had another party! For his 65th Birthday. We all pray that John will enjoy many more.

They really blew out those candles!

John Morgan Adams retires after 34 years with Entergy.

There was a nice Retirement Party at the Arcadia Office of Entergy. John was really pleased at how many turned out for the party. Kind words were said and a few jokes. Congratulations to John on such a wonderful career!

John's office all empty. He left the TV tuned to Fox.

Lots of goodies!

Lots of good looking people!

This picture only shows about 1/4 of the total attendance.

Mada Gras at the Senior Center. January 29, 2014.

Lots of people having a good time. The Staff of the Lincoln Parish Council on Aging really put on a nice party. Here are a few pictures.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Service. Jackie and I served together--in the National Park Service.

Jackie looked so cute in her uniform.

One of the high lights of our years of RVing was the 3 1/2 months we volunteered at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. It was about 1988. (RVing means living full time in an RV and usually involves traveling to follow the sun, or running from the sun, or going to see places.) Jackie and I would often reminisce about our service at Bar Harbor and think about going back.

We worked four days a week. In return we got a place to park (with utilities) our fifth wheel trailer, a uniform shirt, and a hat. Jackie and I, and some forty other volunteers performed many different jobs at the park. Jackie worked in the Visitor Center. She was so proud of herself. She gave directions to various spots in the park. She did it with map upside down to her. She never did understand maps even right side up. She was of no help to us in guiding our RV from place to place. She just did not get maps. But she did for her job at the Visitor Center. I guess it was the uniform.

I worked in the Sign Shop. The park had miles of trails and several thousand intersections. Each intersection required signs with mileage and directions.

There was a group of five or six college students who did a lot of hard work. They got paid. They spent most of their time clearing and cutting the trails. And keeping the signs in good shape. At one time there were forest fire out west and several of the college students flew out to work on fire fighting. They were impressive people. I was involved in a day of fire fighting training. One exercise was climbing into a pump tent looking thing when the fire turned on you. The large number of fighters lost in Arizona recently were using this shelter.

One nice thing about summer duty was that we participated free in all the many activities of the park. Some of these activities were carriage rides on carriage roads, whale watch tours, bird walks, boat rides out to small islands surrounding the park. This was done so that we knew how to tell visitors about them.

One day a week I put on my shirt and hat and worked in a fire tower look out. It really had a view. I pretended that I was a Ranger.

Our fellow volunteers were a jolly dedicated bunch. We camped next to some of them for 14 weeks. About once a week about 20 of us would go out to eat. More that half of these outings would be to a Maine bean supper. These were held at churches and granges. You have no idea how many kinds of beans there are. Very little meat but lots of desserts.

Jackie and I visited many local attractions. Several light houses. The LL Bean Store in Freeport. We found a place for a picnic lunch where we could watch lobstermen in their different looking lobster boats come and check their lobster traps. We would check out the downtown Bar Harbor wharf and watch the cruise ships come in for a visit.

We would often go up on Cadillac Mountain which is the highest point (1530 feet) on the East Coast. It was said that on July 4th that the first sunshine in America was on the top of Cadillac Mountain. The local square dance clubs had a dance that started at midnight on the third and ran until the sun came up on the fourth. We drove up and watched them start dancing at midnight. Square dancers are rugged, and strange.

There was a gravel beach that made a weird noise from the gravel rolling in the tide. There was the Thunder Hole rock formation that when the tide was right would cause water to explode out of a hole and way up in the air. There was a time schedule for the water spouts that Jackie told visitors about.

I attended a duck decoy carving school in a nearby town. It was an enjoyable experience. I carved and painted a small size loon decoy. I never carved another. I still have the decoy that I carved in Maine. A picture is attached. We really enjoyed the call that the loon makes. The same bird is in Washington. We would hear the sound there. Very seldom we would see one.

His nose has seen better days.

1988 Acadia Volunteers. Note the young couple with dark glasses.

Jackie hard at work.

We went for a carriage ride.

Beech Mountain Fire Look Out Tower. I worked here one day a week.

See my fine router work!

Thunder Hole.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

(Army 18) I go to Leyte. MacArthur returns to Leyte.

On October 20, 1944 General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines. I waited until he had everything under control and then I landed on Leyte. My LST from Pearl Harbor landed a month or so after the General.

I was expecting to see my friends from the 154th Engineering Battalion. I remember that the beach was busy. Ships and soldiers everywhere. I walked all around asking for the 154th. No luck. My friends were in New Caledonia. I really felt blue and lonely. I was placed in my third casual camp. It was a tent in the middle of vacant area. I mean that it was one tent and a few cots. I remember sitting on a cot for several days. At last some one came and took me away to the 50th Engineers. At least I had an outfit! The 50th was attached to the 7th Infantry Division.

We were stationed on the edge of a village. I believe that the name of the village was Abuyog. I remember an old picturesque Catholic Church. I looked inside. There was a big square in front of the church. We loaded and unloaded trucks there.

I witnessed several cock fights in the middle of the main street of the village. The fights did not last long. One chicken was soon dead.

We were busy getting equipment for a combat landing. Where  the landing would be,  we did not know. In the back of everyone's mind was the landing on Japan.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three years ago my oldest son Chris passed away on 1-28-2011.

I miss Chris. I think of him everyday. My wife Jackie passed away 7 years ago. My grandson Steven passed away 11 years ago. 

My parents, five sisters, and three brothers are long gone. I miss all these folks. Out of eight brother in laws and sister in laws, only one is still alive. She is Novelle Monson, the widow of my brother George. She lives in Van Nuys.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vicks VapoRub on soles of feet stop coughing?

I had heard this rumor.

1/27/2014 I applied the Vicks at 8:45 pm. Will add to this post in the am. Boy I hope it helps.
1/28/2014 I do not know. Will try another night. At least the bottom of my feet are soft and smooth.

One more car ding!

Five weeks ago on Christmas Eve I picked up my car from Michael Ray. He had repaired four dings. My car was ding free! I was so proud of it. My heart went pitti pat when I looked at my car. Today I put another ding on my car. I only went 35 days ding free. I parked on the greenbelt beside Starbucks and scraped a curb.

Hey Michael, please make me an appointment. I liked having a ding free car

Attended Life Stories Class today.

It was conducted by Deanne Groves. (on the left)

The subject for today was "responsibility", the subject for next week is "service".

John McCarter brought a picture of him and a friend.

John on the left. I think that I know his friend. I think that he is a favorite talking head of John Adams, my son in law, and I. Is it Charles Krautheimer?

John recently lost his trusted service dog of many years. He picked up a new one three days ago.

Look into the eyes of that dog. Is that trustworthy or not?

(Army 17) I moved from Fort Kam, Hawaii to Abuyog, Leyte, the Philippines.

I was excited. I was heading for Leyte to rejoin my outfit, the 154th Engineering Battalion.

I boarded a brand new LST at Pearl Harbor in the Fall of 1944. The ship had been built in the Northeast and sailed to sea down the Mississippi River. It was manned by the Coast Guard. It had full provisions so we received three meals a day.. The ship was rigged so that the spout from an urn full of hot fresh coffee protruded into the hall outside the kitchen. Boy the passengers and crew enjoyed that. Hot fresh running coffee 24/7. Believe or not, I did not yet drink coffee. You see, I was too young. I did not start drinking coffee until I got to Korea,

We did not sleep in a crowded stuffy hold. There was a LCM strapped to the deck of the LST. The LCM is a small LST. Landing Craft Mechanical. There was about five feet between the LST deck and the bottom of the LCM. That is where we set up our cots and slept for six weeks. And played pinochle all today.

The load of the LCM lowered the speed of the LST to 5 miles per hour. Imagine! work all day and night and move 120 miles in a day. The journey to Leyte was 5300 miles. It took us six weeks.

During the trip a piece of the bullets in my leg moved to the skin. The ship had a Doctor who cut it out.

Sleep, eat, and play pinochle all day.



LCM was strapped on the deck of LST. Nice bedroom between the two ships.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

(Army 16) Visit to my brother Warren on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor.

I have previously missnamed Ford Island - North Island. Sorry, I do not know where I got North Island. It lies in the middle of Pearl Harbor and is the home of a Naval Air Base. My brother Warren moved there while I was out capturing the Palau Islands.

After a long 3600 mile trip from Guadalcanal; Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbourne, Harry James, Xavier Cugat, and I made it to Honolulu. They stayed on the ship. I hate to tell you this but my next ride (six weeks) was to be on a ship without any movies! I was taken off the ship and housed in Fort Kam. This was a small casual camp. You had to drive through Hickam Field to get there.

I went to Pearl Harbor and caught a small boat out to Ford Island. When I finally found my brother Warren he was housed in a fifty foot high hanger. He and fellow sailors had their bunks set out on the hanger floor. It sure looked strange. He could get out of his bunk and walk over to his plane!

Warren and I spent spent some time together in Honolulu. Warren is my next oldest sibling and is four years older than I.

The 154th Engineers had left a Warrant Officer and some clerks on Oahu. I hitch hiked across the island to visit them. It was good to see the Warrant Officer, a familiar face. They thought that my comrades were on Leyte Island in the Philippines. I had just been within 500 miles of Leyte when I was in the Palau Islands. I had just finished a round trip 11,600 mile trip to the Palau Islands and back to Pearl Harbor. Now I faced 5300 more miles to Leyte. And I was not even in the Navy. I was just a lowly Dogface. I even get seasick easy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A nice looking California girl.

I love her. I am so proud of her. Her name is Lily Monson. She is the daughter of my son Mike. She is a student at Fresno State. Has an intern job in her Major Subject. She turned 21 on the 25th! Happy, Happy, Happy.

(Army 15) A trip across the ocean with Red Skelton and Esther Williams.

The trip from Guadalcanal to Pearl Harbor was not too jolly. It was a long slow ride. I did not know anyone. There was not much food. Not much water. I mentioned the salt water showers. A salt water shower is good for killing skin infections. It is not very good for making you feel clean. They had soap designed for salt water but you still felt dirty when you finished a shower. The fresh water drinking fountains were only turned on for a few moments a day. You would get your canteen, get in line, and fill it in order to have drinking water during the day. It was hot and stuffy in the hold. A lot of people would sleep laying on the deck. The deck would be completely covered with bodies every night. I remember finding a spot that required me to lay bent around a pole.

Troopship travel was some of the worst duty that I had while in the Army. I had four months of it. Some transports was better that others.

This troopship only had one movie. They showed it every night. I went to see it every night. Fortunately it was a bight happy movie. It was "Bathing Beauty". The movie starred Red Skelton and Esther Williams.

I knew all the dialogue, scenes, etc.

Friday, January 24, 2014

(Army 14) Jungle rot, ringworm, and skin fungi on Guadalcanal.

In a week or two I was released from the hospital. A small boat took me to Guadalcanal where I was placed in a casual camp This is a camp for soldiers who were separated from their units or not attached to a unit.

I was assigned to a work party. We worked in the jungle. I can not recall what we did. I can remember riding a truck with a load on it.

I got a severe case of ringworm and jungle rot. It was so bad that I was  released from the work party and stayed in the barracks. Ringworm is not aworm, it is a fungal skin desease.

I was put on a large loaded troop transport that was headed for Pearl Harbor. The ship was low on provisions. We were fed two meals a day. We had a meal card that they punched. Two punches and you were through eating for the day. The ship store (for the crew only) would open once a day. I can remember standing outside the door to the store and offering sailors ten times the normal price for a can of peanuts. I never was successful.

My skin problem was still bad and I went to the medics. They swabbed my scrotum with some solution (?) that boiled on my skin. They quickly washed it off. I will never forget that. It is a real thrill to have some acidic solution boiling on your scrotum.

I took salt water showers (the only kind of shower available) and laid out in the sun every day. The jungle rot and ringworm went away. I even had ring worm on top of my head.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I have lived in the South too long.

I have lived in the South too long because Possums are not as repulsive as they once were. They are still repulsive but not as repulsive as they were years ago. Here is a cute youngster on the Adams's deck. Isn't he handsome?

(Army 13) Straighten up and die right!

I was carried from the tent hospital on the beach to a large hospital ship. I believe that I was the only patient in a fairly large room. I remember lots of wounded in the outside hall. Some terrible wounds. Why I was alone, I do not know.

After using the bedpan a couple of times, I decided to try walking to the bathroom. There were hand rails in the hall on the way. I made it ok. Goodbye bedpan!

The hospital ship took us to a hospital on an island in the Solomon Islands close to Guadalcanal.

Nat King Cole had a 1943 hit  record "Straighten up and fly right" that contained these lyrics.

The orderly in my hospital ward would mop the floor and and sing that song. He would change the fly to die. Straighten up and die right! Some sense of humor. It was worth a daily laugh.

I saw the x-rays. The bullets had broken up when they entered my body.  Pieces of bullet were along the bone. One large piece had penetrated about 3/8th of an inch into the bone. They must have been dum dum bullets. The doctors elected to not operate but just leave the bullets alone. Months later a piece of shrapnel worked its way out of my leg. The doctor on another ship cut it out.

In a few days a general came by my bed and gave me a Purple Heart.

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