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, February 27, 2014

(Boy 6) Dish Washer Par Excellance!

Come to think of it; my stay in the McKinley School for Boys, marked a significant turning point in my life. Before the stay I lived in a conventional home with my mother or grandmother and dad, after was with just my dad and sometimes my older brother. Living started getting tougher and tougher as the depression worsened. I have numerous tales of woe.

In the sixth grade I came home one afternoon and all of our furniture was in a pile in the front yard. Dad had not been able to pay the rent.

Often there had not been any food in the house. At school at lunch time I would leave the school and act like I was going home for lunch. I would walk a couple of blocks and wait until my fellow students had eaten lunch and walk back to school.

I lived in many (a few dozen) places in Pomona. With friends, sisters, and others. Once I overheard a brother in law ask my sister how long I was going to be bumming in his home. That night I slept on the ground under bushes. I suspect that I was about 12.

During this period of my life I started my career in dish washing. My football coach, Mr. Cutler, ate lunch everyday at the U and I Cafe down town. They needed a dishwasher over the noon hour. He recommended me and I got the job. I got a meal and a little money. Later after I ran away from my second home for boys (George Junior Republic) the cafe gave me a bigger job (more time) that permitted me to support myself.

The third building in above picture is the U and I Cafe. I spent several years there honing my dishwashing skills. I got so good that when I left they had to install a mechanical dishwasher. It took a machine to take my place.

This will end my posts on what I call the Boy phase of my life (about 8 to 12 years old). I will probably add to this section later on. Next is Youth, or the period from my Dad's stroke to when I went in the Army.

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