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.

Monday, February 17, 2014

(Child 1) I am born. Thanks to Mom and Dad.

This will be the first sentence of my Life Story.

Being born is a good place to start, huh? My mother gave birth to me at home on 1129 East Kingsley Avenue in Pomona, California on July 20, 1925. Home was a house in an orange orchard. I understand that I weighed 12 pounds. I was the ninth of nine children. All nine were at home. Within a year or so my oldest sister was to marry. Our home was full of people.

There is a fact from my babyhood that has been told to me. I became an uncle when I was 21 days old. My second oldest sister, Thelma, gave birth to my nephew Donald. Thelma had a good supply of breast milk and would nurse me when my mother was gone. This was told to me when I was a teenager and I was mortified with embarrassment. Later I got over it and was kinda proud of this fact. This fact must explain my magnificent physical condition.

As an exercise I have written down every memory that I have of my mother. This is essentially my memory of my first five years of life. My last memory of my mother was when I was four years old and she was being taken to the hospital. It was 1929. She was in the back seat of an open sided sedan. Someone was holding me up so she could tell me good by.

Mother needed a baby sitter. She enrolled me into kindergarten a year early. Yes, I had two years of kindergarten. That might explain my intelligence. I can remember in kindergarten lying down on the floor to take a nap. I turned my head sideways and saw my mother sitting in a chair looking at me.

My first kindergarten was on Fifth Street. Our home then was on South Gibbs. I would walk home. At four years old it was a long way. When I got home mother would fix us a snack.

I remember mother fixing everyone breakfast and getting them off to work. Then mother would fix breakfast for her and I.

One time I was a bad boy. I did not make a habit of doing that. Mother told me to go into the yard and get a switch. She told me to trim all the leaves off except for some on the end of the switch. I remember the sense of doom and authority that I felt as I picked out a switch for use on me. Mother then switched me the back if my legs. I will never forget that time. I suspect that it only happened once.

This next item is not a memory of my mother but was while she was still alive. My nephew Donald lived with us. I thought that he had been mean to me. I can remember being under a table. I had Donald by the head and was banging his head into the floor. I can remember being happy and enjoying myself. I can remember adults rescuing him. However they sympathized with me.

I was in a theatre downtown with my mother. There was a demonstration of cooking stoves on the stage. Later my Mother carried me in her arms to go up on the stage to get a close look at the stoves. I had seen the curtains part at the start of the demonstration. I was terrified that the curtains were going to close and trap us behind them. I had a crying fit until we left the stage. I was really scared.

I remember a pleasant time with strawberries. My mother loved strawberry shortcake and occasionally that is all we had for supper. She would make a huge bowel of strawberry slurry. Strawberries, milk, and a little sugar. I can remember the bowel. It had blue enamel with white flecks. Then she made a huge supply of shortcake. The shortcake was not sweet. It was like a fluffy biscuit. We had all we wanted. I can remember that my parents and siblings surrounded the table. My oldest sister would have been married and moved away by then. There was a large happy group. I think that we all liked strawberry shortcake. My father was on my right.

I have listed seven memories of my mother. There are maybe three or four more memories. These are also about all I remember of my childhood up to the age of five. I define my childhood as the time between my birth and the passing of my mother. I was five when my mother passed away. I remember being held in a crowded room with my mother in a coffin. I had no conception of death. I was not sad. I noted all the people crying.

Since then I have developed an appreciation of death. I have been very sad about the death of my mother. I have felt deep envy of people who had their mothers for a long time. I have felt a deep resentment to the loss of my mother. I really feel empathy for any person who has lost a parent.


Charles Elbert Monson


Remarks about my Life History.

I suspect that it will take several hundred posts to write my Life History. It probably will take a year or so. I plan to write about everything that I can remember from my life. I will condense a lot, but it will still be long winded. You will able to recognize a Life History post, the title will start with a word and a number enclosed in parentheses.

I have a good start already. I have written 26 posts about my three years in the Army. This would indicate several hundred posts for the rest of my Life Story. I enjoy the researching and the memory trips. I hope that you might enjoy some of the stories.

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