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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

(Poly 2) Home sweet home for 4 1/2 years.


It is fun going to school. I enjoyed my college years. We could not afford to take summers off as GI Bill payments stopped when you were not in school. So I went to school continuously until I graduated in 1950.

We had a difficult economic time. My GI Bill check gave us about $120 per month. That did not go very far for two adults and two children. Jackie worked a week or two (at her old job as a telephone operator) and I cared for the children. This did not work out and she came home.  I worked nights. At one time I worked at three part time jobs. Jackie never had a job again. Except for working hard in our home.

Jackie's Grandfather delivered eggs to the Snow White Creamery. He led me to the job of cleaning the cafe every night. The owner was a nice guy named Stan. There was a bar a block down the street. I got the job of cleaning it. My third job was cleaning the Cal Motors truck terminal. With a couple of hours or more at each job I had a full night of work. I would fall asleep in classes. I am a sleepy head any way. I can remember Jackie waking me up. I would be so enraged that I would pound the wall with my fist. The walls were not too strong in our shed.

I bought a bicycle and would ride it to the jobs. When it rained I would get soaking wet.

At the creamery my main job was mopping the floors. I learned that the women's restroom was always messier than the men's room. Behind the counter the floor was thick in spilled ice cream. Getting the floor clean was a job. I always had time to sit down and have a dish of the delicious ice cream. Different flavor every night.

At the bar I had to place all the empty beer bottles in the cases and carry out them out back. Also mop the floor and clean the restrooms.

My job at the truck terminal had a different wrinkle. I cleaned the office and then received freight bills over a teletype machine. There were about ten copies. The machine made a lot of noise with keys hitting a steel roller. I would tear the bills apart and sort the copies out. These were freight bills for all the freight that a crew was unloading from trucks from SF and LA. A dispatcher figured out the loads for the local routes, up and down the Central Coast. I received the freight bills around 2 to 4 in the morning. I remember lots of freight from Kraft Cheese to stores in the area. Once in a while a jug of mercury would come through the dock. It was a little jug, but so heavy! (100 pounds or so) It was from the Idria mercury mine in San Benito County. Later in my Schlumberger career I was to visit the mine and have lunch in the miner's mess hall.


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