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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

(Waterflood 12) My experience as a scab.

I read Jack London as a young man. I was more liberal than I am now. I am usually on the side of the little man or "the working man". My Dad was all for unions. He told me that before unions some miners were chained in the mine at their work place. And that unions were the reason that this practice had been stopped. I believed him. Strikebreakers were no good scabs. (actually real life scabs are useful and good) In any event as a true son of the working class I did not care for scabs or strikebreakers. And here I are one!

My last year with LBOD the wage and hour people were called out on strike. All of us who worked in the office worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week for a month and a half to take their place. It was like a dream. An hour to get home and then an hour back to work. A couple of meals and sleep were all we got at home.

We worked as pumpers. I had special duty monitoring a pilot polymer flood. The fluid was a lot like snot. I caught samples and measured various properties. The data was sent to a large oil company in Denver who were following the test.

We only had a little trouble from the strikers. Some metal items were thrown at trucks. I believe that a windshield was cracked. In the end the union really did not gain much. I was hoping that they would be successful. But the strike was a failure. Us scabs made out like bandits. Our monthly salaries were converted to an hourly rate. Working 12 hours days with time and a half and double time I made the biggest checks of my working career. Probably the most that I was ever paid for six weeks.

In the middle of the strike I broke some bones in my right hand. I had a cast up to the elbow. I had to drive a pickup and unlock gates. This was hard to do with only one hand. It was a real pain in the neck.

How did I break my hand? I was having a discussion with Jackie. To add emphasis to a point I slammed my clenched fist into a steel rail. Smart, huh?


  1. I though you would enjoy this:
    I never met an engineer that did not like steam cars.

    1. I really enjoyed your blog on the steam car. Thank you for it. You do good work.


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