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, August 14, 2014

Suicide. I have been around it.

My wife Jackie and I were in the San Fernando Valley visiting friends. Our children were with us except for our oldest son, Chris who had stayed at home alone in Coalinga. He was a teenager. In the middle of the night we received a phone call from the Coalinga police that Chris was in the hospital having his stomach pumped out. He had swallowed a killing dose of aspirin. He had attempted suicide. But he changed his mind and called for help.

We found out Chris suffered from depression. He had a lot of treatment, including electroshock. He lived with his problem for almost fifty more years (with treatment) before being killed in an accident at the age of 63.

That phone call in the night was a shock. Chris was way above average in intelligence. We thought that he was happy. He was a very good student. Jackie and I had no idea of his problem with depression.

I had three brothers. Keith, George, and Warren. They were handsome men. They were happy men.
They drank alcohol quite a bit. Keith was a very good mechanic. He was a jolly man, usually laughing and joking. George had been a Marine Pilot in WW II. He was a superintendent for the gas company. Warren was considered to be the black sheep of the family. He lived a long life and died from cancer at the age of 82.

Keith and George shot themselves in the head. They died quickly. Keith was 59 and George was 85. The news of their deaths shocked and dumfounded me. I was so saddened.

That is a lot of suicide in the male part of my family. I used to carry a small pistol in my pocket. I have a Concealed Handgun Permit. It is valid until 2017. After consideration I have turned my gun over to my son in law, John Adams. It is locked up in his gun safe. I will not keep it with me any more.

Keith. Died at the age of 59.

George. Died at the age of 85.

Warren. Died at the age of 82.


  1. Chris' suicide attempt impacted me greatly. I also considered it on and off for years and years. Thank goodness there is medication and I found one that works for me. I'm so glad you no longer have the gun. It worried me.

    1. I had no idea. So happy that you are doing alright. We have have had serious problems with depression. I love you, Honey..


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