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.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Baltimore. The trip of an unsupervised and willful (little kooky) boy.

Please read the post just before this one. (Baltimore. I walked out of town.) Link.

I have received two comments about my previous post. Both commenters expressed sorrow and sadness. The sad part of the post is how it points out that I did not have any home or supervision. It indicates that I was on my own at such a young age. I had been on my own for some time prior to the trip. Even before my Father had a severe stroke. My siblings (all older than me had me put in a boys home. George Junior Republic in Chino.)

I was so used to being on my own that I ran away from the Republic. (a semi reform school) In Pomona I got a job washing dishes and rented a room for $4.50 a month. (middle of the Great Depression) Did not miss much high school. Never went back to the Republic. George Junior Republic was and is a good boys home. Steve McQueen is a fellow alumni. He probably graduated.

The trip that dropped me in the middle of Baltimore was a fun thing. I did and still love going and seeing. This old age thing might just put an end to such things for me. Darn. I will be 90 in 49 days. I was cold and hungry on the trip home but no problems otherwise. I still remember coming up to the kitchen door of my sister Jean when I arrived in Pomona. Jean was a wonderful person in my life. She was like a Mom to me.

The trip was not really a sad thing. It was a foolish and silly (but still fun) thing. I am good at that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baltimore. I walked out of town.

Baltimore has been in the news lately. Especially all the killings and violence. It was once in the news for the defense of Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner. Baltimore always had a stately ring to the name. It does not nowadays. Here is a hope that we will recover from these sad times.

 In the fall of 1942 I rode the Greyhound bus into Baltimore from New York City. I was 16, flat broke, and a continent away from my home stomping grounds in Pomona, California. I have always remembered how strange and foreign the city seemed to me. The streets of row houses looked so strange.

I found a shop that would buy clothes. I had a suitcase full of clothes. I put on two pairs of pants, several shirts, and a jacket. (It was cold weather anyhow) I sold the suitcase and every thing else to the shop. I received about ten dollars. I was ready to hitch hike 2500 miles to Pomona! I walked out of town and got a ride to Washington DC. I had to walk half way across Baltimore to get on the highway. But I walked all the way across DC. A long walk.

Walking through Virginia it got so cold one night that I paid $1.50 to sleep inside. I only did this one night. I bought a loaf of bread and a pound of bologna. That was my food for the five days of hitch hiking to Pomona. However, I must have bought several meals and bowls of oatmeal.

I have a question. In the middle of WW II how come a 16 year old boy (me) landed in the middle of Baltimore, broke, and 2500 miles from home? Answer. It took a lot of planning and luck (bad).

In Pomona I was on my own and frustrated that I could not get in the service. I sold a car and had a little money. I was well read and had always wanted to see New York City. I bought a bus ticket to NYC (about $55). The trip was seven days and nights. Got a small hotel room near the bus station. Traveled around the city, ate in an automat, and rode the subway. I tried to join the Navy but could not. I thought about finding a job, but I suddenly got home sick. NYC was so big that I did not know where to start hitch hiking. I used all the money I had left and bought a bus ticket to as far as the money would buy. Which was Baltimore.

I have driven through Baltimore several times since. I always think about that day in 1942 when I do.

Monday, May 25, 2015

10th Annual Cook Baptist Church Fish Fry for Veterans and Spouses.

This guy has had a lot to do with it. From fishing and planning to MC of the program.

This is the famous Richard Smith Jones. What a great affair it was today. We ate, had tea, desert, pledged allegiance, sang the National Athen, acknowledged the service branch that we served in, and received some gospel enlightenment from Richard Jones, and were excused in an hour and a half. You just can not do better than that. The following pictures indicate what went on.

Ken Lantrip was one of the cooks. He and my son in law John Adams on the right played football together at Louisiana Tech. John had found a 1966 Lake Charles newspaper that had an article on the two men. They were both stars and are famous of course.

The above pictures are people from my Senior Lunch group. You must recognize Tommy Ledford.

Oh Boy!

Mr and Mrs James Fallin.

I have been to four or five of these fish frys. They are very nice. Today I was impressed by how many people that I know in Ruston. There were several dozen people at the lunch that I know pretty good and am very fond of.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Veterinarian John Adams.

Recall Patches, the cat from the woods,who came in a couple of weeks ago with two kittens and a bite out of her leg?                                                                                                                                                                            

It was a terrible wound. The size of the top of a soft drink can.

Dr John sprayed the wound almost daily with cleansing pain killing antiseptic spray.

This morning the wound was the size of a quarter. Should be all healed up soon. John did good. He is a multi talented guy. Patches's two kittens are sure happy about the recovery of their mom.                                                                                                                             

58 days to my 90th birthday. Like Patches, it looks like I am going to make it!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Green Treefrog and Copperhead Snake. (Life at the Koi Pond)

We were sitting in the gazebo when John pointed out this guy to Kerry and I.

Here are some pics of his home.

Google says this is the Green Treefrog, the Official Louisiana State Amphibian. Popular as a pet. Below is the Google picture.

Lately killed in the Koi Pond area.

This is a Copperhead snake. Not a pet. Medium poisonous. Watch out! Hard to see on the ground. Picture below is a Google pic.

60 days to 90th.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A City Of Refuge. Vinton, Louisiana.

Yesterday, Saturday, May 16, 2015 six members of the VFW Post in Ruston drove some 200 miles to Vinton, Louisiana. They were in two pickups. One was pulling a cargo trailer holding food and supplies for The City Of Refuge. The City Of Refuge is a facility to temporarily house and feed homeless veterans. We were able to view the place and gain an appreciation of the good work that is done there. There is no Government money or support for The City of Refuge.

On the way to Vinton we stopped at the rice farm of Mr Hoppe who gave us a supply of rice for The City. It is a special delicious rice and some of the six purchased some.

This is Burt Stigen, top man at The City.

Guard cat.

The cabins are rustic, but clean, appealing, and home like.

Burt and his buddy. JD. JD is top man at the Ruston VFW Post.

The Chapel looked well used.

The kitchen also looked well used.

Mrs  Burt and her buddy JD.

The line up. Do any of these folks look guilty? They are not. Just a bunch of nice people. From left to right they are ; Chuck Monson, Mrs Burt, JD Harper, Jeff Ferguson, Patrick Barrington, Gary King, Burt Stigen, and Emanual Seals.

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