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, October 29, 2015

CHAUTAUQUA, anyone?

The Chautauqua organization came to Ruston in 1889. The site of the first Chautauqua has been marked. The marker is just south of the south driveway into the Bridge Baptist Church on Vienna Street.



The very start of Louisiana Tech University came from the Chautauqua Ruston organization. Here is a link to a very good article about the Ruston Chautauqua by a local historian, Wesley Harris. Ruston Chautauqua History. 

At this time the Ruston Chautauqua is having four weekly meetings on the history of this area. Last Tuesday I attended a lecture on the "The History Of The Old Wire Road" The road followed the running of the telegraph line across North Louisiana.

Mrs Carolyn Espeneth has extensively researched the subject and gave a very informative talk. I enjoyed the talk....and the cookies and coffee.




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The French Legion of Honor.

Garland Decell, a resident of Ruston served in the American Army in WW II in France. He fought in some of the fiercest battles with distinction. For his service in France the French Government has awarded him their highest medal; the Legion of Honor.

The French Consul in New Orleans came to Ruston today to present Garland with this honor. It was at the Rotary Club meeting. I was invited to the meeting by Tom Grazas (Starbuck Buddy). Tom was the MC for the meeting. I am grateful that Tom invited me. He even mentioned me from the podium. I wonder how much I owe him.


Gregor Trumel, French Consul and Tom Garzas, MC.



Consul Trumel and Garland Decell.


Garland Decell



Presentation of the Legion of Honor.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Vital Signs

Trying to get blood pressure below 120. My Doctor has approved doubling my blood pressure medicine. Hope that will do it. I have just increased the dosage. In the meantime I have gained weight! Heading for my high of 255 pounds. Should increase my steps up to four or five thousand.

Date
BP before rest
BP
after
rest
Temp
Weight
Steps
10/6/2015
155/73
134/64-70
97.8
246.5
2600
10/7/2015
147/99
145/67-71
97.8
245.5
4100
10/8/2015
161/77
133/60-71
97.9
245.5
6000
10/9/2015
156/64
142/67-77
98.3
245.3
4400
10/10/2015
167/69
134/68-71
98.1
244.3
3200
10/11/2015
167/84
142/75-67
97.7
244.3
2000
10/12/2015
150/77
124/69-76
98.2
246.1
1500
10/13/2015
162/76
139/72-69
97.8
246.1
2700
10/14/2015
169/82
140/73-72
97.8
247.5
2000
10/15/2015
170/74
155/76-77
98.0
248.3
2100
10/16/2015
176/74
135/76-77
98.0
248.3
2300
10/17/2015
190/83
138/73-71
98.1
247.3
2900
10/18/2015
146/89
141/70-70
97.7
245.9
3100
10/19/2015
179/99
159/74-69
97.6
247.3
1900
10/20/2015
154/75
142/62-70
97.6
246.6
3400
10/21/2015
146/69
130/68-75
97.8
248.1
1300
10/22/2015
138/66
125/57-71
98.1
248.7
2400
10/23/2015
160/74
128/67-71
98.0
248.0
2300
10/24/2015
143/62
122/60-73
98.5
248.0
3100
10/25/2015
147/75
122/63-69
98.3
249.2
1100
10/26/2015
161/77
138/68-67
97.8
250.6
1200
10/27/2015
154/74
133/72-65
97.9
250.5
2600




Monday, October 26, 2015

A man and his dog. John and Midnight.




I first met Midnight in October, 2006 when Jackie and I moved from Washington to Ruston. He was about two years old. I knew Midnight through his teen years, adulthood, and old age. I grew very fond of that guy. It is with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and an ache in my heart that I write that Midnight passed away this morning. Midnight lived to be eleven. The average life expectancy for a lab is ten to twelve years. Midnight had a full lab life.

Midnight was the Adams family dog. John and Kerry. He loved his family. It was a pleasure to watch how close they were. And how well they communicated.

If possible Midnight was with John every minute. If John was working in one spot, Midnight would lay done beside him. John had many a trip over Midnight. 

Here are some pictures of Midnight's last living hours. The Doctor said that Midnight had a terminal case of cancer. 









Monday, October 19, 2015

Ethan Charles Newberry is 15 years old.

Ethan is the oldest of my nine great grand children. His birthday was on Sunday. Ethan is on the Cross Country Track Team at West Monroe High School. He is doing great and we are very proud of him. He is on the left in the front row of the picture below of the Track Team.



Cross country racing is not all fun and games. See picture of Ethan below.



Ethan with Mom, Dad, and two younger brothers.


Ethan behind the old Prunepicker.


Ethan with Paw Paw and Maw Maw. 




Re-enactment of the Battle of D'Arbonne Landing.

Saturday afternoon I witnessed an re-enactment of the Batlle of D'Arbonne Landing. It was a grand affair with at least a hundred men and three cannons that fired for some time. There was an infantry skirmish with casualties. There were a lot of tents in the woods that housed the re-enacters.










Spectators.









There was a store tent for buying uniforms, etc.

Dutch Oven food and Bluegrass music in the Pines of Lake D'Arbonne State Park.

Last Saturday morning I attended a chapter meeting of the D'Arbonne Dutch Oven Chapter at the D'Arbonne State Park. Good food. They meet every third Saturday. Twice a year they have Bluegrass groups play. I was in the second row!






Some Confedrate soldiers showed up. I hoped that there was enough food. You know how Confeederate soldiers eat!



This young couple came all the way from Farmersville to join me for lunch. That was so nice of Mr and Mrs Ray.


This nice gentleman is Kent Hogan. He is President of the Chapter. And a grand host.




Friday, October 16, 2015

(Youth Bay Area 6) My career at the Doughnut Corp. of America.

I was doing good washing dishes at the U and I Restaurant on West Second Street in Pomona. So good that I bought a car. I paid $35 for a 1930 Model A Sedan. I did not know how to drive so I asked a friend to drive the car to the backyard of the rooming house I lived in. I drove back and forth in the yard, then up and down the alley, and then around the block. I was a driver!

Where to go?  Why to Aunt Marjories in Berkeley.

I drove north up Highway 99 about 300 miles and then west toward Berkeley. About an hour from my destination I was pulled over by a policeman. I was cited for following too close. Oh-oh! I also did not have a drivers license. I could not continue my journey. I had to call and have some Knowlton uncles come and drive my car and I to Aunt Marjories.

I soon went before a judge for my ticket. What was my sentence for driving without a drivers license? The judge sentenced me to several nights in a night school class on driving to help me pass the test for a drivers license. How appropriate. You have a boy before you who does not have a drivers license---so you sentence him to driving license preparation class!

What would possess a boy of 16  to drive away from his home town, drive some 400 miles north, to a strange large city? It was wartime. I must have been lonely and seeking excitement. Even with many siblings in the Pomona area I spent much time alone.

I went to the State of California Employment Office in Oakland and applied for a job. They sent me to Emeryville to the Doughnut Corporation of America. The Corporation hired me and I joined the Warehousemens Union and went to work in the Donut Industry. I unloaded freight cars of flour and other items. I loaded bins with ingredients such as powdered egg white. (It felt strange to run your hands through powdered egg white.) I helped  put bake good mixes into gunny sacks and wooden barrels. Much of these items were for the armed forces. Much was donut mix.

I remember seeing large coffee shops in San Francisco and Oakland that sold Mayflower Donuts and Maxwell House Coffee. Mayflower Donuts was a trademark of the Doughnut Corporation of America.

I heard about high wages in shipyards in Portland, Oregon. I drove there (500 plus miles) and stayed a week in a rooming house. I was impressed by the large number of bridges in Portland. I did not get a job.

I drove back to the Bay Area and got my old job back in Emeryville. This time I did not stay at Aunt Marjories in Berkeley. I moved into a board and room house in Oakland. The house was a huge house in a swank neighborhood. It was about a block from Lake Merritt. I understand that the area is not so swank now. I had a bed in a large room with ten other men, We sat at tables in a large dining room for our meals and were waited on. Fancy dining room.

Eventually I ended up back in Pomona. This was my last pre Army stay in the Bay Area. So much for my career in donuts. The Corporation had a lab which baked test donuts. We often got to take some donuts home at night. Yeah!

Incidentally on the way home I sold my Model A for ten bucks in Fresno. The timing gear failed.
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