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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Monson did not make the cut!


In 1941 I was in the 11th grade and on the Pomona High School football squad. I was not too good. Semi qualified for standing tackle or guard. I can remember throwing a block on the tackle dummy and Assistant Coach Stan Acres would admonish me on how I could do better. I thought that I was doing good, but I guess not. Mr Acres was also my History Teacher. I admired and liked him. I have fond memories of his American History class. First day in class he asked me to go out for football. I was a big boy (for 1941) at six feet tall.

I was washing dishes for a living and living in a $4 1/2 a month room on East 2nd Street. I can remember buying a quart of cold chocolate milk at the Pomona Creamery on the way to my room from football practice. It tasted so good! I would drink the whole thing right then. It seems strange that I was supporting myself, and going to high school, and going out for football at 16 years old.

The Pomona High School team was scheduled to go to Phoenix and play a game. It involved a train ride. I was so excited! Thirty players were to make the trip. The list was posted and there I was at number thirty! The next day a new list was posted. Joe Beck was at number thirty and I was not on the list at all. My heart was broken. (It still is) I wonder if the persons responsible had any idea of the heart break that they had dealt the Old PrunePicker

The night that the team loaded on the train I was there wishing them all a good trip and a good time. I remember the railroad car full of 30 happy team mates while I stood on the platform and waved. This was such a bitter pill. It would have been better if I had not been on the first list. I mean it was a serious disappointment. I still feel the bitter pain 65 years later.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

What is better? Ford or Chevy?

Early in my life (5 to 10 years old. From around 1930 to 1935 plus.) at any family gathering a big discussion (argument?) would take place on which was the better car, Ford or Chevy. My Father was not involved. He was born (1881) in the age of horse power. He had been an expert teamster. He plowed many a mile. I saw him using a team of horses digging out the basement for a building. Probably when I was around five (1930). My Dad was a heroic figure directing the work of powerful horses. He never did get much good with internal combustion engines.

The discussion on the Ford/Chevy was held by two opposing camps. The Ford camp was my brother in law from Taft, Marion Mott. His able assistant was my brother George. The Chevy camp was my bothers, Keith and Warren. The many other current cars (Buick, Studebaker, Plymouth, etc) did not get involved in the arguments. The Monsons were Ford/Chevy people.

Remember, this when the automobile was a recent invention. Exciting times. Every new model of any car was greeted with crowds of people visiting the show rooms. Much oohing and awing. Cars were an important part of our lives.

My brother Keith was famous for taking a Model T Ford apart and putting it back together. And it ran. He was only 12 years old at the time! Late 1920s. He was a mechanic all his life.

The arguments would cover all aspects of the cars. Starters, brakes, ignition, etc.

Here are pics of the cars.


My first car was a 1930 Model A sedan.


It was not that shiny. I paid 35 dollars for it and drove it for a year. The timing gear went out and I sold it in Fresno for ten dollars. The majority of my cars have been Fords. Mustang, Taurus, etc. Even my company cars were mostly Fords. I think that the present day Ford and Chevy are comparable. There is probably not a lick of difference.

Here are the front ends of a modern Ford and Chevy. I am just more comfortable in a Ford. After ten years in a Toyota I just bought a Ford. It seems like coming home



See any important difference? There could have been back in the 1920s and 30s but I do not believe there is now.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rhonda and Friends paid me a visit.

I was not up to a house cleaning today. But Rhonda came by anyway for a cup of coffee. She brought Jasper and Flip-Flop the three legged dog. They are such nice dogs. I enjoy visiting with them. It was nice to visit with Rhonda also. She is so nice. I am in love with her.


Flip-Flop likes my slide out.


So do Rhonda and Jasper.




I am so fortunate to have such sweet company.

Monday, December 19, 2016

James Fallin, a good friend for ten years, passed away.

I attended his funeral today. James had a distinguished career in law enforcement. Most of the police in the area were at the funeral. The Sheriff of Lincoln Parish was a speaker.
James was five months younger than me. We hit it off and exchanged war stories. He was always in charge of the ice cream supply at the VFW Post. I tried to keep in his good favor. James and I were on the same Honor Flight to Washington, DC for veterans, escorted by his daughter. James fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle in history. He had some chilling stories.




James and I had a lot in common. We visited about how much we missed our wives. We both had heard their voices.

I will miss James. A lot.







Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dixie Dancers of Ruston

Last night I went again to the Dixie Theatre in down town Ruston. Looking for more culture. The Dixie Dancers are a bunch of volunteers. They did a Christmas show. They have volunteered to entertain almost 500 times in the last dozen years. For free. I made several videos of their numbers but ran into copyright issues when I tried to utube them. So I only have the picture below.


The show was delightful. Very colorful and happy. Like Christmas.








Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Russ-Town Band "Christmas at the Dixie"

Friday night I attended the annual Russ-Town Band (conducted by Lawrence Gibbs) Christmas  show. Boy it was good! Lawrence had fifty musicians on the stage. They played selections from The Nutcracker to Sleigh Ride. The attached Irving Berlin Medley indicates how good the the Russ-Town Band is. A four minute video. This community is very proud, and should be, of the Russ-Town Band.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Old PrunePicker buys a new car.

This morning I was looking at cars at the local Ford dealer when Star Salesman Larry Gipson passed by. I was like putty in Larry's hands. By noon I had bought at Fusion four door sedan. Larry's charm and sales ability payed off!


I bought the same body style and color.



Below is the 2012 Camry that I traded in.


The two cars look a lot the same. It looks like I have the same car. However the new car has 40 miles on it and the old Camry has 94,000 miles.

I have always preferred Fords. I have had many. Starting with a Model A. (I paid $35 for it when I was 15 and drove it for a year. The timing gear went out and I sold it for $10.)

I hope that my grand son in law who runs a Chevy Dealership will forgive me for not buying a Chevy from him. Sorry Justin. If any one reading this wants a good car please look Justin Miller up in Franklinton, Louisiana at the Magee Autoplex.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Johnny Lynn went deer hunting today for the first time.

It is about time! Johnny is my youngest great grand child. She will be eight in July. Her Dad and her Paw Paw took her.


They did not see any deer today. Johnny Lynn thought that maybe the deer were in Church where it would be safe.


They did find an impressive deer rack.




Thursday, December 1, 2016

Vital Signs. November 2016.

Notice temperature up from the normal 97.7 to 98.3 on the 16th. Not much but two days later my eyes started oozing fluid, itching, and poor vision. Felt bad also. Highest temperature was 99. It is striking that as my temperature declined my eyes improved and I felt better. By the 29th my temperature was near normal at 97.9. I felt good and my eyes were back to normal. My temperature really tells a story.

I started the month at a weight of 224.4 and ended up at one pound less at 223.4. That is what Thanksgiving will do. Only one pound loss for the whole month! Still a lot better than the 255 pounds I weighed on July 1.
I hope that you all have happy and healthy Holidays.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Gazebo on Black Friday.










Monday, November 21, 2016

Body temperature mirrors my eye infection progress.

I love statistical curves and trying to correlate them with real life events. Just look at my body temperature and my very recent eye infection.

1.3 degrees may not be much of a fever, but it made me feel bad and correlated with the worst of my eye infection. I would say my normal temperature is 97.7.

Still not over the infection.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lucky Flip Flop.

Riding over to Rosa'a house with Rhonda I noticed Flop Flop put his fead out the back window.

Rhonda told me that Flip Flop pushes the window button with his paw whenever he wants to put his head out in the wind. He has not learned how to close the window yet.



Flip Flop gets around a lot on three legs but he needs help on steps and getting into the car. Rhonda takes the place of his left rear leg when required.


If you are a dog who loses a leg to cancer make sure that you live at Rhonda"s home.




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

My grand daughter, Joy, completed a half-marathon (13 miles) with a broken leg!

Joy is awesome. This is her third half-marathon. Her personal goal was to complete the race in less than two hours. In her group of runners this is called a sub two. However, a few days before the race on last Saturday her right leg started hurting. She iced it and carried on. At the start of the race her leg was hurting but not too bad. At mile nine she started slowing down and then had to jog/walk and then could only limp. X-ray indicated a broken bone. (see below).

She could not put any weight on her right leg by the time she got home. She will require a splint/cast and extensive healing time. She is blessed with a fine husband and three great boys.

This is my thought. A stress fracture occurred  a few days before the race. Her running on pavement worsened the fracture to the point that she could not run any more and indeed until she could  not walk. Joy is so conscientious that she ran through the pain. I do not know how she did it. I am so proud of her. My video (below) was made before we knew about the broken leg.


Sub two next year!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Guitar Music.

The other night I went to a concert at Tech. A classical guitar quartet played Bach etc. It was the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Very good, very professional.


I enjoyed their performance a lot. But not as much as I enjoyed the guitar performance by my son, Michael, on his youtube channel. Am I prejudiced?


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ruston's first Veterans Day Parade.

They say that there will be a Veterans Day Parade every year from now. I was surprised that was not the case, considering how patriotic the City of Ruston is.

I managed to get a bunch of video clips into one clip, presented below. It is almost 15 minutes long. (My longest video so far) At about 14 minutes two National Guard jets fly over head. Noisy! The cost 25 million each. It takes only ten minutes to fly the jets from New Orleans.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Last Home Volley Ball Game.

We (Techsters) almost won every game but lost three straight. The games were exciting. The University of Southern Mississippi was just too tough for us.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ride Home

I wanted to show how pretty the driveway is when I pull off the highway. I love this place. Thanks to Mr and Mrs John Adams for letting me live in your yard!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My youngest daughter, Kerry Lee, turned 62 yesterday.

Kerry was born on election day. I love her and am so proud of her. After her party she fixed a delicious spaghetti dinner. It was just like her mother used to fix. I loved it and wallowed in nostalgia as I ate it. Thank you, Kerry, for being so nice. Happy Birthday!




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Main to Main.

Main to Main Trade Days is held the first weekend in November every year. There are fifty miles of yard sales along the highway between Minden and Springhill. The route of sales winds through Sibley, Minden, Dixie Inn, Cotton Valley, Sarepto, and Cullen.

A group covered the route last Friday. They were led by Jewette Farley. Crew members were Rosa Blakley, Rhonda Ray, and Chuck Monson. I (the old prunepicker) was the official photographer.

We left Ruston at 6:30 am. After doughnuts and coffee we hit the first yard sale in Dixie Inn at 8 am. Nine hours later we made our last stop in Springhill. We were back in Ruston at 6:30 pm.

I took pictures at most stops. Jewette is an expert yard sales locator. I estimate we made about fifty yard sales. I tried to get Rosa, Rhonda and Jewette in the pictures, but sometimes only got one or two of them. The picture below is of our first stop in Dixie Inn. Rosa in black, Rhonda in pink, and Jewette in white.





The only teepee we saw.





Rosa and Rhonda were nice to pose for me. Thank you, Ladies!




They only pigs for sale on the whole route.












The hen and chicks were not for sale.






Jewette grows pecans at home but could not pass up the good price. Notice the Superman TV set.


The group enjoyed their day, had delicious tamales in Sarepto. 

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