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, August 28, 2016

PrunePicker Memories of my Mother, Olive Knowlton Monson.

My Mother was born in Stirling, Kansas in 1889. She passed away in 1931 at the Los Angeles County Hospital. 42 short busy years.

She had nine children. First five girls and then four boys. Two of the girls were twins. I was just five when she went to the hospital. I can remember her sitting in the back seat of a soft top sedan. I was held up by someone to tell her good by. That is my last memory of her. The total number of memories that I have of her is about three or four. I really missed having a Mother in my life. I love her.

The picture below is an enlargement of her from a Knowlton Family picture. She is about 16 in the picture.
This next picture is the best picture that I have of my Mom. It is also a good picture of my Dad.

Mom sent me to kindergarten a year early. (She needed a baby sitter) So I went two years to kindergarten. I can remember walking to and from school. It was a good distance and across a large busy street. When I got home Mom would fix us a tasty snack.

I remember taking a nap on the school room floor. I could see Mom sitting along the side of the room.

Once Mom went to a movie theatre for a demonstration of new kitchen cook stoves. She took me along. Curtains went up so we could see the stoves. Then my Mom carried me up on the stage to get a closer look at the stoves. I was terrified. I thought that the curtains were going to come down and trap us for ever. I screamed and Mom had to leave.

Once I was a naughty four year old. Mom told me to go out doors and pick out a good switch. Three feet or so long and leave some little branches at the small end. I did not like that job. Mom switched the back of my legs! (Later in the sixth grade I got the same treatment from the Principle. In the seventh grade at Fremont Junior High School I had a fraternity paddle laid on my rear end by Principle Chance. Miss Beard, the teacher involved, observed. I remember smiling at her during the paddling.)

I remember Mom mixing strawberries, cream, and sugar in a large enameled blue bowl. She baked non sweet fluffy short bread. This was the entire meal for a bunch of family on Sunday evening during strawberry season. I loved it. I would like some right now.

I remember the funeral. A large room full of people. My cousin Elmo was holding me in his arms. It was an open casket funeral. Everyone was crying. I had no conception whatever about what was going on. I remember people saying that there was a very large attendance.

My sisters say that Mom was a good cook and a skillful seamstress. She could make two dresses for the twin girls (without patterns and each a different size) between lunch and the time to start supper. Mom would also play the piano and sing for her children. I wish that I could have heard that.

I show the Knowlton family picture again. Taken in Stirling, Kansas around 1905. Mom is the teen age girl on the left. I am so thankful that I have this picture.


  1. Another interesting story...thanks

  2. A great, interesting family retelling, thank you for the sharing. family histories are so important for the storyteller and the listeners..

  3. Thanks, folks. I appreciate your comments.

  4. Thanks, folks. I appreciate your comments.


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