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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PrunePicker Memories of my sister, Jean Butcher.

All of my sisters were Mothers to me, but Jean was the most. Jean was born in Redlands, California in 1912. She passed away in Pomona in 1977 at the age of 65. Too soon. I remember crying like a baby at her funeral. Her oldest son Daryl comforted me.

Jean was the third child born in the Monson Family. She was the first of four born in Redlands. Jean was the spark plug of the family. She was the replacement mother. She inherited this position as her two older sisters were involved with their families and were not living in Pomona. She also had a natural aptitude and ability for the position. I think that my siblings would agree with my assessment of her position in the family.

Jean was like a Mother to me. All of my sisters were like Mothers to me. She was there for her siblings and her Father when they needed her. I remember her driving her and I to the big hospital in Los Angeles in the days after Dad’s stroke. I can remember stopping at a roadside stand on the way home where she drank a Miller beer. I have always had a warm spot for Miller beer. I see a Miller beer and I think of that evening. It was a warm pleasant evening. She also drove us to the Rancho los Amigos in Downey when Dad was placed there. Sometimes we would stop by Knott's Berry Farm which was a small place out in the wilds of Buena Park. (Knotts grew a little bigger.)

The only memory I have of Jean’s first husband was he was driving Jean and I in a car. It was an open sedan and I was in the back seat and all bundled up in blankets because it was cold. I cannot remember the start or the end of the ride.

Jean’s second husband was Joseph Butcher but was always known as Butch. He was a good looking guy and she was a good looking woman. They made an impressive couple. They had two boys. They did a lot of looking out for me. Early in their marriage Butch had a job driving a bulk ice truck. He drove a large truck and delivered ice to commercial accounts. When the Japanese were impounded there was a temporary holding place at the LA County Fairgrounds, located on the edge of Pomona. Butch got a job as a guard. From there a he got a job on the Pomona Police Force. This was an ideal job for him and he had a long and distinguished career in the Pomona Police Dept. He ended up as second in command of the force. He told me he turned down the job of Police Chief several times as the job did not have job security. I can remember his retirement dinner. Hundreds of police officers were there and there was a telegram from President Nixon.

Jean was office manager at the Pomona Tile Plant. She was the right hand of the owner, Gus Johnson. She dealt with the contractors and saw that the orders were delivered on time. Many of Jean’s relatives worked at one time or another at the Plant, including me. I did not work there very long because I went into the Army when I was 17. My sister Dallas worked there all of her working life. When I was around ten I made many trips to the Plant office. I would call Jean on the phone and ask if she would give me a dime so I could go to the movie. She always said yes. I can remember the long walk out to the Plant. I would go in the office and stand at the counter and she would give me the money. Quite often she would give me an extra dime for candy. At the Thrifty Drug Store you could buy three nickel candy bars for a dime!

I can remember Jean taking me to buy shoes for school at the Orange Belt Emporium. This was the largest department store in Pomona and was located at the corner of Second and Gary. This was at the center of downtown Pomona. A pair of new shoes was big money. (4 or 5 bucks!) I went barefoot almost all summer. I liked going barefoot except when I stepped into some bull thorns.

When I came home from the Army and was united with Jackie, Jean and Butch drove us up to Big Bear and left us for a honeymoon. She knew someone who had a cabin there. I remember catching the bus back to Pomona.

Jean was a very important and vital part of my growing up years. I love her very much.

In the depths of the depression Jean and Butch built a new house. It was the pride of the whole family. It was in a nice neighborhood. The floor, walls and ceiling of the shower and the whole bathroom was covered with tile. They had a patio covered with tile. The kitchen had tile everywhere. Jean was a big believer in tile.

I can remember many happy family reunions at Jean’s house!

1 comment:

  1. These stories of yours are precious time capsules. Thank you.


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