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, September 2, 2016

PrunePicker Memories of my Sister, Juanita Aletha Moore.

This, of course, is one of my favorite pictures. My five sisters.
I look at the picture and think about my Mom getting all five of these girls all dressed up. They are all so pretty! The twins were born late in 1913. Picture taken in 1914. Nita (Juanita) eight years old is seated with the twins on the right. Don't you know that Nita was busy helping Mom. There were five girls under seven at one time. A picture of the five girls later in life is below. Can you match the ladies to the little girls?
Nita is the lady on the left. They are nice looking ladies. They were so nice and kind. I am thankful that I was blessed with such a wonderful bunch of sisters!

Nita had an interesting life. You have heard the old Chinese blessing? "May you not have an interesting life!" An interesting life was assumed to be full of hard times. Four of my sisters were married twice. (except Nita) I always thought that Nita should have also been married twice.

Nita was still living at home when I was born. Six months later she was married to Bob Moore. I can remember her coming in the front door when I was four years old. There was joy and excitement in the house caused by her visit.

Nita had seven children. The first was born when I was one year old. I had all ready been made an Uncle by sister Thelma. I was an Uncle when I was 21 days old.

I lived with Nita and her family for several short periods. I was around her children a lot. We were well acquainted and were like brothers. After a while we went different ways.

Nita had a hard life. For a time she and Bob were crop workers and followed the harvest from Arizona to California. Bob earned money as a labor broker. I am not sure how it worked. But Bob made money at it and did not pick crops. They had a truck and tent. I remember visiting Nita and her family in Arvin. They were in a tent.  One time she was chopping firewood and a splinter stuck in her eye. Her glass eye was so good, that you could not tell which eye it was.

I was living with them in a house in Pomona. My sister Jean who worked at the Pomona Tile Plant got Nita a job washing towels and industrial cloths for the plant. She did the laundry in her Maytag washing machine and clotheslines. One evening I looked out the window and the back of the house was burning! We got out but the little house burned to the ground. I remember that her washing machine had melted. To another sister's house for me that night.

Nita smiled and laughed a lot. I was talking with her about dancing once and she said that she could do the Charleston. She did it! I was amazed. She was really good. You could tell that she had really danced in her younger days!

I can remember Nita making a meal of salt pork (salt pork was 4 1/2 cents per pound) gravy and biscuits. Or potato soup. (only potatoes and tomatoes) I remember going for her to buy day old bread.

When Bob passed away. I rode with my sister Jean and her husband Butch to the funeral in Bythe, California. It was like a reunion with all her children. Nita had been living in a house in Blythe for some time. The house was owned by a son. She finally could take it easy.

Once when Jackie and I had our RV parked in Palm Springs we drove down to Blythe and went to lunch at Denny's. Some of Nita's family joined us. Here is a picture taken at that time. The oldest and the youngest of the Monson siblings.

Nita worked hard all her life. At seven she had four younger sisters. I understand that she washed the dishes from that time. She worked hard helping my Mom and then worked hard raising her own children.

I thought that Nita had a hard and dreary life. She chopped wood, she took in laundry, she picked crops, she lived sometimes in a tent. With seven children. But she was always jolly and good natured.

I remember Nita fondly. She was always kind, gracious, and thoughtful. She passed away in 1993 at the age of 86. God Bless her.


  1. We really enjoy your stories about your life and your family. Keep 'em coming!
    Bigfoot in TX

  2. Your stories have such a ringing of similar memories of my mother's family, she was born in 1921, the only girl with 5 older brothers ..the youngest was probably 14 when she was born.. my mother passed away at 90, in 2011..
    During the early 40's, while my father was stationed with the Coast mother, brother and I lived with her family in Kinsett, mother's brothers and their families all lived within 10 minutes to an hour of us..there were within 7 years, 19 grandchildren..we all stayed close, mostly, through the years. It was a very different time..memories not forgotten..
    Thank you for sharing..

  3. Thank you for your comment. ktford.


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