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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mountain View 2016 Outhouse Races.

This was an exciting event. Huge crowd. Splendidly designed and built racers. Pit crews were the best. Takes muscles to be a pusher!

Here is a video of one of the many exciting races.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Video of Side Street Steppers.

Please excuse the poor light and short video. I ran out of battery. Many of this group's numbers are on Youtube. I saw them live and they are very good and charming.

Beanless Bean Fest.

How could a person go to the Bean Fest in Mountain View, Arkansas and not get one bean? Well the Old PrunePicker did just that. Sue and Jewette Farley drove me 300 miles into the mountains of North Arkansas and put me up in one of their lovely cabins. The fires under the bean pots were scheduled to be lit at 7 am Saturday morning. I asked Jewette to drop me off at the bean pot area at a quarter to seven. I sat in my chair and watched the bean cooking crews arrive. At seven the fires were lit and the crews started stirring the beans.

Each crew had a pot, stirring stick, and burner.

Notice the number of pots (20 or more). Would you think that they could run out of beans? (Pic taken Friday evening)

Well they did run out! I was watching music a short distance away. I left the music and went to the bean area 45 min after the scheduled start of serving (to be cool and avoid a long line). Last year they had beans left over. The weather was bad and many people did not show up. This year the weather was great and the crowd was huge! Incidentally the beans and cornbread are free. If you get there in time. I was way too late. They had served all the beans and were cleaning the pots for next year!

A little cornbread was left.

Not many beans!

Side Street Steppers from Memphis

This band gave a two hour show last night. They were very good. They play music from the 20s and 30s. Gave lots of history. Played many instruments. Will post a video tomorrow.

I stayed so late that the Farleys came looking for me. Sue said that it was time for me to come home!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Life is sweeter around the Bean Pot.

One person is holding a stirring stick. Just had stirred the pot of beans. I was here to see the lighting of the pot fires at 7 am. Then the different crews started adding their secret ingredients to the beans. The beans are judged at 11 am. At 12 noon beans and cornbread will be served.

I watched several hours of music yesterday in front of the courthouse. More music today plus Beanfest and Outhouse Races.

Friday, October 28, 2016

See my chair in front row at Mountain View Courthouse stage?

I am ready for two days of music from this stage in downtown Mountain View.  I plan to video some acts and put on my Youtube.

I have been to several dozen yard sale withe the Farleys. Everybody and most of the churches have a yard sale going. Jewette has been to most and knows the people.

Sat in Picking Park last night. The weather is beautiful.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ruston WW II POW Camp.

Went to a Chautauqua meeting last night. Wesley Harris gave an informative talk on the Ruston WW II POW Camp. I enjoyed it a lot. 

Did you know that there were 750 POW Camps in the US during WW II? Ruston was one of the largest of the camps. The Ruston camp secretly held the German crew from a captured submarine. Very hush hush and top secret because we did not want to let the Germans know that we had one of their code machines. This gave us the ability to read their messages and helped win the war.

The submarine is on display near Chicago.

With lots of time on their hands the prisoners made elaborate miniature castles and displays.

Books (among many) by Wesley Harris.


Monday, October 24, 2016

The Old PrunePicker is planning a trip East.

I am feeling pretty good since losing 35 pounds. (255 to 220)

A recent newsletter from the The Thomas Munson Foundation announced a family reunion in Louisville next July. Thomas is my 8th great grandfather. Next year will be 380 years since grandpa Munson was in the Pequot Indian War in New England. He was born in Rattlesden, Suffolk, England in 1612. He must have migrated to America sometime prior to the War.

Here is a note from a previous PrunePicker blog. With pictures of two previous reunions.

I plan to attend the reunion in Louisville July 21 to 23. On the day after the reunion I am going to drive to Arlington, Virginia. On the way I am going to research some grandfather graves in Kentucky.

I am going to sit on my gravesite in Arlington (which now contains the ashes of my wife Jackie and my son Chris) for a day. I have done this before. I found it inspirational and heart warming. I saw three or four funerals from a distance.

I will visit a few days with my nephew Daryl and his family who live in the Washington area before returning home to Ruston.

Here is a link to a 10 minute video of the 1987 Reunion.  link

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Louise and Leung Seto. Parents of Kylee Seto, soccer star.

After today's soccer game with UAB I was thrilled to meet Louise and Leung Seto of Vancouver, Canada, I could tell that they are very proud of Kylee. I am too.

I have added a little video of todays soccer game. We won in the second overtime. 2 to 1.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Locker room to pool.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Walk from car to locker room.

Notice that I cut off my Vlog before entering the locker room. I did not want to offend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tech Athletic Fields

Monday, October 17, 2016

My vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President is not a wasted vote!

Much of my thinking has been influenced by a recent paper by Stephen Weese, "How Not To Waste Your Vote: A Mathematical Analysis" A very good read. I recommend the paper.

A wasted vote can be defined as a vote that has no effect on the final result of the election. The following two types of votes are therefore wasted votes. 1) votes for the winner in excess of the number required to win and 2) votes cast for the losing candidate. You can count on your vote for a major party to be in one of the two types of wasted votes. One mathematical study indicates that 3 million votes for Clinton in California will be wasted this election. (Because she has such a large lead.)

In a sense your vote is really an expression of your opinion. A vote for the major parties implies that you are happy with their performance. A vote for a third party implies just the opposite. I will vote for a third party. This year the Libertarian party.

A vote for a third party is noticed (by the major parties) and is often instrumental in making a change. (the Socialist Party Platform of 1915 has been completely adopted by the Democrats and the Republicans) I believe that we need a third party. If Gary Johnson receives more that 5 per cent of the votes in this election, the Libertarian Party will be eligible for government money for election expense like the two major parties. Many millions of dollars. This would help make a third party viable.

So a vote for Gary is not wasted.

Some people believe that our system leads to a two party system. Almost all of our national elections are decided by a method where we vote for the lessor of two evils. Most votes are negative. Or against someone.

Come vote with me for Gary. Help develop a three party system.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Softball in the hot sun.

What a difference in the weather between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Softball in the rain.

The only people crazier than the people who play softball in the rain are the people who will stand in the rain and watch the game!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More walk in Cook Park

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

PrunePicker Memories of my brother, Warren Thomas Monson.

Warren was born in Chino, California in 1921 and passed away in Seattle, Washington in 2003 at the age of 82.

Warren was a character and lived in a world all of his own until the day that he died. He was good looking like Keith and George. (What happened to me?) I spent more time with Warren then I did with any other sibling. Most of my siblings were in their twenties and thirties in my formative years and were out in the world on their own. Warren was only five years older than me. For a time the two of us lived with my Dad. This was for 3 or 4 years after the all the other family members had gone their way.

Warren was a swinger. He had the latest hot rod with beautiful sounding loud exhaust manifold and pipes. I can remember him working at the movie theatre and the skating rink. He was a good skater. He skated around and around backwards with a whistle for people who did not skate right. Warren was married five times. Two of the marriages were to the same woman.

Warren enlisted in the armed forces three times. They were the Navy, Air force, and the Marines. He must have liked uniforms because he worked for long time for the bus company.

Warren was always in debt. One debt was to a jewelry store for expensive watches and other goodies. My sister Jean tried to keep him above water. Years later he would visit Jackie and I and borrow money. He did pay any back. He came one time when Jackie and I were living in Oildale. Before he arrived Jackie hid our money in an ice cube tray. I could not find it so could not loan him any money on that visit. That was cold hard cash!

For the last part of his life Warren lived in Seattle. While Jackie and I were RVing and when we settled on the Olympic Peninsula I saw him once or twice a year. He lived in a camper truck parked behind a friend’s house. Three or 4 years before he passed away Warren had cancer on his jaw. Most of his jaw was cut out and he lived on food that was ground up with a blender. To the last time I saw him he was the same old Warren. He was always smoking, drinking beer, and talking about sex. I sat in some prime examples of a beer dump (in West Seattle) with him. He was well known, liked and always had a tab. I still loaned him money.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Fiddler and the Folklorist. (Fred Beavers and Dr Susan Roach)

These folks were the main attraction at this month's bluegrass gathering at the RR Station in Arcadia.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has proclaimed October as Louisiana Folklife Month. Several people in different parts of the State are to receive recognition for their contribution to the folklife of the State of Louisiana. Fred Beavers of Simsboro was honored at this event. Fred has been a longtime fiddler in this area and has inspired and taught many people. He is a past State Fiddler Champion. He was joined by friends on the stage in a tune (Faded Love).
Ben Robinson, also a past State Fiddler Champion, was influenced by Fred Beavers and joined him in a tune (Faded Love. Is this the national song of bluegrass?)
Dr Susan Roach (Folklorist at Louisiana Tech) interviewed Fred at some length on his life and musical career. Afterwards she was joined by Acadia Mayor Eugene Smith in the presentation of a certificate from the State.
Congratulations to Fred. We hope that he will fiddle for us for a long time!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rusty has a new home and a new name!

You remember John's sweet dog Rusty? He was sweet

except for chewing everything up. So John told Rhonda (the dog Lady of Lake D'Arbonne)  that he would like to give Rusty a new home. Rhonda thought she had just the home for Rusty. The home that Rhonda had in mind did not work out so Rusty now lives with Rhonda (seven dogs!)

Rhonda has changed his name to Waffles.

I drove up to Rhonda's home today to see Rusty (er Waffles). But today also happens to be Rhonda's birthday. So I gave her a dozen roses. Happy Birthday Sweet Rhonda.

Here is a short video of Waffles (used to be Rusty) in his new home. I know that he is the luckiest dog that I have ever known.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Number 55. Last game of the season.

Number 55 is my great grandson Ross John Newberry. Last night the 7th graders from his school (West Ridge in West Monroe) invaded the field of the Ruston Junior High School. We were all there for the last game of the season. Although West Ridge lost the game, Ross made some great tackles. Our hearts went pitter pat with family pride.

The next three pics show the Ruston players running in through a cheerleader held banner.

Meanwhile West Ridge looks on.

Two good pics of Number 55.

The ladies of each school do a dance at half time.

One last crouch for Ross. He plays middle line backer.

One last hand shake.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kylee Seto gets a great writeup in the Ruston Daily Leader.

And also a great photo taken by Darrell James. It is a great picture shot at just the right moment.

It must be fun to be a real photographer and take such great pictures. I was happy to see that others, like me, appreciate the soccer ability of Kylee. She is equally at good at being a nice person.
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