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, June 21, 2017

RESOLVED: No more speeding tickets, no more car accidents, no more killing deer with my car!

I have decided that I will never get another speeding ticket, or have another car accident, or kill another deer with my car. (Five so far.)

I will obtain these three goals by always driving under the speed limit and exercising extreme care at all times. My GPS indicates the speed limit where I am currently driving. If I go over that speed my GPS places a red highlight on my speed. If I get red, I slow down. When driving at typical deer moving time I will drive around 40 miles per hour while paying strict attention to the road and woods ahead. (This is particularly true when driving to the coffee shop before and at sunrise.) My last deer kill caused $8000 damage. I do not drive that way to the coffee shop anymore.

I have been driving this way for a month. All my life I have driven too fast. Driving was a big part of my job in the oilfields. I drove fast to get home sooner. However, this practice carried over to all my driving. As a consequence I have received many speeding tickets. Not one more!

I have found driving slower to be relaxing and more enjoyable than my old go for broke style.

In the photo below I am pledging, on my Prunepicker Word of Honor, to follow the resolution stated above.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hybrid Cars are not new!

My Indiana cousins (the Munson Company of La Porte, Indiana) offered three different models of hybrid cars in 1898. Unfortunately they went out of business in 1900.

The following article gives some history.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Roller Derby

Judy and John Collins drove me over to the Monroe Civic Center last night. Thank you folks! I really enjoyed the evening. A roller derby game was presented by the Roe City Rollers. The Rollers opponent was the Mississippi Brawl Stars. Some game! From the selfie you can see that Judy, John, and the Prunepicker are deep in the game.

My last roller derby game that I attended was 55 years ago in Los Angeles. I guess that I am not too rabid a fan.

The game was proceeded by the Colors and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner,






Here is a short video.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Prunepicker Chuck Monson and his friend Richard Maxwell were on the front page of the Ruston newspaper last night!


The lead article covered the really big news about the availability of peach ice cream during the annual peach festival next week. Thank goodness! what would the peach festival be without a dish of peach ice cream?

Below the fold was an article (with pictures)  about the flag retirement program held on Flag Day. Flag Day was Wednesday June 14. See my blog post of that day (the post just before this post) for more pictures


On the left of the bottom picture you might make out two old geezers in VFW caps. It is a wonder that the geezers (Richard Maxwell and Chuck Monson) were not cut out of the picture. I guess it was thought that they gave a certain charm to the photo.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flag Retirement Ceremony June 14, 2017.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of JD Harper and his staff of dedicated volunteers from the Ruston VFW a Flag Retirement Ceremony was held this morning in Ruston. Many of those folks are somewhere in these photos.

Many thanks and appreciation for the efforts and help of the Boy Scouts and the Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The Park furnishes a dedicated spot in the cemetery for the ceremony.

By the way, today is Flag Day.

The Scouts demonstrate the correct procedure for folding a flag.


 




The correct procedure for preparing a hot dog was demonstrated by able volunteers.



Entrance to the Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Highway 80 in Ruston, Louisiana.


Gene Murphy is holding up the tree. Isn't that a fine beard?

 




JD says "see you all next year!"


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Visit to Franklinton

On the way home to Ruston from St Francisville I stopped at the Miller home in Franklinton, Louisiana. This is the home of Justin, Katie, and Johnny Lynn. I have been wanting to visit there for sometime. The trip to St Francisville brought me within 2 hours of Franklinton, Yippee. What precious people! Justin and my grand daughter Katie are the parents of Johnny, my youngest great grandchild. Here is a photo Katie took of Johnny and I during my visit.


Johnny is so excited to see me in Franklinton that she closed her eyes! She is scheduled to visit us in Rustin soon.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The day the war stopped.

The Civil War was raging in 1863. Union gunboats were shelling the idyllic town of St
Francisville from the Mississippi River. Then on June 12, 1863 the firing stopped and a shore boat under a white flag came ashore. The captain of a gunboat had committed suicide under the influence  of a fever. Commanders of both the Union and Confederate forces were Masons. The dead officer had expressed the desire for a Mason funeral. It was agreed to cease fire until the Union officer could be brought ashore and given a Mason funeral. Six Marines carried the casket up the hill to the church. June 12 is remembered as "the day the war stopped". Every year the funeral is reenacted. I attended the reenactment last Saturday.

Grace Episcopal Church is where the funeral service was held. A day or so earlier the Union gunboats had used the church for target practice. Also the courthouse across the street.





The Marines take a break before their duty. 


A work party brings the coffin.


This a picture of the Masonic Building located across the street from the courthouse. This year is the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Lodge. I am sure that this fact added to the crowd present.


The church building and grounds of the Grace Episcopal Church and Cemetery is one of the loveliest that I have seen. I am an aficionado of cemeteries. The church building is the original building present during the war. The courthouse has been rebuilt.


 The



The coffin was carried from a block away to this spot in front of the church. Where a service was held.



The coffin was then carried to the gravesite of the Union officer.


Here is a 20 second video.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Popcorn for supper during the Great Depression.

I was in the sixth grade. About 11. I was living in a home with my Dad and my brother Warren. Warren was four years older than I and was gone a lot. I was home alone most of the rime. At eleven years old I did not wonder the streets much.

I was hungry a lot. Not much food in the house. I had several adventures cooking for myself that stay in my memory.

A big success was walnut brittle. I melted sugar in a cast iron skillet. I would stir in lots of chopped walnuts. My home town, Pomona, California had miles of walnut orchards. The walnut brittle was delicious!

I would make pancakes (from scratch). I would make my syrup. The pancakes were not bad until I ran out of several vital ingredients. Ugh! very bad! Ever make pancakes from paste?

Once I heard of a field of popcorn south of town. The small field of corn seemed to be deserted. I picked corn that was very dry. I could roll off the kernels from the cob with my hands. I would pop the corn in the same cast iron skillet I used for the walnut brittle. The popcorn was delicious and filling.


I often have popcorn for dinner today. By choice.



Monday, June 5, 2017

Vital Signs for May 2017.


A month ago my blood pressure was  going higher. I only take one heart medicine now. Atenolol. My doctor is Dr Carter with the VA in Monroe. I asked Dr Carter if I should increase my Atenolol. She said yes if my heart rate did not fall under 55. On May 10 I increased the dose from 50 to 100 mg. My blood pressure dropped. My heart rate is now around 55.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Music at the Black Bayou Lake Wildlife Refuge.

The musical organization New Music on the Bayou put on a program Saturday morning at the Black Bayou Lake Wildlife Refuge. Michael and Rhonda Ray invited Rosa Blakley and the old Prunepicker to attend the musical and have lunch with them.  Rosa and I like lunch.  And the music was very entertaining.

The Rays read posters at the the Wildlife Refuge entrance.


This is the music pavilion. Audience seating on the left and a bandstand on the right. 


This is my standard selfie of the Rays, Rosa, and half of a Prunepicker.


One of the musical selections had an old friend from Ruston in the group of musicians. The gentleman on the left, in the following video. is Laurence Gibbs. Laurence has been playing 30 or 40 years (he recently retired form teaching at Louisiana  Tech) and he is getting pretty good.



Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Music on the Bayou. Session at the Lincoln Parish Library this morning.

New Music on the Bayou is an organization of musicians. The group is sponsored, in part, by the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the Louisiana Tech University at Ruston. Both musicians and composers are in the group. The group is putting on seven one hour programs. The programs are to be held over the next few days in Ruston and Monroe.

I attended the program this morning at the Library. Musicians would play a composition, stand for applause and then signal for the composer to stand for applause. Here is a short video of one composition.





Tuesday, May 30, 2017

12th Annual Cook Church Memorial Day Veterans Fish Fry.

And I (the old prunepicker) was there. John and I have been to most of the Veterans Fish Fries. The good folks of the Church Baptist Church dig deep into their wallets and hearts to put this on. All veterans are invited along with a guest. It is free. I got special permission to take two guests. John and Rhonda. There were many Rhonda hugs for many of her old friends.

Here is a picture of part of the crowd. Probably around 400 people, a little more than last year. 150 pounds of fillets and 50 pounds of whole fish. No telling how many french fries and hush puppies.


Here is a photo of Richard Jones. He seems to have a lot to do with this annual affair. Thank you so much Richard! And to all the willing volunteers.

.
Here is a short fun video of the cooking crew. They bring their own stoves and cooking oil!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Farmers Market Music.

You get to hear all kinds of music at the Ruston Farmers Market. Today was religious Mexican with drums. Furnished by a music group from the Tabernacle Christian Restoration Church of Ruston. Enjoy.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

John and the old Prunepicker installed a new air conditioner.

It sure looks nice. It does 14000 Btu or a ton and 1/6 of refrigeration. On 115 volts. To get a bigger unit requires 220 volts, which I do not have. It is supposed to cool 500 square feet. My Hitch Hiker fifth wheel is only 400 square feet so I will stay cool. Or cooler, I am already cool!




There is only one thing wrong. Ever since we installed the AC it has been cold and raining.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rhonda takes her Mom, Rosa, and the old Prunepicker to breakfast and the RW Norton Gardens in Shreveport.

Delicious food at Strawn's Eat Shop. I wonder if they are connected with Does Eat Place in Mississippi?

My lovely company. Rhonda and Mom.


I thought you might like to see a closeup of Rhonda. Doesn't she pose nice?


The flowers and the garden were lovely.






 


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