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.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rock Island Greenway. Cut the ribbon.

Years ago the tracks of the Rock Island Railroad Company ran across Ruston. The company is long gone and so are the tracks. But the right away is still here and mostly owned by the city. There has long been a dream to convert the right away to a walking biking greenway. The city has just completed one mile of the Rock Island Greenway. Isn't that nice? Within one year another several miles will added. There are are long range plans for 20 or 30 miles of greenway in Ruston.

I lived in The Woodlands, Texas for several years. That city has around a hundred miles of greenway. You could ride your bike to the civic center and not use a normal street. The greenways added a great plus to living in The Woodlands.

Yesterday I attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Rock Island Greenway. Here are some photos and a nine minute video of the program.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hanging out at the Koi Pond.

I do this at least an hour a day.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Russ-Town Band Concert. June 2017.

The concert was held in conjunction with the 2017 Peach Festival. What a grand performance. One of the most enjoyable hours I have spent in the last year. I look forward to this program every year.

Thanks to Laurence Gibbs and the many volunteers. Here is a video of the Russ-Town Band playing "American Overture for Band".

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hal Mayfield entertains at the Ruston Farmers Market.

Hal came all the way from Calhoun, Louisiana. Could be 20 miles. He plays and sings great. I enjoyed him.

There were lots of fresh good looking vegetables at the market.   And many other items including honey. See the video. Come shop.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Johnny Lynn Surprise Birthday Party

Johnny's birthday is really the Fourth of July. She is a firecracker, that youngest great grand child of mine. She is currently visiting Ruston. They gave her a surprise party yesterday.

Tables were beautifully decorated (with a unicorn theme) while she was swimming with her grandfather.

Johnny enjoyed the birthday meal.

Unicorn fur is delicious!

Present time! A video follows.

Happy Birthday! Sweet Girl.

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 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.

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