Archive for August 2009

My old man

August 17, 2009

Dad

 Dad’s story

Dad was born in Valley Head, West Virginia on October 18, 1892.  His father was Gordon Ware who had a twin, Samuel, and they were born on Feb. 22, 1869.  His mother, Fanny Irene Parker, was born in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia in 1870, the exact date unknown.  Dad had a sister, Lucinda, born June 13, 1897 and over a dozen aunts and uncles.  He was named after his father’s twin brother, Samuel, and Samuel returned the favor by naming his first born son Gordon.   The picture on the mast-head of Chronospots is of Dad, his father Gordon and mother Fanny.

Dad left home at 13, so I’ve been told, and went to sea on a clipper ship.  That would have been in 1905 and there were few clipper ships still in operation then.  He told me that he worked his way up to 2nd Mate and claimed he devised a system of rope and pulleys that allowed him to pull his ship by hand.  He also told me of sailing around the world and of the beautiful women in Bolivia.  Now you’re thinking, ‘wait a minute, Bolivia doesn’t have a coast’.  You’re right, of course, but Bolivia used to be over twice the size it is now.  It has had wars with just about all its neighbors and lost land every time.  At one time, not long before dad’s trip there, they reached to the Pacific coast and I suppose, to the people that lived there, they were still considered Bolivians.  However, in giving dad the benefit of the doubt here, I have to say that I spent time in Bolivia and the native women I saw there didn’t do much for me.  They were interesting though, in a National Geographic kind of way.

Dad also claimed to have swum with Johnny Weismuller (the original Hollywood Tarzan) and sparred with Jack Dempsey.  He did know how to use his fists and taught my older brother Pete how to box.  As a side note, I remember seeing pictures of Springfield Union High School’s boxing club circa 1948 with Pete in them.  My sister, Millie, said Pete wasn’t very successful because he had a glass jaw.  Anyway, most of this stuff that dad did was before he met and married my mother in 1921.   He would have been almost 30 years old by then.  He had also joined the Canadian Army and fought in World War I in Europe.  I don’t know if he shot anyone, I sort of doubt it.  The only war story he ever told me was of sharing Christmas with the Germans when they were in their trenches.

Dad had various jobs in the northeast and in West Virginia and Florida during the 20’s.  Coal-mining was usually available and a lot of family members worked in the mines and dad did that for awhile.  The family was growing and he was generally a good provider but he had some problems. He was a rigging foreman for a chemical company and got hurt and lost that job and then he was painting cars and got lead poisoning.  They continued to move about and ended up in Philadelphia.  Millie, Pete and Dolly were born there and this was in the early 30’s so times were very tough.  Then Theresa got sick and my folks decided to move to Oregon where Uncle Sam and his boys had gone in hopes that the change in climate might be better for her.

hupmobile

In 1932 dad bought a used Hupmobile and piled mom and her six kids in and headed for Oregon.  The problem here was dad didn’t drive and mom only had one arm and couldn’t drive.  So dad picked up an itinerant who could drive and headed west.   This was during the Great Depression so times were very bad but there was a lot of interest in this young family and their journey so in a lot of towns they were expected and celebrities of sorts.  People and churches would take them in when they passed through.

That’s not to say it was a pleasant trip, mom didn’t hit it off with the guy dad picked up to do the driving and was sure he was a nefarious character.  At one point, while going over the Rockies, mom demanded that they stop the car and she got out and went to sit on a rock and said she wouldn’t go any further if dad didn’t kick the driver out.  The driver advised dad to leave the old bag there but the kids were yelling and crying not to leave mama.  Dad finally talked mom back into the car and they continued on their way.  At this time the roads were bad and services were few and far between.  At times they burned kerosene for fuel.

They made it to Eugene, Oregon where dad’s uncle and cousins were and found a place in Springfield.  Shortly after arriving mom saw a picture of our driver in the Post Office in Springfield and made sure my dad knew that her suspicions were correct.  My sister, Omie, was born at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene in 1936 and I was born at the same place in 1941.  Dad worked at whatever he could find and even swept chimneys to make a buck (or a quarter).  He was usually a painter and tried to stay in that profession when he could.  He was also an artist and did landscapes and portraits.

We bought a lot in Springfield that was actually about an acre.  It was on Mill Street and bordered by J Street on the north and 1st Street on the East.  It was divided up later as my sisters got married and Theresa got the corner lot of Mill and J street and Ginnie got the lot bordered by J street and 1st.  Millie didn’t want a lot and Edythe was going to university.  There was an alley between the lots and we kept several goats there for the milk and we had a large field where we grew vegetables.   We built a house at 1007 Mill Street and while we were building it we lived in a tent.  This is about the time I was born and Millie tells about carrying me out of the tent and tripping on a guy wire and falling.  Then she picked me up and, trying to determine how she could have done such a thing, retraced her steps and fell and dropped me again.

When World War II broke out, my eldest sisters, Edythe and Theresa, found work in the shipyards in Portland building Liberty ships.   About this time dad started traveling to Alaska to work on government projects that paid far better than anything he could find locally.  He was a painter of smokestacks and high buildings and he also did some murals for some of the bars and saloons in Anchorage and Fairbanks.  Someone told me they had seen a mural he had done for a saloon there.  Some of my earliest memories are of dad catching a train in Eugene to go to Seattle from where he would catch a boat to Alaska.  He never did drive a car.  The Pullman cars and the train station in Eugene still are good memories.

He spent several years working in Alaska and coming home when he could and I remember that I got $7 a month for a time when I was about 7 years old.  I saved it up and bought a Roadmaster bicycle.  My sisters got an allowance too and this was probably the best time for us as a family even though dad wasn’t there.   When the war ended, my sister Edythe went back to University of Oregon and Theresa went to work for the phone company.  Ginnie went to work at the railroad yards in Eugene.   Millie and Pete were in the new high school in Springfield.  Dolly was right behind them and Omie about five years younger than Dolly.  There were three of my brothers that never made it past infancy between Dolly and Omie and I guess the gap between Omie and me can be explained by dad’s being in Alaska a lot during that time.

Dad was sort of a renaissance man and a free thinker.  He tried every church in Springfield before settling on St. Alice Catholic Church.  He painted a mural for that church too.   He had a library in our home and he tried to instill in me a love of books which I eventually acquired but from a 5thgrade teacher, Icel Case, not from him. (But that’s another story.)  He was a vegetarian because he visited a slaughterhouse and was traumatized by what he saw there.  Fish and dairy products were OK.  He had planted trees and grapes around our house and he kept bees.  He had a cider press and an apple grinder and planted Rose of Sharon around the house because it reminded him of when he was a kid in West Virginia.  They do make good apple butter in West Virginia, Patty orders hers from there to this day.

After the war the work in Alaska slowed and he came home again.  He found jobs as a painter and belonged to the union.  He and mom were always social liberals and belonged to The Worker’s Alliance which during the McCarthy era was dangerous.  It was labeled a subversive organization but it wasn’t.  Dad wouldn’t cross a picket line or get a haircut in a non-union shop.  While working on a job at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene he fell down several flights of concrete steps and cracked his head pretty bad.  He had brain damage and lost his sense of balance.  That must have been about 1952 because Pete was in the Army and had been wounded for the second time in Korea.  We managed to get Pete out on a compassionate discharge since he was the only adult male in the family that wasn’t disabled.

The union didn’t do much for dad.  He ended up on Workman’s Compensation which was about $300 a month.  That was it and there were still Omie and I in school and Ginnie’s family and ours shared what we had to get by.  Pete got out of the Army and went to school on the GI bill taking something to do with aviation maintenance.  That turned out badly when he and another student working on an engine turned the prop and it fired and chopped up Pete’s partner.  Pete then went to work at the mill like everyone else in Springfield.   He didn’t like it and didn’t stay long.  I don’t blame him, I worked in a mill there too and it about killed my brain.

During this period dad was pretty much stuck at home reading his books and getting into trouble on a regular basis with mom.  He would wear a heavy coat because he was always cold and lean over the heating stove and groan.  That drove mom crazy.  She’d yell at him, “Parker!  What’s the matter with you?!”  and he’d reply, “Nothin’” and continue to groan.  I began to suspect that this was a game they were playing.

That was pretty much how it went the last five years that I lived at home.  I joined the Navy while still in school and left as soon as I graduated.  I got back home in 1962 just before my dad, who had pretty well wasted away and was a shell of the man he once was, died of a stroke.  As a matter of fact, I had to cancel a date with Patty because of my dad’s death and I’ve always been sorry that he never met her.

I didn’t get along well with dad, probably because he was always gone as I was growing up.  And then, when he did come home, he was injured and disabled.  He couldn’t do much and a lot of the stuff he should have been doing fell on my shoulders.  I remember him telling me once as I was helping him to the toilet, “You may not believe me but you are a lot like me.”  He was trying to tell me that he was more than what I was seeing.  I’m sorry I didn’t understand.

Advertisements

Moms story

August 16, 2009

Effie Elvira (Gray) Ware

Mom

Born in Willoughby Vermont, September 26 1903.  Parents Orrin Gray (33) and Edith E. (Day) Gray (26).

Willoughby, VT

(The following is a listing of all the places that mom lived from the time she was in Morse Code School in Massachusetts where dad met her in order)

Lexington, Mass      19 Sherman St.

Mass. Ave.

Boston, Mass.         Bowdoin St.

Willmington, Del

Bunshine, W. Va

No Theteford, N.H.  –before Theresa was born for a short time–May to Aug

Woburn, Mass.       3 Conn. St.  (Woburn House then Church St)

17 James St.

Church St. (Theresa born here)

Lyme Center, N.H.   Ginnie was born here

Willoughby, VT  Mar to Oct then on to Florida- bus to NY then boat to Fla

Jacksonville, Florida- left here for PA by train

Philadelphia, PA- Millie, Pete & Dolly born here

Springfield, OR- Drove to Springfield 5th & B Sts

Wendling, OR

Eugene, OR- Omie born here on the hill by Elks Park (Sacred Heart)

Springfield, OR – 1007 Mill St.  Jack born here (Sacred Heart)

Hwy 101 S near Waldport

Eugene, OR – 1953 Riverview St (Millie & Bob)

–         River Road  (Ginnie & Junior)

This is mom’s story in her own words…

My Dad was married to Effie Leazoh, they had 7 children.  She died in childbirth.  All children died.  Then my father married Edith Elvira Day in 1902.  She was from Smith Mills, P.A.  My father was working on a steel crew for Boston & Maine Railroad.  They made their home in Willoughby, VT.  Oreleans Co. 5 mi. south of Barton, VT.  They owned a home there of 98 acres.  They always thought it was 49 acres more or less.  After their death, when I was selling it, had it surveyed and found out the real acreage.  Wish I had never sold it to Maurice LaClain.

Samuel Parker Ware I met in Boston while I was going to Mass. Radio & Telegraph School at 19 Boylston St.  I lived with my father on Boiudoin St.  My father worked for Pinch Gas Co.  at East Cambridge, for B&MRR.  I had 6 more weeks to go to finish my training but never finished it.  We were married by Judge Doff, went to N.H. on honeymoon.

I was born in Willoughby, VT on Sept 26, 1903 to Edyth Elvira (Day) Gray and Orrin Gray.  They were married in Nov 1902.  Willoughby was later changed to Kimball.  Then later, all mail went to Barton, VT which was only 5 miles north.

Barton was a very pretty village.  It boasted at that time of two butcher shops, bakery at lower end of village, two hotels, a Peerless, two grist mills.  Charlie Barrows had a big grocery, dry goods, shoes, ready-made clothing store.  Ed Barron had the same kind of store at upper end of village.  Then a couple or three blocks south another store CANute but he carried harnesses, grain, etc.  Kinda crummy but later turned it into a real nice store.

A creamery, boarding house, two blacksmith shops each end of village.  A big for the area academy, besides Catholic School.  A few small groceries (stores) scattered in different areas.  A nice lake with summer homes on back side of lake.  Dr F. R. Hastings, he later had a hospital by adding to his home.  He was my mother’s doctor when I was born.  By the way, he was still going strong in ’27.  Dr. John Blake was my father’s doctor.  Also he pulled teeth.  (Scared the tar out of me once when he pulled a tooth).  Dr. E. M. Nickles was my mothers doctor later (he didn’t have a rat terrier who jumped all over his patients like F. R. Hastings).  When (about) Dr. Nickles, I don’t know if he died or what but then Dr. F. Prime was her doctor and our family doctor.  O boy what a doctor, he got tangled with a telegraphers wife, Mrs. Blousher at Summit.  Some mess.  It straightened out though.

A catholic Church, Methodist Church, a couple others.  One restaurant.  I remember mostly boarding houses.  Harness maker and Cobbler shop- Phillips, a big store.  Bank, Post Office, jail, a 5 & 10 cent (Percy’s), one novelty store, millinary shop, a big dry goods store that I can’t remember the name.  A movie, two drug stores, Lang’s Camera Shop and eye doctor, stationary, fruit store, hardware- one big one but other stores carried some hardware also.  Telephone office, lawyers- how many, I can’t remember nor do I remember how many dentists- one was Peerson.  Fred Whitcher’s Harness Shop.  Wagons, buggies, sleighs, even cattle and sheep, hogs.  Charlie Nute also was a dealer in cattle and sheep besides his grocery store.  Will Hanson dealt in horses and stock- big dealer.

Stone sheds employed several men who were stone cutters.  Cattle yards, Willoughby had two grocery stores, Post Office, RR depot, bobbin mill and farms, some logging.

My father was section foreman, he made $16.50 per week.  They paid for a home, owed no one any big bills.  Our home consisted of 6 rooms and a basement, out buildings like a big shed, carriage floor.  Barn, we had a cow and horse  then our cow was killed.  We had three horses, chickens, pigs.

My mother died in December of 1918 with cancers of female organs.  Nowadays a doctor would take out the organ with no trouble and save a life.  She never was well after my brother was too large to be born normal so doctors took off one arm and a leg so he could be born (19#).  He was born in Dec of 1909.  Mother never got out of bed for all day until she went to hospital in July.  Was operated on by doctor and son team Maurice Richerson at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston.  The doctors discovered the cancers then and sewed her up and sent her home.  She never was really well after that.  While mother was in hospital, I spent my days either with my cousins Gladys and Harold Gray (Uncle Will’s children) but usually I stayed with my father on the track.  I spent my 7th birthday on the track.  I loved it.  From 7AM to 6PM then we walked a mile home, had chores to do, fed horses, pigs, chickens, dog and cat.  My dad also had a garden he worked on week ends.  My mother came home soon after my birthday.

She got so she could be around the house in a little while, seemed good.  I lost a lot of school because of mother’s illnesses just to get her water and something to eat at noon and do errands for her.  No one seemed to offer help.  My dad got a hired girl to come live for some time.  Which he paid her $2,50 per week.  Then when I was 9 years old, my mother got pregnant and the doctor aborted her.  Another siege of illness but not long.  It was a girl.  Mother was 5 mo pregnant.  Then everything went quite smoothly only for my dad’s drunken brother once in a while until my mother kicked him out.

Then my grandmother Gray was making soft soap outside upin mountains of N.H. and her clothing caught afire so my mother went to help.  She died but not before Aunt Emily, Uncle Gib Gray’s wife, died in childbirth all in the same house.  Uncle Gib was ornery to her, used to beat her with a wide belt.  Mother stopped this after Aunt Emily was buried.  The day of her funeral, Aunt Etta gave grandma an overdose of sleeping pills when Aunt Etta left for the funeral.  Grandma died.  After her funeral we went home.

Soon after my dad trusted a hired hand on his section.  Uncle Gib, who daddy gave a job.  Dad sent him with a flag to stop a fast freight but Uncle Gib did not go the proper distance with the flag so the train couldn’t stop.  My dad and his crew were changing ties and steel.  Train hit the push car loaded.  Engine and tender went over bank and engine over half buried itself in ground.  Engineer and fireman were not hurt.   (Uncle Gib had no right with flag as he was 4th man.  3rd man should have had it.)  So dad transferred to Grand Trunk RR and got charge of a steel crew.

A short time before this wreck I was riding a horse which my mother disapproved of but my father OK’d.  I went to get milk every morning from a neighbor a mile away.  I was nearly home, just across railroad track by a snow fence made of boards when horse started to run because of a crop on saddle.  I tried to save milk and was thrown into fence, mangled my left elbow.  I walked to house but my mother saw me coming and ran to meet me with dish towels and bound my arm tight.  The only thing that saved me.  She had laid me on a couch and ran up track for help to telegraph office.  They sent for a doctor.  One operator came home with my mother.  One mile to office.  Soon, my dad came off section.  Doctor came and did what he could but my dad had the 10AM train stopped at crossing.  He took me to St Johnsbury to Brightlook Hospital.

After ten days Dr Allen amputated my arm.  My dad was in operation room all the time.  My poor mother had two nurses close to her all this time.  In another ten days I went home but  had to have the stump dressed every other day for the first week then twice a week until it healed.  This was in September, about the fifteenth.   I had my 12th birthday in the hospital, got home on October 6th, 1915.  Soon after this and after the train wreck we moved from the little place in Sutton back to Willoughby on the farm place.  Things went pretty good until my mother’s last illness which lasted from Feb 7, 1918 until her death in December 1918.  My dad and I stayed at home place alone until April.  My dad rented place, he left me there, he went to Springfield, VT then on to Boston in summer.  But May 3rd of 1919 I went to Lexington Mass. To a friend of my mother and dad’s.  Went to school there then in 1921 I started school at Massachusetts Radio and Telegraph School on Boylston Street in June.  July 14th I met Parker and we were married 6 weeks later on September 24, 1921.  The moving started.

Moved to 3 Connecticut Street in Woburn, then to 17 James Street in Woburn where Edythe was born at Choat Memorial Hospital.   Dr.      was my Doctor.    Then we moved to Willmington, Massachusetts close to Parkers work, he was boss over a rigging crew for Merrimac Chemical Works.  My dad went to work for him.  Then my dad went to board & room down the road about a block in winter because Parker got hurt and soon as he was alright we went to West Virginia to Parker’s sister Lucinda’s.  We rented half a house at sunshine just a little ways from Aunt Lucinda’s.  Parker went to work in the coal mines and in afternoons he went to Mannington got a shop and started painting cars.  HW was looking for a job for my dad and found what my dad wanted, driving team.  My dad was coming down and we were all so happy but he didn’t come when we expected him.  (Dad had gone back to Vermont to do some repairs on the small place before coming to W. Va.)  He didn’t show up for three days and then we got a telegram he was found dead in bed.   I went to Vermont, then to N.H. with my Uncle Jack and Aunt Letta until Parker came up.  I was pregnant with Theresa.  My dad died in May.  In August I went to Woburn, Mass. Where Parker had got us living quarters until after Theresa was born at Woburn House.  We were all set for winter when woman who ran the place sold out so we moved to Church Street in Woburn.  Parker was painting cars with spray paint and he got lead poisoning so we went back to New Hampshire as he wouldn’t stay away from paint where we were.  Eventually we went to live with Uncle Clarence.  I didn’t want to because he drank heavily but Parker felt sorry for him.  Well, Ginnie was born there but then I got out of there.  We went to my home in Willoughby.  What a mess!  Hardly any work for Parker.  He ended up in Erie, Pennsylvania then on to Jacksonville, Florida.  So down there I went with three little ones.  Got there on 1st of January, 1927.  In August Parker went to Philadelphia and got work.  In September here I went again.  We had an apartment and Millie was born on November 11th,  1927.  We lived in Philadelphia until Dolly was a baby.  Pete was born there also.  Then in April 1932 we came west to Springfield, Oregon.

Mother died of cancer December 7, 1918, born 1877 Smith Mills P.A.  to Elba Gardner Day and Zilla Frances Ritter (died Dec 1919) Three children survived epidemic of Black Diptheria-  Charles died in ’33, Willard Elba died around ’44 and Edith Elvira Day married Orrin Gray Nov of 1902.   Orrin (2nd son?) died May 1924.  (poison?) son of Aaron Gray and Sarah Simpson, born in Sheffield, Vt.  Brothers: Clarence (3rd son), Jackson (oldest-was in reform school for awhile), Jessie Gilbert Gray (5th son),  Will (4th)  Uncle Will and Aunt Mary had two children, Gladys and Harold.  Uncle Jack was married twice, first time to a woman by name of Lavina.  They had a daughter, Hattie, who married John Forrest of Willoughby, Vt.  They had one baby which he burned in a heating stove when it was born.  They separated she ended up in a house of prostitution and I never knew any more of her.  Another daughter, Florence married Whitaker who bore a son Ivan and a daughter.  Uncle Jack and his second wife raised Ivan after Florence died.  Jack married Etta Mussey for his second wife.  They had a son Harley and a daughter Margaret John.  Jack died in 1941, Etta in 1947.  Maggie married Harry Guitar from Canada.  They had Phineas (Skip), —-one was killed, Melvin and Wilfred.  Harry died in 1960, Maggie in 1961.  Skip married a Japanese girl.  Melvin married Phyllis Haden of Montana.  Wilfred married and lives in N.H., he’s a carpet layer.

I’d like to clarify some dates.  I’m sure  Pete was born in ’29 or ’30 because he was eleven years older than I and  Dolly in ’31 or ’32 so that Hupmobile doesn’t seem quite so crowded now does it.

Bob Moodys Excellent Adventure

August 15, 2009

Bob Moody’s Finest Hour

Bob & Millie

 Well actually it was an all-nighter.  Bob was my brother-in-law, husband to my sister Millie.  I loved them both dearly although Bob was deeply flawed.  He was an alcoholic and an irresponsible rascal who indulged himself shamelessly at my sister’s expense.  But she loved him and they had a full life together with a lot of fun and friends.  As bad as Bob was, that’s how good Millie was. She was generous to a fault and with never a bad word or unkindness to anyone.  Very  tolerant and with a brilliant mind, she was extremely well-read and beautiful.  It is her picture on the masthead of Chronospots.

At this time in their lives, sometime in the 70’s, Bob was moving houses and Millie was the accountant at The Country Squire, which at that time was a very nice motel in competition with Cottage Grove’s Village Green.  They owned a home on Aspen Drive down near the Willamette River and they had several acres with fruit trees and large lawns.

As I mentioned, Bob was an alcoholic and had gotten several DUI’s.  His license was revoked and Millie had the keys to the car safely hidden away.  He really wanted to go party but he couldn’t talk Millie into it.  He was well known at several bars and clubs in the area and generally welcome because he played the guitar and sang 40’s and 50’s songs and party songs pretty well.  He was a happy drunk and lots of fun to be around.

Bob was pretty resourceful so he went out to the shed and started up the riding lawn-mower.  If Millie heard it she probably didn’t pay much attention even though it was getting pretty late in the evening.   Bob went down the driveway and headed up Aspen Drive to Centennial (although at the time I think it was Chase Gardens Road) and then west to Coburg Road.  He turned south and, since Coburg Road was heavily traveled with a median strip he stayed in the median as much as possible.  Several police cars passed but when they approached he lowered the blades and started cutting grass so no one paid him much attention.

He made it across the Ferry Street Bridge and then turned west again on 5th until it ran out at Chambers and then cut down to 6th Avenue until he got to the Big Y.  The Embers was one of his favorite clubs and it was right across from the Big Y Shopping Center.  He was very lucky that the Big Y had a parking lot display of garden tractors and he parked his mower among them and walked across to The Embers.  Well his luck ran out then because The Embers had a private party going on and they wouldn’t let him in…until he told them what he had done.  Then they welcomed him in and he was pretty much the hit of the party.

Well, he partied all night and the next morning he walked back across the street to the Big Y which was doing a brisk weekend business.  He found his mower and fired it up and retraced his path and actions of the previous evening until he got home.  That was a round trip of close to 20 miles on a mower.  Bob did like to party.

Knowing Millie, he paid dearly for that escapade but it sure makes a good story.

Millie & Bob Sebastapol early '50's

The Thrifty Drug Store Caper

August 15, 2009

5270 E. Sumner Rd.  Fowler

Fred,Emy,Patty & Erma

It was a dark and stormy night…well, actually it was a sunny and hot day like it usually is in Fresno. Must have been about almost 30 years ago. Emmy was driving her Oldsmobile station-wagon (the get-away car) and along for the ride was her mother, Erma, Billy and Traci, both 10 to 12 years old, Patty and myself. Come to think of it, Susan must have been an accomplice too, where else would she be? That Olds was as big as a bus. We had gone to the Thrifty Drug Store in Selma which was one of our regular haunts at the time. Emmy or Patty wanted something, probably a pattern or something totally lame like that.
I was expected to take care of the kids and they had spotted some of those mechanical toys that businesses placed in front of the store to capture kids quarters. They hopped on the spaceship or horse or whatever and I started feeding quarters. One of the machines didn’t work. It took quarters all right but didn’t do anything. So, I went into the store and told a clerk about the problem. The clerk was unsympathetic and said I should call the person who put the machines there. I said it was their responsibility since it was in front of their store and plugged into their electricity. We weren’t getting anywhere so I asked to speak to the manager.
I cooled my heels for a time and by now Emmy, Erma and Patty had come over to see what the commotion was all about. Typically, Patty told me I should forget it but Erma seemed to agree that it wasn’t right. I didn’t need much encouragement since I felt outraged that this store would condone ripping off little kids (who rides spaceships in front of stores?).
The manager finally showed up and we immediately got into a heated argument. When I saw that I wasn’t going to get satisfaction, I walked over to the candy counter and picked up a piece of candy. I said something like, “Take this out of what you owe me”! Then headed for the door. Emmy and Patty had already headed for the car with the kids and Erma in tow. The manager followed me out yelling something about shoplifting and calling the cops. As we left I saw him writing something on a piece of paper.
All the way to the Adair’s house I was on the receiving end of a steady barrage of tongue-lashing from Patty and concern from Emmy about illegal activities. Erma tried to defend me and I don’t know what the kids were thinking. Anyway, we got to the Adair’s and were unloading the car when a police cruiser pulled in and wanted to know who the owner of the car was.

Apparently, taking a candy bar from Thrifty’s was a major crime in Selma and required an immediate response from Selma’s finest. I don’t really remember how this situation got resolved but I imagine Patty and Emmy must have dealt with it because I didn’t end up in jail. Left to me I would have probably escalated the situation into some kind of stand off with the cops since Fred generally had an arsenal handy. And I had right on my side, after all. Come to think of it, that must have been the CHP since Adair’s lived in Fowler and Selma cops wouldn’t have jurisdiction.
Anyway, this is the story Billy remembers and suggested I tell. Must have made an impression on HIM! I hope he learned from my example to stand up for yourself and not to take shit off anybody!

About Chronoposts

August 14, 2009

The idea for Chronoposts was born when I was looking at Rene’s Facebook entries where he was showing Traci, Samuel and Gabriel his father’s hometown and meeting some of the people from his childhood. I thought, I’ll bet there are stories that he would enjoy hearing and that would let him know his father better. He should be getting those stories for himself and his kids; others in his family would enjoy them too. Then I thought, hey, that’s an interesting idea! So I told Susan.

I don’t know if she thought it was a good idea or not but the next thing I know she has created this wonderful website. She is a great writer so I hope she shares some stories on this site too. Anyway, what I hope this becomes is a collection of stories from a lot of different people, family and friends, that should be told. For whatever reason. And maybe, it will become something that will branch out to other families and they will be tied together through these stories that touch through relationships or events.

I’ve got some ideas of stories that I think are fun or that I want to tell. I plan to sit down and tell them over time and when I have the time. Patty and I have some trips coming on next week so maybe it will be awhile but here’s a few of the ideas I have for stories:
Topics for Chronoposts

1. Breakfast with the Adairs
2. Bi-centennial community 4th of July
3. Leaving Patty with bananas and an ironing board
4. Patty stands up to the Guardia Nacionale
5. Patty nails an iguana
6. Pass of Death
7. Elephant snot on Fred
8. Bob’s riding mower trip
9. Don Hill’s brothers
10. Omie pees in the nail can
11. Sheep lungs and the dog pound
12. Trip from Philadelphia to Oregon
13. Freezing dad’s bees


%d bloggers like this: