Archive for July 2010

I Started Out As A Child~ The Sequel

July 22, 2010

I realized that I had left out some things from my original post so I’m adding them here.  Also, it gives me a chance to use this picture of me on the front porch circa 1942 that I think pretty well defines me at that time. 

I mentioned before that dad was gone for a great deal of my childhood.  We had a large family, there were eight of us kids, and times were hard anyway.  Dad spent a lot of time in Alaska as a painter and did best when he could get on a government job, typically painting smokestacks or buildings.  He also did some freelance portraits and murals but I doubt they contributed much to his income.  So, a lot of the significant memories I have of that time had to do with his either coming home or going away.  He didn’t drive, and at that time neither did my mother, so anytime he traveled meant a big deal with someone, probably a married sister or their husband, doing the driving.  That meant there were at least four people in the car plus his luggage so that meant I couldn’t go to the train depot.  I loved the train depot!  On one of his trips, I think I was three or four, I was standing out by the ditch on Mill Street hollering my head off because I couldn’t go and dad was trying to placate me.  He tried reason, as if you can reason with an angry three-year-old, and explained that I had to stay home and take care of the cats.  I yelled back, “#*&% the @!#-damned cats!”  Mom says he laughed all the way to the train depot in Eugene.  That may give some idea of the kid I was. 

I just realized that I’m still staying at home taking care of the cats.  Patty is in Dallas, TX this week at an AARP training session for her stint as the State Training Coordinator for Oregon and Traci and Rene are still in Copenhagen for the summer. 

I’ve taken care of animals and plants all my life.  I remember that we had about a half-dozen Pekinese in the back yard living in kennels and at time there would be puppies so we had a lot more.  Some of these dogs were ostensibly pets of Ginny, Pete and Millie although they had very little to do with them.  While Millie was in Madrid, Spain with Bob in the mid-fifties I cared for her toy Pekinese, Mitzi, who should have been put down.  Something was wrong with Mitzi and she had maggots eating her alive.  I had to give her sheep-dip baths to kill the maggots in a vain attempt to keep her alive until Millie got home.  Mitzi didn’t make it and Millie was very upset that we tried to do that.  We also had cats, rabbits, parakeets, goats and at one point, even pet skunks.  Dad thought naturally homogenized goats milk would be good for us, although I don’t think we ever really managed to milk a goat. 

The picture of me with my diaper falling off is on the front porch of the house we built when I was born and in which I lived until I went in the Navy at 18.  The house was never really finished and was built by family and friends so the construction was suspect.  It had three bedrooms up front, a living room, kitchen and dining room.  The back porch was screened in and the whole thing was built on a pier-post foundation.  We were usually a family of five but sometimes my married sisters would be there or dad would bring home a homeless person to stay for awhile.  My mom always gave him hell for that. 

Until Millie, Pete and Dolly left, starting in about 1948, it was pretty crowded and Omie and I had to sleep in the attic.  The attic was never finished and so the planks for a floor were unfinished lumber and spaced about an inch apart.  The walls were similarly constructed and were only in the front part of the attic where Omie and I had our cots.  The rest of the attic was rafters and  storage and to get around you had to step on the ceiling joists.  There were birds and, I suppose, other critters living in the attic and Omie and I could hear them while trying to go to sleep.  One of the things that made it difficult to sleep was Mom’s artificial arm hanging from a rafter as you came up the stairs.  Also, dad had a back-brace hanging from a rafter and there were other frightful things about the attic that were more in my imagination than any real threat.  It didn’t help that my sister, Omie, was an evil person that loved to tell me ghost stories as we were laying there –‘Who Stole My Liver’ comes to mind. 

In the summer Omie and I got to sleep in the screened-in back porch and we loved that.  During this time, Aloyisus was building a house next door for him and Theresa to live in and he kept his tools and some materials on our back porch where Omie and I slept.   We had gotten in the habit of having a coffee can to use- sort of our ‘Can-O-Pee’ bed since we generally slept in the attic and Omie used the coffee can of 16-penny nails she found to do her business one night.  The next day Aloyisus came to get his hammer and nails and as he got to work, he grabbed a handful of nails and stuck them in his mouth, which you do since you’ve only got two hands to hold things.  Well, you could hear him yelling and cussing for miles.  THAT was a red-letter day for memories. 

Theresa's house in background

Omie was in trouble as much as I was and she had a long list of accomplishments.  She burned down our barn, she stole alcohol and replaced it with water and she frequently stole cigarettes.  Although, I gotta admit that sometimes she just got blamed for stealing cigarettes because everyone thought I was too young to be doing it.  We fought like cats and dogs until I got big enough to hold my own and then I’d get in trouble because Omie would claim I hit her in the chest. Looking back on it, I think Mom and Omie shared a bi-polar condition that made them both very hard to live with. 

One other thing I’d like to cover in this post is the neighborhood.  In a previous post I’d mentioned the mills, railroad tracks and the rivers where I played but the neighborhood itself had a lot going for it.  About a block away ‘Old Man Corbett’ built his house out of scrap lumber, or so he told me.  He said that explained why it was round and he claimed that he had hydraulics inside so he could raise the roof a few inches in the summer for air-flow to cool it off.  He had a reputation for having set a trap for Halloween pranksters by moving his outhouse a couple feet and disguising the hole so that at night the outhouse tippers would fall in.  He made violins by hand and was the grandfather of Jack Corbett, a kid about two years older than I who used to retrieve condoms from the Willamette River and boil them so he could show them off.  I don’t know why else he would want them. 

About a half block further and on the same side of the street lived ‘Maggie The Witch’.  She had a bungalow that was almost completely obscured by blackberry vines and volunteer saplings and bushes.  One day I saw her out in the middle of Mill Street screeching and obviously upset.  I went over to see what was wrong and her wooden path to her door was covered with snakes.  They were garden snakes and red racers but they still upset her.  I helped her chase them off.  On Halloween we dared each other to go to her door but I don’t think anyone ever did. 

I think I probably lived in the neatest place ever with the rivers, hills, abandoned mills, industrial storage yards, city storage yards and quirky neighbors.  I know there were plenty of ways to get into trouble and I spent my days exploring as many as I could think of.  When I drive down Mill Street now, I don’t recognize the place.  The last time I did it, I couldn’t even identify where our house used to be.   

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Contents

July 20, 2010

Contents

1. About Chronoposts8, 14, 09

2. The Thrifty Drug Store Caper 8, 15, 09

3. Bob Moodys Excellent Adventure 8,15, 09

4. Moms story 8, 16, 09

5. My old man 8, 17, 09

6. Sheep Lungs 10, 9, 09

7. Breakfast with the Adairs 10, 10, 09

8. Dort 11, 4, 2009

9. I started out as a child 11, 5, 09

10. Don Hill 11, 6, 09

11. Latin American Adventures 11, 11, 09

12. Latin American Adventures Part 2 11, 11, 09

13. Family Pictures 11, 12, 09

14. US Navy 11, 18, 2009

15. Written by dad explaining why he was a vegetarian 12,5, 2009

16. Susans Samoan Journal 12, 6, 09

17. Heaven and Hell 12, 6, 09

18. The Squirrels 12, 13, 09

19. Woodland, CA ~ A Bicentennial Community 01, 7, 10

20. Mortality 01, 13, 10

21. How I met your mother 01, 24, 10

22. Pete 02, 5, 10

23. Family History 03, 24, 10

24. Patty & Jacks Excellent Vacation 2010 03, 25, 10

25. Political Musings 07, 18, 10

26. Dog-sitting 07, 19, 10

27. I  Started Out As A Child~ The Sequel 07, 22, 10

28. My life with Patty 8-13-10

29. SHS Summer Social 2010 08, 24, 10

30. Rafting the American and Pigeon Coops 09, 5, 10

31. A WEEK ON PATOS ISLAND by Patty 09, 26, 10

32. Year 2010 and the draft 11, 18, 10

33. Taking Care of Business 12, 16, 10

34. Millie 01, 23, 11

35. I’ve been saved…maybe

36.  Edie 04-24-11

37. Thoughts from Dad 05-14-11

38. My Story by Theresa 05-18-11

39. Samuel Parker Ware 05-19-11

40. More thoughts from Dad 5-26-11

41. Energy Problem Solved 6-18-11

42. Pattys Roots 7-12-2011

43. Threescore and ten 7-16-2011

44. Patty and Jack 7-23-11

45. Our Seventieth Year 7-27-11

46. The Marvelous Wonderettes 8-1-11

47. Hurricane Camille 8-7-11

48.  Omie  8-25-11

49.  Ginnie 10-11-11

50. Ware and Lindsley families 11-17-11

51. 750 Words 1-5-12

52.  My Senior Year 1-12-12

53.  Poop and conservatives 1-23-12

54.  Pattys Family 2-4-12

55.  It’s Pattys birthday today!!! 4-4-2012

56.  Zombies 6-2-12

57. Pattys Most Excellent Adventure!  Part I     6-6-12

58. Pattys-most-excellent-adventure-part-II  6-8-12

59.  Pattys Most Excellent Adventure Part III  6-9-12

60. Pattys Most Excellent Adventure – Part IV6-10-12

61. Pattys Most Excellent Adventure – Part V 6-12-12

62.  Rats! 7-20-12

63.  John Cleeses ‘Letter to America’ 8-13-12

64.  Talk Like A Pirate 9-17-12

65.  My Friend, Joe Clein 10-08-12

66.  Our 50th Wedding Anniversary 11-19-12

67.  12-29-12 Our 50th Wedding Anniversary 1-19-13

68. Places we’ve lived 4/20/13

69. Barefoot in Samoa8/18/09

70. Summer of 2013 6/10/2013

71.  The Epic Cross-country Road Trip of 2013 7/25/13

72.  Dead People and Mountains of Salt 10/23/13

73.  Stephen Ware, Petes son. 12/24/13

74.  New England Vampire Panic of 1793 01/29/2014

75.  Operation Puppy Peace

76.  Susans Birthday & Pattys Summer 04/20/2014

77.  Energy Problem Solved 04/25/14

78.  Summer 2014 update  08/23/14

79.   A Girl Named Sue 09/07/14

80.  TLAP 09/16/14

81.  It was a very good year~2014 12/24/14

82.   Smokin Outhouse  12/28/14

83.   Patience  03/15/15

84.  Book of Life 05/04/15

 85.  Theresa 03/06/16

86.   Lindsley Family History  03/06/16

87.    Pattys birthday 2016  04/04/16

88.   Hillarys e-mails  06/15/16

89.  Letter from Dolly  07/18/16

90.  My Grandkids Ancestors 07/26/16

92.  Green Pea soup and Mayonnaise 02/04/17

93. Gabriels Big Adventure10/24/17

94. 1962~1963 A Year Of Change 11/5/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog-sitting

July 19, 2010

Let’s talk about dog poop.  I’m dog-sitting Teddy, the neighbor’s dog, while they are away in Europe for the summer.  Rene is teaching a class at the Copenhagen Business School and he took Traci and the boys and Patty joined them for a couple weeks.  That leaves me at home taking care of the rabbits, cats, fish, plants and Teddy. 

For the first week Teddy followed me everywhere.  I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him following me.  It was driving me nuts!  Also, I had to let him outside at regular intervals and late at night and first thing in the morning to do his business (more about this later).  I couldn’t go anywhere without worrying about him being in the house and barking his fool head off until I got back or whatever mischief he might get into.  I was really feeling like a slave to this mutt. 

Then, one morning about 8:AM (I’d already taken him out a couple hours earlier), I was going over to the neighbors to tend to the rabbits and when I opened the door, Teddy scooted out and down the steps and out into the yard into a mama skunk with a couple of kittens.  I mean, it’s not like Teddy had never seen a skunk before, he’d taken a hit from a skunk before and Patty and I had to spend half the night cleaning him up.  He got a pretty strong dose of skunk juice and started running around scooting through dirt and grass trying to rub it off.  I knew what I had to do.  Shoot the dog!  No, that did run through my mind, but since Patty and I had dealt with this before I knew that I needed to quickly neutralize the skunk with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing detergent and I had a supply handy. 

I got it all ready and tried to get Teddy to come to me so I could help him but stupid runs the other way.  I finally cornered him and threw him in the tub and cleaned him up somewhat.  He still smelled but I wasn’t planning on getting all that close to him.  So, ever since then, he acts like I’m the reason he got squirted and he’s scared to death of me.  Still follows me around but not as closely.  A couple days later, I gave him another treatment followed with a baby shampoo and you can barely detect the smell now.  I also had to wash the blankets I used to protect the furniture from him. 

So now I have to put him on a leash to let him outside because I would never be forgiven if I let him out and he never came back.  I was sitting outside on the lawn swing last night talking to Susan on my cell phone and mama skunk and her litter came back into the yard.  If I hadn’t had Teddy on a leash he would have taken off after her.  This dog is so stupid!   I’ve got my slingshot out and if mama skunk comes back I’m going to take potshots at her from the safety of my deck in hopes of discouraging her from hanging around. 

Now, I have to take the dog out to do his business and wait until he does it.  That includes taking him out when it’s dark and avoiding the hazards of former successful poop runs.  It’s agonizing!  The stupid dog has to find just the right place to lift his leg and that entails covering almost every inch of yard and then retracing his steps in some kind of contest between ‘perfect site A’ and ‘perfect site B’.  When we finally get that done, we repeat the process for the perfect dump site.  Then he thinks he’s done something really special and I should give him a treat!   All the other animals and plants are pretty easy to deal with but this dog is a full-time job. 

Another endearing habit this mutt has is lying down next to me and cutting one loose that would peel the paint off the walls.  He’s doing it right now. 

I’ll sure be glad when the neighbors get home. 

Political Musings

July 18, 2010

It’s been quite a while since I’ve entered anything into my blog (Chronospots) and Susan called me last night and asked me about it.  I realized that I’d passed up a great opportunity to write since Patty has been in Copenhagen and Paris for the last two weeks and I’ve had time on my hands.  She’s getting home at midnight tonight and then will be winging off to Dallas for the rest of the week the next day.  So I decided to write something but I’ve no real subject or topic in mind as yet so I don’t know how this will turn out.  I’m mainly just trying to get back into it, you know? 

I was thinking about how I get so upset about politics now.  I was raised in a very liberal household, mom and dad were both members of the Worker’s Alliance which was considered to be a subversive organization.  It wasn’t, of course.  This was during the reign of Joseph McCarthy and the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and there was general hysteria in the country about ‘The Communist Conspiracy’ and the infiltration of our government by Bolshevics.  The John Birch Society was very powerful at that time and, I understand, they’re making a comeback now.  Mom and dad just wanted a fair shake for the working man and, having just suffered through ‘The Great Depression’ with eight kids, they had suffered more than most. 

My own political leanings were as a result of my going into the military right after high school.  I was a life-long Republican and pretty much voted the Republican ticket.  In fact, I was a stalwart Republican right up to George Bush I.  I was over 50 years old by then.   I remember arguing with my sisters, Edythe and Millie, who were both very liberal, and being quite sure of my views and the rightness of the conservative philosophy.  I also remember, while attending college on the GI Bill after I retired from the military,  being the only conservative in the writing class that was taught by a professor who wore the same Sandinista shirt and Birkenstocks for the whole term and him calling me a relic for my political views.  

Then Bush I happened.  When he tried to shove Dan Quayle down our throats for another term and the way he conducted himself while we were at war totally disillusioned me.  I don’t know how many people remember Desert Storm, but I do.  I remember that it didn’t seem to affect George at all and he seemed to have no problem golfing and fishing right through it.  And, I also remember that he was the only survivor of the bomber that crashed in WWII and he was the pilot!  How does that happen?  He was raised to believe he was special and destined to be President.  I didn’t like him and that was when I started to change.

I was in government service during Clinton-Gore and I saw first-hand the good that government can do.  For a fraction of the cost of a bomber, the EZ-EC Initiative was launched and resulted in economic opportunity and hope for 8 distressed cities and over 35 rural communities across the country.  The Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community was a program that had been successful in Britain and its primary supporter was Jack Kemp, a conservative Senator from New York.  It did a lot of good and I was proud to be a part of it.  It gave people the opportunity to participate in their own economic development and the resources to make things happen.  I found government surplus computer equipment by the truckload sitting in warehouses in Portland and Washington DC and got it released to schools in Josephine County where it benefited students.  We got help from Intel to upgrade the computers, which was done by the students, and then the kids got to use the computers and, in some cases, take them home!    Patty worked with me on this project and she taught high school kids how to do taxes and they did taxes free-of-charge for community members.  We did a lot of housing, housing repair, job development, water systems and sewage disposal.  It was fun and rewarding.

Then came GWB.  Nothing that Clinton-Gore did could be any good and the support for the EZ-EC Initiative evaporated.  Instead, we seemed to be concentrating on giving tax breaks to the wealthy and to big business, mainly ‘Big Oil’. 

The EZ/EC Initiative was not all good, I thought that giving $100M to LA or Detroit was excessive and that same amount would have funded about 30 rural communities.  I saw first-hand the positive results in rural communities and, although there were disappointments, there were successes too.  The concession at the Oregon Caves National Monument is, I believe, still operated by the successor to the Illinois Valley Community Response Team and benefits local people and farmers by providing employment and a market for produce.   Formerly, it was run by a national organization that still operates concessions at national parks and monuments across the country.  Wolf Creek transformed itself from a community of rowdy, drunken, unemployed timber workers who threatened people coming off the freeway to find services to a community that worked together to develop a community center and a child care facility.  Sunny Valley got a fire station and ambulance service as well as a museum and an interpretive center.  The real success was in the change in the people.  The experience of making something happen and controlling their own economic development was transformational and worthwhile. 

Anyway, that’s what soured me on the GOP.  I don’t think it remotely resembles the party that I believed in so fervently in my youth.  Maybe that party never existed.  My mother always said the GOP was for big business and didn’t care about people.  I discounted her views but now I think she was a lot wiser than I gave her credit for.  I know that Bush/Cheney has caused a lot of suffering and has done damage that will last for a long time.  However, the American people have short memories and are always eager and willing to be manipulated and lied to.  But I’m hoping that there are enough people left who think for themselves and can see through the bullshit.

Well, that’s what happens when you don’t have a topic in mind and you just start writing.  Sorry about that.  I’ll try not to be the sour old fart that bores you to death with his political ramblings again.  Patty is coming home briefly so maybe my mood will improve. 


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