Posted tagged ‘Traci’

Gabriels Big Adventure

October 25, 2017


We were awakened about 2AM by something and shortly thereafter noticed the motion detector light on the garage was on.  This was a concern because we had a bear get into our garbage just last week and today is garbage day and we have a full container, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to check on it.   Patty had moved my flashlight, so I couldn’t find it, so I turned on the porch light and stepped onto the deck but couldn’t see anything.  Well Patty was ‘concerned’ that I went outside in my skivvies so when the motion light clicked on a half hour later she got up and got dressed to check it out.  I got up too and put on a robe and slippers in case I had to run down and do battle with a bear.   Patty retrieved the flashlight from where she had hidden it and shone it down into the yard and illuminated a skunk.   So, this is my life.  Robin and Karen, my nephew and his wife, live in Salem and have a nice house with bluebirds, canaries and chickadees feeding at hanging feeders and we get buzzards, bears and skunks. 

I guess one reason we were awake was that Gabriel, our grandson, joined the Navy through the Delayed Enlistment Program yesterday and I was thinking about when I had done the same thing almost 60 years ago.   He will be trained as a Hospital Corpsman and had to sign up for 5 years because of the training.  When I signed up it was for 3 years on a Kiddy Cruise, which means in at 18 out at 21, although I was extended because of the crisis with the Soviet Union over the Berlin Wall being built.  Anyway, I was thinking about how that had changed my life and what an exciting change it was for me.  Now I get to experience it all again through Gabriel’s eyes.  I’ve never been to Great Lakes Recruit Training Center because, at that time, people in the western US went to San Diego but now the NTC there is closed.   But Basic Training is the same old bullshit.  A lot of screaming, calisthenics, jumping off a 12’ tower and swimming the length of the pool, being put in a building and having it set on fire, being put in another building and being gassed…good times!  Once he finishes that, about 8 weeks, he’ll be sent to San Antonio for his class ‘A’ school as a corpsman.  That will be 19 weeks and that means he’ll be there in the winter.  I went to Lackland AFB in San Antonio in the winter for NCOIC school in the Air Force.  I was stationed in Denver, Colorado at the time and I flew in for the training that was recommended for senior NCOs.  I’ve never been so cold!  I bought a coat that I still have that I call my winter coat.  Well, Gabriel will have a pea coat I’m sure. 

Gabe has been told that he’ll get a ‘C’ school to get additional training after his ’A’ school, but I’m worried about that.  He could get trained as a Combat Medic, X-Ray tech, Pharmacy Tech or any number of specialties but I imagine that will be based on the needs of the Navy and how well he does in school.  But maybe, since he had to enlist for an extra year, the Navy won’t play games with him and he’ll get the training.  Anyway, having spent my final years in recruiting, I believe in the service and that it is a viable option in personal development and a good way to decide what to do with your life.  He’ll get some training and have the GI Bill when he gets out.  He’ll be 23 years old and not too old to go to college and earn a college degree.  I tried to talk him out of it but really, I’m fine with what he’s decided to do.   And I’m sure he’ll have stories to tell.

So, Patty and I never got back to sleep.  We read for a little while then turned off the light but our brains were going a mile-a-minute so we just laid there and talked.  We’ll probably get tired sometime today but for right now we’re wide awake.  But while we’re talking about reading, I do have a gem to share.  It’s Origin by Dan Brown.  It’s a great read and completely factual or plausible as are all his books.   You can bet that Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are planning a blockbuster right now but don’t wait for it.  Buy the book!

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!

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