I was told

+I have been reading about blogs and one thing that sticks in my mind is “Write often and about anything if you are not an expert at anything”.  Expert is a far reaching word.  Some people are at the top of the ladder of expertise.  That would be someone that, when asked, could tell you every darn thing about a subject that is knowable.  Then as we go down the expertise ladder there are those that know quite a bit about any one subject but might stumble about some aspects of the subject at hand.  Of course now we have those experts that think they are experts but might have read a little about a subject or worked at a job for a small amount of time where they sort of knew their way around.  These folks usually are experts at a lot of things but not even midway up the expertise ladder about anything.

I have lived a pretty long time now and don’t consider myself an expert on life.  There is just to much to know.  But I do have some insights.  One cannot help it after living 71 years or more.

This is turning into a ” My life” type blog but it gives me something to write about.  Over the past years I wrote a chronicale of all the things I can remember about my growing up.  So, I thought I would just tell you what I have done and where I have been.  But, life is like an Interstate highway.  It goes long distances with exits that go here and there as we move up the freeway.  I cannot possibly tell you every little road I have taken so I will probably just exit at the more interesting or prudent off ramps.

April 13, 1949 – The building shook and I looked out the window at light poles bending toward each other. When I was about 4 years old we ( My Mom and my brother) lived in an upstairs apartment with Rogers Dad, Ted. He built cabinets down stairs in his shop.

The 1949 Olympia earthquake occurred on April 13 at 12:55:44 local time with a moment magnitude of 6.7 and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of VIII (Severe). The shock was located in the area between Olympia and Tacoma, and was felt throughout the state, as well as parts of Oregon, British Columbia, Idaho, and Montana. It is the largest recorded earthquake to occur in the Puget Sound region of Washington. Eight people were killed and many were injured.

1951 I would walk from Jackson school ( 2nd grade ) to the Totem restaraunt and catch a ride with the milk delivery person to the B&M Grocery/Restaraunt where Mom worked. I would get a free ice cream while I waited for her to get off work.

1952 – Mom took Roger and I to watch Dwight D Eisenhower give a short speech from the back of a train at the train crossing of Pacific Ave.

We moved from the old Projects to the new projects. Mom was a waitress at the the old B& M on evergreen way.

Roger and I tried to take a couple of kittens home from the local store but got found out. They started yelling about the police etc. so Roger and I dropped the kittens and ran all the way home and into our bedroom. We were scared. I think the baby sitter asked us what was wrong ( Blondie, my first kiss ) but we didn’t let on.

Mom would get ready in the evenings for work the next day. I would listen to the radio under the blankets. When she was done I would go to sleep. I think I listened to “The Shadow”

I have had a fair amount of jobs, that is where my expertise comes from, except for life, most were short lived.  Yes, I think living takes some knowledge.  We gain that knowledge from just interacting with the rest of the population and some comes from study on the subject.  I never really studied life from books to any degree.

This is turning into a ” My life” type blog but it gives me something to write about.  Over the past years I wrote a chronicale of all the things I can remember about my growing up.  So, I thought I would just tell you what I have done and where I have been.  But, life is like an Interstate highway.  It goes long distances with exits that go here and there as we move up the freeway.  I cannot possibly tell you every little road I have taken so I will probably just exit at the more interesting or prudent off ramps.

To continue my ramblings, Roger and I at ages 9 or 10 thereabouts could pack a sandwich and take off through the woods all day long ending up in places we never knew about.  That was usually the back side of the many farms around our neighbor hood.  Never having been at most of these “backyards” they seemed like foreign lands to us.

My Mom married my step father when I was 8 years old.  That is when we were introduced to the country side away from town.  I saw cows, goats, chickens and ELECTRIC FENCES for the first time.  My step father moved us into a single wide trailer.  It was a tight squeeze but we got by.    It got even tighter when my 2 sisters were born.  Dad started building a house next to the trailer and took 2 years before we could move in.  That was my home the rest of the time until I joined the Navy.  In fact my Mom and Dad lived there until there passing after 50 years there.

I went to a country style school where one room had the first 3 grades that opened up to make a larger room with a stage and seating for about 50 people.  We had Christmas plays and such there. The second class room had the next 3 grades.  When I finished the 6th grade I started going to school in town

My first paying job was at age 13.  I got 50 cents an hour to spread manure in the fields.  It wasn’t to bad, at 13 I got off on driving a tractor and pulling the spreader. Speaking of driving, a few of my neighbor kids on farms generally 3 – 4 miles apart, not just across the fence, would find old cars in the 29 – 30 Ford era and old Chevys of the same period buy them for $ 25 or so, get them running and terrorize the neighbor hood.  We just about never saw a sheriff car.  The same with scooters with Briggs and Stratton engines on them and motorcycles.  One day I was going to my friends in a 40 Chevy coupe, straight six engine I got from a junk yard, revving it in 2nd gear and Boom, sheets of fire filled the windshield and that engine was broken for good.

1960  – “Freshman in High school.  Snohomish’s first year of the 4 year High school curriculum .  I joined the first wrestling team offered by Snohomish.  Cross country was the first turnouts just to get in shape.  Since I started as a freshman I became the first 4 year letterman in wrestling.

1961 – July – My Mom asked me if I wanted an adventure. I said sure not knowing that meant riding my bike to Eastern Washington to pick pears. I knew noone over there.

The first morning on the road I stopped in a little restaurant in Gold Bar for breakfast, feeling very grown up, on my own, ordering breakfast etc. While there I noticed a 6 month old German Shepard. I asked the waitress if it had an owner and she said it had been hanging around looking for handouts for a couple of weeks. I asked her and she said it was for the taking. I saved my toast and made quick friends with it. The dog got raw paw pads from all the walking and running. I taught him to straddle the top tube on my bike laying his front legs and chest on my sleeping bag over the handle bars and his rear feet/toes straddling the down tube. That dog followed me all the way to a pear grower near the Ohme gardens where I met a family with 4 kids ( Joan, Lisa, Peter, John, and Andy ) that let me and the dog sleep in there equipment shed and hired me to pick pears of which I was not very fast at. During the day of picking, the kids would play and watch over the shepard and of course falling in love with him. The family had a 1930 Model A pickup, fully restored that we would ride around checking the orchards, stopping for ice cream cones and stuff. When it was time to leave they asked if they could have him and having 2 dogs at my home already, Mom and Dad would not have liked it, I reluctantly gave him up, for the best.  I made it home with $ 75 in my pocket that I , of course, bought a 49 Chevrolet fast back.  I resold it for $125.  Not bad for me at that age.

My first legal transportation after getting my drivers license at age 16 was a Sears Mo-ped.  I rode it in all kinds of weather, rain, snow, sub freezing weather etc. It was a new found freedom.

I soon had a car, a lowered ’53 Ford hard top and a girlfriend.  Lots of stories there.

With my drivers license and car I drove to Othello, Wa. and drove Potato trucks.  I slept in my car near the city park, cooking meals on my trusty camp stove.  I made a few friends, that was good.  There was one gang of four tough guys that tried to pick a fight but my new friends stood up for me and kept it from becoming a real fist fight.

I graduated high school in 1963.  I think my Mom and Dad, well, I am not sure what they were thinking because I did not even get to enjoy that first summer out of high school and in August of 1963 I found myself at the Navy recruiters office in Seattle, Wa.  I was a good kid growing up so why they thought I should be on my way I don’t know.

When I was in the Navy I was stationed aboard the USS Ticonderoga at the start of the official war with Vietnam in 1964. ticonderoga+The year USS Turner Joy and USS Maddox were attacked by North Vietnam Patrol Boats.      The Commander of my division was the first F-8 Crusader pilot to strike back at the Gunboats.  Things were pretty exciting that evening, for sure.  Our carrier was at sea for 60 days due to that incident.  We went back to Subic Bay, Philippines for rearmament and other supplies.  I had the duty that day so I had to stay aboard.  We left for the South China Sea the next morning so I never even got to go ashore.  Then it was another 30 days.  That was a long time to be at sea and on that ship.

I learned a whole realm of knowledge from that but never became an expert.  How could I ?  I was still a seaman (E-2 pay grade) and did what I was told.  What I was mostly told to do was maintain Nuclear Weapons.  I learned to do that in two Naval schools.  The first in Chicago, Illinois for electrician and electronics and the 2nd in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I learned how to put the electrician and electronics training to use maintaining those weapons.  We maintained two basic weapons.  About 40 in all plus a few other weapons.  I became some what an expert but not very far up the ladder.  I obviously had supervisors looking over my shoulder all the time.

After our 90 days in the South China Sea we went home to San Diego for Christmas for just a really short time.  Then we were off to Hunters Point, San Francisco for dry dock. There we refitted, repaired and maintained the ship.  I did a lot of paint scraping in closed tight spaces.  Dizzying job from fumes.  But I also was assigned a fair amount of welding jobs because noone else in my division knew how. I thank Snohomish FAA for teaching me welding in the farm shop.  I was going to be a beef rancher. I was about midway up the ladder of expertise when it came to welding and fabricating.  that is one skill I still maintain today.

After we came out of drydock we were off to Hawaii for wargames and then on to the South China sea for one more tour.  When that was over and we were back in San Diego I was discharged to the world as a young- know -very- little adult.  That is when I met Rene’e, a blonde, blue eyed Southern California girl.  Between arriving back in San Diego in April of ’66 and my discharge in August I drove the 100 miles between San Diego and Anaheim on my days of leave from the ship to see Rene’e and hang out with her after she got off as a ticket taker at a drive in movie theater.  I would go inside and watch the movie until she was finished.  I think I saw ” Bonnie and Clyde about 10 times that summer.

Aug, 1966 – I got out of the Navy. After seeing Rene’e for awhile I went to Arizona to meet up with a Navy ship mate. We tried cutting firewood and that failed. I got a job as a construction laborer helping build summer cabins. I worked with 2 guys that knew what they were doing so I learned a lot about building from them.  To pay for my board and room at the resort in the area I took care of the horses and guided people on short day rides in the surrounding hills. doing and they worked for father who owned most of the lots up there

One evening some of the locals asked me to join them in town. On the way down the winding road I hit some loose gravel where the county had been doing some road work and I rolled my red MG. the car ended up against the right side bank on her left side ( the car spun around to the opposite direction) I had a 30 – 30 rifle and had to pick up bullets strewn all over the road. A car came along and took me back up to the lodge where they determined I should go to the hopital with a gashed head.

April 1967 –  I went for a week out to Southern California to get married to Rene’e, my Southern California blue eyed sweetheart.  My head was still leaking blood from the rollover accident in Arizona during the wedding even after my about to be mother in law drained the blood out and put a large patch on it.

I returned to Kingman with Rene’e where we lived in a little house in town.thanksgiving-in-kingman-1966 She was pregnant, due in June of ’67. I was still doing construction up in the mountains until the snow started in about October. We acquired a six month old abandoned German Shepard that showed up at the lodge. We named her Dusty.
Winter set in, the laborer job dried up so back to Southern California we went. We and her partied, bounced around trying to figure out what we were going to do.

I worked as night manager at a Der Weinerscnitzel, a machine shop, sold imported products from overseas to sell to department stores and gift shops.  I sold vacuum cleaners, pots and pans door to door and even had a 3 wheeled Cushman scooter ( The Lemon tree Ice Cream company – I painted it yellow ) with a freezer box on it and sold ice cream cones and bars to little league teams on weekends and around the neighborhood in the afternoons while attending junior college studying real estate.

One evening as soon as I got off my shift at midnight from the Der Weinerschnitzel, I took the trunk lid off my MG for more room and drove out to the resort where I had worked.  The MG I had wrecked was there with good running gear.  I arrived in the wee hours of the morning and a foot of snow.  I removed the engine, transmission, rear end, wheels and other smaller I could find little spots for.  I loaded up with the top down and raced back to California in time for my evening shift at the Hot dog stand.  I might add, Rene’e and I always had an over supply of Hot dogs.

It became obvious we needed a better car, a “Family Car”.  I purchased a 1964 421 GTO that, at my age, begged to street race with some of our friends with similar muscle cars.

Rene’e was getting a little fed up with some of my antics. Like getting off work at midnight then going out with some friends until 3 or 4 in the morning. Mind you she was about 8 months pregnant by then and I left her home alone quite often. I was unschooled about how to treat one’s wife, especially pregnant. During my time off from work we did spend most of our time together but nearly always with friends and hot cars.

One evening while out selling pots and pans I made a left turn in front of another car and got hit broad side.  That ended the jobs pretty much.  I did get a ’60 Pontiac as a loaner car but I needed a better paying job anyway.

June 1967 – Darin was born. That was a bad situation. I had just got home from the hospital visiting Rene’e and the lady that was in the other part of the Duplex called me to tell me her husbad had gotten a ticket and arrested for a warrant that evening and needed a ride to the local jail to bail him out. When we got there he was gone, in transient to the downtown LA county jail. We could not get him out until about 9 AM. She stayed at the jail to wait for him and I headed home. While on the way home the brakes gave out in the ’60 pontiac loaner as I approached a stop light. I veered off onto to the sidewalk, knocked down a light pole and of course damaged the car. I called the dealer to have them come get it and I took a taxi home. No car, no jobs. When I got home there were several messages on the answering machine. Darin had been born. I am not sure how I got to the hospital but I made it to a mother in law, sister in law and wife in a hostile mood. Can’t blame them.

We soon moved to Anaheim. My brother was in CA and had a rent free house that his Dad owned. He invited Rene’e, Darin and my self to come stay with him. The house was infested with fleas but Roger ( my brother) thought he could take care of that himself because my Mom told me Boeing was hiring for the gear up for the new 747. So I packed a few things and hit the road hitchhiking to Washington.

I stayed with my parents and bought a small Honda motrorcycle for transportation.

First was 4 weeks of training in Kent. That was a 40 mile commute rain or shine. Once the training was finished I went to work at the Everett plant. I was there 4 weeks.

From here read my blog “the Wreck”. It became a life long game changer.

 

Next, THE WRECK

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One thought on “I was told

  1. this is my blog that started as a promotion for my online retail business and quickly branched out to just telling you about my growing up.The first 2 blogs are my website promotions. From there on I am just writing about life, growing up and my successes and of course stumbles.

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