i A Time and a Place...: April 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jam Session Follow-up...

We went to the jam session and got there at about eleven thirty. As we drove up to Jans place, we saw Chuck getting into his car. He was leaving. Jan met me there and told me she had asked Chuck to not play his bass guitar because it screwed up the music. She suggested to him that he let me (or someone else) teach him how to play properly. She asked him to leave his bass and amp in his car and come in and just sing but he refused.

Chucks wife and his mother-in-law, two very obnoxious ladies, were waiting for me when I walked into the house. The mom-in-law accused me of making the statement, 'I wouldn't go to another jam session if Chuck was allowed to play his bass;' I agreed that I had said exactly that and I meant it. Then Jan came by and told us she wouldn't allow arguing here and I was more than happy to abide by her wishes and I walked on into the house.

Our friend, Grady, a lead guitar picker and singer came, as did Ray and Faye, a couple who are very good singers and players. And Faye plays a pretty solid bass guitar. Loretta, a great singer who lives in Paskenta and has her own jam session there once a month, showed up. Her husband, Raymond, didn't come with her. He is beginning to really feel his age. He's in his eighties.

All and all, it was a very good session. I hope the next one goes as well.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jam Session Time Again...

Well, It's Jam Session time again. This is where we go to places (this time it is Jan's house) and take a dish of food and our musical instruments and sing and play and eat. We usually have a great time.

Donna and I missed the last one. There is a guy who brings his bass guitar and plunks on it during the songs. The problem is, he has no idea of how to play the thing and he usually plays in the wrong key and screws up everybody's music.

We missed the last session because we thought he would be there. I left a session early the one before because he was screwing up the music and the guy, Ken, who runs the session wouldn't tell him not to play the bass.

Some friends who have been gone for a while, came back and the lady plays the bass and does a good job. When she is here, we don't need to worry about Chuck plunking on his.

I am taking my bass in addition to my guitar, just in case Chuck shows up and the lady bass player doesn't.

It's up to the person who sponsors the session to make sure no one screws things up. She said she would tell Chuck he could come but to leave his bass at home.

The guy is weird. I offered to teach him how to play at no charge but he just cannot admit he doesn't know how. Oh, well.

Gotta go,-see you later. Wish us luck!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Right Lane and Left Lane...(?)

Well, for those who are interested, here are the two new chairs I got to replace my elderly one that bit the dust recently and went to the Lazy Boy Reclining Chair Heaven. (aka,-the Tehama County Dump). They were manufactured by Lane Furniture Industries.
For thirty eight years, I have had a reclining chair and Donna sat on the sofa. Some years ago when her Mother passed on, she got her Mom's recliner and I thought, 'That's nice,-now each of us has a recliner'.

'oops',-huh uh,-She wouldn't sit in it because it belonged to her beloved Mother and she held it in esteem, in memory of her Mom, and she didn't want it worn out or damaged or something else.
I have to wonder what will happen to the chair should Donna pass.
(If she 'goes' before I and I am left behind, her Mom's chair will join my old chair in the Lazy Boy Reclining Chair Heaven,-it deserves a decent burial)

So, instead of sitting in it, she carefully and lovingly placed it in the entryway between the living/dining/laundry room and now, instead if damaging it by sitting in it, we walk around it (actually, squeeze by it) and she uses it on which to put clothing which she is folding as it comes out of the electric dryer. (she says that won't hurt it,-just make it warm from the just dried clothes)

I show her, though. ..'sshhh'... Sometimes when she is gone to San Francisco to receive the gift of a cold from her sister and bring it back here to share with me,(she's so generous,-just like her sister) I purposely wash a load of clothing and dry it in the electric drier just so I can,- NOT STACK IT ON HER MOM'S CHAIR TO FOLD.
Just for spite, I carry the clothing into the Masters (that's me) bedroom and place it on the bed and, being careful not to lie on top of any of it while I am sleeping, in a few days, after it has cooled off sufficiently and the wrinkles have set properly, I fold it there.

Anyhow, after my chair did it from the both of us using it for many, many years, she unfairly insisted she needs a chair of her own.
I remind her that she already has a reclining chair and she calmly explains to me, "Oh, no,-that's Mom's chair." I have started, a couple of times, to remind her that her Mom is dead, but, being somewhat familiar with her occasional temper tantrum when she is dis-agreed with, I wisely (and fearfully) kept my mouth shut.

Anyways, looking at the picture here, the chair on the left facing you is the 'Left Lane', and the chair on the right facing you is the, 'Right Lane.'

Howsomeever, since I never stay in the 'Right Lane' when I'm driving on the freeway, I prefer to label the Lanes from looking from the back; ergo, (or is that,-I.E.,-Oh, well) I will be sitting in the 'Left Lane' and Mi Espousa, La Donna d'el Nebraska, (a little Mex Lingo here) will be sitting in the 'Right Lane'. I usually stay in the 'Left Lane' because the road surface is almost always smoother. (or is that, 'More Smooth, uuumm,-oh, well)

Most of the time, when I am in the passing lane and someone comes up behind as if they want to pass and I move to the right, (I'm so courteous) instead of going on, they slow down when they get alongside of me and I am forced to slow because of the slower traffic ahead of me.

And so, not wanting to compromise my speedy position, I stay in the Left Lane and force the bum to pass on the right. I drive a Mercury Marquis which is a big car and is pretty comfortable and I just hate it when some little old bitty Volkswagen or Honda or something like that comes up alongside me and I have to slow down...uummm,-Les see... what the hell was I talking about?
'oops'... Oh, Yeah,- the chairs!

Well, (I say that a lot,-it indicates I am thinking)anyhoo, there it is; I have said about all there is to say about our brand new Lane Recliner Chairs, the 'Right Lane' and the 'Left Lane'.(or is it the 'Left Lane' and the 'Right Lane'-oh, well.) Now you know as much about this as I do (which ain't saying much,- and who really cares, anyhow) and you can, or may, do with it as you will. (Or won't-that would be up to you)

Now, wasn't that exciting! Was it good for you? It was sure good for me!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Joel Osteen-A Man After God's Own Heart...

I was raised and baptized into the Church of Christ, a Bible only church. My family never strayed from the Bible message of hope and faith.

Having said that, I now will say,-I believe Joel Osteen is the best Christian person to come along to encourage people to love God and believe in Him, during bad times -and good times, that I have ever heard. I enjoy listening to him so much, I decided to put his 60 Minutes interview on my blog. It is a bit long but I hope you will listen to it and enjoy it as much as I do.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I just walked into the great room and, as usual, sat in my private (It's mine!) Lazy Boy lounge reclining super comfortable,-I've had it forever it seems,- (it might need a bit of cleaning and the cushions on the arms have semi-separated from the arms foundations so that a small object could, if need be, be hidden between the loose cushions and the arms themselves)'whew'-chair and leaned back and heard a loud 'POP'-hence,-


After shuddering uncontrollably for a inestimable (or so) second, I arose to determine what had caused the loud, terrifying 'pop'. I pulled the aforementioned Lazy Boy lounge reclining super comfortable,-I've had it forever it seems,- (it might need a bit of cleaning and the cushions on the arms have semi-separated from the arms foundations so that a small object could, if need be, be hidden between the loose cushions and the arms themselves)'whew'-chair forward and into the


of the great room and tipped it up onto it's front and proceeded to unhinge the back from the base to determine what it was I wished to determine,-that is to say,-(finally) what had caused the 'POP

I put my hand on the backing facing (a little play on words there) and felt a very sharp point of something inside the chair back.

This explanation is starting to get tiring so I'll cut to the chase.

There is a sheet of material that covers the bottom of the back of the chair. (which, by the way, had slipped right out of the base with a small tug I gave at the suggestion of Mi Espousa, La Donna d'el Nebraska ((a little Mex lingo here))i.e.,my wife, Donna) I whipped out my trusty under water proof pocket knife which was given to me by my best of all time friend, Ken Akin, (he's gone to the great scuba diving area in the sky) and cut a slit in the material in a manner that would allow it to be re-attached by sewing later, if need be, and looked into the orifice.

'Voila!' There, in un-plain sight, was a broken spring! It was made of tensile steel and was snapped a ways out from the edge where it was attached.

'whew' I'm getting weary, telling this story in the manner in which I'm telling this story. I'll start over.

I sat in my recliner and leaned back and a spring broke in the back of the chair. I checked it over and determined it couldn't be repaired satisfactorily and, since the chair was kind of ragged from long and faithful use anyway, I took it to the broken Lazy Boy Recliner Chair Heaven (the county dump) and shopped around and bought two new chairs, Lanes, one for me and "One More For the Road," -'oops',- one for Donna.

Now I ax you, wasn't that better?

That's it,- There ain't no more, at least, not at this time.

Now you have the long and the short of it and you can,-or may,- do with it as you will -or won't. I hope this revelation has helped to make your day a bit brighter!
Don't thank me,-it's the least I could do under the circumstances.(whatever 'the circumstances' are)


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Other Bargain Car...

I was sitting in the drivers room at the J H Marks Trucking Company in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1957, playing cards with several other drivers. We were waiting for CFI to call in orders for loads of pipe to go to drilling rigs, and etc.

This was in the winter of '57, the year before I went to work for E L Farmer, and it was snowy and colder than a witches tit around there. We were playing 5 card stud. Jack Settles was in the game and we were talking about our cars and how easily (or hard) they started on cold winter days such as this one.

I had a 1953 Mercury that looked exactly like this one, even the same color, except the paint was good on mine and Jack had a 1937 Chevy. My car had started easily that day for a change. It usually was very hard to start. Jacks Chevy (it was exactly like this one pictured) had not started that day (it usually started up when no one elses' car would start)and he had to bum a ride to work and he was super pissed about it. He ran the battery down very quickly cranking on it.

As I dealt the cards, he said, "I'd sell that damned Chevy for twenty bucks!" -'oops'- I reached into my pocket and pulled out a twenty and tossed it over the table to him. He looked at me and at the twenty and heaved a great big -'I shouldn't have said that'-sigh. I know he wished to himself he hadn't said that but we were Texans and he had committed so there was no complaining and no going back. Bummer! He frowned and then grinned and said, "It's time for a new car anyway." Then he took the title to the Chevy out of his wallet and signed it and threw it over the table to me.

Neither of us worked that day so, when we left that afternoon, I gave Jack a ride home. On the way, we went by my house and got my wife so she could drive the Merc back home and I could drive the Chevy and we went to an auto parts store and I bought a new battery. I put it in the Chevy when we got to his house and I cleaned the terminals and my brand new 1937 Chevrolet kicked right off and started every day on the first try from then until my wife (not this wife; the first one) wrecked it about six or seven months later.

It was the best twenty buck car I ever owned!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Long Ago and Far Away...

I was mulling over some things I did many years ago, looking at pictures and reading in my journal about my past escapades and I came across this photo.
(Not this one; the one at the bottom of the page that shows me overhauling a transmission on my front porch)

This was October of 1958 in Pueblo, Colorado. I was working for the E L Farmer Trucking Company, driving an R200 International tractor with a JT Cummins engine, pulling a pole trailer, hauling oil field pipe loaded out of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Steel Mill to many points south to various and sundry oil well drilling rigs.(and some pipe yards)

Most of my trips were to the Jicarilla Indian Reservation near Aztec and Farmington, New Mexico. Some went on to Texas, mostly around Odessa and Midland and McCamey, to drilling rigs in much of the Permian Basin.

On this one trip over the Wolf Creek Pass, I had talked to a man from Walsenburg who had a 1939 Chrysler Royal, four door sedan, for sale, cheap.

He said it was a cherry car but had a gear out of the transmission; namely, second gear. He had a couple more cars and didn't need this one. I paid him fifty bucks and he signed the title and gave it to me, along with his address.

The next trip I made was to Aztec, New Mexico, to a Texaco drilling rig on the reservation.

After unloading my load of pipe at the drilling rig, I loaded my trailer onto the bolster and headache rack of the tractor to bob-tail back and headed home.

It was night when I got to Walsenburg. I found a phone and called the number of the guy who sold me the car. He came out and showed me the way to his house. Luckily, it was near the highway. I didn't have a towing bar so I chained the front bumper to the back of the truck and headed for home.

Luck was with me. I never passed a cop all night and there was very little traffic. It was pretty awkward, going around curves, since the car was snubbed up tight and couldn't follow around. It just slid sideways.

I made it home all right and dropped the car off at my house then took the truck to the truck yard and fueled it and parked it. I checked the Chrysler over the next day and it was, indeed, in cherry condition. The inside, the headliner, seats and all of the panels were perfect. Even the floormats were like brand new!

It was black and, when the dash lights came on, they were red. It sure was purty! The only thing I didn't like were the headlamp bulbs. They were the old type that are small and, when pushed into the socket, lock in when they are turned. At night they cast a very dim light compared with sealed beams.

Anyhow, that's me on the porch, with the transmission from the car. Them was the good old days, when you could take a transmission apart and replace all the gears (this needed only one) in a couple of hours,-on the front porch of your house.

The other man here was another driver. I don't remember his name but he and I went rabbit hunting together a couple of times. He was a pretty good guy but had sticky fingers. Every time we went into a grocery store, he came out with at least one extra item.

Anyhow, there you have it. Another exciting episode in the intriguing life and times of me!

BTW,-I drove that Chrysler pulling a four wheeled trailer loaded with all our belongings from Pueblo, Colorado to Modesto, California the next year. It was the best fifty buck car I ever owned.


Friday, April 03, 2009


Chapter One

When I first came to Northern California, Redding in Shasta County, specifically, one of the first names I heard was Wildwood. It's a small town (or maybe just a settlement or Indian Reservation) 40 or 50 miles west of Redding/Red Bluff.

There is another town called Platina on the way to Wildwood. Platina is a small town with a city limit sign and everything.

I have never been to Platina or Wildwood so today, mi Espousa LaDonna d'el Nebraska (a little Mex lingo here) and I are headed for Wildwood.

I say, 'headed for,' because the map shows only the faintest road or trail from Platina to Wildwood. Since I will be driving my car, we won't try to tackle a road that's very bad.

Chapter Two...


Well, hey, we made the trip and it was a very nice ride. The road was paved and wide enough all the way. It was so good I was almost disappointed.

We stopped at a rustic looking bar
and had a cup of coffee and talked with the owner for a while. I asked him exactly where Wildwood was and he said, "You're in it."
His bar is the only thing in Wildwood that resembles any kind of a business establishment.

He said the town was pretty wild back in the gold rush days. He has lived there for only twenty years. We took a few pictures.

There was a general store with gas pumps but it was about two miles from Wildwood.
Evidently the folks around there live off the land; catch fish,-poach deer and bears; like that.

We came back home by a different route. We proceeded on westerly (yeah, yeah,-I know, but 'westerly' looks more active than just 'west')on Highway 36 and then north on Highway 3. We stopped in Hayfork and had a bite to eat (Donna ate; I had coffee)

I asked around about an old friend of mine from the 60s, Max Quint, the lead guitar player of the band we had called, "The Argons." No one was familiar with the name and he wasn't in the phone book. He may have died but then, he never was too dependable. Oh, well.

We talked with some guy who had been a drummer at about the same time I was playing music in the 60s. I asked if he was still active in music and he explained he had bought a piece of land outside of town and was now a hermit. (He didn't even own a computer,-can you believe it? He said he disdained anything new or electronic,-he liked it plain and simple,-I asked him if it was much of a walk from his place to town,-he put on a blank stare and a question mark developed over his head)
I quipped, "That must be interesting." He retorted, "Yes,-I'm now doing what I like the most; nothing." Again,-Oh, well.

Then we got on Highway 299 East and headed on toward home. On the way, I had to stop for a nature call. I pulled to the side of the road at a wide spot and climbed down a very small hill and took care of business. When I finished and turned to climb back up the hill, someone had stretched it to around six times the steep and distance. I did my 'Survivorman' impression attempting (and barely making it) to climb back to the top of that 'small' hill.
Right at the top, I grabbed a limb of a small tree to pill myself over the edge and onto flat ground.(actually, it was a small twig-my Angel must have been watching over me and ordered that twig to hold my weight so's I wouldn't tumble to the bottom of that 'small' 60 foot straight down, hill)

As I sat in the drivers seat, (I still don't remember how I got there-the Angel again, I guess) I felt a double plastic hose being inserted into my nose and heard Donnas' oxygen tank being turned on. It is regulated to puff a small amount of oxygen each time a breath is taken. Now, hooked up to me, it was hissing constantly.
Donna looked panicky! I asked her why and she, in turn, asked me why I appeared panicky. I said,(when I could speak again)"I asked you first."
Now, for the third and final time; Oh, well.

All in all, it was an interesting and relaxing trip. (except for where the narrower parts of the highway had five hundred foot straight down drops to the canyon floor, mostly on Donnas side of the car; I drove over the fog line a couple of times and I thought she would it-shay)

It was an interesting day and I'm glad I finally got to Wildwood, the first time since I first moved to Redding in 1959. Peace...