Welcome To Inquisitive Quest…

April 27, 2016
Perpetuating an Inquisitive Quest

Perpetuating an Inquisitive Quest

This is not a opinionated blog – but in-part a chronological journey of 70 years of remembrances by Gary (Mike) Willson beginning at the age of two in in 1943 pursuing an inquisitive quest for the sentience of life.  A second Inquisitive Quest endeavor is forthcoming, Gary’s so to be 97 years of age mother has scripted a hand written journal of memories, comments and events,  a chronicle of her life’s journey beginning with childhood.



About inquisitivequest.com and Gary

December 14, 2012





Gary has changed occupations,  no longer participating in the world of commerce,  but has retired to the realm of antecedent anamnesis.   His prescription for life is renewed by sharing the aspects that frequented a diminutive journey.   The episodes on Inquisitive Quest are recollections and reflect a time in his life.   He writes in the third person, or attempts to observe the surrounding environment because it can be more authoritative than the actuality of celebration.  His pursuit is to enlighten his experiences in absolute and abstract principles with no predication, sharing his true-life experiences presents avaricious pleasure and he accentuate them as a chronicle of his presence,  not as pedantic writings,  but a perspicacious journal.

     Following a January 1959 graduation from high school, a missile electronics & nuclear warhead army school enlistment parlayed Gary to Oklahoma, followed by a marriage, 2 children and aspiring music career at the keyboard lasting for almost two decades.  Ensorcelled with a second marriage, 2 children, fulfilling various occupational opportunities in Kansas, including a introduction to a healthcare profession serving as a EMT, Hospital Engineer & Plant & Environmental Services Director, elected president of the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association in 1996.  A return to California after a forty year pilgrimage, a marriage and a 2009 retirement from healthcare service. Gary resides in Modesto California by happenstance,  seizing a pause before adjudication.  The countenance of his life having been arrested by the passing of his wife in 2014,  with intrepidity his journal will continue to document those events remaining.


December 14, 2012
  • Word Press Format publishes in reverse numerical order,  a relative decade time period has been added for the publishing month,  also included are the numerical chapter numbers for easier access.  If scrolling for chapters be aware of the “newer & older entries”  posted for continuity.  A continuous updating of each chapter including people, pictures, stories and adventures will be penned………Gary
  •    Published                   Time Period            Chapter
    •    Published                   Time Period            Chapter
    • February 2010                   (the 40’s)                  1 – 8
    • March 2010                       (the 50’s)                  9 – 32
    • April 2010                          (the 50’s)                33 – 59
    • May 2010                           (the 60’s)                60 – 87
    • June 2010                          (the 60’s)                88 – 112
    • July 2010                           (the 70’s)               113 – 133
    • August 2010                      (the 80’s)               134 – 159
    • September 2010                (the 80’s)              160 – 179
    • October 2010                     (the 80’s)              180 – 187
    • November 2010                 (the 80’s)              188 – 197
    • December 2010                 (the 90’s)               198 – 207
    • January 2011                      (the 90’s)              208 – 217
    • February 2011                    (the 90’s)              218 – 223
    • March 2011                        (the 90’s)               224 – 230
    • April 2011                          (the 90’s)               231 – 237
    • May 2011                           (the 90’s)               238 – 244
    • June 2011                          (the  90’s)               245 – 246
    • July 2011                           (the  90’s)               247 – 251
    • August 2011                      (the  90’s)               252 – 253
    • September 2011               (the  90’s)               254 – 255
    • October 2011                    (the  90’s)               256 – 257
    • November 2011               (the  2000’s)           258 – 260
    • December 2011               (the  2000’s)           261 – 262
    • January 2012                  (the  2000’s)           263
    • February 2012                (the  2000’s)           264 – 267
    • March 2012                     (2009 -2013)           268 – 272
    • April 2012                        (2012)                       273
    • June 2012                        (2012 – 2014)           274 – 275

Once Upon A Time – The Life Of Betty (Potter) Willson #4

July 27, 2012

96th Birthday – 2016

The following is a transcription of over a hundred handwritten pages of my mother’s remembrances journaled in a notebook over a span of years after reaching the age of 88. The words and sentence structure for the most part remain as originally written vividly projecting her personality, the flavor of the landscape and her view of the times.

Dorson Willson marker – Gilroy

With Dads passing we went back to San Jose and Bob got a job in Gilroy building a new stretch of highway.  We found an apartment, Bob taking me and the baby to meet  his Aunt Ellen and Mamie Goodrich and her daughter.  Aunt Ellen was in her late eighties, the first words she said on meeting me was “are you catholic?”  I said no, then she invited us into her house on the original Willson homestead.  We took her to see her sisters, Bob’s other aunts and suddenly she would disappear from sight and when we looked for her she would be sitting in the car ready to go.  We meant the Dexter’s, Whites and Kincade’s.  They didn’t make us feel welcome, they were small town ranchers who thought they were better than anyone else.

We looked up Bob’s mother side of the family, the McLaughlin’s at the mission in San Juan Baptiste.  We meant Mrs. Ladd who had worked for Grandpa McLaughlin.  She was a friend of Bob’s mother Kate.  She told us William, Bob’s father, couldn’t marry Kate until Dorson died because Kate was Irish and Catholic.  Grampa McLaughlin had a large ranch between Hollister and San Juan Baptiste.  He grew potatoes, oats and raised Morgan Horses, the finest Morgan Horses in the state.  She said he went to church every Sunday at the mission, but never made it past the bar on the way home.  She showed us where James McLaughlin was buried in the veteran’s cemetery at San Juan, he was a World War I veteran.  The records at the mission showed Kate was born Mary Katherine in 1884.  When Bob’s mother died so many died at the same time because of the flu epidemic,  she was buried in an unmarked grave with others in San Jose.  His father lived till 1932 but Bob never saw him but once since he was taken by the Peduzzi’s to Oakland and that was when he was six years old.  William and Kate had seven living children, the Willson family would not take any of them because Kate had them all baptized Catholic and because they were also Irish.  They were a snobbish group of puritans and masons who thought they were better than anyone else.  The girls, Bob’s sisters Gertrude, Gracie Mae, Evelyn, Loretta were placed in the convent at Santa Cruz.  The three oldest were going to Catholic school in Gilroy.  Bob and Joe were placed with Mexican families,  Joe’s name was William Joseph, the Novices’ called him Joe and Bob was placed with the Peduzzi’s when he was just two. I don’t understand why William couldn’t keep his family tighter.  Grace said it was because Evelyn told Aunt Ellen he put his hand where they shouldn’t be.  Albert the oldest was put in a unknown mental institution.  He had a very high fever when he was about five and afterwards he remained a five year old.  We never knew what happened to Gertrude after she left the convent at the age of sixteen.

Helen and 13 year old Bob

Bob never received any affection from the Peduzzi’s.  He was just a meal ticket especially during the depression as Mrs. Peduzzi’s received state money for his care until he was 16.  From the time he was 10 he delivered newspapers giving his money to Mrs. Peduzzi.  He won a bike and started delivering telegrams in the Berkeley Hills at the age of 12, still giving to Mrs. Peduzzi.  When he came home on his 16th birthday he found an old suitcase with his few possessions, two shirts, a change of underwear and a pair of jeans.  The state  no longer paid for his care.  There was never any care, no love, no Christmas gifts, no birthday parties’  he said the only one that had kind word was Helen the youngest Peduzzi daughter and the oldest daughters husband Mike Julian.

He quit school and started delivering telegrams full time, renting a dump of a room for a dollar a day.  He bought a old model T for $10 and Mike Julian helped him fix it up.  At that time he meant Vernon and Stanley Schultz, they would take him home with them,  their mother treated him great, making sure his clothes were clean and mended and see to it that he had plenty to eat. The car he bought was his greatest joy.  Bob, Stanley and Augie, another close friend started south to Baja California and then on to Tucson Arizona.  A Jewish boy joined them leaving Mexico and from then on they ate pretty good, Bob said they would have starved to death if it wasn’t for him.  He could always get food at a Jewish owned store.  He never ever got to Tucson, but the name became his nickname.

We were in our apartment in Gilroy about six months when the job ended.  We went back to San Jose, getting a motel room with a kitchen, you had to use a quarter for gas to cook by and electric to see by.  Grace brought Bob’s sister Evelyn over to stay with us, her husband Kelly Edwards wouldn’t find Bob a job as long as there were San Jose teamsters out of work, he was now head of the teamster’s local union.  Poor Evelyn,  she was very upset having lost her denture plate someplace.  She would cry at the least little thing, complain constantly if anything disturbed her.  No work, Bob wanting to go to Oakland and transfer his teamster union card to their union.  We did take Evelyn with us, the only place we could afford was a one room motel with kitchen next to Castlemont High School.  Evelyn did nothing to help, she was scared of the baby Mike.  Ann Schultz found her a couple of jobs but she would not take them. Pickings were slim, Bob tried his best, he transferred to the Oakland Union and with his first job and pay check I insisted Evelyn be sent back to Graces.  Grace said she arrived but lost her suitcase so Grace gave her some money to go to Mamie Goodrich’s.  That was the last time anyone seen or heard from her, I really felt sorry for her but didn’t have the patience to deal with her crying and nervousness.

Bob at last got a steady job working for Clough Construction driving dump truck.  Mike learned to walk at 7 1/2 months, we were still at the motel by Castlemont when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor.  Bob working 16 hours a day hauling gravel to the Naval air Station. We lived in the motel over a year seeing the B-25 bombers being loaded on the USS Hornet at the Alameda Naval Air Station to bomb Tokyo, Bob then going to work at the shipyards in Richmond, so he wouldn’t be drafted.  We no longer had a car it being repossessed until Mother came to visit paying $25 for a 1926 Dodge, driving her to Redding where Alice and Charley lived, the old Dodge getting good gas mileage.  We couldn’t get tires for the car and Bob needed an easier commute to Richmond so we moved to a 2 room apartment on 36th Ave. when we had a large earthquake.  I was on the lawn with Mike when it came, all the products on the shelves of the store across the street fell.  A couple from North Dakota having just moved in came running downstairs terrified.  The next day they moved back to North Dakota

My sister Alice and Charley came to live with us,  she never offered to help with the rent or the work and later we were told to move because there were too many people living in the apartment.  Charley finding work in the shipyards in San Francisco so they moved to San Francisco into a house that some Japanese who were put in a internment camp once owned.  We rented a two bedroom, 5 room house with an attached garage in a new subdivision next to San Leandro Creek in San Leandro.  Bob rode to work with several real nice neighbors, and when Katy was born in July 1943 our neighbor Mrs. Dutton took me to the hospital and called Bob.  Katy came fast and easy at the Oakland & East Oakland Hospital.  I again breast fed, Katy and another baby whose mother’s milk hadn’t come in.  I got milk fever and when I went home was running a 105 temperature.  Bob sent for mother and I think that was the only time that mother was angry with Bob.  Mother stayed till I managed on my own.  Bob being raised by Spanish/Italians and was taught that housework was a women’s job, men didn’t do housework or watch children.

The old parsonage apartment house, 215 Butte St. Yreka

Bob 1944

I gave Bob his first every birthday party in March 1944.  All the fellows he went to work with and their wives came plus the neighbors, one drunk fun mess, Nancy being the results.  In June Bob received his draft notice to appear July 1st in Yreka.  We tried to sell our furniture but gave away most of it.  On the 28th of June we caught a train to Dunsmuir where Barney meant us.  My Brother Pete had empty an apartment next to Mothers in the Apartment House dad had made from the old parsonage.  It was furnished,  charging me $35 a month plus electric and oil for the stove.  It consisted of a bedroom,  front room kitchen, bath, and had 12 ft. ceilings.  He said he would knock off $10 from the normal rent of $35 if I kept the yard and halls clean.  We took it but I was floored to find out my mother had to work at the laundry in order to pay her her son rent and utilities.

From the first of the war everything was rationed, gas, food, meat, even shoes.  Mother was working, Harry had bought a house by the rail depot,  he died shortly after dad.  He left the house to mother and she sold it for enough that she could visit us and her aunts as Pete would have never given her enough money to travel.. When Dad died Pete sold the big house to pay all Dads bills. He also sold the house Dad had built along the side of the Old Perkins place.  He gave me and Alice $500 each and sold the old Perkins place to Della for $1500.  Generous of him,  as he kept the other six houses and the apartment house and sold the lot next door for a post office.  He went to Crescent City to work just after the war but only for a couple of months coming back and getting elected  city councilman and water commissioner.   My brother Sam had his try at the Richmond shipyard, he bought a house in Albany and was there for about nine months then went back to Etna.  It’s hard to be a little fish in a big pond after years of being a big fish in a little pond.

One thing that would really make mad was to see the farm boys not in the service when they drafted Bob from a defense job.  Bob went into the service in August and I was expecting Nancy in November.  The pay Uncle Sam payed me was $82 a month to live on.  Bob took basic at Fort Ord and then was sent to Fort Riley Kansas to a Tank Unit.

Baby Nancy, Mike & Katy

Mom and Marvin Wisner

Nancy was born on November 2, 1944 and again I had so much milk, I nursed a little boy whose mother had died.  Guess what,  I got milk fever again, then they had to put the little boy on goats milk.  I was very sick and could not walk from the 20th of November till two days before Christmas.  Della took Nancy,  Bernice took Mike and Mother who had just married Marvin Wisner in October took Katy and I.   I laid on mothers couch and made stuffed animals for punch boards at the Walker Store and Bar, so I could buy the children Christmas.  We had Christmas with Della’s family.

New Year’s Eve Bob was in a terrible train wreck just outside of the Salt Lake in Utah.  He had gotten off at Salt Lake to buy a beer and when he go back on his seat was taken.  The Porter found him a seat in a car in back of the one he had been sitting in.  It was a steel car, the other was a wooden one.  A train ran into the back of the one he was riding in with such force that it pushed his car through the one in front of his.  When he go out to see the wreck he saw all his buddies that had been traveling with from Fort Riley having been pushed up against the windows, all dead.  They gave him a day delay in travel time and was able to visit us and see Nancy for the first time.  After what he had gone through I always knew he would come safe.  He shipped out of Seattle to Hawaii for jungle training, then on to Saipan where he first saw action.  From Saipan he was part of the initial landing on Okinawa.

That winter it was very cold most of the time, just above 0 degrees, even the sewer froze.  The diapers would freeze as I hung them on the line.  Mother and Marvin went to Dixon to work on a farm, my niece  Peggy came to live with me, until she came the picking were pretty slim.  She worked at Foster Freeze and the ranchers would give her meat, cheese and butter.  I traded my meat stamps for shoe stamps as Katy and Mike were out growing theirs real fast.  I wrote Bob every day, mostly V-mail which was free.  Elna Dawson was working in the mill at Weed and she would come up once a month and we would go to a show and celebrate a little,  Peg watched the kids.

Pearle Westbrooke

Me, my sisters Della and Alice

That year we watched as a Jap balloon with bombs flew over Yreka, it finally came down on Humbug Mountain starting a fire.  The Japanese had sent them over the USA and Canada on the trade winds, one killing a little girl in Oregon.  That same year I had the children baptized Catholic for Bob.  Judge Allen and Kate Mathews were God Parents.  Kate had moved into mother apartment, she was mother’s nurse when I was born.    Della though I was the meanest mother ever because of two offenses.  1. I made Katy, when she was only one year’s old crawl into the bathroom when she had to potty.  I was too big and pregnant with Nancy to carry her and she was potty trained by 15 months.  2.  I burned Mike’s fingers for playing with matches.  He would go out where we kept the oil barrels and light matches.  I tried everything to stop him, talking, spanking, yelling, nothing worked until I burnt his fingers.   Thank heaven for Pearl and her brothers.  The Westbrook’s lived in the upstairs apartment, their Dad was a prison guard and Pearl would watch and play with Katy and Mike.  In the other apartment live the manager of our local grocery store.  He lived with his sister and kept me in grocery that were about to go off the shelf.

Katy, Nancy, Me & Mike, 1945

The day Germany surrendered and the European war was over, Alvie was home on leave from a malaria attack, he brought frog legs for us to eat, and they tasted like chicken. When Bob went overseas I got $29 more which I saved each month.  One of few smart things I did, that and not touching the $500 Pete gave me when Dad died.  On Okinawa the Japs had all the Tanks zeroed in so we couldn’t use them.  They used our our Red Cross signs on our ambulance for target practice, needless to say they were short of drivers.  They took a look through the records and found out that Bob had driven ambulance and had medical training, he was transferred to the Medical Corp.  He brought General Buckner’s off the battlefield when he was killed by artillery fire.  We got very few letters, but mentioned he got dysentery, jungle-rot, even got stuck trying to get in a to small cave during a artillery barrage.  He was prepared for the invasion of Japan, but Japan surrendered and he was sent to Korea with the army of occupation.  With the war over Bob came home Christmas Eve,  the girls were afraid of him, but Mike was one happy boy.





Once Upon A Time – The Life Of Betty (Potter) Willson #3

July 22, 2012

96th Birthday – 2016

The following is a transcription of over a hundred handwritten pages of my mother’s remembrances journaled in a notebook over a span of years after reaching the age of 88. The words and sentence structure for the most part remain as originally written vividly projecting her personality, the flavor of the landscape and her view of the times.

Bob Willson & CCC Truck

The day I meant Bob was the day after ‘The Mercury Theatre On the Air’ Sunday night, October 30, 1938 broadcast of Orson Wells War of the Worlds on the radio.  I came to work at my child watching house cleaning job and found everything packed, they were responding to the broadcast and fleeing to the Marble Mountains.  The lady apparently realized it was a broadcast deciding to go to work telling me to unpack the boxes.  Her husband decided he wanted to play with my boobs, I quit and walked out.  I went to Roe Smith’s, she was waiting for her boyfriend, the person who brought him by in the CCC truck was named Bob, offering and then driving me home.  Several weeks later Bob came to the house and ask if I wanted to do something.  I suggested we pull back the rugs and dance, he didn’t dance so we made taffy instead.  Every couple of weeks he would come by, sometimes driving my friend Henrietta’s car with her and a group of CCC boys.  We would all go out to the Moonlight Oaks, put full beer bottles in a square and then play spin the bottle, whichever the bottle it pointed to got to drink it,  Bob always did the driving.

Bob with the CCC Ambulance Service

Just after Christmas Bob showed up with a Chevy Coupe, we went to Etna and Greenview visiting my brother Sam, Bernice and the family.  We started going steady, but because he had started driving ambulance in December he could only show up on weekends.  In May he asked me to marry and we got a license, he deciding to get out of the CCC’s and went to work with Barney cutting fencer post.  We, Della, Barney, Bud and Johnny were working and camping up on Moffett Creek in Scott Valley.  On the night of June 4th I was sleeping in the car while Bob slept in the tent with Della and Barney and the kids.  Around midnight a mountain lion came through the camp giving out a scream and the dogs started to bark.  Barney came rushing out of the tent with a gun.  He tried to track it but had no luck.  Della the next day decided to go to Yreka where little Johnny would be safe.  I went with her, Bob and Barney came Sunday and we all went back to camp.  I didn’t want to continue sleeping in the car so Bob said let’s get married.

I had made plans to be married on the 12th in front of the fireplace,  Mother having already planned a wedding shower for the 10th.   , So much for the wedding at home, I didn’t want to sleep in a car so then I best get married now.  On June 6th. we went to the Catholic Church my Dad had built in fort Jones but the Priest was in Happy Camp, so his housekeeper told us where Fred Wayne, the Justice of the peace lived.  We went to the Estella Dawson ranch and got Elna and James Dawson to be maid of honor and best man.  Then we went to the Justice of the Peace house and were married at nine o’clock at night.  We were the second couple he had ever married.  He had palsy and the bible shook so bad he could not read it unless his wife held it.  We ended up laughing when my ring wouldn’t go on.  Bob tried to give him our last $5.00 but he wouldn’t take it.  We bought Elna and James some beer and took them home.  When we got back to camp I told Della we were married and Bob and I slept on an army cot.  A Week later we moved to Della’s house, having returned home still worried about the Mountain Lion, we still slept in a room with five others.  July 2nd Barney delivered the post and gave Bob thirty dollars and we left for Oakland.  By the way I did get a lovely wedding shower on the 10th, Bob took me home for it.  With our $30 and a 1935 Chevy coupe we went to Oakland to try to find work, gas was 25 cents a gallon .  Our first night alone was in a $2 per night motel in San Pablo, we had been married 27 days.

13 year old Bob & Helen Peduzzi

The next day we went to see Mrs. Peduzzi, she raised Bob until he was 16, then kicked him out. We stayed with Mrs. Peduzzi for three days, our car was robbed and they took a small cedar chest that held my jewelry and our marriage license.  Then went to see Grace, Bob’s sister in San Jose.  Her husband was a dispatcher for the teamsters and was running for President of the Teamsters Union.  He would not help Bob find a job, didn’t want it said he patronized a nonunion person.  We stayed a week and then went back to Oakland where Bob found a job in a restaurant for 23 cent per hour plus meals, I couldn’t find any work having no skills. The first two months we rented a one room 10 x 10 apartment with a bed, dresser, hot plate chair and bathroom sink bath for $12.50 a month,  what a come down for me from the big house at home.  You make the bed you lay in….and I was to proud to let my parents know, writing glowing letters home, a pack of lies.

The first of September Bob got on with the WPA, (Works Project Administration)  building Oak Knoll Golf Course for $56 a month.  I let my pride rule me and never asked my parents for money or ever let them know Bob was working for the WPA.  My oldest brother Pete was water commissioner for Yreka and hated Roosevelt’s policies, another kept secret, my brother  always called the WPA welfare. With Bob making $56 a month we moved, the same building but to a 2 room apartment, still sharing the bath room with five others.  Our so- called living room had a Murphy Bed, ( a vertically hinged wall stored bed) the kitchen had a gas stove, sink, cupboard, table and 2 chairs.  We were coming up in the world.  I could even wash our clothes by hand and hang them on a line.  We would go to the 6th St. market on Saturday and buy what little we needed.  Our first Thanksgiving I cried most of the Day, it fell at the end of the month and we didn’t have much to eat.  The gentleman who lived in the basement said he would share his can of Bully Beef if I would cook dinner.  It was a deal, Bully Beef, corn meal with hot sauce, canned string beans and my last package of Jell-O.  The table was set beautifully, my wedding shower dishes, fedora crystal glasses, silver, linen table cloth and napkins even candles .

We went to Yreka for Christmas, it was Bob’s first Christmas, when he lived with the Peduzzi’s he didn’t get any presents.  It was hell to be 21 before you got your first Christmas present.  I bought our Christmas with my saved S&G stamps and made some of gifts with linen I got at my shower and painted some bottle to look like vases, oh the things you can come up with when you have no money.  My parent gave me a dress for Christmas and Bob a shirt, just before heading home my dad bought gas to get back to Oakland and gave us $30.  (We were rich).

State Senator Randolph Collier

Della a wrote mother was sick so I took the bus home.  She was alright when I got there so I only only spent a few days.  Siskiyou County State Senator Randolph  Collier was going to San Francisco so he gave me a ride back, 90 mile per hour all the way.  When I got back Bob said Henrietta had visited and stayed the night.  She was working at a dime and dance place on San Pablo Ave.  She showed up the next day but didn’t stay long and never came back, I wonder why??

Bob started driving dump truck, getting a raise to $97 a month, working at Oak Knoll Golf Club.  We moved to a three room furnished apartment on 26th St just off San Pablo.  Living room bedroom, kitchen and our own bath, (God Sent),  mother coming for a visit on her way south to see her aunts.

Our first New Year was spent with Ann and Vernon, we went to the T&D theatre.  It had the original Trapp family singing, plus a group of harmonica players and the movie South of the Border.  Before going to the T&D we stopped off a bar, tending the bar was one of Bob’s buddy’s.  He gave Bob a water glass full of gin.  By the time we got to the T&D, Bob was drunk.  I had never seen him drunk before.  He kept shouting “I see Gene Autry, but which one is singing”.  Everyone else thought it was funny but I moved to a different seat.

You could only be on WPA for nine months, so June 1st 1940 we packed up and went to see Bob’s sister Grace and Kelly Edwards for a couple of weeks then home to Yreka.   While we were at Graces I got pregnant.  When I was home the prior January I looked up when to get pregnant and have a baby on born on Bob’s birthday.  Mothers medical book had told me when in June to conceive, it was while we were at Graces.   I wouldn’t let it be said that Bob and I lived off mother and Dad, Bob was working for Pete and Dad.  We stayed a couple of weeks at my brother Pete and Ann’s house while they were visiting Minnesota. Then I made the downstairs back bedroom at mothers into a kitchen dinning, sitting area and the north bedroom upstairs for sleeping, giving Mother $ 25 per month for it.

Pete was always belittling Bob, but my Dad really liked him, Bob was working on the Montague and Terrigar ranch with Dad.  Between Christmas and New Year’s Grace called Bob saying that Kelly would get Bob in the Teamster Union and find him a job.  It was unexpected but we packed up and left for San Jose.  Bob went to work at Camp Roberts.  I stayed with Grace about a week then joined Bob in a one room motel with a bath along the railroad tracks.  It had a hot plate for cooking.  (Hmm…going backwards).

Bob & Baby Mike

The first of March Bob took me back to Yreka and on the 18th of March Gary Michael was born.  My water broke about 10 a.m. on the 17th, Harry took me to the hospital.  Mike was born at 12 a.m. the next day.  He had a cut on his forehead from the instruments and a paralyzed jaw, I had 14 stitches inside, 16 outside.  Doctor Charles Pius had to be sobered up to deliver Gary, the nurse refused to deliver him because I was so small and my sister Alice had lost a baby a couple of years earlier.  They wouldn’t let me push until the doctor got there, poor little Mike.  I came home and on the tenth day lost my afterbirth, Ann came and cleaned me up.  The day Mike was born Bob drove all that night to get there, then turning around having to return to Camp Roberts.

The doctor didn’t think Mike would live as he couldn’t move his jaws.  They pumped my breast while in the hospital and gave my milk to the Walker baby, Bernice’s sister who had died giving birth about two weeks earlier, the baby had difficulty digesting regular milk.  Once at home mother pumped my breast and fed Mike with an eye dropper.  My father spent his time massaging baby Mikes jaws so he could learn to nurse.  It worked and by the end of ten days he was nursing.  I stayed about three weeks at home.  Dad would give Mike a little warm whiskey and hot water when he had colic.

Ted Member gave me a ride to the San Pablo Hotel in Oakland where Bob meant us.  We went back to Santa Margarita, this time on the other side of the road, same motel but not next to the railroad tracks.  After a couple of week we found an apartment in Atascadero.  Three rooms in the crotch of an huge Oak tree.  The limbs divided the three room, it even had a bathroom.  When the wind blew the apartment would rock.  Mother came for a visit and we took her to L.A..  In L.A. we bought a different car, and when we got back to our apartment we found out Bob was fired for not showing up in time.  We went to Graces and stayed in a small house in Cupertino.  Bob’s Brother Joe came to see us.

Robert William (Bill) Potter   (1877 – 1941)

Bob couldn’t find work so went back to Yreka to our old rooms at home. Bob worked for Dad and we paid rent.  We stayed in Yreka in the apartment for about a month and a half,  paying our way more than any sister ever did when they came home,  even though Della always worked when she was there.  Dad died of a broken intestine in August.  He was only sick one day and was holding my hand when he took his last breath.  Pete telling mother she would have  to sell the big house and we should move.  My father having the largest funeral Siskiyou County ever had.



Once Upon A Time – The Life Of Betty (Potter) Willson #2

July 19, 2012

96th Birthday – 2016

The following is a transcription of over a hundred handwritten pages of my mother’s remembrances journaled in a notebook over a span of years after reaching the age of  88.  The words and sentence structure for the most part remain as originally written vividly projecting her personality, the flavor of the landscape and her view of the times.

The Robert William (Bill) Potter family – 1929

I was 9 years and 2 months old when the Stock Market crashed in 1929.  There were runs on banks so they called in all their notes, loans, mortgages and by 1932 the people were losing their homes, farms business and cars,  people loss millions.  Farm income dropped to nothing and because far foreclosures and eviction they had to call out the national guard in Iowa.  Since I went to the Saturday Matinees they would show us the Fox News of people in soup lines, the dust storms in the mid-west and just how bad it was in the cities. In 1932 Roosevelt became President with his New Deal.  For the first time my father voted democrat and voted against Herbert Hoover his third cousin. We had a big Majestic Radio and I stayed up very late with my Dad taking down the election returns.

The spring before the crash mother’s cousin Clarence Hudson came to visit with his bride and a brand new Cord convertible.  They were on a six months tour of the USA and the Mediterranean and Paris.   He was very wealthy, played the stock market, his mother my great Aunt Annie was married to a Pinny, Iron, Steel and Copper heir.  They had a huge home across Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford home in Hollywood.  When the stock market crashed they loss everything, the Pinny Company folded and Aunt Annie’s husband committed suicide.  Clarence’s wife divorced him and he moved to a small house in Pasadena and went to work for Republic Pictures. When my Aunt Annie died at the age of 99 she left over 30 saving accounts all in different banks.  She didn’t trust the banks.


Yreka being a small county seat town didn’t feel the real bad effect of the depression.  Few business closed, some people lost home and a lot of people lost their saving when the banks failed. I think the depression brought the community together, neighbors helped each other out.  They shared with those in need.  We had free dances almost every Saturday night, Lodges paying for the music.  The Townsend Plan held dances every Friday night.  Bet you never heard of it before, prior to social security, it was a plan to give every adult over 60 years of age $2oo a month and it had to be spent on food, clothing, furniture or a car before the next check could be issued.  Almost everyone had a garden, a few fruit trees and canned enough to see them through the winter.  Most people just accepted less pay for their work.

From the time I was 10 to 17 our home was sort of a rescue mission, us having a five bedroom house.  One of the upstairs bedrooms was very large and had three double beds in it.  After my sister Alice married in 1932 there were just five people living the house,  my father, mother, cousin Harry and Ann Zorn going to high school.  Almost every night every extra bed was filled.  Sometime with my sister’s family but most often with strangers and even those with children.  Any homeless that ended up in Yreka with no money or place to sleep, the cops would sometime call my dad.  My father always welcomed them into our home.  My mother had one rule (which meant we had to keep the kitchen stove going no matter how hot it was for the water pipes were heated in its fire box)  everyone had to have a bath before they could sleep in one of her beds.  I never set down to dinner or breakfast that there wasn’t at least 10 to 12 people at the table.  My father always made sure our passing through guest had enough gas to get them to Oregon.  With all those strangers in our home I can truly say we never heard a swear word or ever lost or anything stolen.

My Dad being a contractor was doing okay busy building the town of Chiloquin Oregon and in the early thirties moving buildings, building  bridges for new highways in Siskiyou County.   In 1931 when they widen and changed the route of highway 99 from Redding to the Oregon line he had the contracts for all the bridges and culverts until 1934.  while building the bridges down the Shasta Canyon a chip of cement put out his right eye and it to be removed, his left eye became infected and he lost most of his sight and after that his eye sight prevented him from undertaking government contracts.  He still built house’s and several building in or around Yreka. We had money, only maybe we were what you called property poor.  He built a garage for the Dodge dealer, moved six houses to be across from the hospital and added another house to the three in back of our big house and moved the Old Catholic parsonage to a lot on Butte St.  turning it into an apartment house.  I never lacked for food, clothing or spending money but still the depression era was brought home to me every day.  My brother Sam and sister Alice’s husband Charlie began building the (CCC) Civilian Conservation Camps.  Brother Pete was still at home working for Dad.  Dad staking Barney and Sister Della to three ranches at different times but the income from the milk was small and they couldn’t make it pay.

Dad’s Cousin Harry

In 1934 my Dad’s cousin Harry Hayes came to live with us.  His wife Molly after a long stay in the hospital died of cancer.  Harry stayed and did the driving as Dad no longer drove, that year was bad for us.  Besides a chip of cement putting out and the removal of his right eye and he losing most of his sight in the left, my mother had to have a kidney removed.  I graduated from the eighth grade and started high school.  Believe it or not I was very shy my first two years of high school.  I got very good grades, then I started dating.  Our ancient history teacher Miss Gould was moving, she invited me to visit her in Pasadena.  Mother and I went to Aunt Annie’s in southern California and while I was there Miss Gould took me to the famous Brown Derby where all the movie stars went.  I had a big time, the waiter stood right beside us with a napkin over one arm, I felt special but didn’t even know what fork to use.  I saw Joan Crawford and Wallace Barry and later Cousin Clarence took me on a tour of a movie studio, but don’t remember which one.

Ann Zorn

When Anne Zorn’s came to live with us to go to high school, mother having displaced a kneecap needing help with all the house work so Dad gave Ann Twenty dollars to help out.  She ended up giving most of it and her school $12. 50 travel allowance money that the schools paid for boarding  because the bus didn’t go to the house’s down the Klamath River,  to her parents so they and her younger sibling wouldn’t go hungry.  Her brother Alvie would also sometimes stay with us.  If my dad found someone or a family who had no place to stay he would bring them home.  When my sister Della had second son Johnny she only went to the hospital for delivery then came home to us.  More responsibility,  mother was in bed with her knee injury so Ann and I had to care for a new born baby plus Della and mother.  The summer I was 14 I went to visit Emily and John Dunham, Emily was on stage with my aunts, she was a concert pianist.  Their son Everett was a year older than I.  We picked wild gooseberries, but never again. Everett was killed the year he graduated from high school, broke his neck driving in the Klamath river.

I was allowed to date at fifteen and I dated James Avery and Jack Linville and Ann went with a guy named Kenneth from Weed who later was the first causality in World War II from Siskiyou County.  We worked real hard until mother could get around and when school started we still stripped the guest beds, also doing the dishes before going to school and at noon we did dishes before returning to school, but at least there wasn’t so many dishes at noon as Dad didn’t bring the Homers home for lunch.  After school we brought in and folded sheets, helped with supper and did the dishes.  After supper we cleaned the house top to bottom and on Saturday we were able to date or whatever.  I didn’t like the local boys for all they wanted to do was make out.

Me & Shorty

My brother Pete Got married in 1936 to a nurse, Virginia Ann Lamach, Dad giving him the six houses across from the hospital.  I was sixteen, Ann and I stated dating the CCC boys.  We were jail bait to them so outside of heavy necking we were safe, they being two or three years older than us.   I started going with a CCC boy named James Lebeff, he was Russian and French, his father was the Russian Orthodox Minister in San Francisco.  He had such perfect manners, mother finally had to tell him to stay seated when she came into the room.  He gave me a mahjong set made of ivory, always brought flowers or candy for mother.  Mother made me give back the mahjong set, she said it was too expensive.

Dad would let me use the old 1929 Model A Ford.  I drove it to the CCC Granges dances every Saturday night.  The tires were bald and Harry often bailed us out when we had too many flats but we never missed a Saturday night dance. Bye the way I had dancing lessons given by an ex burlesque queen. I learned to tap, hula and black bottom plus grinds and bumps.  Never less I loved to dance and from the time I was twelve I went with mother and dad to Townsend Dances where they did square dance, schottisches and polka’s.  We would go to the Hippodrome in Weed when the big bands stopped there.  Friday night we’d go roller skating or to watch the boxing matches between the different CCC camps.

  Back when I was 14 my Dad let me have piano lessons in exchange for the teachers rent.  The small house in back of the big house was always rented, first to a friend of my brother Sam’s,  the Knapp’s.  They couldn’t pay the rent for three months and when they got a job at Chico they left the piano for back rent,  I got it.  I was 14 and my Dad let me have piano lessons in exchange for the teachers rent.  Next to move in was Lee and Kay Blizzer.  Kay was an Edwards of San Francisco and married a young mining engineer.  She had servants to do all for her.  So when she came to Yreka she couldn’t cook, build a fire, wash, iron or make a bed, so I taught her and she taught me how to walk like a lady, set a table correctly, table manners, to appreciate classical music and opera.  Her husband salted a mine and sold it.  They left in a hurry for the Philippines, where they bought a sugar plantation.  We carried on our correspondence for several years until she died in 1939.  During WWII  the rest of the family were interned in a Jap prison camp.  The daughters kept their father alive by bringing him food.  They were allowed outside.  The Youngest of their two girls lost her arm during the return of the Americans.  After the Blizzers left, Kitty and Jack Gore moved in the little house. They had two daughters.  Jack worked out of town quite a bit, Kitty was an alcoholic,  I did a lot of babysitting for them, their youngest, Barbara, was almost totally blind from birth.  Year’s later in 41 Jack was killed working on a dredger on the Klamath.  Kitty died of Alcoholism, her sister took the girls.

Me & Rebec

Mom & Rebec

In the fall of 1936 I meant Rebec, (Anton Rebecs) he was so handsome every young girls dream man and I was the lucky one.  We went to the 49er’s day celebration held in Yreka.  The carnival was held on Dad’s lot next to the Apartment house and they provided all the free ride tickets we wanted, we had a ball.  A boy by the name of Tony from San Francisco and I entered the waltz contest.  We took second place and won a 5 lb box of candy which we shared it with everyone.  I remember one of the first times Rebec and I went to the movies, it snowed about five inches while were in the theatre. I had open toe shoes so Rebec carried me the 6 blocks home.  I think we kissed under every street light.  Mother was waiting when we got home.  She had received a phone call from Mrs. Harmon, Mrs. Young and Mrs. Atkinson all seeing me carried and  all wanting to know if I was hurt.  Small town,  everyone wanting to know everything.


In November, Rebec and I became engaged with the understanding that I would finish high school.  We were a couple until September of 1937 when I meant his parents and his mother informed me all Sundays would be spent with his family.  They only spoke polish at home, so Goodbye Rebec, I sent his ring back.  (When I was 80 years old he started calling me about every three months and sent me pictures of him and his wife.  He said you never forget your first love, I agree.) I started dating Shorty and Shaf, Bernard frock and Al Linville.  I graduated from high school June 1938, 23rd out of a class of 76.  I continued to date Al in May, June and July,  we mostly just drove around but sometimes would go to Della’s and Barney where Barney played the violin and Al his guitar.  Barney was great with the violin.

I didn’t smoke but I did drink when with Shorty and Shaf, they called me ‘gin baby’, I could drink them both under the table.  On Friday nights we, along with Azealia Burns would go to the Pastime in Weed to dance.  This was a road house just north of Weed on highway 99.  You had to buy a drink to dance.  I often drove them home in shorty’s 1925 Dodge.  Once I drove to Della’s in Quartz Valley, we stayed overnight sleeping on the floor.  One time we went to McCloud to a dance and when we started back the car couldn’t pull the grade, so we put it in reverse and backed over.  The only time I got drunk was on my 18th birthday when Pete bought me a bottle of wine.  We drank it and then went to the Pastime where I drank gin.  I was sick and heaved all the way home.

Bernard Frock

I wanted to go to college but dad wouldn’t go for it.  I think he needed me at home.  He was going blind, he even stopped bringing strangers home.  I would read the Sacramento Bee to him every night.  Alvie Zorn’s was living with us working at the Palace, Ann was at our home for the summer rather than stay with the Cloys being engaged to Muggy. In July Bernard Frock and I went to the Oregon Caves and Gold Beach where we stayed with Dad’s cousins.  The next day we went to Roseburg and stayed with some of his friends, then to my Great Aunt Alice‘s in Medford.  Great Aunt Alice told our fortunes, telling me I would marry someone from a big city and never go back to Yreka to live excerpt for short visits.  She took aside and told me Bernard would die in just a few years, ( he died in 1941).  Bye the way, there was no hokey pokey with Bernard.  He was a perfect gentleman the whole trip.  My mother and Mildred Frock really hoped that he and I would marry.

Every time I wanted to get a real job my dad would say that I would be taking a job someone else needed to feed a family.  I started working by taking care of a little boy and house cleaning.  His mother was the county librarian, I don’t think she ever did any house work.  Her husband didn’t work just hunted and fished.  Life was becoming routine then fate intervened…….Bob




Once Upon A Time – The Life Of Betty (Potter) Willson #1

July 16, 2012

96th Birthday – 2016

The following is a transcription of over a hundred handwritten pages of my mother’s remembrances journaled in a notebook over a span of years after reaching the age of  88.  The words and sentence structure for the most part remain as originally written vividly projecting her personality, the flavor of the landscape and her view of the times.

Once upon time many long years ago in the year 1920 a baby girl was born in the Scott Valley town of Fort Jones, Siskiyou County California.  Her mother, Olive Annie (Kuder) Potter, age 37,  her father Robert (Bill) William Potter was a versatile cement contractor builder welcoming the beautiful baby addition.  She had four siblings; Samuel age 19 attending college in Long Beach;  Della who was taking teaching exams at a school in Chico, the following year to be renamed Chico State Teachers College; Charles Millard age 15 ½ attending high school and 7 year old sister Alice Minerva going the grammar school.

Betty Irene Potter

It was a time of the “roaring 20’s and the worst flu epidemic the world had ever known and was also the first time women could vote in an election.  It was also the start of prohibition, women dresses that showed their knees, cutting their hair and a time when everyone thought they couldn’t live without cars, electricity, inside plumbing, radio, washing machines, refrigeration, silent movies and the beginning of airmail and air travel.  At the end of the twenties came a down fall, the stock market crashed in October 1929 and the start of the big depression.

“Thus, a baby girl born July 22, 1920, Betty Irene Potter was conveyed into a world of change and promises.”                                                                                                               This is her life.

I have only a few memories of fort Jones.  One of falling out of the smoke house and breaking my nose, my Grandfather Kuder picking me up and holding me with great love.  My sister Alice and her friend Norma, with me between them the three of us running from a drunken Indian.  I remember being in a car stuck in Chee-Chee Lane when my sister Della got it stuck in the ditch.  I also remember a huge barn fire and mother moving all our treasures because she thought our house would burn and then the time playing barber with a boy and he cut off all my beautiful curls.

Dad having build the Fort Jones Catholic Church

We moved to Yreka into the Joe Miller’s house in 1923, my brother Sam having returned home after working with Uncle Denim and going to Architectural school in Los Angles.  Dad was building the Yreka Laundry, several houses , the Ford Garage and had to moved the Call house while they were still living in it so he could build their new house.  I use to go to the Circus in Montague with the Call’s every year.   Our cousins, the Busby’s visited on their way to Alaska and Aunt Olive also came to visit.  While visiting,  Eddie Peabody (the banjo King) stopped to see her.  They played the banjo and guitar on the front porch to the neighbors delight, Aunt Olive having accompanied him on the stage until she married Uncle Cory Dohans.

Mrs. Short give me a Toy Spitz puppy, he was my pride and joy.  One day mother started the old gas washing machine and so startled my puppy that he leaped off the back porch and hit the root cellar door and broke his neck. I was heartbroken and grandpa Kuder help me give him a grand funeral.  When I was four and a half mother took me to a tea in honor of Mrs. Patsy Reed who was with the Donner Party.  My brother Pete told me she ate people and when I was introduced to her I was so frightened I screamed “don’t eat me.”  Poor mother was so embarrassed I was sent home as punishment but Pete got a lecture.

My puppy

I had a lot of friends, Josephine Member, Mary Allen, Beatrice Parrott, and Gladys Gott.  It was playing house with Gladys’s that I broke all of my sister Alice’s dishes.  I had been forbidden to play with them as they were a complete set of china dishes only in miniature.  I accidentally tipped over the board we were using as a table.  I really deserved that punishment.  We always had a large garden, when Alice and I wanted something special to buy we would pick a vegetable to sell, and Alice was often upset because I always could sell mine to her customers before her.    The worst memory when we lived in the Joe Miller house was getting a ham bone for Christmas.  I had a bad habit of biting Alice, it was my defense.  My mother kept telling me “only dogs bit people” When Christmas came I got a ham-bone, no other presents till the next morning.  Never again did I bite anyone.

A very fond memory was that it was always my father who took care of us when we were sick.  We had all the childhood sickness’s, Croup, Measles, Chicken Pox, even Scarlet Fever.  I remember when I was six my grandfather Kuder who always lived with us died of a heart attack, having that very morning put up a swing for me.  He was on the front porch when he suffered the attack.  Della ran out in the road and flagged down a car with a couple of young men in it, they carried him into the house, but he died before the doctor could get there.   Some of dad’s crew lived and boarded with us, my brother Sam’s wife Bernice’s brother Charley Werth, Bobby Gray who became head of Sontag Drug Stores, Jack Lyons who was a great big man so tall that when he held me up I could reach our ceiling of twelve feet.

It was while living at the Joe Miller’s house that I nearly lost my leg.  A ditch ran in back of Joe’s house and in front of ours.  He used it as a septic tank and we sometimes waded in it.  A cut on my ankle became infected and gangrene started.  The doctor said he would amputate my leg just below the knee.  Della was teaching school in Quartz Valley when one of her student’s grandmother who was Indian saw her crying and asked what the matter was.  Della told her about me and she gave Della some salve to put on my leg.  Mother put it on, I still remember the pain, but it got rid of all the infection and saved my leg.  My brother Sam used it on his boils and they would come to a head in hours.

Ruth Brown would spend her summers in Yreka staying across the street, she was blind.  She was about 13 years old when I first meant her and she would read to me from her blind book for hours.  My sister Della during the winter months would read to us every night, the Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Moby Dick, Ann of Green Gables, Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland and the Swiss Family Robinson.  She also bought My Book House Collection and read from it.  When I was seven Della had a baby,  my cousin Peg was born in the upstairs bedroom.  What a treat, I was allowed to hold her, not like my brother Sam and Bernice’s baby Jerry who was born six months earlier and I didn’t get to see her until Christmas although she was only two blocks away.

Me and Alice 1923

I was spoiled:  When my sister Alice was watching me, which was most of the time and I didn’t get my way I would throw myself on the ground crying and screaming.  That ended when I was about five.  One day when I did it in front of Mrs. Churchill’s house she came out, stood over me, telling me  to get up and never do that again and learn to be a proper lady. (bye the way – she was old and look to me like a witch)  Later when I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church she was my sponsor and stood up for me.

The Big House under construction winter of 28

In late 1927 we moved to the old Call house that dad had moved across the road from Russell’s gas station.  The Perkins farm was next to the Russell’s, my dad buying it, moving their bunk house and main house to the back of the Main St. lot, then building our five bedroom home of cement block, which we called ‘the big house’,  where the Perkins house once stood.  He worked on it in the winter of 1928 and into 29 while building two blocks of stores in Klamath Falls and the downtown area of Chiloquin Oregon for the Indians.   The memories of living in the Call house are great.  I walked to school with Bea Parrott, Alden James, Muggy Cloyd, Bob and Mary Allen.  Sometimes we roller skated up Third St., crossing Miner St. and up fourth St. to school. In the summer we all played outside till dark.

The first black person I ever saw was an old ex-servant of the Glovers.  He was a retired slave who fought alongside Mr. Glover in the civil war for the south.  He lived in a small shack at the corner of Butte St. and Broadway,  I passed his house on the way to school.  When I was in the first grade I was so scared of him that I generally ran past his house but mother found out and took me to meet him.  She called him Mr. Cotton, he was gentle and so interesting that I would often stop to talk to him on my way home from school.

My sister Alice had me fooled.  She use to say she had magic powers.  I believed her since one day while we were watching the smoke from a forest fire on the other side of Humbug Mountain she said that when the five o’clock laundry whistle blew the fire would come over the hill.  Sure enough just as the whistle blew we saw the first tree on top of the mountain begin to burn.  From then on I was a sucker, she would go into a trance while doing dishes and stop and I would end up doing all the work.  Never climb a chokecherry tree, they are very slender and the least bit of movement makes them bend and shake.  I know that for a fact after spending a long afternoon in one.  My sister Alice and her friend Irene Allen took Mary, Irene’s sister and I chokecherry picking.  I being the smallest climbed the tree while they held it steady and then they left me stuck in the tree while Alice and Irene went to the show and Mary went home.  It was near supper time when mother asked Alice where I was, sending her to get me,  Alice threatening my life if I told mother what had happened.

Me, mom & Alice

All of us kids played in a big open field behind Parrott’s and the Russell house.  There were two ditches and Greenhorn Creek that ran through it, the ditches once carried water to the mines at Hawkinsville.  On the west side was a small knoll with several large oaks.  That flat area became our battle field, war against the Indians, a baseball or stickball field, a fort with trenches, castles made of rocks and even Robin Hood was in a forest of trees on the knoll.  Saturday movie matinees were played out and the rest of the week we built forts, made rubber band guns, bows and arrows, even rocket projectors. In the winter we had snowball fights and sledding down the knoll. We put on plays, sold lemonade on hot days.  We played outside all summer long, ‘run sheep run’, dodgeball, ‘sheep in my pen’, ‘hide n’ seek’ and ‘kick the can’.  Our mother’s would keep watch and corrected every one of us but we soon learned with each mother  what we could get away with.

I use to go with my mother to visit her aunts in southern California.  We would go by train leaving from Montague and mothers cousin Clarence would pick us up in Los angles,  I must have gone at least four times.   I remember the first time staying with my Aunt Annie, she was married to a Pinney, heir to Pinney Copper and Iron (*DBA – as the Los Angles Iron Works).  She had a beautiful home opposite Mary Pickford’s.  The last time I saw her she was 98 and lived to be over 100.  All of mother’s aunts lived to be in their nineties except her mother who died giving birth to twin (born dead) in 1905 and Aunt Clara, the oldest who died in 1932 in Medford Oregon.    Some summers I was able to spend with my Grandmother Potter and Aunt Lily Creason in Ashland.  I was allowed to do most anything, go to the park, to the teachers memorial will grandma’s boarders, as long as I was home before dark and told them wear I was going.  I even did the same when they moved to Dunsmuir in 1928.

Aunt Hattie, Annie, Mom & Aunt Annie

I remember the Herbert Hoover, Al Smith 1928 election.  One day while I was staying with Aunt Lilly and grandma in Dunsmuir the Hoover train stopped.  He was running for president and had two of his body guards with him, on his way to fish on the Klamath River, deciding to visit his cousin, my grandmother.  He knocked and grandmother opened the door.  He asked if she knew who he was, she said “yes, you’re Herbert our stealing cousin and shut the door.  Poor Aunt Lilly was so upset she cried all day, all grandma would say is he took all the inheritance and put himself through Stanford.

The entrance to the Big House

When we first moved into our big house Alice had me so frightened at night that I would tie my big Teddy Bear to the bed with a large doll and sleep between them.  She said Grampa Kuder who had died in 1927 would come at night and put his coat in our closet.  My dad put a stop to her scaring me but one black and windy night in October she locked me out on the back porch and told me goblins and witches were coming to get me.  The wind blowing between the house and garage would make a moaning sound.  I was scared as I believed she had special powers, so scarred I passed out and my Dad found me.  I was a tattle tale that time.

Every summer we would go to Ashland for the fourth of July.  I have yet to see any fireworks that matched the ones at Lithia Park.  We always brought home from Uncle Andrews’s orchard,  apples, pears, apricots peaches and plums, enough fruit to can for the year.  During the summer of 1929 mother’s cousin Clearance and his bride came to visit, they were on their way to Europe and had a brand new Cord.  Uncle Pinney committed suicide when the stock market crashed and  Aunt Annie lost millions but moved to Pasadena, then to Baldwin Park where she bought a store and three house, Aunt Olive living in one houses.  Uncle Cory was an alcoholic, I remember Aunt Olive being so happy he quit drinking, instead he was taking two bottle of medicinal tonic a day, 60% alcohol, he later died of TB.

Mt. Shasta

I joined the  Girl Scouts and we would go to Ashland for a week every year.  As a girl scout I climbed Black Butte, also as high as Thumb rock on Mt. Shasta but when I was eleven I didn’t get to go, all the money I had saved for the trip went to buy Alice a wedding dress. That year I learned how and where babies came from.  Mother gave me her medical book that showed all the female and male parts, telling me to read it.  The pictures alone were education, what an education.  Bea Parrott, Alice Larson and Jerry Saxton were soon educated by me, my good friends were well informed.

As soon as I was old enough I had to watch my nieces and nephews, Jerry was six, Peggy six and half, Bobby five and half and Bud 8 years, younger than I.  The only time my father ever threaten to spank me was when I was watching them.  He had a big long work table, standing about three feet off the ground and I had built a playhouse on it using a latter to get up on it.  I wouldn’t let them play in my playhouse, I was afraid they might fall and they went crying to my dad.  He sent me inside promising to spank me for being selfish and I locked myself in my bedroom and when he found out why I wouldn’t let the little ones in my playhouse he came to the door to apologized, but l didn’t stop crying.  After he brought me some ice cream I accepted his apology.  It was a real hurt to think that he thought I was selfish, for to me my father was everything.



Never Had A Chance To Say Goodbye……#275 (2014)

June 15, 2012

Frances Marion Willson – A memory ad infinitum

The month July is always eventful,  July 27th, 2014 the 35th birthday of Gary’s daughter Marlo, the seventh month of the year also hosting birthday dates for his two son’s Scott, Rob, daughter Sandra,  Mom,  wife,  sister Kay, Grandson Parker and concluding with his and Fran’s 15th wedding anniversary on the 30th.  The afternoon temperature having acquired the 100 degree mark, Fran having changed into her swimming suit declaring she was going in the pool, Gary who was seated at his computer  in the spare bedroom working on a Inquisitive Quest chapter revision relating he would join her .  With Gary’s arrival, the cool water refreshing , Fran as usual having situated herself in her large inner tube floating, taking in the sun.  The two continuing, Gary finally deciding  to go in, take a shower and resume his project on the computer, Fran saying she would be in shortly.

Gary was on his computer when Fran poked her head in saying she was going to the shower as she entered the master bedroom across the hall closing the door behind her.  Gary continuing his undertaking, the time passing, then it occurred to him that it had been twenty or thirty minutes and he hadn’t noticed or heard Fran come out of the master bedroom.  Getting up, the bedroom door was still closed, entering he walked towards the open bathroom door there lay Fran, having removed her clothes in preparation for her shower, face down on the floor.  Immediately trying to get a response but to no avail, she wasn’t breathing, his first thought was chest compression’s, but the narrow  confines of the doorway prevented him from turning her over.  He rushed across the hall to a phone dialing 911 as he returned giving his address , telling dispatcher that his wife was unresponsive.  The dispatcher beginning to asked questions, Gary responding that he had to get her out of the door way to turn her over and couldn’t talk anymore.  He began his attempts to pull her out of the bathroom, but to no avail, Fran was heavier than him and because of her total relaxed restriction he couldn’t get any leverage  to move her, he needed help.

Brian & Julie Canfield

Running next door, Julie answering the door, Gary briefly saying he needed  her husband’s help that he found Fran on the floor and she wasn’t responsiveness, Brian coming to the door.  The three rushing back, and were in the process of moving her into the bedroom when the ambulance responders made their presence known, the ambulance having arrived from its parked station on County Center St. eight blocks away.  Gary watching as the paramedics beginning as the fire departments rescue unit arrived taking charge continuing the protocol, a fireman looking up, the look in his eyes confirming what he already conceived , she was gone and with her his world.  Taken aside the responders asking if they could continued their protocol even though she was gone.   Nodding,  at that point nothing mattered,  the reality of what was happening was blanketed with a numbing detachment of actuality.   It was the muffled sound of Fran’s little Hope’s barking at the responders from beneath the bed  that finally got Gary’s attention and awakening him to reality and the necessity to grasp the situation.

Little Hope


Fran & Gary

It was six o’clock when Eaton Family Funeral and Cremation Service parted with Fran, Gary having called Eaton’s about their service making an appointment to meet with Michael Eaton to discuss arrangements the following day.   As of yet  not making an attempt to notify any family, waiting until the traffic cleared from the house.   The activity having ceased, alone with his thoughts, the stillness in the house unveiling a cloak of solitariness, Gary in silent prayer asking the Lord for the endurance to cope with the task set before him.   The process of calling beginning,  with some difficulty finally able to reach Fran’s two brothers Ray and Bob, daughters Jeannette, Donna, a call to his mother, followed by his son Robert, daughter Marlo knowing they would convey Fran’s passing to the rest of the family.  The following afternoon Gary meeting with Michael Eaton at their Downtown Modesto 12th street sanctuary, relating his desire to abide with his wife’s wishes to be cremated with no service.  Michael providing an explanation of what documents needed to secure, who to notify,  concluding with the mortuary’s cost and a final resolution time frame.

Fran and Gary’s children

A feeling of  despair prevailing, Gary thankful for the companionship of Carli and little Hope, at least he wasn’t alone,  the two joining him to the county records office on Scenic to pick up copies of the death certificate and to  the social security  office on N. Carpenter.  Having conveyed Fran’s desires to Donna in Cloverdale Oregon, referencing the numerous family items and collectibles, a seeming endless array of 45 & LP record,  clothes and other items including Fran’s mothers china that she proudly displayed in a china cabinet.  The difficult subject of Fran’s interment remains inaugurated, Gary aspiring to do what was acceptable to the family,  adding that Fran’s only request was that the ashes of her beloved dog Sammi who had passed the year before would be with her.  Donna expressing that she and Randy would bring Fran home with them and determine a suitable final resting place at a later date.

Donna, Gary, Karen & Jeanette

Randy, Donna, Karen, Jeanette, Eric and Dick

Fran’s daughters arriving Tuesday, Donna, husband Randy;  Jeanette, husband Eric;  the youngest Karen and surprisingly Fran’s first husband, Dick Wilcoxson, the girl’s father.  Gary having acknowledge Dick’s presence once before in Florida, Dick happening by as the couple prepared for a garage sale, Fran having mentioned that his mother resided up the street on Granada Drive.  The family bringing in boxes, spending several hours packing and loading a lifetime of accumulated possessions, filling a trailer they had arrived with. Gary deciding not to witness the activity,  he,  Carli and Hope remaining out by the pool.  The following morning their foraging having been completed,  Jeanette, Eric, Karen and Dick would be returning to Jeanette’s residence in John Day, Donna and Randy to wait on the interment remains scheduled to arrive Thursday afternoon .  Gary making his final journey to the Eaton Family Funerals location for Fran,  Donna and Randy patiently waiting, somewhat anxious to get started on their return to Oregon, entrusting them with the stewardship of Fran and her loving Sammie’s interment remains.  He watched as the car pulled away, once again adrift in the world traumatic reality of the past events, a sense of desolation shrouding him, alone except for the companionship of Carli and Carli, still unable to release the withheld emotional grievance within.

Rob & Gabby

A first Modesto swimming lesson

Gary daughters Marlo, Sandra having called earlier in the week, his son Rob calling asserting he and 14 month old Gabby would arrive Friday from Fort Worth explaining his visit would be brief having to return Sunday,  relating he had secured hotel reservation, thinking it was best  because it was the first time he and Gabby had traveled alone and as a novice not knowing what to expect.  The following day the three journeyed to Columbia,  Gary’s mom rejoicing at meeting her newest great-granddaughter.  Saturday evening the son and granddaughter enjoying the pool, Gary declining, the pool  a reminder of his last afternoon with Fran and the many “if’s” that questioned within, that might have made a difference.  Rob’s visit was short but a blessing, bringing a much-needed relief from the concealed sadness and the silent emptiness that one feels when part of you is gone.  Gary alone in his thoughts, questioning his station, thankful for the support and condolences from his friends and family with exception of his oldest son Scott who never called or in anyway acknowledged  her passing.

 At times the house on Blue Daisy Way would take on a stillness and in its silence Gary found Fran was still there, the residence was her domain, the chosen furnishings,  the yard sprinkler system and patio stones a result of her labors, the peg board in the garage, the arrangement of every shelf, even the presence Carli and Hope all results of Fran.  With time the the inner feeling of loss lessened but never subsiding, she was the first and only person in his life he was able to totally assimilate with and most likely the reason he always presented her to others “as the smartest person I know”.   Their meeting filled a void in his life  but her unexpected passing left a emptiness that knew no bounds and sadly…… he never had a chance to say goodbye…….

Life Threatening………….#274 – (2012)

June 13, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Hospital Modesto

Kaiser Permanente Hospital Modesto

Gary having spent a restless October night, the previous day having experienced increasing abdominal discomfort but attributing it to gas caused by something he may have eaten.  Raising in the morning, the pain continuing to increase finding no alleviation with over-the-counter antacids or gas relief tablets. The pain ever intensifying, Fran awaken showing concern, Gary contemplating driving to the hospital, but a new onslaught, he was having difficulty breathing, the incessant abdominal pain now radiating to his back and  upwards to his chest and lungs, realizing he wouldn’t be able to drive.  Fran asking if she should call 911, Gary now uncertain of what was happening,  as an ex-EMT questioning himself about a possible heart attack although not experiencing any of the text-book symptoms.   Fran dialing 911 asking him what she should tell them, Gary starting to relate about the abdominal pain radiating up to his chest and the difficulty breathing but stopped, just tell them that you think I’m having a heart attack.

Gary watchful as the Modesto Fire Department and the American Medical Response ambulance arrived at the same time, the difficulty breathing and pain continuing, but deciding to step outside as the fire department responders approached with a questioning look.  After a brief explanation, assuring the AMR responders although unsteady and in pain he was capable of walking to the ambulance and addressing the gurney, the paramedic beginning the same basic protocol Gary had performed on numerous occasions as an EMT.  The ambulance still stationary Gary questioning which hospital he was to be transported to, the paramedic responding Doctors Medical Center.  Gary vocally adamant that he didn’t want to go DMC, previous experiences leaving him with a detrimental impression of the facility, stating he preferred  Kaiser Permanente, the paramedic stating that it was policy to transport suspected cardiac patients to DMC.  Switching tack a very shaky uncertain Gary reintegrated that his pain had started 24 hours earlier and that he didn’t believe he had a cardiac problem. The paramedic remained hesitant, then began placing EKG monitoring patches on his chest, a decision was in the making. The electrocardiogram taken in the ambulance showing no cardiac anomalies, Kaiser Permanente it’a destination.

Ambulance Portable EKG

Ambulance Portable EKG

Arrival, the paramedics transferring their charge to a Triage ER nurse who almost immediately provided pain medication and Gary’s physical world took on a soothing warm glow, the 10 mg. of morphine engulfing the intense pain.  Having spent 20 plus years working in a healthcare environment he was well aware that time to the seriously ill under medication day and night was irrelevant.  The time in the treatment room seemed like an eternity, the ER doctor having visited and when asked about a diagnosis volunteering that he was waiting on lab results.  Gary’s only visitor he was aware of, discovering later Fran had arrived by Dial-a-ride, was when the ambulance paramedic who performed the EKG poked his head in the room mentioning that he was getting off work and just wanted to check on him, which Gary thought was somewhat unusual.  Gary wasn’t sure of the gurney trips for scans, thinking there was three, probably a MRI and CT, but definitely remembers the Ultrasound, the lady technician asking if he had any past abdominal surgery because she discovered what appeared to be anchor pin.  Gary related that he had 27 inches of his colon removed years ago but that was first he had heard of having a pin inside, then she asked when, where and the name of the hospital.

It had to be late afternoon or early evening it was hard to tell with the intravenous morphine being administered every four hours, the ER doctor finally returned to inform him they were transferring him to the third floor.  Gary asking about the diagnosis, the doctor replying Acute Pancreatitis, then  Gary ask about the prognosis, the doctor responding as he left the room, “It could be life threatening”.  The third floor room was comparatively peaceful to the open door noticeable traffic of ER, Gary perceiving that every time he woke from dozing there was a nurse in his room.  Apparently it must have been morning as an elderly doctor looked in questioning how he felt and explaining the seriousness of his condition and like the ER doctor when questioned mentioning that it could be life threatening but not a word about treatment. Having never been acquainted with anyone who may have suffered from acute pancreatitis Gary was pretty much in the dark about the cause and effects with the exception of knowing that it provided the necessary enzymes for food digestion and insulin to regulate the blood sugar glucose.  Laying in bed with a vital monitor and IV still somewhat cognizant to what was going on giving weight to what had been said so far didn’t sound very life threatening.

IV therapy

IV therapy

The pain never completely leaving but muted by 6 mg of morphine every 4 hours, Gary questioning a concerned nurse who looked in on him every hour asking her if she had any idea what was going on, when a doctor entered the room.  He introduced himself as gastroenterologist and in a matter of fact way proceeded that the lab amylase and lipase results were at an acute level and the only way to correct this was literally is to give your pancreas a vacation.  We’re going to put you on total parenteral nutrition, you’re going to be NPO, not going to eat or drink anything for the next ten days, your nutrition will be intravenous.  No sooner had the doctor left, Fran entered relating that surprisingly a doctor had called to tell her that her husband was going to be there for a while.  The doctor wanted her to know the reason, stating that some of the test results had come back immeasurably  high and that basically severe pancreatitis of that significance would require intensive care because of possible complications including pulmonary and renal failure.  Gary thought it somewhat ironic the doctor telling Fran but not him, and as she was leaving asking if she should notify his family, Gary not hesitating, replying no, he would rather wait.

Fran’s visit informing him that he was considered an intensive care patient provided an answer to Gary’s question about the frequency of the nursing staff visits.  The ten-day journey beginning, the first thing he noticed was that without meals being delivered to ascertain the intervals of the day, time became totally irrelevant.  The pain starting to subside, the intravenous morphine reduced to 4 mg., the new discomfort prevailed,  the dryness of his mouth and the crusting of his lips, finally asking the doctor if he could at least have some ice chips,  the doctor giving him a look of disapproval but verbally agreeing.  He sot and received permission to use the restroom; given the ok but nursing refused to disconnect the bed alarm which required their summons, it was minor incidents that began to trouble him a sign that he must be getting well.

The doctor itinerary coming to fruition, on the evening of the 10th day a tray arrived the start of a clear liquid diet,  followed by a soft liquid, then a soft food diet.  The IV disconnected Gary elated that he was no longer leashed  able to move about the room and slowly venture down the hall.  Mentally he was ready to go home, physically somewhat shaky, the bland soft food diet didn’t impress him, aware that   his release couldn’t  be prodded, but also aware that he had the final word but having visited with a representative of the Kaisers Medical Assistance Program and being told his name had been submitted, he didn’t want to jeopardize the possibility of their generosity as he could only assume that the placard amount of his two-week stay would be exorbitant.

On restriction....

On restriction

The day of reckoning,  Fran arriving in the morning riding out with neighbor Rob in the Accord now deposited in the parking lot, Lisa Rob’s wife having followed to provide him a ride home.  Gary was ready,  anxiously waiting on the doctor who for some reason was delayed, giving him time to thank and hug the day shift nurses who cared for him.  The doctor arriving, briefing Gary on  instructions of do’s and don’ts to prevent an occurrence, most of which he had already read in the literature provided, realizing  acute pancreatitis is somewhat of a life style changing event.  It was now a given, a zero tolerance for imbibing all alcohol beverages and its companion, his smoking on again off again habit for the past 55 years.  The worse yet to come a restriction on trans and saturated fats and its residual nutritional culprit, butter, bacon and a host of processed foods.  Exiting the hospital thankful for the chauffeured wheelchair ride to the parking lot, Gary acknowledging his doubt about walking that distance and an acceptance that the past two weeks had changed his path in life.

Non Attentive – #273…..(2012)

April 30, 2012
Fran & Gary's 2004 Jetta

Fran & Gary’s 2004 Jetta

It happened on a Sunday afternoon April 8th,  2012,   a 41 year lapse between occurrences, but the results the same.  Desiring to have her hair done, Gary’s wife Fran requesting a ride to Modern Cuts in the Oakmoor Plaza shopping center just past the Briggsmore crosstown expressway on Oakdale Rd. less than five-minute from home.  Fran disembarking their 2004 VW Jetta at Modern Cuts, Gary mentioning he needed to go Savemart and pickup a few items and on his return would park where she could see the car. Returning from Savemart,  stopping in the Oakdale Rd  left-hand turning lane entrance to the shopping center,  the two lanes of oncoming traffic was at a standstill backed up by the traffic light at Briggsmore.  The halted traffic moving just enough to allow the Keep Clear entrance to the shopping center accessible before stopping again.  A white panel van blocking the view of  the curbside lane, the driver in the van noticing Gary wanting to cross, appearing to look at his passenger side mirror and then motioning Gary it was clear to proceed in front of him into the shopping center.

The music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Cast Your Faith To The Wind” flowing from the 2004 Jetta’s CD player was interrupted by a sudden impact, the conscious crunching sound of metal on metal and an abrupt change in the cars direction.  In a brief second the Jetta path of entering the shopping center was altered, in a blink of an eye a collision moved the car thirty feet to the left of the entrance coming to a halt on the sidewalk facing the Renter A Center retail outlet store.  Gary realizing what just happened, but at a loss of what had hit him, one second crossing in front of the panel truck, the next second the sound of impact and then facing the RAC building. The Jetta’s engine was still running as was the CD player, turning the key off he attempted to open the door but it refused. He could hear a girl looking at him through the driver-side window, asking if he was alright,  replying that he needed her to pull on the door.  Once out, somewhat shaken, trying to get his composure, glancing up Oakdale Rd, noticing a group standing by a black Ford Mustang with its front crumpled, water dripping from the radiator.  Walking toward the mustang, a substantial crowd of onlookers beginning to assemble and was approached by a young lady with a cell phone who said she was the driver and that she had called 911 to report the accident and that the police would be responding

Accident scene.

(the scene) OakMoor Shopping Center

Gary still somewhat taken aback from what had just happened,  the unforgettable crunching sound of the impact still firmly embedded in his head trying to sort out what to do next, deciding to walk down to Modern Cuts and tell Fran, mentioning to the driver of his intentions.  Fran still in the midst of getting her hair done, Gary giving her the blunt news, he had wreck pulling into the shopping center and when she was finished he would be with car waiting for the police to arrive.  A young motorcycle officer arriving, Gary handing him his license, registration and insurance verification, the officer taking them, leaving to visit with the driver and another young lady who apparently was a passenger.  The officer returning handing him his papers from all appearance the Jetta would have to be towed Gary asking about a tow truck,  the officer stating he would notify Modesto Collision Center.  Waiting for the truck Gary surveyed the damage to Jetta, the right front fender and wheel having absorbed the impact, at a glance he knew why the driver-side door was difficult to open, in all probability the  front end part of the frame was bent, the left fender pushed back just enough to prevent the door from opening properly.

Fran joining him as the tow truck arrived, Gary asking her if she knew Julie their next door neighbor’s phone number, a mute question knowing Fran’s  impeccability for memorizing numbers, then turning to the mustang driver  asking if he could borrow her cell phone to make a call, handing the phone to Fran.  With Julie’s arrival, Gary noticing the tow truck driver pushing Jetta off the sidewalk easement by hand to make his hook up, the Jetta having no problem rolling, Gary thinking “a hopeful sign”.  Once home the reality set in, Gary experiencing an emptiness, the garage was vacant of the Jetta, a feeling of being stranded and the remnants of impact sound still resonating as a reminder of his failure to be more attentive.  The following morning, placing a call to  his AAA  insurance agent on Coffee Road informing J.P. of what had transpired, questioning  him about a rental car,  J.P. assuring him that he would arrange for one to be available that afternoon, then calling on his neighbor Julie about a ride to the airport.  Placing a call to the collision center to check on the status of the Jetta, being told it would be another day before the estimate would be completed.   The estimate was in, the cost of repairing the damage would exceed an unbelievable $9000,  AAA concluded the cost of was excessive and would settle for $9531.13 minus the $1000 deductible.  The couple making a farewell trip back to the Jetta both dishearten removing some personal items and at the loss of a pristine 2004 Jetta with only 62,000 miles on it.

The insurance check arriving on the 16th with a week left on the rental Gary beginning to feeling somewhat pressured to find a car.  Having bought the Jetta in 2008 from Central Valley VW  was aware of their used car markup and at the same time questioned the reliability of the numerous smaller used car dealer cars.  Visiting with his truck driving, shade tree mechanic across-the-street neighbor Rob Rodriguez about his dilemma, Rob offering help him find a car.  It was time to return the rental when his Rob called, his son Bobby who in the past had bought several cars on the internet having found a 1999 Honda Accord with an asking price of $5000 that might be of interest to Gary.  Rob stating that he had called the seller and from their conversation thought it might be worth a drive to Woodward to look over the car adding he would call the seller to set up a time and place for them to meet.

Jack in the Box - Woodwar

Jack in the Box – Woodward

 Gary, Rob with his wife Lisa embarking to Woodland, a town of 56,000 about 25 miles northwest of Sacramento on Interstate 5,  a noon meeting to take place at the Jack In The Box on E. Main St. at I-5 exit.  It wasn’t long when a pristine metallic four door Honda Accord pulled into the parking area, a middle-aged man entering introducing himself as Jesse Galindo,  Gary immediately identifying with the name, his good friend at work Val was another Galindo.  The group going back outside, Jesse starting the car, lifting the hood, Gary liking what he saw, the motor was immaculately clean as was the interior the car apparently having  been detailed.  With it’s  moon roof, CD radio, full power seats, windows, naugahyde leather looking seats he realized it was an EX.   Jesse relating it was bought for his wife in 2005 with the odometer reading of 85,000 miles and was presently at 172,000.  He continued that it had been regularly serviced by the Honda Dealer in Davis, handing Gary a large folder with the service, repair and parts records for the past seven years.  Jesse wife Toni arriving adding a comment, contributing that the car was part of her life and it was like saying goodbye to a friend, Gary could identify with that, he knew the feeling when he traded Ole Blue his Ford pickup in 1976.  With the signing of the title, Jesse not hesitating to accept a check,  the transacting was consummated.

Gary's new ride

Fran and Gary’s new mode of transportation

 Gary addressing Rob again about compensating him for time and gas, then stating that this might sound a little strange, would it be too much for you or Lisa to drive the Accord back to Modesto, that since the accident he was a little gun-shy about driving,  especially on the freeway, and for some reason he didn’t feel comfortable.  Rob not questioning, stating that it wouldn’t be a problem, Lisa could follow and beside he knew of truck-stop on the way back where they could gas up.  Home the car in the garage, no longer a perception of being a captive without the means to escape,  but the physiological affect of the accidents playing heavy on his mind, his judgement failure having resulted in an unforgiving occurrence.  The impact of the collision, the crunch of metal on metal remained embedded, but the adage  “when you fall off a horse you have to get  back on” came to mind,  recognizing that trusting his judgement would come with time.