Planting A Seed……………….#45 (the 50’s)

A Motley Crew at Pops cabin

They call him Pop Graham, but his first name was Sterling, he was Gary’s Dad closes friend, a fellow driver at the affluent Interbay Lumber Company.  Gary having accompanied his Dad on several Saturdays to this place of employment and introduced to this older slight man with a perpetual pleasantry about him.   Gary astonished that such a tenuous size person was able to navigating the largest truck in the company’s fleet.  He was aware of the strength it took to maneuver the non-power assisted steering his wonderment remaining.  When the company needed a tandem tractor-trailer long haul, Pop was the one they called upon.
Gary discovering  that Pop had a secret, having a retreat stashed away in the Sierra foothills twenty minutes from San Andreas,  near the town of Mountain Ranch.  His dad’s friend generously extending an invitation to the family to utilize his cabin and it’s yet to be finished facilities.  Gary having ventured north to the Siskiyou Marble and Trinity Mountains and their cascading  wilderness  was unprepared for the low mountain foothills of the Sierra range.   The youth feeling somewhat disappointed,  but the journey to the Calaveras County hideaway was a retirement from the city communal existence of Oakland.

The two lane narrow Mountain Ranch Road

The two lane narrow Mountain Ranch Road

Pop’s cabin – Kay & Nancy

Pop’s Cabin, as it was referred to by the family wasn’t exactly just what the word cabin implied, it was basically a dwelling consisting of a kitchen, bedroom with a bathroom and a single larger room with a front door entrance extending across the front .  The Kitchen just able to complement  a wood burning cook stove, sink and refrigerator, but also having a side door to the outside.   Water was supplied from a well located below and adjacent to a nearby creek fed by natural flowing springs.  The water being pumped up hill from the well to a cistern and gravity fed from its above location to the cabin. The surroundings included a wooded expanse enclosing a large pond area with run-off  adding water to the creek.  With the coolness of the evening setting in,  the sun retreating in the west,  the household enjoying the seclusion of the environment and the quietness of it placidity.

Mom and Smokey on the Mokelumne River bridge

Gary having planned ahead bringing his fishing pole and tackle box. This wasn’t a lake in the Marble Mountains,  but a  substitute miniature reasonable facsimile and from what Pop had said, fish were abundant.   Leaving his sisters and parents secure in the cabin,  following  a deer trail path through the darken shadowing woods towards his destination.  The stillness of the seclusion, alone thinking he had escaped the bounds of family,  when he heard the silence broken,  some noise behind him,  a rustle in the underbrush.   Stopping and turning about, discovering It was  Smokey, the family dog, his room sharing companion that slept at the foot of his bed.  Smokey once a stray,  his Dad having rescued this canine from his life in oblivion over a year ago.  The youth continuing on his mission, reaching the far side of the pond, finding an open downwind accessible area,  placing a synthetic worm and bobber on the leader line,  casting the rigging outward  into the immobile stillness of the expanse of fluidity.  Then out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of a dark coated four-legged heterotrophic missile  launched and tracking airborne towards the water.  The projectile entering the wetness with a resounding reverberation , sending it effluence cascading  skyward  engulfing the area,  soaking Gary in liquid bath.  The youth determining, fishing and water spaniels are not a compatible combination.

It was noticeable these visit to Pops Cabin instilled a long but secret desire in his father, soon discovering he was  inquiring about the assets needed to secure property in the tranquility of the Sierra Mountainous countryside.  The family traveling Highway  49,  symbolically named after the 49er’s of  the California gold rush era, The Gold Country Highway.  These journeys  providing a staging area for stopping and researching the many real estate opportunities that abounded.  Gary concluding,  the seed had been planted and would soon flourish.


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