Tuesday, September 26, 2023


 I always wanted to share my memories with our family, but we never seem to take the time to do it. Who wants to listen to some frail old man? Very few do...

So I am going to write some down here and if they want to, they can read them or not. Here is one from the 1940's and 1950's. Surfing was just starting to become a mainline sport in the late 1940's and we had a few surfboard shops starting up in Manhattan Beach. In these years, Manhattan Beach was very much a laid back lazy town with most citizens having jobs in the aircraft industry, centered around the small airport (LAX) about 10 miles to the north. No celebrities lived here...yet, and housing was affordable. At the time, Manhattan had no palm trees but they did have a volunteer fire department, 2 police cars and one motorcycle cop. The city also had sand. It was everywhere. From the beach to Pacific Ave, it was all sand, north and south. So much sand that the city sold barge loads of the sand to Honolulu to add to the sand of Waikiki Beach. 

Back to the surfing scene...when we walked down Center Street (later Manhattan Beach Blvd.) on our way to the pier, there were 2 surfboard shops and the manufacturing took place in an empty spot of sand between the other buildings nearby. At the time most boards were made from Balsa wood and some lengths of a hard wood included to give the board some strength. The shaping was all done by hand, rasping and sanding the soft Balsa. When you walked by, you could see Balsa Wood dust in the street, on the sidewalk and on parked cars. After shaping, the board was covered with Fiberglas. A few years later it was polystyrene beads replacing the balsa wood dust as the sanded and rasped the Styrofoam that replaced the Balsa Wood. Soon after that, those little buildings were not big enough for the volume of boards they were making and they moved them inland to bigger quarters.  

Surfing grew in popularity and in the 1950's, a subculture was formed at our high school; Surfers! You had to wear levi's and a white t-shirt with a Pendleton shirt left open. White tennis shoes or go-heads completed the look. Luckily, my grandmother (Nana) worked in LA at the J.W Robinson store where she got a discount and I soon had 3 or 4 of the expensive shirts to wear. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Long time

 It has been a while since I last wrote something for the blog. It's time for a recap...I am still unable to walk independently, I have to use the walker. I am still not motivated to create art. I think about it but I don't do it. I am still using a Foley catheter and will still be using it when I die. Which means that I will have UTI's on a regular basis. I now have 2 hernias, one inguinal hernia and one umbilical hernia. It is just added discomfort.

It seems that April 22nd was the beginning of this year's blog postings. I was beginning to exercise irregularly in order to gain some strength back. I am still exercising but now regularly. In the beginning it was obvious that the exercise was helping. Now, not so much. 

Speaking of art, I have ordered some new color pens, hoping to revive my artistic self. I tried some of the older ones and after an hour of coloring at a table, my back was killing me! I may have to rethink this plan. I had been watching one of my favorite abstract artists on You Tube. She is German and I can't follow all of the dialog, but I do enjoy the background music. It is mostly Techno/dubstep with a hard driving beat that I would love to paint with it while wearing headphones so I could play it as loud as I wanted it to be. On her website she does have some videos in English. Her name is Isabele Zacher-Finete and she is very talented. But, my physical condition is not good enough to paint as she does. Sadly, her latest video is two years old. With over 150 videos on You Tube, you won't run out of ideas. Some I play over and over. That is my autism at work.

Try this link. 



An experience from the past

How far back should I go and which experience? 

I think it will be 1965 and it's a story of Basque food. In that year I was still an apprentice, though I was being paid as a journeyman. It was later in the year and I had just finished a day of work on the new Broadway store on Ming Road in Bakersfield. My foreman, Alex, had been given an invitation for dinner at a Basque restaurant downtown. The whole crew was invited, all 3 of us. We were given directions to the Wool Growers restaurant, a popular restaurant, or so we were told. We walked in and saw that it was a Farmhouse style restaurant and the Broadway representatives had secured us a table and ordered a bottle of wine. The wine was home made & came in a bottle with no cork and no label. We learned from the server that it came from a cellar shared by the restaurant across the street. Noriega's, and there was an underground tunnel that crossed the street. The restaurant was named for a local judge.    
The menu was simple; you wanted steak or you didn't. The sides were simple but filling. We had a large bowl of vegetables and it was passed around the table. There were a few other items that were shared as well. Then the server brought in a platter filled with freshly grilled steaks. More enough for the six of us. Then more wine of course.

The conversation around the table flowed just like the wine and soon we were 'hammered'. 

We made our way back to our motel and collapsed onto our beds. The alarm clock was unforgiving and we soon had to get up and get ready for work. We had a crew that would arrive at seven and we had to be there for them.

While suffering from a wine 'hangover' it was a struggle to remember what we needed to accomplish that day. After a few hours of work we were feeling much better. Then, after lunch, the missing Broadway rep's came walking in slowly and wearing sunglasses. They said that they were surprised to see us so we spent some time kidding them about their inability to drink a little wine without having a hangover.







Thursday, August 31, 2023


 September 1st is my birthday, as it is every year. This year I will turn 83 years of old. At the beginning of the year I was not ready for this. I assumed that 82 was my limit and I was ready for it. I was soon on Hospice care and felt comfortable with the idea of dying.

Then, something changed one afternoon. I had fallen asleep in my chair and when I awoke from my slumbers my right hand was 'paralyzed'. What? I couldn't hold a pencil or a paint brush. Hospice care is dedicated to keeping the patient comfortable and I was not comfortable! I was assigned to the care of a physical therapist and she saw me 2-3 times a week, always trying different exercises. The weeks went by and I saw different kinds of therapists; vocational, speech, I even had a shower 'lady' that helped with my showers. Still Therese, my 'hand' therapist kept me working on that frozen hand. And I began to improve mentally as well as physically. 

I improved so much that they took me off of Hospice care and assigned me to Palliative care. I had to agree that I was in better shape than I was at the first of the year.

Here I am on the last day of my 82 year. I am just back from a visit to the ENT doctor where I had a few capillaries cauterized so I can avoid the nose bleeds that have been plaguing me. Today was also time for my regularly scheduled visit from my regular RN. She checked my vital signs and all were good. She also arranged for a return trip for my last physical therapist to
start coming regularly. She also brought me a new catheter (for my birthday?) as she does every 3 weeks. 

I am still doing my exercises daily (most days) but I haven't done any walking up and down the block as the heat makes it harder to stay focused. I also did some searching on Amazon for some books on Senior Exercises and Balance. I use the Kindle Unlimited program and I can keep the 4 books I found for quite a long time.

I think this 83rd year will see me much improved and looking forward to the 84th year.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Exercise...Oh no!

For some unknown reason (Lazy?) I stopped creating new posts for the blog. Okay, I am back for at least one new post. 

I just walked in the door a moment ago, tired out after a one mile walk. Now I am looking at my weights and stretching bands and contemplating using them for additional exercise. That is something I have been doing for the past 2-3 months. So why am I hesitant to start another round of exercise?

I suppose it's because it seems so futile. I have gained a little strength in my arms and legs but my balance has not benefited from the exercise. I am still shaky. It's worse in the evening hours and I just about fell last night in the bathroom. That's bad as the floor is hard, very hard tile and a fall would probably land me in the hospital. 

My oldest daughter saw me a few days ago and sent me a message...she thought I looked great...it was a nice sentiment, but was it truthful? It seems as if every day brings me a new ailment, a new pain. I have peripheral Neuropathy and I can't feel the bottom of my feet so that balance is difficult. I have a Foley catheter in place and it will always be there. Irritating me until the end of my life. Though my Home Health nurse comes to change the catheter every  three weeks, I am only free of the thing for a few minutes while she prepares to insert the new one. My original diagnosis of COPD has not changed and the nurse always reports that my lungs sound clear, yet, in the evenings I develop a rough cough and bring up lots of phlegm. 

My cat, Boo the wonder cat, is in failing health. She is close to twenty years old so it is not unexpected. She just left my lap, despite her weakness she loves to climb up and into my lap. The rest of her day is spent sleeping nearby. She has just two teeth, so soft food is now on her diet. She never seems to be in pain, so that's a relief.

Our granddaughter just revealed that she made the U.S team of women's wheelchair basketball. She is also on the U.S team for water-skiing. The basketball team is going to Thailand to compete while the water ski events are being held in Elk Grove CA. That's not as exotic as Thailand.

More later...

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

By the sea, by the sea

  "By the sea, by the seaby the beautiful sea You and I, you and I, oh how happy we'll be"  Growing up in a small beach city, I lived those lyrics (written in 1914) everyday. The ocean was an elementary part of life and I couldn't imagine a life without it nearby. As a child, I would walk along the shoreline, watching the waves advance upon the sand and then slowly retreat. Barefooted, I would stand in the shallow water and feel the scurrying sand crabs under my toes. I would wander over the pilings that held up the pier and investigate the life that was attached to them. Barnacles and mussels that were patiently waiting for the next high tide so that they might live for another day. 

Sometimes I wonder if wasn't all a dream. Looking back on those days, it seemed like the perfect life. I could wander all alone with no one to disturb my thoughts. I would move closer to water to see it cascade onto the dry sand, then the water would return to the ocean while I watched the sand changing color as the water drained away. Sometimes another wave would arrive before the last one had returned and there was a small disturbance before they agreed on the direction they were going. 

Sometimes, I would watch as someone that was older than me, unwrapped a bundle of white cloth; it was a bedsheet and they would get it wet and then run down the beach holding it high over their head, then I would see that it was actually two sheets sewn together on three sides. And as they ran, the sheets would gather up the air until the whole thing looked like a giant pillow. Then a quick move would knot the open end closed. Now they could take it out into the surf and ride it like a surf mat. I would sometimes wonder if my mother would sew one for me? I never asked and it never happened. Sigh...

Once I was old enough to venture out into the surf where the waves were forming up, I watched as the body surfers would wait till a 'good' wave was coming and then as it curled up just before crashed onto the shallows, they would swim as hard as they could to 'catch' the wave, allowing them to be pushed along with wave all of the way to shore. 

It took awhile but I did learn how to to do this and enjoyed every ride. I wasn't ready for a surfboard and never would be. I knew a lot of surfers at school and I was just one grade behind Dewey Weber at Center Street Elementary. I remember Dewey winning an award for his prowess with a Duncan Yo-Yo. Dewey want on to become a great surfer and surfboard maker. Back in the 40's and 50's, surfboards were made from Balsa wood. In the mid 50's boards were beginning to be constructed with polystyrene foam with a fiberglass coating as the finished surface.

Well, that was fun being back some old memories...

Monday, July 17, 2023

When will it end?

Yes, this is all about depression. Like most autistics, I am well acquainted with depression and have been taking Wellbutrin for about 30+ years. No, it doesn't help much (I think) but I don't dare stop taking it because I could be wrong.

Why so depressed? Let me count the ways...Neuropathy, vision, clumsiness, loss of muscle, hearing loss, dentures, loss of ambition, etc, etc.

Vision problems has me needing two different pairs of glasses. Two very large 'floaters' that disrupt my vision. I have hearing aids but when I change glasses the process of changing will pull one or two of the hearing aids out of my ear. The vision problems probably contributes to clumsiness. I use La Croix so that when I spill it or knock it over, it is only water to cleanup. I have been exercising daily for months now and my muscle mass began to increase, lately it has reversed once again. Peripheral Neuropathy affects my balance as I can't feel the floor now. Because I can't balance, I don't dare go outside without someone to  watch over me. I can't suddenly decide that I want to see something outside, I have to schedule it. Dentures are all my fault, as I certainly didn't care for my teeth as I should have. I do use  a'walker', both inside and out. I also have to use a permanent Foley catheter. I can't say it's permanent as my Home Health nurse comes by every six weeks to remove it, and then she installs another one in its place. For brief moment, I am free of it. I also have frequent nose bleeds, although I do use a gel to moisten the lining of my nose. I have little choice for my apparel, I bought some 'Capri' length shorts because they conceal my leg bag. I also have four or five tee-shirts that I wear as I am not motivated to do much else. I forgot to mention that the dentures make speech, understandable speech, very difficult for me.  

The good news...I will have the capillaries in my nose cauterized to stop the bleed. first appointment is 6 weeks from now. Pretty much typical these days as the number of doctors available goes from few to even fewer.

I have to stop writing it's far too depressing...

Friday, July 7, 2023

10 Reps x 3

 It's time to exercise. Again. Sigh.

It's what I do every day...well, maybe five times a week. I try to start early in the AM by taking a long walk. True, I have to use my walker to get it done, still, it is walking and this morning my phone app stated that I had walked 1.5 miles in 30 minutes. That is not how fast I used to walk when I was racewalking a marathon. Back then I was using -13 minute miles for my training pace and then making it my goal for the entire 26.2 mile race. 

After the walk it is time for a 30 minute set of partially seated exercises to exercise my body, from head to toes. I keep hoping that my peripheral neuropathy will benefit from the foot exercises, but nothing so far. I try to do all of this in the cool of the mornings.

Speaking of 'cool', I read a story about Hermosillo in Sonora state in Mexico. The New York times reported that the city of almost a million citzens had been hit with a high temperature of 121+ degrees. Try and imagine what that kind of heat would do to your city. The farms and ranches. The elderly. I had to work for a few weeks in Phoenix, when the temperature was 117. That was probably 50 years ago. We were building out the interior of a Broadway /  Weinstocks' Department Store. 3 floors and no windows while we were putting up steel studs and drywall. After a few days we decided to start work at 4 AM and go back to our apartment at noon. 

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Of many things

 Just another week, another day. My Extremely Significant Other has gone to the local Winco for some therapeutic shopping. I am going through my exercise routine as I try to keep this failing body from deteriorating any further. I did my usual one mile walk yesterday and I haven't fallen in weeks, even months. I guess that means I am getting better?

As I walk through the neighborhood, I can't help but notice all the RV's, boats and other adult toys that are parked along the route I take. I remember reading that there had been a rush to buy recreational equipment during the long months of Covid isolation. That isolation has disappeared and now many of those toys are sitting parked, lonely, and covered with dust.

We had a scare the other day when our garage became filled with extraordinarily strong fumes. It wasn't gasoline but it smelled as if it were extremely flammable. What was it? We hadn't smelled it earlier in the day. It didn't help matters that it was the hottest day of the four-day heat wave. I opened the smaller garage door while I looked around for the source. My wife told me that there was some sort of liquid puddle on top of the painting I had been working on. I stood back and looked at puddle and saw that it was actually a long line of liquid and when I traced that line I saw that it went to a collection of paint spray cans on a shelf. I looked closer and saw that one of the cans had lost its spray top. It turned out that the sun coming in a nearby window had heated that can until the top blew off. It was a spray gloss finish and had effectively ruined the painting. I wasn't happy with the painting, but I now had a good reason to cover it with Gesso and start over. With the fan running and pushing the fumes out, it wasn't long before the garage was cleared. 

My wife and I are fans of British, Australian and New Zealand television. We really don't care for the American shows and haven't watched any of them in years. In our opinion, the American shows simply don't have the talent for directing, producing, and acting. Some of our favorite shows were Shetland, Happy Valley, Halifax, Endeavor, Grantchester, Mc Donald & Dodd, Good Karma Hospital, Under the Vines, 800 Words, Kidnap and Ransom, Brokenwood Mysteries, A Place to Call Home, and many more. We use headphones while watching and that helps us to understand some of the more complex accents. Shetland and Happy Valley come to mind as being difficult to understand.  

Okay, that's all for now...Cheers!

Monday, July 3, 2023

What is the matter with these people?

I thought that I would start the day off by reading the NY Times. I may have made a mistake by doing that. First, I read a story about the book reviews found on Goodreads. A lot of people are leaving One Star negative reviews for books that they haven't read, and that is because the books haven't been published yet. In a few instances the books haven't even been written yet, they are only outlines. The mental gymnastics required to do such evil is beyond my understanding. Why would you cause so much pain to people you don't even know?

Then I read about the ongoing crisis caused by people that enjoy banning books. This assault on our freedom's is gaining strength. This is the attitude that brought about the Middle Ages, sometimes aptly called the Dark Ages. Then I thought about the previous problem with Goodreads and realized that it was the same mentality driving both stories. Ignorance demanding more ignorance.

I read a lot of books. An average of, I would say, 2 1/2 books a week. I started reading, serious reading, at the age of 8. I had asthma and the reading let me be anywhere at all when I wasn't able to get out of bed. When I was 9, I was reading all of the Richard Halliburton books and going on great adventures with the author. I must agree that books are very powerful, and some people shouldn't read some books. But who gets to make that decision? And why that person? Perhaps the decision should be made by this person? Or maybe it should, be you? Or me? Or we could let the person that is reading make the decision. Now that is freedom.

I grew up a long time ago, while we lived in the low income, lower middle-class town of Manhattan Beach CA. Yes, back in the 40's, 50's and 60's, it was very much a sleepy beach village with a volunteer fire department, a dairy (Live cows) and a small library watched over by two blue haired matrons that guarded the 'gates' of the Adult Section, keeping impressionable children at bay. Then, one day while playing in the forbidden Pollywog Pond, making rafts out of old pallets and collecting pollywogs, I noticed something new on the opposite side of Center Street, it looked like a barn, but it had a sign out in front: Branch Library. We paddled back to shore and made our way across the road and went in. A very friendly older lady (without blue hair) asked us if we wanted any books to read. Yes, we did, and she led us through every aisle of the small library. Even into the 'Adult' section. Along the way she asked if we had any special interests. We did and it was astronomy. She took us right to the shelf in the adult section that held those books. We chose a few books, and she checked them out for us. 

We now knew where we would go to get our library books, even though we had to cross the forbidden highway (Sepulveda) to get there. From then on, Librarians held an elevated position in my mind. They still do.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Do you remember when...

The mail was delivered twice a day by someone with a heavy leather bag strapped over their shoulder? And you knew his name?

The newspaper came twice a day? The Mirror, the Herald express, the Daily News? But never ever a Los Angeles Times! That was a Hearst paper and my mother would never allow that paper in her house. The Daily News and Mirror were morning papers while the Herald was the evening paper.

News Magazines were popular? We would get the Time and the Life magazines. Mother always said that Time was for people who couldn't think and Life was for people who could not read.

Story Magazines were common. Such as Colliers, Blue Book and etc? Even Cosmopolitan was a literary magazine at the time, filled with short stories...Yes, I read them all and I went to the library whenever I could. Why? Because reading is learning and that is why some people would ban some books.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Here it comes (revised)

I believe that today is the first day of Summer. And I read that we will see our first day of 100 degrees or more in about a week from now. After that there will be no holds barred and I would bet that 100 degrees will be the new daytime low temperature for the next 90 plus days. Depressing isn't it?

I imagine that is going to be the new normal for us. And I am so glad that we have solar power, even though it is an older system; we began leasing it about 5 years ago. At that time, there was no option to include battery storage and that would be the first thing I would like to add to improve the system.

So, I decided to check into the possibility of adding a battery to the system. I  went to the website of my systems operator and found a lot of interesting things to read but nothing about how to add an item to an existing system. But, I was told to get the latest app. OK, first things first...I went to the app store (Android) and tried to do just that. No luck. Remember, I am 82 years old and my fingers don't fit onto the small keyboard of a phone. I tried for 15 minutes without success. I can't use the Help Line as I am unable to talk on the phone and be understood. What to do? Easy, I give up...I will look elsewhere.

Monday, June 19, 2023


Yes, I am one of those...obsessed with my ancestors. I use one of the largest genealogy research companies to help me flesh out my family tree. I have begun keeping it as a 'Private' tree because I have made some mistakes on all of the branches. Now I am busy with correcting as many mistakes as I can. I could find more mistakes if I would just use the higher priced information that is available. But, it's a substantial amount of money and I am not certain that I could keep myself focused on the work to get value for my money. 

The TV program, Finding Your Roots has been helpful for me as it shows me what kind of infomation I should be searching for. It's also a very interesting program; always entertaining.

For instance, I had no idea that 'work houses' were so common. And yes, I have ancestors that had to spend time in one of them. Some of my ancestors were committed to 'asylums' and others were 'transported', which was a common sentence for murder, to the crime of stealing sheep. Transported meant life long banishment from England by sending the convict to Australia. Some times it was banishment to the American colonies or to the tropics where the convict was forced to labor in the sugar cane fieldshose. I also found some relatives that owned 'black slaves' in the South. All of these things are shameful now, but in those days, it was the 'norm'.

Americans have a long history of abusing their fellow humans. The Native Americans were the first in our recent history to be 'punished' because of their appearance.(they weren't white) and their culture. At one time, a reward was given for for the death of a Native American. California had a Chinese Exclusion law. Then there was the round up and imprisonment of Americans of Japanese descent in the 1940s. Also the theft of the Hawaiian islands by the concerted efforts of white Business men. I could go on and on but there is no end to it, any century or any place in the world, people were abusing people because they were different. Murder and theft were and are part of the human genome and it continues today.

Of course there were exceptions to the murder and mayhem. Luckily. And most of this history is simply history. 

What to do?

 I have a walker. A red one. It is my only method of transportation. But not for long, as I am getting stronger every day. Right now I have adequate walking strength but by 3 PM it starts to fade. I walk outside about 5 times a week and that walk is usually a mile long. Then it's time for an indoor and seated set of exercises (20 minutes) where I try to strengthen the muscles used for standing up and balancing. I do these exercises 6 times a week. At the same time, my voice is improving. 

Sure, I have COPD and that is what I will die from. But that doesn't mean that I'm ready to do that. I have a birthday coming (9/1) and I will be 83 and hoping to make it to 84.

Our granddaughter is staying with us right now as this year she is a coach/counselor at the Ability First camp at Chico State. (https://abilityfirstsports.ohisrg/ ) She has been a camper 3 times before this time. The camp has trasformed her! She is starting her 3rd year on the Women's Adaptive sports (wheelchair) Basketball team at the U of Arizona in Tucson AZ. If you ever donate to an organization, look at Ability First.                

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay


Let's get it out in the open. I have an Opinion about the South and it's not a pleasant one. That opinon is probably due to the fact that I had been stationed in North Carolina in 1960 - 61. Jacksonville to be exact. Being from Southern California, segragation  made no sense to me. Why would it matter that a drinking fountain had been used by a human of a different color? Or waiting for a bus in a separate room? Then sitting in the back of said bus? Why? As a Navy Hospital Corpsman, I already knew that all humans look alike without their skin. What was the matter with these 'chuckleheads'?

Later in my life, I went to NC again, but to see the head of our IT dep't. That was in Charlotte NC and I didn't see any segragation in places I visited. That was probably due to the fact that Charlotte had become corporate headquarters for many large corporation and the employees that had come with them didn't appear to have any problem with integration. Also NC had become a Wayback State...for those in the Northeast that had found the deep south to be less than welcoming. NC was a good place to settle on their Wayback north. 

Then, in the 90's, I was an instructor /programmer and I had to go to deepest GA to ply my trade at one our branch offices. Oh oh, it was a flashback to the 1960's! And it was always unpleasant to have to board that airplane on a Monday morning, knowing that I would have to spend the rest of the week in GA.

Now I know that there are plenty of very nice people in the South. But I have not met many of them. I hope I have a chance to do that. At the same time, I know that there are lots of Southerners that really dislike (hate?) CA. Go ahead, I can take it.


NCO club

Pogey Bait. 

Geedunk – candy, gum, snacks or a cafeteria

Slop chute

I'm still here

It's been a few weeks since my last post but I have excuses. Good excuses.  One, our granddaughter arrived for a 2+ week stay and then my sister and brother in law arrived for a much anticipated visit. Even during the best of times, I am not a good communicator. And this was one of the best of times and I tried, but failed. But, it is a new week and I can attempt to do better. And that I will do...

It has been more than two weeks since the first of June and Summer is upon us...sort of. We haven't had a lot of hot days. We might have had one day where the temp exceeded 100 degrees. I am not a good 'gauger' of temps anymore and with a dependable AC unit in place, we keep the temp inside at 79 degrees and I am rarely outside. I do enjoy going out onto the patio as a breeze seems to whisper through there most days and the scenery is lovely at this time of year. Flowers are everywhere and the greens are greener than at most times. But, we have been told that this is an "El Ni~no" year which seems to mean nothing specific, as it all depends on where you live. We are located near the dividing line of Northern and Southern California and that means we will see a hot summer or a cool summer, a wet winter or a dry winter. And that is as accurate as as it gets.

Above is a bit of memoribilia that I discovered awhile ago while browsing. The story behind it begins in 1945 and that is when we had moved to Man
hattan Beach and I had begun to explore my new surroundings. Part of those suroundings were the immense sand dunes that were on every vista of our little beach cottage on Pacific Ave. 

I had to explore those dunes so off I went to climb to the top, and almost at the top I saw a locked door to some sort of cave; truth was, it was 4 caves. And along a leveled off portion of the dunes there were small tracks, like you might find in a mine, and the tracks ran from one door to the next. I walked along that line of blank doors and found the last one was unlocked and open. It was dark in there and so I didn't go inside, although there was just enough light to see that there was nothing in there.

The caves had lost their appeal for me. Still, every once in awhile I would look again to see if anything had changed. It was always the same, until one day I saw that every door was open and some had been removed. I looked into all of them but there was nothing in them? The next time I came by, the tracks had been removed. The time after that, the caves had disappeared altogther. Over time they became a memory...until I ran across these government drawings.  

These days, even the dunes are a memory as Manhattan Beach sold all of the sand. Some of it even went as far as Waikiki Beach where it replenished the sands of that tropical isle. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Good News

 Our youngest granddaughter is coming to spend a few weeks with us. I like to think she is coming here just to see us. That may be part of the reason for her visit but the reason she made a very long trip from Tucson AZ is the fact that she will be coaching and counseling at the Summer camp put on by Ability First. "Ability First Sports supports youth and adults with physical disabilities to thrive through involvement in sports, recreation and leisure activities." Our granddaughter is not disabled although she may have to use a wheelchair to get around. She is going to the Univ of Arizona in Tucson where is now entering her third year of study and the third year of being on the Women's Adaptive Sports Basketball team.

Short story; when she was released from UC Davis Hospital and Shriners hospital she was given a scholarship from Shriners to attend an Ability First camp being held on the campus of Chico State University. With some misgivings, she decided to try it. Well, Ability First made her a very different young woman. She made friends, she played Basketball, Rugby, she learned to waterski and a dozen other activities, she received a scholarship to have a Box Wheelcair made for her, and was invited back to help counsel during next years Camp. Since she had a year before next the Camp, she continued to challenge herself by joining the Track team at her high school where she did the Shotput and Discus throw. Upon graduating, she received a full ride scholarship from the Univ. of Arizona Tucson plus a full ride scholarship to play basketball with the Women's Adaptive Sports Basketball team. She went to Kentucky where she set a world record in Wakeboard. She also went to the Olympic tryouts in Colorado Springs but didn't make the team...this year. 

She is not through...there is plenty more for her to do!

How did that happen and when?

With nothing better to do I started going through some of my 100,000+ photo files. The files are not all portraits or family photos, some images, such as those of cars and boats, Art and Artists, etc are included in the number. I have a collection of selfies as well and all dated. Those photos are the most troubling as I can see myself aging in those photos. But, that is not what really scared me, it it's the fact that I can't remember when these photos were taken. Yes, they have dates, but the date is meaningless to me. I can't remember back to February of this year but from that date back to mid year of 2021 is gone. 

I used to be able to use my daily journals to remember things that didn't come to mind right away. But I stopped my journals at about the same time so there was no help there. I still remember bits and pieces of the missing 2 years, but they are too shallow to help me capture the whole memory of what was happening that day. At some point I lost the ability to balance and now I depend on a 'walker' to keep me upright. It's also obvious that I lost a lot of weight during those years. How did that happen and when?

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Painful but necessary

 I have spent a few hours out in the garage/studio, culling out the unnecessary from the needed. As I don't have a lot longer to spend on this wonderful time on Earth, I decided that there was no need to leave a lot useless items for others to clean up. I have tried to leave as many tools as I can, to my son. I have a ton of artists supplies plus old finished art work. The many small paintings can have a coat of Gesso applied and they become blank and ready for a new artist. My oldest child has found creativity and she paints now. Our middle child has always been creative. Our youngest has been creative as well. My wife had sewn for pleasure until the cost of material drove her away from it. Yes, we are all creative, my sister included. She is a fine artist. 

A week or more ago, I gave away my stained glass hobby. A purpose built table with a lightbox for previewing the color of the glass. I included electric power at each end...I had yards of lead came and solder for the pieces I would use copper foil on. It was time, but I still found it painful to give it away.

My sister is visiting in a few weeks and I hope to talk her into taking some of the artists material. I gave her my glass grinder a few years back, when she was doing mosaic work.

I also gave my son the 3 rifles I had owned. I gave my youngest granddaughter the car that I had abandoned when I gave up my license to drive. It only had 8,000 miles on it so it was still like brand new. Which brings me to the most painful part; giving up my drivers license. I loved driving! After 9/11, I had to drive from my Kansas City office to the West coast and I loved every minute of it!  

What am I thinking about?

 That's a good question. And one not easily answered, as my mind is moving from one subject to another all of the time. I had a subject that I was going to record my thoughts about...and then I had 3 more, 5 more, 11 more and on and on. 

I finally thought about the subject of 'Woke'. That is a subject that I am passionate about. But what is it?There is no mention of it in the dictionary except to tell me that the word is the past tense of Wake. It is never used that way and seems to have become a pronoun, or perhaps an adjective? Surely there has to be a better word? 

There probably is a better word somewhere, but the Hard Right Wing Conservative Fascists have grabbed 'Woke' and decided that it made a great Hammer and they have decided to use it on all of the 'nails' that they believe are surrounding them. I was reading an article this morning about Wind Power and Solar Power and how they have become a target of that Hammer. The HRWCF don't believe in Global Warming and as normal for this bunch, they believe it's all part of a plot against them. Did any of them ever go to school?, Graduate? It's hard to believe that any of them did. 

 Critical thinking is sorely lacking these days. That must be the reason for their sudden interest in 'Burning Books'. Burning books is the hallmark of any fascist society. Books beget knowledge, ergo burning them destroys knowledge. Without knowledge, lies and rumours become the 'New and Correct' knowledge...no books are needed.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Liar, Liar

The day came when we would all graduate from Hospital Corps school and become HA's or Hospitalmen Apprentice's and have to sew on a new rating patch on the right hand sleeve on all of our uniforms. But before that we were going to learn where we were going to be stationed. I had kept my grade point average above 95% so I was certain that I would be sent to Long Beach Naval Hospital. 

Then our instructor, gave us the bad news...The Navy had two Hospital Corps schools, one in Great Lakes MI for the Naval Districts on the East Coast and ours in San Diego, to service the Pacific. It turned out that the Great Lakes Corps school had just recently become infected with some contagious disease and that meant that the San Diego school would have to split up their graduating class and send some of us to the East Coast. With my luck, I was one of the graduates going East. The same thing happened to Bob and he was sent to a Destroyer, based in Norfolk VA. I found that I was being sent to Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital in North Carolina!

Camp Lejeune? That was a Marine Corps base and I felt cheated. All those promises and all my hopes were shattered.

It turned out that there were three of us going to NC. The two that joined me were unknown to me. Whatever...we were going on the same plane and bus ride together. We had orders to report to the hospital by 7:00 AM on the day after our two day plane & bus ride. That sounded simple enough. Not! We had to take a slow airliner to Chicago and then a slower one to Raleigh NC, where we could take a bus to our destination. Of course all of the flights were late in departing and when we arrived in Raleigh our bus ride was long gone. What to do? We found a bus ride going South, but not to Camp Lejeune. We decided to take it and then see if we couldn't find another bus that might get us there. So off we went...going South. We ended up in a very small town but it did have a restaurant. We bought some dinner and coffee while we tried to come up with a good plan. We didn't know where we were and it was getting late and dark. 

Hitchhike was our only solution. So we stood out next to the highway with our thumbs out, looking for a ride. At 10 PM the restaurant closed and their lights went out. Now we were really in the dark. Then, at midnight, the traffic light went out. Still, we stood, hoping for a ride. Finally, a car stopped for us. I sat in the front while the two took the back seat. The driver told us that he would be glad to take us south and we could easily find a bus to take us the last few miles.

The driver had a big Bible sitting on the seat next to him and he told me that he was a pastor, a preacher that went from church to church...speading the Word. Then he reached down to the floor and brought up a quart sized Mason jar. It was 'Moonshine' and he offered it all around. We all begged off, saying we had to check in to our duty station soon and couldn't chance it, but thank you!

The driver continued to sip at his jar of moonshine. I was glad that we would soon be out of his car and a little bit closer to our destination. 

The driver dropped us off at a bus stop, a Greyhound bus stop, and sure enough a bus did come along. We paid our fare to the next stop which was Jacksonville and 30 minutes later we pulled in to the bus station. We also had our first view of 'downtown' J-ville. There were MP's and SP's patrolling the streets and arresting & hauling away a great many Marines. There seemed to be bars everywhere and there were fights going on in most of them. It was time for us to get out! We found a local bus that served the Base, including the Hospital and we were soon speeding away from J-Ville.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:00 AM, just three hours early.  A friendly Chief directed us to beds in the transient barracks, pointed out the chow hall and said that we could get a few hours sleep before the 7:00 AM deadline. That's exactly what we did, we got two hours sleep before reporting in.

I had been 'promised' a duty station of my choice and it would not have been in North Carolina. But, here I was...


Thursday, May 25, 2023

You're in the Navy Now! #1

Boot Camp was now history, and I was going to Hospital Corps School...in San Diego! But first I had some leave time to use before going back to San Diego and the new duty station in Balboa Park. The two weeks slipped by quickly and then I was back at the airport, destination San Diego. Then taking a bus to Balboa Park. The school was located in one of the beautiful canyons within the park. I had been to Balboa Park many times in the past as the San Diego Zoo was located there, but I had never seen this canyon. There was one very tall building, known as Building 26, the Naval Hospital itself. Signs led me to the Hospital Corps school, and I checked in and was led to the sleeping quarters where I had a bunk and locker assigned to me. School would start in the morning, and I would be shown where the classroom was and most important, where the chow hall was.

I had to say the breakfast was good and it was peaceful in the chow hall, as compared to boot camp. There I found my friend, Bob; he was reporting in, and he would be in the same class as me.  Following directions, we found our way to the classroom and waited for the instructor. Listening to the others, it was apparent that most of the students were Navy Reserve, as Hospital Corps School was the only school that Reservists (2 years active duty) could choose.  

Of the three of us that joined together, one of us decided to become regular Navy (6 Year active Duty so that he could attend an Electronics school

 Our instructor arrived and I was surprised to see that she was a Lt. Commander in the Nurse Corps. She was going to be our instructor for the entire course of 3 months' duration. She seemed pleasant enough and I had better feelings about the school now 

The first thing she did was to pass out a copy of the Handbook of the Hospital Corps to each of us. The first thing I noticed was that the book was the 1939 Edition. What? It was already 20 years old. 

Luckily, the book was not used very often, and we learned by 'lecture' and practice. We were told that if we maintained a 95% average on our tests, we could choose our next Duty Station. I had visions of choosing the Naval Hospital in Long Beach which would put me less than an hour away from Manhattan Beach and home. Also, I had a girlfriend, and she would also be less than an hour away. Life was good!

Will it ever end? 12 weeks of Boot Camp

 I may gripe about it at times, but I really enjoyed my time in the Navy, including Boot Camp. There was always something new happening each day during those 12 weeks. Bored? No, I was never bored. There was a day at the firing range, a tear gas experience, rowing a 'whaleboat', being fitted for my Dress Blues (graduation) time aboard the SS Recruit (a mock destroyer) working in the Camp Bakery with fresh bread & a glass of  milk, working in the chow hall and making over 2,000 pancakes one morning, washing dishes &  cutlery, washing clothes by hand and there was always a couple of hours each day of exercise and marching out on the vast expanse of the asphalt  "Grinder". We would practice our marching and formations to be used at our Graduation.

Then, with just four weeks to go, we were given a day off. Liberty! We had to be back on the base by midnight but that gave us plenty of time to enjoy the freedom. We were supposed to wear our Dress Blue uniform and under no circumstances were we to get a tattoo. A bus took us into town, and it would bring us back before midnight.   

The bus let us off on the corner near the Seven Seas Locker Club. Locker Clubs were a great place for sailors on board a ship as you could rent a locker and store your civvies (civilian clothes) or anything else you weren't allowed to have on board. The Locker Club also had showers and a store where you could buy just about anything, including uniforms. And next door was a tattoo parlor! I did some shopping and bought a pre-tied neckerchief. After that, I was looking at the tattoo's available in the shop next door. Yes, I decided to defy the Company Commander and I bought a tattoo. It was small and painful, but I was proud of it. I never heard from any authorities regarding my illegal tattoo. I think about a 1/3 of our company had brand new tattoo's 

After our night on the town our spirits were higher, and we were sure we could handle the remaining weeks. Even though we had to return to washing our clothes in a bucket, buffing the floors, and polishing the brass, as well as spending hours more on the grinder as we exercised and marched. 

My friends and I were all set for our new orders once we graduated. Bob and I were going to be in Hospital Corps School, right here in San Diego, while Dan was going to Electronics School on Treasure Island, San Francisco. But first, we were going to have two weeks of Leave.

We had all changed during our time in Boot Camp, both physically and mentally. I weighed 35 pounds more and I was fit. Mentally I had become an adult and I was ready to be a sailor.

Graduation came and then there was pandemonium as lined up for our orders and everyone's relatives swarmed into the area to hug and cry and congratulate. We had done it!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The Sound of Music

 I hear music. All of the time. I have a condition called MES, or Musical Ear Syndrome. There is no clear cut reason for this, but lots of speculation. One thing it's not is Dementia. One thing that could  be a cause for MES is hearing loss. About 10 years ago I told my PA that I had MES and he asked me about it. Then he said "I never heard of it" I told him to look it up and he got up and left the room, saying "I 'll be right back". A few minutes later he was back and telling me that he had looked it up and it was exactly as I described it.

I'm listening to it right now, a chorus of men's voices with a strong baritone among them. I don't recognize the song. Earlier, I would hear "Battle Hymm of the Republic" almost every time, as well as the "Star Spangled Banner" for an encore.

I use a headset when I watch TV and that headset helps when I am watching British, Irish, Welsh, Shetland Isles  shows. The only downside is that the MES volume goes up as soon as I remove the headphones.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

One dam thing after another.

A story...but sadly true.

There are referances to photographs but I am unable to paste them. I tried a dozen different ways and all without success. I will try again later...You might want to search with Google and read the many version of the disaster. There are 6 or more videos on the Google search pages. Now Google William Mulholland and see that sometimes it's better to have a degree in Engineering and more than an elementary school education. His first job in Los Angeles was ditch digger. If only he had kept that job, thousands of people would not have died.

William Mulholland  

Saint Francis Dam, San Francisquito Canyon – 1927

St. Francis Dam was a monumental failure that serves as a titanic combination of near- sightedness, and sheer stupidity. Fair and square, Saint Francis Dam attributed to his undoing. Publicly humiliated, he subsequently fell off polite society's "A-list," and thereafter resigned himself to private life.

Geologists actually tried to stop Mulholland. They told Mulholland that the site he selected was unsuitable for a Dam. One of many examples cited was the eastern wall. The eastern wall of the Dam was built against metamorphic rock, with foliation planes running parallel to the sides of the valley. Any Engineer of that epoch would exclaim that this is a signal indication that rock will fall under the weight of gravity alone, much less by relentless fluid force of some 11,500 pounds per square foot generated by a 200 foot Dam.

If that wasn't enough, the aforementioned eastern wall wasn't Geologist's primary concern. At the base of the site, fair-and-square in the middle, was a seismic fault (!) littered with characteristic ground up rock staring straight up at Mulholland's engineers...Another red flag (Mr. Bill was a very bad boy; Mr. Bill didn't listen to his geologists).

The real problem lie opposite the east wall. Opposite the east wall was rock composed primarily of red sandstone (!). Back in the days of Barney and Betty Rubble, common knowledge that red sandstone dissolves in water was a given. The experiment that proves this is older than the Magna Carta. See for yourself: Get some water, put it in a bucket, and then drop in some red sandstone. It dissolves.

A colossal blunder. If ever there was a place NOT to build a Dam, San Francisquito Canyon was it. Beavers build better dams than Mulholland did Saint Francis. Perhaps he should be credited the record for the largest land generated Tsunami!

Mulholland will forever remain an example of a stubborn old guy who walked into every wall he saw. When people, usually old people, say: "You know? They just don't build 'um like they use to." my mind produces a cornucopia of pictorial images of mankind's marvelous triumphs of craftsmanship over design: The Spruce-Goose, monosodium glutamate, Dow Chemical's vanity breast implant, but forever foremost, William Mulholland's St. Francis Dam.

The "actual" body count lay somewhere around 400. Revised estimates today have that count exceeding 10,000. When Saint Francis Dam broke, a wall of water cascaded down San Francisquito Canyon into Santa Clarita, then across the Santa Clara River Valley past Fillmore to Ventura, before spilling into the Pacific Ocean. The high water mark is still visible today. The geographical landscape of the Santa Clarita and the Santa Clara River Valley was forever altered. Appropriately, the road that is namesake to this man indeed fits quite well: Indicative of an endless lifetime of early and late apex blind curves, meanders, and steep canyon cliffs where brave drivers drive, long after his death Mulholland still exacts a toll in human life - by A.S. Joseph

Report on St. Francis Dam Flood.
For The Newhall Land & Farming Company.
March 24, 1928. 

Report on
made by
A.M. and Geo. A. Newhall, Jr.

San Francisco
March 24th, 1928.

Mr. Geo. A. Newhall, President
The Newhall Land and Farming Company. 

Dear Sir: 

Pursuant to your instructions, Mr. Geo. A. Newhall, Jr. and the writer went to the San Francisco Ranch over last week-end to make a personal survey of the damage caused and the conditions now existing on this Ranch as a result of the flood following the breaking of the St. Francis dam at the head of the San Francisquito Canyon on or about 11:30 P.M. Monday, March 12th, 1928. 

Leaving on the "Owl", we reached Saugus at 9:45 Sunday morning, about two hours late, and were met by Mr. H. Clay Needham who had obtained for us the necessary passes. Mr. Needham took us to the Middle Ranch House, thence he carried us in his machine over the steep and narrow road by way of Potrero and Salt Creek Mesa Field. From the latter point we had to walk about three-quarters of a mile to the upper end of the Orchard where the irrigation pumping plant was formerly located and where we were met by automobile and taken to Mr. Chesebrough's home. The afternoon was spent viewing the damage at the lower (western) end of the Ranch, and on Monday morning we were met by Assistant General Manager E.W. Newhall, Jr. who took us for a general survey of the Middle Ranch district. In the latter part of the afternoon we visited the Dam itself, following which we returned home on Monday night's "Owl". 

It is not the purpose of this report to go into the conditions which caused the break in the St. Francis Dam because that is a matter that can be much more satisfactorily determined by the engineers of national repute who are being invited to form the investigating board, but it is sufficient to say that it broke, killing an unknown number of innocent persons, probably almost five hundred, and destroying an immense amount of property the value of which undoubtedly will exceed $25,000,000.


Completed about two years ago by the City of Los Angeles for the storage of an emergency water supply contained, so we are given to understand, 38,000 acre feet of water at the time the disaster occurred. In other words, sufficient to cover 38,000 acres or approximately 60 square miles with water one foot deep. To picture this amount of water, think of a river or body of water: 10 feet deep, 1 mile wide and 6 miles long; or 20 feet deep, ½ mile wide, and 6 miles long. Apparently this tremendous volume was almost instantaneously released into a canyon which for the first 3 or 4 miles was probably 200 to 300 feet wide and by the time it has reached our property line had only widened out to about 2500 feet. 

Fro the sake of clarity it would seem best that we make our report following the mad career of the waters as they rushed down through the Ranch, rather than to describe the condition of the fields in the order we first saw them. So as to assist in visualizing the course which the flood took, we are including in our report a photostatic copy of the government section which we are attaching to the last divider sheet so that it can be conveniently folded out for ready reference while reading the report. The location of the Dam is shown outlined in red and our Ranch property, except for a small portion in the high foothills to the south, outlined in yellow. On this in blue appears the flooded and destroyed area, while the green indicates the farming or orchard land both undamaged or not permanently injured, although it may require from $20 to $50 per care to remove the debris and waste from a considerable portion of it. 

In order that you may better understand the photographs we took of the broken Dam as it appears today, we are attaching hereto as a frontispiece a photograph of the completed Dam as it appeared before the flood, and on Plate I as photograph No. 1, the Dam after the accident from below, as No. 2, the Dam after the accident from the inside, and on Plate II, No. 3, the interior of the Dam site after the water had run out. Photographs No. 4 and 5 show the big blocks of concrete larger in size than a small house which were carried down stream from the west wing of the broken Dam some 500 to 1000 feet. Unfortunately in the taking of the latter, we forgot to roll the film forward so that the roof of a house appears in the background, but the immense blocks of concrete still visible in this double exposure are circled in ink, the largest block to which the arrow points being the same one which is shown in the center of photograph No. 4. When the Dam broke and this tremendous body of water was released, it rushed madly down San Francisquito Canyon a distance of approximately six miles to the northern line of our Ranch, carrying death and destruction in its wake, the local reports given us being that only three people who were in the Canyon below the Dam at the time of the accident escaped alive. 


The continuation of San Francisquito Canyon from our northern ranch line to where it opens out into the main valley of the Santa Clara River is called San Francisquito Fields Nos. 1 and 2 comprising some 350 acres of farming land, and as the flood bore on through these fields it took with it all the soil throughout the valley, leaving in its stead a broad wash filled with sand, gravel and debris. On the map you will notice that the only parts left of these fields are certain little farmed valleys lying to the east and west of these fields colored in green, now on account of their very limited area absolutely worthless from a farming standpoint. Photograph No. 6, Plate III, is a panorama taken from above at a point on the Dry Canyon road1 and shows the sandy expanse of waste left — the very heart of the farming land in San Francisquito Field No. 2. 


Directly south of the San Francisquito Canyon is the large farming area of some 200 acres known as Santa Clara Field, and the force of the oncoming flood was such that the water rushed across this field of growing alfalfa directly towards the yellow dagger shaped spot which represents the property formerly sold to the Southern California Edison Company, the northern edge of which is used as their transformer station at which such havoc took place. Attached to Plate III as photograph No. 7 is a panoramic view taken at a point about 1000 feet directly south of the point of the promontory that defines the southeastern boundary of San Francisquito Canyon, and if you will study this view carefully commencing at the right-hand you will first note the very deep gullies, in one of which Messrs. E.W. and Geo. A. Newhall, Jr. are standing. Then continuing around from the north to northwest you will note the wide wash up San Francisquito Canyon; thence to northwest, west northwest and west you will observe the absolute destruction of this field by the flood waters. While it is impossible to ascertain until borings are taken whether of not the tillable soil in the center of this field is wiped out, in all probability it will be found later on that gullies, similar to those shown at the right-hand side of the panorama were first washed out, after which the subsiding water left throughout the greater part of our farming land that was destroyed a covering of worthless alkali, sand and gravel. 


In the blue stream on the map indicating the flooded area you will note a round red spot near the southeastern corner which shows the location of Round Mountain, the high jut of land just north of the railroad and highway from Saugus to Castaic, which rocky hill caused the flood waters after crossing the Santa Clara Field to strike with extra force the railroad and highway bridges and the transformer station of the Edison Company. At the transformer station2, most of which is placed on land from 3 to 10 feet above the level of the highway, everything except two galvanized iron buildings in which the large transformers were housed was carried away, and on these the water marks show that the water reached a depth there of approximately 9 feet, or from the bottom of the old river bed say about 33 feet. Even the steel towers carrying the high powered cables were torn from their foundations and carried down the river for miles, a mass of twisted steel and iron, and the steel railroad bridge, about 150 feet long I should judge, was torn from its foundations, carried down the river about 1000 feet and deposited against the south bluff, a mass of tangled structural steel. A photograph of this destroyed bridge is attached as No. 8 to Plate IV. Another evidence of the terrific force of the flood is shown by the total destruction of a reinforced concrete building just north of the railroad opposite the present transformer station of the Edison Company which was built by them when they first put in the station to house the transformers which were subsequently moved across the road, the concrete building since having been used by us as a warehouse. All that remains of this building now are a lot of broken slabs of concrete about a yard square lying on the old concrete floor, the galvanized iron roof and the rest of the superstructure having been washed away together with al the wooden cottages that formerly housed the Edison Company employees.


The heaviest destruction of farming lands — mostly old stands of alfalfa — is the group of fields3 known as Rye Field, containing approximately 400 acres, Reservoir Field, 100 acres, Triangle Field, 100 acres, Fishpond Field, 125 acres, Warehouse Field, 100 acres, Sycamore Field, 75 acres, Grapevine Field, 200 acres, all of which with the exception of some very narrow northerly portions of the Rye, Reservoir, Warehouse and Grapevine Fields were totally destroyed. Photograph No. 9, Plate IV, shows the desolation wrought at the northern end of the Middle Ranch Bluff which was formerly covered with cottonwood and willow trees but is now practically bare, and in the foreground can be seen all that now remains of the modern steel Highway bridge that formerly crossed the Santa Clara River almost directly west of Round Mountain. Following the course of the water, the stream that divided crossing the Santa Clara Field to the Southern California Edison Transformer Station, turned west to the south of Round Mountain, meeting the other part of the divided stream which followed the ordinary course of the San Francisquito Creek north of Round Mountain piled up with unusual force at Castaic, the junction of the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and the Bakersfield-Ridge Route Highways. 


Photograph No. 10 on Plate IV shows the place where at the triangular meeting of the roads the gasoline station operated by McIntyre and his son was located, of whom the father and one of the boys were lost. In the same vicinity you will recall there was the railroad warehouse, the section gang house, and a large auto camp at which it was reported there were some eight cars whose occupants were undoubtedly lost in the flood, and several other buildings. If you will look at No. 10 you will see at the present time that the highways are about 3 or 4 feet below the level of the present covering of sand, gravel, muck and debris, and there is not a vestige of any building whatsoever in that country except the concrete platform of the old section house. In the photograph you will notice several old telegraph poles bent over or broken off, but those with the lines on them have just been put in, on one or two of them the men being up the poles working at the time the pictures were taken, and at the extreme left of the photograph can be seen the hopper of a portable clam shell dredge which is digging out the highway similar to the way in which it dug out the highway directly in front of the point from which the picture was taken.


Following down the valley to the west about a quarter of a mile from Castaic, we next come to a point where the S.P. railroad tracks are literally turned upside down. Photograph No. 11 is taken from the south side of the track looking northeast, and at its right-hand side you will notice that the track is set right side up. In the center is where the actual turn was made and in the left-hand you will see the ties on top of the rails. Thus the overturned tracks continued for a matter of about a quarter to a half mile. Photograph No. 12 shows all that remains of the highway and railroad bridges over Castaic Valley Creek, the piles on the latter being twisted off as though a giant had broken them in the same manner that a small boy minus a pocket knife would break a twig off a tree. Continuing along the blue stream of the flood, we now find ourselves almost to the Los Angeles Ventura County Line, or to the field which is known as


This field, although flooded deeply as will be hereafter described in connection with the loss of life at the Southern California Edison Construction Camp, suffered comparatively little damage. There is, however, a considerable amount of debris deposited on it but we do not believe that the present crop other than in the part of it that is now being used for the new Construction Camp will be materially damaged. All of this field south of the railroad track, however, was very badly damaged with the exception of[:] 


This Orchard is located in the eastern tip of the County Line Field south of the railroad tract [sic] and Photograph No. 13 shows its condition as it now appears. The land is quite badly washed but most of the trees which at this season of the year have not yet put out their leaves are standing. Directly south of the track in the right foreground you will notice a long black object which is part of the Castaic Valley Creek trestle of the Southern Pacific planted there by the flood, a distance of something like 3½ miles from where it originally stood. The cost of reconditioning this Orchard and removing the debris will probably be in excess of $25 an acre, excluding the loss for trees killed or washed out and also the reconstruction of a new pumping plant to supply irrigation water. 


Just west of the Los Angeles-Ventura County Line is the S.P. siding known as "Kemp", and the land immediately south of this we had rented to the Southern California Edison Construction Camp for a crew of some 150 to 200 men who were putting in new power lines. This Camp, as shown on the map by an arrow, was located close to the railroad track and just east of the curve where the railroad runs into a cut in the high promontory which we designate as "Blue Cut", and from our observations it seem [sic] to us that the terrific loss of life and damage caused to this Construction Camp was due to the backwash of the water when it struck the Blue Cut Promontory and was diverted first north and then southwards back across the track into the body of the stream again. This can easily be explained by the narrowing down of the stream again and one of the witnesses told us that the water when the flood first struck them must have been at least 20 feet deep, in fact the water marks on a remaining telegraph pole there seem to bear out his statement. Photograph No. 14, Plate V, is taken from the south bank of the river and shows the present Construction Camp north of the railroad track, but this gives a pretty accurate idea of what the washed out Camp must have looked like, on the south side of the track, however. Panorama No. 15 shows the site of the old Construction Camp looking westward toward Blue Cut, and Nos. 16, 17, and 18 give some slight indication of the terrific force with which this backwash of the flood waters engulfed the men, showing respectively a freight car torn from its trucks and tipped over, a group of reels of copper cable, weighing approximately 26,000 lbs. each moved from alongside of the railroad track out into the middle of the field, 500 feet or more, and a close-up photograph of a few of the wrecked automobiles that belonged to the old construction gang. In panorama No. 15 you will notice these automobiles scattered all over the entire field and at the left a stream crane being used to right some of them. An interesting point is that while the automobile bodies, machinery and tops were very seriously damaged, we did not see a single instance where one of the tires was broken.