These are the airplanes I have worked with.
Started in tooling, finished in production line.
Worked plaster pattern, and vacuum bonding fixtures
Lear Siegler Inc.
Worked the pylon fittings. Manufactured pylon bushings in machine shop.
Iran Aircraft Industries
F-4 Phantom and C-131
Worked in machine shop, manufacturing parts, tooling, and fixtures.
1 year for I.A.C.I., 1 ½ years for Bell Helicopter, First in Tehran, then Esfahan,Iran
UH1-H, Bell Jet Ranger, and Bell Cobra.
Training and maintenence
F-5, E and F, and T38
flight line mechanic
C-5B, and P3 Orion\
The second time with Lockheed
C-17, and P-3 Orion
Jigs and Fixtures.
Turbofans, CF6, and GE90
R&D on CF-6 the first time. The second time was to develop GE-90
A Long Career
From Paperboy to Aerospace Tech.
As a youngster, I had way too much energy, and spent a lot of time getting on everyone's nerves, so my parents suggested I take a paper route. This not only burned a lot of energy, but it gave me spending money, and all the things I couldn't talk my parents into buying for me, I could now buy myself. I was a basically lazy person, and, except for things I wanted to do, I had unlimited energy. From that moment on, I always had some sort of job or other, and when we moved to Newfoundland, I had several jobs there that occupied all my spare time. I sacked groceries, and worked at the air terminal, either as a bus boy, or a short order cook. When we moved to Snohomish, I worked at the canneries,
picked berries for my dad, worked on base at the gas station, worked at two gas stations in Snohomish, and Buse lumber mill.
That is where I was when I got my notification to get a physical for the draft board. With Viet Nam looming over my head, I saw a recruiter, and took an aptitude test to see what field I would be best in. I had an aptitude for electronics, and I was sworn in on the spot as an Air National Guardsman. This required that I attend technical school, right after basic training, and after active duty, I would be required to attend one weekend a month, and two weeks summer camp for a total of six years. This reduced my chances of being sent to a war I didn't believe in. I was already seeing friends come back in body bags, and I wanted no part of it.
Life begins for a migratory aircraft worker
When I was released from active duty, I took a couple jobs going nowhere. I worked at two filling stations at the same time, 16 hours a day, and I couldn't make ends meet. I took a job at United Control Corporation,
and worked my way up from the mail room to plastics technician, where I ran a transfer mold department. I couldn't see a future there, and I left on bad terms. Burned another bridge. I answered newspaper ads, and took several training seminars, when I heard Boeing was hiring so I applied. I was hired as a tooling trainee. I ran parts for the jig builders, and as soon as there was an opening, I applied to become a "jig and fixture builder". We worked on the tooling for the Boeing 747,
which was in the early stages of development, and had not, as yet, made her maiden flight. Once production was well underway, they began to lay off. In order to stay on, I had to take a cut to production (assembly), where I got my first experience actually building airplanes, until finally, my seniority number came up, and two weeks before I was to be laid off, I took a job in Tulsa Oklahoma, where I worked in tooling once again, this time for the Lockheed L-1011.
The trip to Tulsa was uneventful, and I setteled in to work. Like everyone else, North American Rockwell overhired, and it wasn't long before I was looking for a job again. I tried to find work in Tulsa, but didn’t possess the skills to pass myself off as a machinist.
Someone found an ad in the paper that L.S.I. aka Lear Siegler Incorporated was hiring in California. This sounded good to me, so I arranged an interview in Denver. I didn’t have to lie. I said I was learning, and I was hired as a machinist, and I continued on my trip to California.
In the time between Boeing and North American, I took flying lessons. I started in the Luscombe 8-a, soloed in the Champ, and got checked out in the Cessna 150 and 172, in Washington, and the Cherokee, and Musketeer in Tulsa Oklahoma. Took a side trip to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and flew a 150 out of there.
A real education
The machinist job involved making parts for the C-141 Starlifter.
While we were there, the Air Force offered a class. This class offered the academic portion of the "airframe and power plant" license. The work we did offered the practical portion, and soon, several friends, and I had our "A&P" license. I know I won't remember everybody, but, there was Don Hill, Jim Linkous, Steve Reynolds, and right now, that’s all I can remember.
Steve was my closest friend, and it seemed like we were always together, except when we slept. Bill Umble was another really close friend, and Chuck and Nancy Westfall were around a lot. But it was mostly Steve and Julie. I didn’t really get to know Don Hill until we were in Iran.
We would bar hop. Steve was a bachelor, and he met a gal named Julie. Julie had a daughter named Camryn(sp), and she would baby sit my boys while we partied. Convenient, huh? One time we were hopping, and we were in a country bar, and we med Doug McClure. He was trying to avoid being mobbed, so he told everyone that he was a stunt double.
We would bar-b-cue, and play board games, and cards, and drink beer (Coors), and had a ton of fun together. Steve was a musician, and we would do duets on the piano, and we would play guitars together. We mostly entertained ourselves, but the girls pretended to enjoy.
We lived in an apartment on the Redlands end of San Bernardino. When we moved there from the south central part of town, The first couple we met was Stan and Linda Krause.
Stan was in the Air Force, with T.R.W. (I don't know what that meant), and Linda was one of the prettiest girls I have ever met. She was a nurse. They had an apartment adjacent to ours. We were friends with the apartment manager, Frank Napoli, and he would give Stan and me odd jobs, like painting, and maintenance, and appliance repair. They had two youngsters, Tammy and Greg. They used to play with my kids.
I bought a Suzuki X-6 from my neighbor, another Air force guy, living in the apartments.
He was married to a Chinese girl, and they lived in the apartment across from us.
Scott found a puppy. It was a blue tick hound and it was lickey and wiggly, and Scott loved him, and wanted to keep him, but there are no pets allowed.
I found out later why this rule is universal. Somehow, Pam found a man to take him, and we were all brokenhearted, especially little Scott. The man took the puppy, and almost a year later, he brought him back for a visit. It was the weekend, and I was sleeping in, and the puppy came bounding in, and jumped on my bed. I always wondered if he remembered us, or he was just a happy puppy.
One time, when were playing cards, I walked outside, and Todd was sitting on my bike, with his nose in the gas tank. It made him goofey, and we took him to the emergency room, more to scare him than anything else. This was the days when you had health insurance, and that clown that coined the word "co-pay", wasn't born yet. We left him overnight for observation, and he never sniffed gas again.
It seemed like Todd was always getting hurt. The first place we lived in was a tri-plex, and the maintenance guy had the handle off the outside faucet and replaced the sharp, countersunk screw, and Todd found a way to fall on it and cut his throat. Pam panicked when she saw all the blood. I was at work, and thankfully, our neighbor was a nurse. The wound was superficial, and she applied pressure, and that was Todd’s first trip to the emergency room in San Bernardino. The second or third trip, I can't remember which, He wiped off a thumbnail, with a brick. If it had come all the way off, the trauma would have ended there. The nail was still attached, and as heartless as I was, I couldn't bring myself to snatch it off, and be done with it. We went to the emergency room and this time, and I urged the doctor to be careful not to frighten him. I was brutalized by military doctors, and I didn't want him to have the same fears as I have.
One of the guys knows a karate instructor, and he invites a bunch of us to his house for a demonstration. I surprised everyone by breaking a brick with my fist. A few of us signed up to take instruction. Pam started the class, but didn't continue. I did continue, and I earned several belts, and got to exhibit my skills at a tournament at Japanese Village in Anaheim.
I met a lot of people at Norton A.F.B., many are still friends to this day. I was given freedom to run the shop the way I saw fit, and I was able to learn many new things.
Some of the guys heard about a job overseas, in Iran. I was hired, and now I'm off to get shots and passport photos. The next thing I remember is being in a strange place, surrounded by strange people. Iran has it's own pages.
In Iran, on the first trip, we worked on C-130,and the F-4
When we returned home (San Bernardino), There was no way to call ahead, and let somebody know we were arriving, so we arrived at LAX and called Steve. He came and got us, and took us to his house, and we stayed with them, a week or so. That was when Steve's friend with the Cherokee Arrow flew me to Hayward????? airport to meet with Clint Withington. He offered me the plant manager position, and I worked as a machinist, tool and die maker, and roll forming technician. We made structural steel studs, and corner bead, and that paid the bills. Then we dabbled in other roll form possibilities, until the owners drinking ruined the company, and I was forced to go back to San Bernardino. L.S.I. took me back. The first time I lived in the apartments, I had made friends with Frank Napoli, and his wife, ???????????. When I came back, there was an apartment available next door to Frank and his wife. I don't know why he liked me so well, but he was always giving me treats. One thing he used to give me a lot, is that liquor, Stegga, that tastes like aftershave. I don't recall what happened, but Frank had to go back to New York, and he offered me the job of apartment manager. I accepted, and now I was rent free.
We moved into the manager's apartment when Frank left, and Stan and Linda, now very close friends, move into our place, next door. Now I can offer Stan odd jobs, like painting, and plumbing, and maintenance. He and I cleaned up after a black lady that had a Doberman, secretly hidden in a bedroom. While she was at work the dog was trying to get out, and destroyed carpet, walls, and the door. The stench of feces was so overwhelming that I hired somebody to come in and remove the carpet, a shining example of why pets weren't allowed. I also had my job at the base, and Stan had his.
Stan's birthday and mine were so close together that the girls would combine the festivities to include both our birthdays. One year, we went to a bar we frequented, it was our birthdays we were celebrating, and Elvira was there. She signed an autograph for Stan. That was when the girls started calling it the "pervert party".
The officer in charge of Stan’s office on base took us fishing on Lake Isabella, one year, and I was amazed how big the waves could get, on such a small body of water.
I started right in as shop foreman. This time, there were a couple extra machinists, and I had time to develop our capabilities. Paul Fowler was the supervisor, and he was one of my favorites. I always figured that if someone was my supervisor, He should know my job, as well as me. Paul was one of the few. I made several dies to punch out parts, and I machined structural parts out of solid blocks of aluminum. Instead of making bushings from solid, heat treated stock, we bought tubing, already heat treated, in sizes which minimized the amount of machining required. I alienated one of my best guys, Jimmy Johnson, when Linkous started some crap, and I have always regretted the way I treated him. Thanks, Linkous. It wasn't long before we were headed for Iran again. When we knew we were leaving, I gave Stan and Linda the manager's job, and they replaced me until they bought their own home.
On the next trip to Iran I worked on helicopters from Bell, namely the Huey-UH-1, and the Jet Ranger.
Occasionally, we would get some work on the Cobras, but they were at another area of the base, close to where Pam worked. I have to say about Pam, she was able to adapt to my every whim, and get a job, everywhere I went. I did pick up several Cobras, doing crash recovery.
I was unable to fly in Iran, but before I knew that, a friend, Jerry Templeman, and I purchased a B-25 Mitchell, upon which we performed many hours of maintenance, before realizing that the Iranians were not going to allow us to fly. Fortunately we found some American Air Force pilots who bought the plane, and slipped it out of country, under cover of darkness.
Back in the states once again, Stan and Linda have a house, not too far from us. We made friends with the owner of a pet shop, Tom LaBelle. He got us started raising oscars. When I left for Iran the second time, I gave my oscars to Stan, and when I first came back, the oscars had spawned, and many survived, so I got a bunch of oscars from my original two (they were a little deformed in the face, maybe from being inbred). I ended up taking them to Poway with me, and a great big 250 gallon fiberglass tank, Stan found for me.
I hired on at the Deutsch Company, in Banning, and worked as a mold maker, and surface grinder operator, until I heard from Linkous that there was a job near San Diego. I loved San Diego as a child, and I would have probably taken the job, no matter what it was. It turned out to be Top Gun, to work on the flight line as a mechanic.
This is where I learned the F-5E and F, and the T38,
including field level maintenance, and depot level maintenance on the airframes and power plants. That lasted almost three years, during which time I had some back trouble, and I went in traction for two weeks. Soon after that, I left.
After that, I took a job as research and development machinist. Sub Sea Systems made equipment for the oil rig industry, to help relocate well heads that had been abandoned, for one reason or another. One year there, a few months at Sony Corp in Rancho Bernardo, Then the next I was in business for myself. I got a business license as "Peterson Machine" and I did business, mostly with Weibrecht Industries, but also with Bob Isaacs, who also had a shop there. The last thing I made for him, he never paid me for. He wasn't happy with my receipts, and wanted me to buy a rubber stamp for the invoices I prepared for him. I used my lens grinding technology to fabricate a mold to make "golf club heads". One company we worked with made aluminum honeycomb panels. they asked us to build saw that would cut the honeycomb cells on an angle, as they were required to act as a radio frequency shield. That was the last job I worked on before tech pubs manager, Domingo Jaramillo, got in touch and offered me a job.
I was picked up by Technical Publications, where I spent 3 years validating the tech manuals for the F-5/T38, and RF-5E.
After leaving Northrop, I found a home at Lockheed in the tooling department, where we refurbished The C-5 Galaxy jigs and fixtures.
I got bumped around and got experience on the P-3 Orion.
My wife of 19 years asked me for a divorce, and, finding myself unable to function at work, I take leave, and spend time in Sacramento with my parents, trying to regain composure.
In December of '88, when Lockheed got the contract for the, at that time, McDonnell Douglas C-17,
I was called back and we immediately started work on building master fixtures, and shipping fixtures for parts we had orders for.
That was the end of my airframe career, and I got about three years total working on aircraft engines for General Electric.
Aircraft engines I have worked with
While working at Top Gun, I spent 6 months in the engine shop, working on the "G.E." J=85, dash twenty one for the F-5, and dash thirteen for T=38.
The first trip with GE involved the CF6-80A.
The second trip involved the GE90.
Some pictures from G.E.
#1 Back to the drawing board
#2 My night shift crew
#3 G.E.90 Booster
#4 Designer; "You guys build it, then I'll draw it.
#5 Dan Hiegel
#6 Back to work, you guys.
#7 Fiberglass doors for G.E.90
#8 The titanium Pylon
#9 Mock up to fit Doors
#10 Doors in Closed Position around mockup
#11 Sneak up behind me!
#12 Dan and Caesar
#13 Ready to move with the fork lift
#14 Where the hell is the fork lift
#15 Hydraulic Work Table
#16 Hydraulic table in raised position
#17 Ring installed
#18 Booster ready for inspection
#20 Looking for defects with bore scope
#21 Compressor section on rotary table
#22 My trimmed down crew
#23 Vertical fixture for doors
#24 Night shift before layoff
#25 Day shift
#26 Art Gutierrez, Robin, my neighbor, and Art Carillo, father of Jaime(worked for me at Keck Trailers)
#27 Night shift pylon crew
Life after Airplanes
When G.E. laid me off the second time, I was really tired, and suffering from alcoholism. I took a short break, but no one was hiring, so when I was ready to work again, there were no aircraft jobs. My friend, Duane Smelzer, told me about a place where Carl Spencer worked, when airplanes were slow. I went and checked it out, and I met Gordon Keck, of "Keck Custom Trucks and Trailers". He didn't have any work, and no money, but he had a pending job, for which he was waiting for funds. I asked him if I could make the same money as Carl, if I could do everything he could do. He said yes, and I started the next day, as a volunteer, to help him prepare for the upcoming job. After working several weeks without pay, my mother deposited some funds to hold me over 'till I got paid. I sharpened drill bits, and did some cleanup and maintenance, and tried to prepare for the upcoming job. I was living with Barbara Schlott, and things were getting a little tight, so that really helped.
When the job finally began, a trailer, I seem to remember, for hauling classic cars, cross country, We paid the rent, the electric bill, and bought materials for the second job, which I traveled to L.A. for, and brought back with my dad's blue, Ford F250 diesel, which I inherited when he passed away. The second job was a custom truck, R.V. style. We got the naked truck frame in, and prepared the rails to accept the camper module, we had already built. I took the back window out of the cab, cut a huge hole, and after lifting the module onto the frame, the module and the cab were joined by a "boot extrusion". The customer had chosen to do their own interior, to save money. Carl would come in and weld, when there was enough for him to do, and I manufactured skirts, with compartments for things like; generator, tools, and a really clever rotating step system, which Gordon had designed, and needed a lot of perfecting. During the last stages, I worked with the customer, a man and his wife, and I got a chance to ask them what they had planned for their truck. They planned to pull a trailer, (which the truck body matched, I later found out), with a race car inside, a sprint car, I think.
Pictures from Keck Trailers
The jobs were pouring in, and I got busier, and Carl came in less, and less, and for a while, Gordon covered for him until we got so backed up, it was necessary for me to learn to weld. I got to finish the project Carl had started on the Polo Pony Truck, which turned out to be a cab with a trailer hitch. It got the trademark skirt, that everything got, and now things are really rolling. I have hired several helpers, but Rosamond is drug infested, and it's really hard to find good help. I was drinking heavily, and it was getting harder to work every day. Barbara had left, and Carl's daughter, Jackie, was keeping house for me. I went to shoot pool with my friend Jon, and we met sisters. Later, I asked Denise to come keep house for me, as, at times Jackie was unreliable, and her boyfriend was working for me, so Denise moved in.
A dear friend passed away yesterday, and I must write about her while her memory is fresh. I met Denise in a small bar in Rosamond. She was with her nephew, Jerritt. She asked me to keep an eye on him while she bought cigarettes. We ended up shooting pool, and her sister, after the night was over, dated Jon for the longest time. I was still living with Barbara at the time. This was October, and in November, during the thanksgiving holiday, Barbara left, and never came back. I waited 'till late June before I looked up Denise, and asked her to come and live with me. I gave her a hundred dollars for a deposit, which she immediately bought a pile of popsicles, and took them to her friend,
Eve's trailer at the Thunderbird Park, and passed them out to the kids. Then we went to Don Rose's house, just off Sam Street, and picked up her clothes. They were loose, and in disarray, and she threw them in the back of my blue Ford pickup. She took them inside and proceeded to throw everything she owned in the washer, all at once. It plugged up, and refused to work. At the same time, I am expecting my son Scott, and his wife, Raelene, and my Grandson Aaron. I gave them my bed, and asked Denise if I could camp out in her room on the floor. My intentions were honorable, and all I asked of her was to keep house for me, but this night, she told me to get in bed with her, and I fell in love. At first she was dabbling at blow, and when I found some evidence, I asked her to leave. I did not know at the time, but she went to live with Don Rose, one of my employees at Keck Trailers. I was quite taken with Denise, and after she was gone for a while, I got really lonely, and went to her mother's trailer on 60th street, and Richard came out, and I gave him my phone number, and told him to have Denise call me. When she did, I asked her to come back, and we could work out any problems, just please come home! She asked if her friend, Eve could come with her. As I had two bedrooms, I told her O.K., and I went and picked them both up at Triple R. For Denise's birthday, I bought her a nice lighter, a box of chocolates, and a carton of cigarettes. I asked Don to give them to her, because he saw her more than I, and I didn't realize they were living together, at that time. When Denise came back and told me, I asked Don at work the next day if there was going to be a problem. He said no, but after I got home that day, he stopped by, and asked to speak to Denise. I didn't suspect anything, and after she was outside for a while, I heard her holler for help. I ran to the door, and tried to open it, but Don had the knob held so rigidly, it felt like it was locked, and when I tried to unlock it, he snatched the door open and ran away. He had swung his motorcycle helmet by the strap, and hit Denise in the face with it. She had a fat lip, and was bleeding. I didn't want to fire Don, but I was afraid to turn my back on him. I felt that Gordon needed him, and on the days he did need Don, I would take the day off. Gordon said nothing doing, and he fired Don. That's when we hired Martin, the Chinaman I thought was a Mexican. I never got along very well with Martin, and we always were irritating one another.
We all lived together happily for the longest time, but we all drank so heavily, that this couldn't last. Denise and Eve would cruise the bars together, and would usually come home at night, almost every night. The guys Eve would meet in the bars would want to date her, and they had to pick her up at my place, at 3300 15th st. west, #372. I always introduced myself to her prospective dates, and let them know that I was looking out for her.
Most of the time, it was just the three of us, and we drank whiskey every night, and played, and rasseled, and had fun together. I went home for a "nooner" every day, and I would bring the girls whatever they asked for. For a surprise, one day I brought home "Ceviche", a Mexican dish, consisting of a variety of raw seafood, marinated in lime juice until the citric acid cooked everything. This was placed atop a fried tortilla. I found this on a roach coach, believe it or not, and it was excellent, believe it or not.
I always left the girls one pack of cigarettes each, and I would leave them in a brass bucket I brought back from Iran. They named it "the magic bucket", because every morning it was full of cigarettes, and whatever else they asked me for. I tried buying them cigarettes by the carton, but they were selling the ones they didn't smoke, and going to the bar during the day. They were ruffians, off the street, with a lot of street smarts. Every day they had a new way to fleece the old man, and I really had to stay on my toes to keep ahead of them. They would double team me, and while one of them had me distracted, the other would rob me blind. I really wasn't too worried, because after 40 years of hard work, I still didn't have much of any value, so they were welcome to go through everything I owned, and they did.
Eve always had twenty jealous guys after her, and they would fight over her, and I was always expecting some kind of trouble I will never forget the day I came home at noon, and there were feathers everywhere. The closer I got to my room, the more feathers there were. There was Eve, sprawled across my bed. I had a dreadful sickening feeling. My first thought was that someone had shot her through my pillow. Denise said she came home that morning, really drunk, and when Denise tried to go back to sleep (she never got up before noon), Eve wanted to play, and she and her had a brief pillow fight, before she passed out.
One day there was this terrible BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM coming from Eve's room, and I went to see what was going on. She was driving these huge nails in the wall with one of my hammers she had found. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "Hanging pictures". I asked where she got the monster nails, and she said she pulled them out of my neighbor's fence, who was the movie star, John Quade.
I laughed, and told her I would bring home some smaller nails to hang pictures. I was buying the trailer from Duane, and I had already almost had it paid for, so I wasn't too worried about the damage, but the next time the wind blew, all the fence boards fell out of John's fence.
Another day, we heard this, MEW MEW MEW MEW, coming from underneath the trailer. This went on for a week, and a neighbor, and friend of the girls, Rowena, crawled under the trailer, and found a dead mother cat, but couldn't find where the kitten sounds were coming from. It was Friday night, and Denise and I decided to go to the Kern river for the weekend, and by then that kitten would certainly be dead. When we came back, It was still alive, and as loud as ever, so the girls asked Rowena to try again, this time with a piece of fish. This time, when she approached the hole she had torn in the insulation, and held out the fish, the kitten latched on and wouldn't let go, and Rowena dragged him out. The girls took the cat, and fed it from an ear syringe. It looked awful. His bones were plainly visible, he was so starved, and his eyes were glued shut with a pussy discharge. They cleaned him up, and in a couple days, he was purring and playing, and the girls proceeded to tease him and torture him and make him the meanest cat in the park.
Eve had a long, slinky brown dress that she used to wear, and she would prowl the streets wearing that dress. She was notorious for cruising the trailer park after dark, and picking whatever flower she happened to see, no matter where it was. She got all gussied up, one night, with that dress on. She really looked pretty, and she asked me how she looked. I told her she looked like a hooker, and it made her feel so bad, I always felt guilty for that. One time, I took both girls out and gave them the full beauty treatment. They both got their hair permed, and their nails done.
We went out together on my fiftieth birthday, and got roaring drunk, and shot pool together. I shot the best pool I have ever shot in my life, and I couldn't lose. The drunker I got, the better I shot pool, and I ended the night by making a jump shot on the eight ball. I could barely stand, and I tried to get the girls to walk me home, but they were making me wait too long, so I took off by myself. I recall falling down, but I must have blacked out because the next thing I remembered was waking up the next morning, and the side of my face was scraped, and I couldn't find my glasses. I told the guys at work the next day that I was rasseling with my girls, and that they threw me down in the desert and gave me a black eye.
Our drinking became heavier, and Eve was having problems with one of her boyfriends, and she was having fits of anger. She began pounding on the wall with her fist, and when I tried to stop her by grabbing her hand, and she continued pounding with both our hands. I had never been physical with any woman before, and I could see that if she were to stay, and push my buttons just so, that that was a possibility, so I asked her to leave. Denise said she would go too, but I told her that if she stayed, I was headed for big trouble, so I told her it wasn't worth taking a chance, so I lost Eve, and I lost Denise for the second time. She wasn't gone long, and she was back, and Eve was left to fend for herself.
Denise and I moved away from Rosamond, back to Sacramento. I started coming by myself, when Richard and my mom got married, and the first I came, they were in Santa Maria., and I went there to try to quit drinking and smoking. Richard had a nice house, and a huge avocado tree in the back yard. I took the ladder and got on the roof, and picked buckets full of avocados. I didn't smoke or drink, and I got up early every day and made them coffee. Richard had a nice woodshop, but it was a disaster, so I cleaned it up, and organized it, so that his relatives could come and move him out. They were planning on living in Sacramento, and the house was up for sale. I missed Denise something awful, and I made a trip to Rosamond to see her. I had also cleaned out a freezer, and pantry, and I had frozen walnuts, and assorted canned goods to bring to the girls. Eve and Denise were back together, living in the trailer, and Duane was trying to get them out. He thought Denise was bad for me, and didn't really like either of the girls. He kept turning off the electric, and water, and once, he changed the lock on the door. That time when the girls broke in, Duane called me and told me to get down there and straighten things out. That was the fastest trip I ever made. I told mom I had troubles that needed attention, and I set out in my blue truck. It was late at night, and I was able to bury the speedometer for most of the trip. I was there in less than three hours. I took the doorknob in my hand and when I pulled. the door had been broken in half, vertically. Denise’s ex, Geno, was there, crashed out on the living room floor, Eve was in her room, and I woke Denise out of my bed, and told her to get rid of Geno, and the next day, I told the girls that I had to leave them with nothing except the things I had brought from Richards. I told them they had to fend for themselves until I could make something happen. I found Duane, and told him I was done, and to do whatever he had to do. By this time, Richard and mom were back in Sacramento, and I went there, and moved into Dale's house. Mom asked me to clean up Dale's property, as he had left, angry, and left a nightmarish mess.
After I got settled in a little, I went back for Denise, and by that time, Eve had gotten back with Ben.
The next crisis was when my mother had a stroke. At first we thought she would recover, but she had another, and she was brought home to die. When she passed, Scott and his wife were here, and He loaned me his Saturn to drive to Portland where she was to be buried. When we got back, my sister sold the house to the Dooleys, members of my moms church. She also gave away everything that I owned, that was stored there, and the Dooleys put up a barb wire fence, on my property, and herded the barbados, under cover of night, onto their property. I got a real good look at the people of the church, and soon I was an outcast to everyone except for my friend Fran Lyon/Paxton, who couldn't believe what was happening. All my tools I used to make a living were gone, and I resort to mowing lawns and doing odd jobs to survive. I was living in Dale's house, which my mother bought back from him. The only problem was, as she was in the process of changing the will, she passed away, and Dale came back for his house. I bought a wrecked mobile home from Cool, California, and I had it moved onto my property. It arrived shortly after Dale had me evicted, about a month and a half. During that time, we slept in my camper shell, and pitched a tent by the pond to shower in. We hung whatever water hoses we had recovered from Dooleys on the fence, so that we would have warm water to shower in. In the meantime, Dooleys had called code enforcement officers, and they came and told me I had so much time to get a permit for septic, and power, and checked to be sure that we weren't dumping sewage on the property. My neighbor, John Pibb, gave us a port-a-potty, which we showed them. Most mornings, if we had two dollars, we would go to the Roseville family restaurant, where the Japanese people that owned the place, knew of our plight, and allowed us to use their restroom, and provided us with specials. Occasionally we would frequent "Burger King" for our morning constitution, and we would enjoy whatever .99cent sandwich was available. Life was really hard. The kind of hard that you don't understand unless you have lived it. I was mowing Fran's lawn, and working for my neighbor, Steve Mahalikis, who owns half of the town of Lincoln. If I made twenty dollars a day, I could buy some ice for the ice chest, a twelve pack of beer, two packs of cigarettes, and some coulotte steaks for the bar-b-cue. We got up every morning, and took one hour at a time. You can take one day at a time, if you have a few of the basics. We had no basics, so it was one hour at a time. I got in touch with my cousin, Diana, and she showed up immediately to help. She took me to the planning department, and got the two permits that the code enforcement required. The planning department wouldn't issue a permit for temporary power, unless I applied for the whole, permanent foundation permit. After shelling out several thousand dollars, and spending several days making blueprints, I breezed through all the hoops I had to jump through, until I got to the fire department. They rejected my plans until I improved the road so that they could taxi a 747 and turn it around. But I had all I needed, and I presented it to the code officer, to whom I will always be grateful for showing a little compassion. I will add his name, and a picture he took of my trailer, at a later date. Now the Dooleys are quiet. They have exhausted every means to have us evicted from my own property, so to punish me, they catch my puppy, while I was away at work, and called the animal control officers. They came and took him to the shelter down on Bradshaw road. We found out from the neighbor kids, when we got home, and we headed for the pound, in rush hour traffic, and July 100 degree heat, with the fifty dollars Denise and I had earned that day. And that is what it cost us to get Scooper back. We got home and went to bed hungry, thank you very much. It's one thing after another. If they aren't on my property spraying "Round Up" They're inviting all their church friends over to pick my oranges. That was a good day, when I could call the cops on them. They sent several patrol cars out, and a helicopter. They put Steve Dooley in the squad car, and asked me if I wanted to have him arrested. I said "no". They asked if I wanted my oranges back, and I said no. I told them, simply, to stay off my property. After an illicit affair, and several business failings, and the Dooleys are forced to move. I remember watching them drive away for the last time, and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was already wondering what surprises my new neighbors would have for me.
The name was Edens, Jim and Vivian. They were real nice people. Vivian was in poor health. She had been diagnosed with throat cancer, twenty years earlier, and she had a permanent tracheotomy. To make matters worst, a toilet had cracked in the house, and flooded all the hardwood floors, so they were forced to live in the motor home. When they got into repairing the water damage, they discovered asbestos in the sheetrock which had gotten wet, and that further delayed their moving in. All this time, Jim is working in Salinas, as an agricultural inspector, and leaving Vivian behind. By the time the house was finally in order, they moved in for the shortest time, when Vivian fell ill, and was hospitalized. Jim worked, and spent his free time at the hospital, and Denise and I cooked some meals for him, and kept the yard maintained, and watered. Vivian finally passed away, and Jim was by himself. I helped him with a lot of things, and he asked how he could repay me, so I hatched a deal where I would do some work for him, and he would help me catch up on my property taxes, which were 5 years behind. All in all, Jim was a good neighbor, until sleazy, and dumpy showed up. Melba had been in the army with Jim, years back, and now that his wife was gone, he could let her move in, and she took over caring for the place. Sleazy and Dumpy were reformed, to a point, drug abusers, and Brian is on methadone, and is an alcoholic. Melba shows all the signs of years of methamphetamine abuse. When they first got here, I really tried hard to get along with them. They were asking me to drive them to the store, every day. I was living hand to mouth, and I needed to make at least one trip to the store, every day, so It was no hardship to take them to town. One day they asked me twice in one day, both times for cigarettes, and I wondered why Jimbo wasn't taking care of his people. I was working for Nick at the time, and I had a Cadillac ('88) parked out front, which I had just tuned up for Nick, and it was parked here, because he had so many cars, he had no place to park it. I filled it with gas, and loaned it to Melba, and I told her all she had to do was return it, filled with gas. She asked if it was for sale, and I told her the price. She called Nick, who didn't know she was driving it, and tried to get a better price. This pissed off Nick, and he told her to return the car immediately. So I got it back empty, and they went and bought another car, and had the audacity to ask me to do a brake job on it. That started everything going downhill. I had a deal with Jim to take the trash down, once a week, and I could add my trash. I don't have trash service because I don't have a permit, so it was pretty important to me. That went away first. I also was using un-metered water from Jim, to keep the pond full. That went away next, and the next thing I know, Jim isn't speaking to me, and he gets sick, and dies, angry at me for some unknown reason. It wasn't until the Johnsons moved in that I found out that donkey man is telling everyone that I killed his dog. His children moved into Dale's house, and they started telling people, up and down the street, that I was a pet murderer. I have people chasing me down the street, because their dog got shot, and they thought I did it. Next the police show up, and they question Danny, and me, and the cop said that someone said they actually saw me shoot their dog. I just don't know how to defend myself against that, and I am living with that reputation. All my neighbors hate me, for the wrong reason. I have plenty of faults, But I have never harmed anyone's pet, except for one time an unleashed dog attacked me on my own property, and I did shoot that one.
A few more jobs with Bob, and I am pretty much out of gas. I really don’t want to work any more, and finally, I find an attorney that will take my disability case with no medical evidence, or records. He performs a miracle, and all of a sudden, I have medical, and enough money in the bank to pay off all the debts I incurred while waiting. It’s time to retire, and enjoy it!
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