Sunday, May 31, 2009

More old car stuff

As you can see, I found a few more views of Jim's tank he had in 1960. Dad had a truck, Mom had a station wagon, Jim had his tank, and Dad also brought home a Corvette on occasion that he and Frank owned together. And that would be Joan clowning around in the photos. (I never clowned around.)
Then I found this picture:

The photo is dated May 1961. It is an old junker sitting in the weeds out in our back acre, between the barn and the brick incinerator.
Jim, tell us the story of this old antique. How did you sneak in this hunk of junk, and how long was it there before dad blew a gasket and had it hauled away? just askin.
I don't recall anything about it. But I am sure it would make a good story. Tim wants to know. (Don't you, Tim?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

happy B'day to Sister-twin-friend

Joan said she'd buy me lunch ifn I put my 7th grade ugly picture on my blog instead of just showing ugly pictures of everyone else. I insist I have no ugly pictures of anyone else! I just have this one of me... November 1959.... The summer after 6th grade, we got ducktail haircuts, got our long hair cut off to have a "cool" summer. The only way to tame the hair was to use Butch Wax. Butch Wax was cool in 1959. The connotation is NOT so cool in 2009.

it has been a good journey with a twin. She has been there for me in many ways... helping me to roller skate, ride a 2wheeler, decking a kid on the playground at school once when he made fun of my limping.
We had fun confusing people who could not tell us apart at times.
Here's us in 1948:
and again with Big Brother:

Here we are in 1986, heading into our 40's:
and, how did this happen so fast... here we are banging on the door of our 60's. I was recovering from yet again another surgery while she helped me recover nicely, (and helped Mike as well...)

We still scratch our heads simultaneously, pick up a cup to drink at the same time, blurt out the same thing at the same time unrehearsed. it is a twin thing; can't explain it, it just is.
So Happy Birthday tomorrow, Girla; here is to many more good times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grandpa Powers

The photo above is J.A. Powers and Evelyn Kaelin Powers in 1915 or so. J.A. and Evelyn were my dad's parents. J.A.'s birthday was May 22. He was born about 1892 or 93 in Washington State. He was the 4th son, and his parents must've run out of names because they just gave him initials for a name. Just J and A. Fill in the blanks yourself. The first thing that comes to mind is of course... Jack Ass. What a dis-service to do to yer kid.
Anyway, I was only 5 when Grandpa died. But Gram told many stories about him. They married when Gram was only 17. Gram told me they met in and around McArthur Park in Los Angeles where the kids used to gather to meet each other on week-end nights. They first lived with J.A.s mom in LA, and soon a playboy brother of J.A.s came to stay awhile with mom, and made a move on Gram. Gram packed her suitcase, went home to her mom's house, said, "I made a mistake; I don't want to be married anymore." Gramma Kaelin would not let Gram back into the house and said, "get the hell back to your husband; you married him, so go live with him". So Gram went back to J.A. and said, "We need our own place", so they moved out to their own place soon afterwards. J.A.'s mom was a buyer-fixer-upper of houses and made a lot of money that way, so I think Gram told me they'd live in one of Old Lady Genung's houses till she sold it, then they'd move again.
J.A.'s mom's name was Old Lady Genung because one day in Washington State she caught her husband, Old Man Powers, in the flat bed of a pick up truck canoodling with another woman. So she divorced Powers and married Genung, a batchelor lawyer who was a good friend to Old Man Powers. (After grandma Genung died, Old Man Genung got sick, married his nurse and the nurse-wife inherited the fortune when he died. The Powers brothers tried to sue to get a piece of the pie that had been their mother's fortune, but the court ruled against it.)

This a photo of J.A. about 1942 or so during WWII. He is looking at photos of his 2 sons on his desk at the office. Might've been wondering if they'd come back from war or not. Both eventually did.

Another photo shows J.A. at home in his chair; this is how I remember him, always in a suit, sometimes with a hat on. I do have photos of his last year, when he was fading away from prostate and bone cancer; Gram got him a wheelchair that I used as well every time I'd come home from another polio surgery. But I'd rather recall him as a well gentleman, in good health, having fun with grandkids and making jokes very often.
He and my dad were gone too soon.

In 1952, J.A. was president of the Los Angeles Home Show; probably a showcase for contractors and suppliers. He lived long enough to fulfill this office. He was very ill and in pain when this photo was taken. The photo above shows Gram, J.A., Dad, Mom, Aunt Enid and Uncle Frank.
Ever wonder if people really R.I.P?? Both his sons would divorce, but Gram never remarried because J.A. told her the men would probably want to marry her for her money. Sure enough, Gram told me their family doctor proposed after J.A. died by saying, "So, Evelyn, why don't you and I pool our resources?" hahaha,, some damn romantic proposal, huh? She said no! But she did give him most of J.A.'s suits because he was the same size as grandpa.

Grandpa also told Gram that the tax people would come after her to find out why she was left so much money when he died. He told her to emphasize that his brick business made a lot of money in WWII because he bid on jobs that he could quarantee would be finished promptly, and his word was good, so he was able to make a lot of bread. Gram said that's exactly how it came down, and she was off the hook quickly with no problems. She loved him and thought he was a very wise man. Happy Birthday to him.

family stories... pass them on!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life goes on but still surprises me

That's my Big Bro in pic above... at 12 yrs old.
Yesterday my big bro was 65! I cannot believe it!! Mostly I do NOT WANT to believe it because then that makes me a lot older too!!!! I wonder where the time went, and how did it go by so quickly? And what was I so busy doing that I didn't notice time flying by?
Life used to look like this:

That would be my twin, me with the crooked left leg, and older bro'; twas 1950 on the stairs in our house in LA when we lived 2 blocks from Gram and Grandpa J.A.
We had a TV set with a huge glass bubble magnifier over the small screen. If you sat directly in front of the set, you could see the black and white picture. If you were off to the side, which 2 of 3 kids would be if they all tried to watch TV together , you couldn't see diddly. I recall Joan and I never could see diddly but Big Bro saw everything.
I paid him back later on when I would always "suit up" for Phys Ed classes and get an A or B in the class although I could not do hardly anything athletic, and he would bring home D's and F's in PE just because he would not put the dang PE clothes on!!!
He later wrote a book, a best seller: "How To Fail Phys Ed and Piss Off Your Dad".
OK. I tease a bit. that was a lie.

Later on Big Bro looked like this:

He got a car that was like a rolling tank. I don't know what it was because I never paid attention to nor was impressed with cars. Can't tell one from another. But Bro seemed to love this car. I think that is the one he tricked out to have speakers on the outside of the car, so he could blast his radio tunes to the outside world. Yes, the whole Valley loved hearing "Mule Skinner Blues", or Elvis asking "Are You Lonesome Tonight" while Bro' lip-synced the lyrics to any broad that would look his way. Those were Happy Days!! This photo also reminds me that Mom made Bro take me n sister to junior high and drop us off every morning before he went to high school. He would yell from his room (the guest shack across the driveway) as soon as he stepped out all groomed and hair slicked down with brylcream... "Twins! Bring me my cocoa and get yer asses in the car!!" We had to have a huge mug of hot cocoa waiting for him before he could drive us to school. Hey, it was better than walking! So what if we spit in the cocoa... oops, that NEVER happened.

Later, in another state and another time... Bro took to the road in another fashion and has been hooked ever since. Oh, he did have one set of 2-wheels that I remember from our days on the one-acre orange grove we grew up on. I remember my mom yelling her head off one time when Bro did wheelies through her rose garden by the back door, then jammed out the gate to the open highway laughing his head off.
Here's a pic I found of him:

He, of course, is now to blame for the motorcycle bug that infects so many young men in our extended families. (I think he is proud of that legacy!) Way to go, Big Bro'!
So ride happy with bugs in your mugs from grinning so wide while flying down the highways of life, Guys. This shirley includes YOU my Big Bro'!

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Had a nice Mothers Day

Yesterday we went to church at the 10:30 service. The pastor is a Harley-ridin dude and kinda funny at times. He wanted to give a few prizes at each service on Mothers day. he asked his brothers what should the prizes be for? One suggested a prize for the mom with the most tatoos, another said get scales and give prizes for the fattest and skinniest moms. But instead he gave a boquet of flowers to the mom who had the youngest baby (9 days) and the mom who was in labor the longest (3 days) and the mom who had the biggest baby.. 10 lbs 8 oz...ME! hahahahaa,, I won for Kimmy!!! Thanks, KIM!! I took her the boquet. and she cooked us a dinner of BBQ chicken, rice, sweet potatoes and salad. Very yummy!!
Hope all you moms had a good mothers day. If your mom is already in heaven... hope all your memories of her are sweet.