Down Here on the Ground       The Family Front    63 - 73   When Fathers Fly Away

Archive for August 2019

Back Then Part Three

Dad rented an old ramshackle hacienda in Los Altos Hills – 25 acres with live oaks, grape arbors, apricot trees, wild oats, and an old mare named Babe who we could ride bareback if we kept her shod and watered.  That is, we could ride Babe bareback – if Babe felt like it.  She had…

Read More

El Camino Reality

Saying good-bye to Los Altos Hills was hard.  We’d been far out in the country and – save some minor inconveniences – we loved it.  Mom bemoaned at one point that she and Babe were the only females “within a mile radius.” Still, we relished being so independent and our family was forged in this…

Read More

Bougainvillea Gedunk

Scaling the roof of 547 was pretty simple and I was directed to do so when yard maintenance (always a favorite) required that I trim an overgrown bougainvillea. The shining, almost iridescent flowering of the shrub was always captivating – but I knew from clipping smaller sections that thorns covered the stalks and the larger…

Read More

Chocolate Mountain

We climbed onto the Greyhound with some trepidation.  It was dusk as my brother Sidney and I started our journey from downtown San Diego over to Yuma.  Mom’s last admonition was, “Don’t get off until you’re sure it’s Yuma.” Some passengers in the front seats smiled as we walked off our embarrassment.  “O.K.  Got it.” …

Read More

‘Additional Responsibilities’

As both wondrous and disconcerting memories of the aerial gunnery range faded into the activity of our first Coronado Christmas, the pace of Dad’s duties picked up substantially.  I was still young enough to play Little League and joined a team as soon as we had moved.  Still cherishing my memory of Dad in the…

Read More