September 30, 2016

Bravery or Stupidity – You Be the Judge

These stories are not in any particular chronological order, or of any importance really, except maybe to me. C.

Out On a Trestle

When I was a teenager I was with a group of friends who decided to visit a local railroad trestle so we could see it for ourselves. This took place here in western Washington State, but for the life of me, I can’t remember just where the bridge was. I just know it was up in the hills somewhere with no buildings or houses around. This trestle had no rails on it except the railroad tracks for the trains. I presume this was an old logging train route.  I didn’t go out on the trestle as far as the other kids because I knew there was going to be a train coming with just my luck and I wouldn’t be able to run to escape it. It seems like there might have been some curved culvert type things on the edge of the trestle but not all along the sides. That could have worked for a quick escape, but what if I dove into it and flipped right out? What if the air being pushed by the engine just blew me right out of there and into the creek below? In any case, I lived and never went out on a trestle like that again.

The Body in the Middle of the Road

This next event happened here in Port Orchard, Washington sometime in the early 1990’s. Jim and I were out in the early evening on Halloween night driving home to dole out candy to our own trick or treaters. We were just rounding the curve on Lund Avenue after turning from Jackson and alarm bells went off in my head as we saw a small “body” laying sprawled across the road. I yelled at Jim to pull over and I jumped out to go rescue the kid. As I was bending down to see what I could do a car was coming at me from the opposite direction. I put my hand up hoping to stop them but they didn’t seem like they were going to slow down. Great, not only would they run over this kid again, but me too in the process! It was one of those scenes where to you everything seems to creep along as it all happens, but in reality it was almost immediately that I determined that this was not an injured child, but a “body” dressed up like one and flung in the road for fun. In my defense, it ‘could’ have been a real kid who fell down and the other kids didn’t know it. We were in a heavily populated area and on Halloween you know how excited kids seem to dart from house to house and neighborhood to neighborhood. After I got back in the car I was amazed at myself to think that I was just ready to rush to some injured person’s aid.

The Attorney and the Homemaker

In the 1980’s we lived in a big two story house in rural Port Orchard. Surrounding us were neighbors with ten and five acre parcels. Ours was just shy of one acre and we had spent many days of hard labor trying to reclaim to the yard from the overgrowth of wild huckleberry and salal bushes. We’d even fenced off our yard in the front with the intention of keeping out ‘critters’ of all kinds. In that era Jackson Perkins would sell a large variety of roses in reduced prices. I wanted to fill my front yard with them and little by little we did so. In those days I was younger and spryer than I am now and I took on the task of mowing the yard and weeding the flower beds. It was so infuriating to me when I would go out to admire my yard, or to mow and there would be ‘deposits’ of dog poop here and there. The most frequent depositor was the dog across the street who had a whole ten acres to poop on, but no, it came in our yard to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs for the most part. It’s their owners who irritate me.

It wasn’t just this one neighbor, we had a few other dogs  on our street and in nearby acreages that would also come by to share their processed cheap dogfood piles. One of them was a big golden lab that came from our neighbors behind us who also had ten acres. This dog would show up in our yard way to frequently and after a while it was just too often. The road we lived on was about a half mile long and straight so some of the cars would really get up a full head of steam and race down the road at unhealthy speeds. With trees on the sides of the road too, there was no way that man nor beast could get out of the way fast enough. My first attempt at trying to keep the dog on its own property was to call the owners and let them know we had their dog at our house. On that occasion the wife did come and get the dog. The next time though, my phone call to them was for naught and it seemed like I was being unreasonable to ask them to keep their dog on their ten acres. That gave me a clue that these people thought that the leash laws didn’t apply to them and that I was just “bothering” them.

The next time the dog showed up I had a leash and I put the dog on it and called animal control to come pick it up. I felt sorry for the dog, but my intention was to send a message to the owners to follow the law. Apparently, that didn’t sit too well with the husband because a day or so later he and his wife, kids and the dog rolled into our driveway like Lord and Lady Gotrocks. Jim and I were sitting out in the front yard and the husband, who happened to be an attorney at the time, got out of the car and proceeded to berate me for having their dog impounded!

He began his little tirade and I gave it right back to him. He thought he could brow beat me for reason. I knew he was wrong and told him that as an attorney of law he should know there are leash laws in this county and he needed to abide by them. All this time Jim is sitting on the picnic table just watching the verbal exchange. It wasn’t about winning the argument and him driving off in a huff, but I did feel rather brave to go up a practicing attorney, make my case and not be browbeaten by some pompous ass. Also, I don’t think their dog came in our yard ever again.

 

 

If You Knew My Dad – William Gale Yates

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m answering this questionnaire about my dad William Gale Yates 1920-1996
1. He is sitting in front of the tv, what is he watching? Either golf, or The History Channel. He thought All in the Family was hilarious too.
2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get? Probably French dressing
3. Name a food he hates:  My dad loved almost all foods, yes, including liver.
4. You go out to eat and have a drink, what would he order? Steak and a beer.
5. Favorite kind of music? Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra. Perry Como, anything from the 40’s.
6. What is his nickname for you? He would call me “honey” occasionally.
7. If he could collect one thing, what would it be? Now, he would tell you something like $100 bills, but I think he would have collected good friends too.
8. What would he eat every day if he could? Pork steak, gravy and potatoes
9. What is his favorite cereal? He didn’t like cereal all that much. I don’t remember seeing him eat it. He did eat oatmeal sometimes, and loved Wheat Hearts (as did I).
10. What would he never wear? Flip flops, shorts, a tank top.
11. What is his favorite sports team? He liked to watch the Mariners, Seahawks, and the Sonics.
12. What is something he did he wishes he wouldn’t have done? Dad smoked and drank from an early age.
13. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind is it? He loved chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.
14. Favorite sport? Bowling (doing) and golf (watching).
15. What could he spend all day doing?  Snoozing in his recliner and, when he was awake, watching TV.
16. What is something he did consistently? Weather permitting, he would golf at least once a week.
Mom watched TV in her room (because Dad had the living room one so loud) but each night he would open her door and tell her goodnight. Whenever he was going somewhere, he would always kiss Mom three times. It was their thing.
More stories that include my dad:
William, Joan and Carol Yates

Lorine McGinnis Schulze’s Book Has Prompted Me To Write My Own Memoirs

When you start accumulating a substantial sum of information for your family tree, it eventually follows that you’re going to want to share that information with your family. For the most part, I can be organized and inspired, but I think my problem was that I had no good ideas on where to start and what to talk, or write, about. I knew I needed some sort of formula to keep me on track. A few days ago I found just the book I was looking for to help guide me through my memories of the past.

One thing I will say is that I intend on making a dedicated folder for these memories so that I can keep them in some sort of order. I’m not sure if I will need to make sub-folders or not. It might be a good idea, but I need some input.

I’d like to thank Lorine McGinnis Schulze for creating her book Writing Your Memoirs for Descendants and making it available in Kindle format as well as book form. I do believe this will be a timeless book that can be used generation after generation.

Memorial Day: Honoring America’s fallen

SAN DIEGO, May 24, 2016 – Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday commemorating fallen veterans, observed annually on the last Monday in May. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was first celebrated in 1868 following the end of the Civil War, as an attempt to heal a divided nation while also honoring the soldiers… [Read more…]

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