1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

One Sunday In Perry
What the Army Taught Me
Not My Mother's Shopping List
Brain Calisthenics
The Pono Nano Diet
Oatmeal Jim-Jams
A Walk in the Park
Escape to California
10  Printer's Devil
11  Pono - The Addict
12  Monkeypodarrhea
13  Love in the Woods
14  It's a Small World
15  Culinary Crutches
16  We Want Sandin
17  Better With Age
18  Parallel Universes
19  MŚrten Nilsson Finne
20  Hawaii Is A State
21  Shake-em-up Flashlight
22  The Use of E-mail
23  Normal American Schoolboy
24  Lake Gogebic Early Days




In 1962 I finished my bachelor degree, traveled Europe for the summer, worked for a relatively short time in WI, learned it was not a good match, and was cast free.  I had a few hundred dollars in my pocket and no real plan for the future so I went back to my base in MI.  My folks had moved away from Perry the minute I graduated and left for Europe.  They didnít tell me where they were going (just kidding).  I needed a place to hang out while I was plotting, so I prevailed on my brother Bud.  Thatís how in early 1963 I found myself in Bellevue, MI on Makiní Bacon Acres, Budís pig farm.

Bud bred pigs and sold them when they were a few weeks old to feeders who raised them up for meat.  His story was that he had made an error in scheduling, but whatever the cause, the fact is that he had 6 or 8 sows who had just given birth (farmers among you can laugh at my terminology Ė Iím not in the business).  I got to the farm just in time for serious winter to set in.  The building where the sows were kept was not heated and there were really not enough animals to self-heat the place.  The sows were OK because of their size, but the little ones needed help.  The solution was to provide each sowís bedroom with a wooden box and a heat lamp, so the piggies could stay warm.

Problem solved, but new problem.  At that age, piglets (Iím told that is the proper term) need to feed regularly 24 hours a day, and the boxes did not provide for that.  The solution was to go out to the barn every two hours, move the darlings from the box to the mama, let them feed for a while, and then reverse the process.  In the daytime that was no big deal Ė just another regular chore.  At night, it was different.  Someone had to get out of a nice warm bed, dress to the nines, go out and perform, come back, wash up, crawl back in bed and try to resume that wonderful dream that was interrupted by the alarm.

With two farmers in the house, it meant each person had two shifts.  But letís see, with THREE adults in the house we could get by with one shift each through the dark of night, right?  OK, I guess if Iím sponging board and room, it would be the least I could do.  And anyway it will only be a day or so.  So I took a shift.

There are no lights in the country except what you provide for yourself.  It was colder that any part of a witchís anatomy that I could imagine.  It snowed and blowed and howled and drifted.  Sows are not particularly frightening, but they are BIG, and they donít like getting up in the middle of the night any more than I do, especially to perform that service that they had nearly forgotten about since the last time.  Anyway I took a shift and got back into bed (not sure if I ever did wash up).

By the time I got up in the morning the sun was up and it was a glorious day.  While sipping a cuppa, I made my plan.  I would pack up and head south.  OK, it wasnít much, but it was a plan.  After breakfast, I went outdoors to find a bitterly cold temperature and a totally drifted-in driveway.  The snowplow came by after a while to clear the road and Bud finished enough critical chores to get to plowing out the driveway.  Then I went to my car Ė no way it was going to start!  And anyway, it was getting pretty late by then.  So, letís put my car in the shed and wrap the engine so it will start tomorrow.

Alarm, snow, cold, drift, piggies, sows, wash, bed, wake, coffee, drifts, no start - repeat several times.  We tried a heat lamp on the car, we used magic spray in the carb, we prayed for a break in the weather, I began to consider abandoning my stuff in favor of a bus.

I broke!  After about two weeks, I pleaded with Bud to get my car started and tow me out to a plowed road.  I packed everything I had in my 1955 Ford and with many thanks I headed south and then west.  I didnít stop until I got to warm weather in California!  The attached picture is good in that it portrays both how and why I moved to California.  Note the clothes hanging in the back seat.

Why and how I went to California

Why and How



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