A New Neighborhood and a New Friend (Continued)

My new friend, Stan, and I continued playing with his spacemen. We ran down the sidewalk, in and out of the gutter, Stan’s shoelaces flapping, the plastic spacemen whizzing among asteroids and into strange galaxies, fighting space pirates and one another. Summer days...

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A New Neighborhood and a New Friend

After school let out in June of 1953, we moved from Heise Station outside Westmorland to the 600 block of Euclid in El Centro, the hub of the agricultural Imperial Valley. The house had three bedrooms, and we four boys shared one on our Navy-surplus bunk beds. My...

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Two “Rocky” Tales

I need to return to Heise Station temporarily to relate a couple of incidents that came to mind recently during a family discussion while on an excursion to the “big city,” which is San Francisco for us. A visit to the San Francisco Symphony’s performance of the the...

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A “Trashy” Tale

After a year of living at Heise Station, which really was in the middle of nowhere, we moved to the big city—El Centro. The hub of the Imperial Valley had a population of a little over 12,000. We were in the “big time” but both families still lived together in one...

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Exploring and Fishing in Imperial Valley

In between adventures involving calves or tarantulas, Uncle Ernie took us exploring the Imperial Valley. We took trips to the Salton Sea, to the nearby mountains, and to one amazing phenomenon he called “the mud pots.” They were pools of mud and hot water that bubbled...

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Ride ’em, “Cowboy!”

When last we left our fearless buckaroos, I was sitting tall on the “friendly” calf I had selected, anticipating my maiden voyage on the back of a cow. “Grab a handful of hair on his neck, and I’ll let go,” said Mr. Mike. I did just what Mr. Mike instructed and...

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Boys On the Ranch – Pt. 10

There was one old man who used to stop in at the café every day for coffee and a piece of pie. His name was Mike Licastri, but I just called him Mr. Mike after the guy who owned the candy store back in my grandmother’s neighborhood in Detroit. He drove an old beat-up...

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Car Bites Boy – Pt. 9

No, I never got in trouble for coming home crying, though six-year-olds do cry. Sometimes a guy just can’t help it. One of the old wrecks out behind the cabins was a ’37 Chrysler Imperial rusting in the sand. The tires were flat, one door was missing, and the rear...

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Fisticuffs and More Fisticuffs at Heise Station – Pt. 8

There were these two particular truck drivers who were also regular customers at Heise Station. They both came in daily on their separate runs from El Centro to Los Angeles, hauling whatever crop was being harvested at the time. Both big guys, like the pile bucks,...

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The Saga of Life at Heise Station Continues – Pt. 7

With Dad at Heise Station—he was a carpenter—we were able to start the building projects the parents had planned. Dad and Uncle Ernie built a living room, a bathroom, and a couple more bedrooms—one big one for all us boys. We painted and moved in two sets of...

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