November 12, 2002
Hanson: This is an interview with Richard Post at his home in Lake Arrowhead, California. Today is November 12, 2002 and this is Joyce Hanson. Good morning Mr. Post.
POST: Good morning.
Hanson: Let's start talking about your family first.
POST: Well, I was born in Iowa in 1912 and I lived in a little farm town and most of the population was on farms. My one grandfather had a hardware store, my mother's father. My father's father had three farms, two in that town, outside of town, and one in North Dakota. He also sold cars, Chalmer's Cars, and he sold binder twine when it used to be in harvesting. He bought the binder twine from the State of Illinois. He bought it and sold it to Grangers and co-ops and the binder twine was manufactured by prisoners of the State of Illinois. Also he sold wholesale kerosene, which was used a lot in those days.
And then anyway, I might still be back there except later my grandfather and a friend of his were out riding in a car he was driving and they had a collision with a hay wagon. My grandfather's car was caught on fire and he got badly burned. He was brought home and he stayed at home until his death. So, we stayed there a little longer then at that point I guess if he had lived we would still be back there farming I imagine. But anyway, we drove to California in 1923. We came in a big old V-8 Cole touring car. It took us a whole week and the road we came over at that time was called National Old Trails and three years later became Route 66 in 1926. When we came to California we lived with my grandmother on Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The roads were terrible; we didn't hit paving until we got to Victorville, California.
We came down the old Cajon Pass. Anyway, the touring car didn't have glass on the sides; it had what they call isinglass or celluloid. However, we kept warm because we had horse blankets. They were used by families a lot then you know, heavy blankets to keep horses warm. Also we had a heater on the floor of the back and a heater on the floor of the front, my sister and I and my parents. I started to go off on a tangent and now I got lost so you'll have to bear with me.
Hanson: No, you go right ahead. This is great.
Michelle Turner (Turner): I'm hearing stuff I don't remember.
POST: Well maybe I hadn't told you very much. Well then when my, oh, on the one farm west of town my grandfather had a family living there at the farm and he raised corn and he raised Holstein cattle (cows) for dairy work and he had Poland China pigs and then he raised Clydesdale horses, which are now used mostly by the Budweiser wagon.
In those days they were still using them for workhorses. But he used to show them at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines every year. When he did, while my dad was a teenager, he would have to go up for the week and he would sleep with the horses in the stables where they kept them during that time. So I think that's very interesting. But after he arrived out here my dad worked with his brother who was living in San Bernardino then. Later he moved out to Lancaster and my uncle was selling farm land. He sold land for small farms and houses out in the Muscoy area, northwest of San Bernardino. Then my folks moved out to Lancaster and I got married the first time in 1937 and my wife and I had three children. We had a daughter who is Michelle's mother, Susan, and that was in 1942 and then in 1945 we had twin boys. One of them has died; he died about two years ago, but the other one is still living. Susan is back in Owensboro, Kentucky and Bill lives in Beaumont, California. Susan and her husband are in the sheet music publishing business; mostly classical music, but they sell music to stores and also to school districts and universities. Most of it is classic music. They used to have a printer and an enlarger, but that gave them so much trouble they went over to copying machines. Now they have two copying machines, I think they're Sharp, but I 'm not sure. It doesn't matter. They have a big house in Kentucky and the whole basement is the same size as the house. So you go down in the basement and it's just covered with racks with sheet music. So my daughter takes care of most of that now. She fills the order and tells her husband when they need to have more printed. She handles the mailing and shipping. Anyway, they're doing real well. They could sell their business at a profit, but at their ages they don't know what they would do. She's 60 and he's 61.
They are too young to retire. Well I retired at 61 though. I was ready. Okay, so at the time I was married, first married, I worked in a service station at Rialto and Mount Vernon for 35 cents an hour. My wife and I rented an apartment, a one-room apartment I guess you'd call it, for $20 a month. It didn't even have a bedroom. It had a closet where you roll the bed out. Kind of like a Murphy bed except it was on casters and you roll it out and open it up at night.
Turner: Where was this located?
POST: I still remember the address, 538 North "G" Street, San Bernardino. Above 5th and "G", uh huh. On the west side, just above the corner. Anyway, I went to Valley College for two years. I graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1930, and from Valley College in 1932. These were still in the depression days. So I was not able to go any further in my education.
But the first year I went to school at Valley College I thought I wanted to be an engineer; I was pretty good in math you know. So I took analytical geometry and differential calculus and engineering physics and surveying, astronomy, all of those. I had a full course. I think I had 15 units or maybe more.
And anyway, after the first year of that I decided, I probably didn't apply myself. I decided that that wasn't my course, so I switched over to business. So I started taking business subjects like business English. Then of course we didn't have computers then. What we had was called machine calculation, and a lot of the machines you actually worked by hand. Some were electrical and some were by hand.
But what I really learned was accounting, taking accounting. It did me well because in 1939 (I'm mixed up a little bit)... yes, 1939 I took a test for a postal employee, to be a clerk. It was two years before I was called, because things were so tight then.
In fact, they gave the test out at Valley College, and the building used to be called a social hall, which was used for a cafeteria and other things. I think something like 700 people took the test. This is not bragging I hope, but I knew I came in sixth on the list, yet it was two years before I was called. So anyway, I was glad to get it because...
Hanson: You have a right to brag there [laughing].
POST: So now I felt real happy to get in the post office you know, because I had some permanency to that. My accounting did me well, because as a sub, usually as a sub clerk you didn't get to work any windows; you know financial work. But anyway, because what I had had in schooling I was put on a money order and postal savings window. In those days, a lot of people still didn't trust the banks. And they put their money in postal savings, where they got 2% simple interest.
And to collect their interest they had to come in on the right month and turn their certificates in and have new ones issued. And then usually they would take their interest in certificates and build it up gradually. And this is kind of funny. You may want to delete this. I remember one time I was waiting on the postal savings window and this big buxom woman (actually she was black, but that doesn't matter); anyway she wanted to make a deposit and she reached down inside of her bra and pulled out this roll of bills and handed them to me. Well I had to take them and roll them over the counter to straighten them out so I could count them. Well, I'll always remember that.
Anyway, all the time I worked in there I never did lose any money. Because you had no cushion. Like I think the tellers in banks had a cushion they could be over or under. If we were under we had to make it up ourselves. And if we were unable to at that time the amount went in trust as a negative figure and until we were able we would pay it back. And if we were over, that money was taken out and put it in trust in your name because later on there might be a statement of difference would come out of Washington at that time on a difference in a money order. That amount was supposedly written for and the amount it was paid for.
Turner: We could use that kind of accountability today.
POST: Yes. Anyway, so people were really careful, but I lucked out, I never lost over a few cents you know.
Hanson: Well that is great.
POST: Anyway, while you were working the window, in fact on paydays especially, the big employer then was the Santa Fe Railroad. So they got paid I think it was twice a month I believe, or every other week. I think it was twice a month. Then on the first of the month you'd run three money order windows because you were so busy all day long.
And while the people were writing the money orders another clerk was running an adding machine, which had two columns, one for the amount and one for the fees. Because for each money order you wrote a person had to submit a money order application. And on that you would write the fee for the amount of the money order, and the maximum those days was $100.00 per money order.
And accordingly, the fee could run anything from 6 cents to maybe 15 cents according to value. So that was being run, so when you got off the window, oh you started out with $100.00 petty cash, and so you would count your drawer down to $100.00, starting with the pennies on up. And the amount you had then should equal the adding machine tapes and I always did real well, I never had any problem. So, anyway, because of my accounting too, I was later able to take a test for supervisor and I did real well. I came in third on that. Then again, I had to wait a little while to be promoted. So then I started out as a... well I covered other supervisors on their days off. So during the week I would work 24-hour periods, not a full 24 hours, but different periods within 24 hours. I might be working the floor in charge of the clerks; I might be in charge of the carriers. And then I ...
Hanson: So you were a relief supervisor.
POST: Yes, uh huh. I forget what they actually call them; I can't think of the word now. It'll come to me later. Well it's kind of a floater, yes. But I was glad when I got off of that because it was awfully hard to get your sleep you know. Because you know you might go to work at midnight or you might go to work at 6:00 in the morning or...It was an eight- hour shift. During the week I worked, I guess it was five different... because I had days off myself. I worked five different supervisor's positions each week. Well I did that until I got another promotion. I was stuck there. I was the bottom of the totem pole. But, it was just a few months.
And then I became, they called it finance examiner, or station examiner. I was checking the accounts of the clerks in the office, you know, the ones that worked the windows, and the stamp windows essentially.
Hanson: So you were checking their work.
POST: Yes, right. So I'd have to count all those stamps and the cash and all that. And also I had to check on the, we had stations that had postal employees in them, like Del Rosa and Uptown, and the West Side. We have more than that now I think, then they had some contract stations. We had contract #1, which was in Sage's, which was a big supermarket on Baseline and "E" Streets.
I remember one was there, and we had had two, three, four, and then we had Muscoy Branch. I guess that was it. Anyway, I periodically checked their accounts and then in-between I could be put by my supervisor who was then called Chief Accountant, he could assign me to anything he wanted to put me on, like the survey or... and then from that then I became assistant superintendent of the uptown station, which used to be just north of Highland on Arrowhead. At that time the uptown station had the whole north end of town including Del Rosa. Everything above Baseline. I think it was Baseline, yes. All the way across town clear to the west and clear to the east.
Hanson: How far did San Bernardino go at that point? How much was settled?
POST: Well, the Del Rosa area, which we still have, at that time part of it was still county and part was city. So because of that we had two sets of numbers, which is confusing.
We had city numbers that went with the residence city and then we had county numbers, which were set up by the county. So it was kind of rough. So anyway, I was in charge of those and then... no I guess I have that in reverse. And then after that I became a station examiner. Then after that I became, well it was chief accountant. When I retired it was called Superintendent of Finance.
Hanson: So you worked your way up, really from the bottom of the post office clear to the top.
POST: Uh huh, so I was part of the, what do you call the top supervisor group? Staff, staff, we were called the staff. It was the Postmaster and then the Superintendent of Delivery and Superintendent of Window Service and then Finance, which I was the head of. Another one was Head of Personnel, and one was Head of the Garage. We had a repair service out back. At that time we were on South "E" Street. Of course now we're in Redlands. They moved to Redlands. So anyway, things went well there. We didn't go on monthly periods; we went on accounting periods, which was four weeks.
So we had, instead of twelve, we had thirteen accounting periods in a year. And then about every five years or so we had to make adjustment just for a day or two. For the end of the year. So, that really worked out better than monthly. And then our paydays were bi-weekly.
And our time cards at that time were sent to San Francisco through the postal data center for processing and then they'd mail the checks back to us. So the payday went in on one Friday, then the next Friday, I mean the end of the pay period then the next Friday was payday.
Hanson: So it took a week turnaround.
POST: Yes, so the checks would all come to the accounting section then they were broken down into sections and sent by area to be paid you know? And the clerks that worked the night shift, say on Thursday night, if the checks would come in before they left on Friday morning they could be paid too. Otherwise they would have to come back later in the day.
So, anyway, my first wife divorced me in 1966. We'd been married over 28 years. Then I was single for two years. I remarried in 1968. My second wife, she was the head bookkeeper for the City Schools in San Bernardino. So it was the same area I was in. So she was going to continue working and she was promised the job of the Chief Accountant for the City Schools and they sent her to school in San Francisco to one of the computer companies. I forget which one it was now. Anyway...
Turner: Was it IBM?
POST: No, National Cash Register. Anyway, so they were going to go with a computer system and she was going to be the head honcho, but they didn't give it to her so she quit. So we'd been married a year when she quit.
And we had rented an apartment in San Bernardino because the terms of our divorce (my previous wife), was that part of the divorce settlement was that we would sell the house and divide the proceeds, which was not very much because we had refinanced the house to add to it. We re-did a lot of it and we added a bedroom and bath and a den.
Hanson: Where was the house?
POST: It was at 2560 "F" Street. Which is still a pretty nice neighborhood. In fact my daughter, at that time there was a grammar school, an elementary school on "E" Street just above Highland Avenue. Now I can't think of the name of it. It was on the west side of "E" Street just above Highland Avenue.
Turner: It's not there anymore.
POST: No, no, it's not there.
Turner: It's on the same property as Arrowview Middle School. Is that the name of it? On Highland? It was on the east side of that property. There's like a Kindercare. I think it was taken down because of asbestos. Do you remember that grandpa?
Hanson: Was it removed because of asbestos?
POST: I don't know. I don't remember now why it was. But during that period, while it was still there, they built Arrowhead Junior High, which is on the northeast corner of Highland and "G". Anyway, we lived just above that at 2560 "F", so it was a really good location. The kids could go to elementary school; they could go to junior high. And just walk right across those grounds and right down "F" Street to the high school, which is at 18th and "E", which is still there.
In fact some time ago a group I belonged to called the Old Timers from San Bernardino High School. We got a tour of the campus. I was so surprised that everywhere you looked there was a security guard with a gun, a woman or a man. And when I went to school there, the only problem they had was kids going off campus to smoke. There were no drugs and alcohol was no problem.
Hanson: I know that group, the Old Timers Club.
POST: Oh yes, I went for years and years. In fact I got about five people to join. My cousin and three friends up here, and we went regularly. Then one by one they have died or something's happened. So I just quit going myself.
Hanson: They're still holding those meetings.
POST: Because one that we had for our chairman was ah...
Turner: Was it Adams?
POST: Where has my memory gone? He's an attorney. Bill Hellyer. And I think the firm is still in business, Hellyer. Hellyer is still on Arrowhead, yes. But he was our moderator or whatever you want to call it.
But anyway he withdrew from being president of the group and, in fact, just a couple of years ago he died. But almost everybody that went to it was younger than me. But one fella though was a timekeeper for Santa Fe, had been. I think he was in his 90's then.
Hanson: Yes, I was there last month I guess. Malcolm Blair...
POST: Oh yes, oh yes, I know him.
Hanson: He does all the advertisements and the postcards and things. And then I went because I interviewed Ray Powers.
POST: Oh yes, I know Ray Powers.
Hanson: You know him?
POST: Oh yes, uh huh.
Hanson: I did an interview with him and he invited me go to the meeting and talk to them, so it was really great. I mean a lot of people interested in doing this.
POST: Yes, well when we had it originally they were all men, all guys. And then when they had the open house at the high school they invited everybody to come and so a lot of women came and so then of course, they'd never been restricted, but they never joined, so then they started really coming in. So I imagine it's about 50/50 now.
Hanson: Actually there are more women now than men.
POST: Well I can believe that. They live longer and I think they're more joiners.
Hanson: Yes, I think there were about 43 people there and there were 25 women and the rest were men. So yes, the women outnumbered the men last meeting.
POST: Yes. Well before Malcolm Blair started coming, a fella up here, he is a shirttail relative of mine, Jim Payne, he and I were buying the tags with the names on for everybody. Well then later Malcolm took over because he was taking photographs along with the names. So we let him have it.
Hanson: Yes, now I notice all the tags have the photographs.
POST: And year.
Hanson: And the year, yes. But the people there, when I was there last time, they ranged from graduating in 1927 (which was Mr. Powers), and then there was one lady from 1928, but the bulk of the people were from the 1930's. And then there were a few people from the 40's and 50's. So it's really interesting to meet those people. Do you have school annuals?
Turner: Yes, from '29 to '32.
POST: What track shall we get on next?
Hanson: Well let me go back a bit.
POST: Yes, yes, maybe you have some questions.
Hanson: Let me go back to... when you got to San Bernardino, you said you got here in 1926?
Hanson: '23, and Route 66 was renamed in 1926.
POST: Yes, right.
Hanson: What was your first impression?
POST: Of San Bernardino?
Hanson: Yes, of coming into California and being...
POST: It was a big town. They had just started paving some of the roads in San Bernardino though. In fact they had just paved Arrowhead Avenue and put in the curbs and sidewalks. But the space between the blacktop by the curb was still dirt. They paved that later. They put some real nice streetlights; a concrete post with a globe here and two globes here -- real nice.
Hanson: So they looked like the three bulb ones like they have gas lamp kind of three bulbs.
POST: Yes, of course they were electric by then. But I guess they were probably, maybe every 100 or 150 feet all the way from I guess Third Street to at least Highland Avenue.
It was very interesting, when I went to high school... oh, I went to High School in South Pasadena; we lived there for several years, after we first got here actually. I went to grammar school there at Marengo. And then I went to South Pasadena High School. They had no junior high, so the freshman class was in high school, so I went to ninth grade there. Then we moved to San Bernardino, so I started sophomore year at San Bernardino High School. And then of course after that I went to Valley College, and then worked in a service station, then worked in the post office.
Hanson: When you were in high school what did you do for fun?
POST: Well, very few kids had cars. But when I was 16 I had a bicycle paper route. And I remember it was on the edge of downtown and on West 4th Street, 4th and "F", there was a Nash dealer, a Nash car dealer, and a they had a used car lot.
Well they sold some beat up touring cars. There was a 1924 Chevrolet touring car with disc wheels. I saw that and it was $25.00, so I kept working on my dad and working on my dad and then I got my driver's license at 16. So he was going to let me buy it. So a neighbor or mine, a friend of mine just below us on Arrowhead, he was going to Valley College. So quite often he would buy the gasoline and I would furnish the car when we'd go back and forth to Valley College. But if we didn't I would just go over one block to "D" Street where the streetcar ran.
It actually started up at Arrowhead Springs. Where they dish out the water now. It went up there to the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, and then actually the thing was put in for the water cars, Arrowhead Springs. Anyway, that line ran down Mountain View Avenue and then it ran across Highland Avenue and then it went down "D" Street and then it went across Third Street and then down to Second and then down Mount Vernon and then on to La Cadena into Colton.
And it stopped at the south end of Colton. So I think the fare was only like 5 or 10 cents then. And if you paid the minimum fare you could ride to Mill Street, which is a couple of blocks north of Valley College. If you wanted to ride all the way to Valley College you had to pay an extra fare; same as if you were going on to Colton. That's actually Colton area down there. So usually if we rode the streetcar we would get off at Mill Street and walk the last two blocks.
But anyway, a lot of our interest, and my cousin had a car too, was in cars. Of course they were always breaking down and you learned a lot. Actually it was a good car to own for the first one because it was always breaking down. We got parts for repair from car junkyards-all the labor was ours. [End of tape 1, side B]
[Tape 2, side A]
POST: ... that probably was, let's see second year. I guess I was 20 there in the spring.
Hanson: The back of this photo says its San Bernardino High track letter.
Turner: You never know, some of these are guesses from other family members, so. Do you think that was high school or Valley?
POST: No, that's Valley College. I never had, I had letters from high school, but not sweaters. I was on the varsity track team in high school, but nothing else.
Turner: I'm trying to keep away from the Flints here, because I don't want to go too far, but is that in this area? Or is that -- because it says Highland School. It says Clifford Flint and Hal Taylor.
POST: Oh, yes, okay.
POST: Oh yes, this is your mother's - your grandmother's side of the family. Highland.
Turner: So would that be the generation before you?
POST: Yes, it was about 1912, that's when I was born. Yes, right, uh huh. Yes Clifford Flint, Sr. fourth left back. He's a tall one there.
Turner: So this is my maternal grandmother's family.
POST: Helen Taylor Flint, second to the right back.
Turner: It just, it has a building and I thought maybe, not much to show.
POST: Yes, that's the generation before me. I don't know what, maybe you can help me on this. Do you consider a generation about 20 or 25 years?
Hanson: Usually 25 to 30 years.
POST: Oh 25 or 30. Of course within a family it depends on when they have children. I was 25 when I got married the first time. I was 55 the second time I got married.
Turner: Do you know much about the olive farms up on Sierra?
POST: A little bit yes.
Hanson: Tell me about those.
POST: Yes. My first wife, her name was Jean Flint when we married; and her grandparents, the Flints, they lived out - as you go up Sierra Way and start to make the curve and it feeds into Waterman, well in that curve area there's a big part in there which used to be an olive orchard. Her grandfather started out, he raised the olives, he cured the olives and he used the horse and wagon to deliver the olives. And everybody all over town knew him because he had the best tasting olives, ripe olives.
Hanson: Do you know how they were cured? Do you remember any of that?
POST: No. I know they use salt for one thing, but I don't really...But these are dark olives.
Hanson: Yes, the black ones.
POST: The black olives, yes. And then later he graduated to a - but this is a Model-T truck probably. He delivered with a horse and wagon first. But anyway that property later, in fact the house where they lived was taken over during the war by the federal government, Army Engineers. They used that for an office.
Then later the property was sold to a nursery. It was Hunt's Nursery. It used to be another location. I don't know what it is. I think there are homes in there now.
Hanson: Yes, I think so.
Turner: Is that, I think that might be on the same property...
POST: This is probably Peggy, my grandfather's favorite horse but she looks so skinny. This is your mother's printing. Fortieth, yes north of 40th -- that's where the olive orchard was, yes. I don't know who that is. That might be your great grandmother Flint. I forget what kind of trees those are.
Turner: Is it a willow?
Hanson: It looks kind of like a weeping willow.
POST: Yes, there are a lot of trees up there, yes.
Turner: They way it was photographed it's kind of...
Hanson: Well it looks very different today.
Turner: But there's still, there's Olive Apartments? There are still olive trees lining the street and those are all part of the farm up there. I thought that was interesting because I only learned about that a few years ago. Here we go. I'm looking for Arrowhead House, but this isn't on Arrowhead Avenue.
POST: This would be your mother's grandparents.
Turner: Is this on Arrowhead? I don't know that we have a picture of the Arrowhead house.
POST: There's a car like we drove out in.
Hanson: Touring car?
POST: Yes, with the wooden wheels. Oh my gosh, who wrote that? It might be my sister's writing.
Turner: Your sister's or your mom's writing. Tell her about the house that you lived in as a boy. Were you living with your mom?
POST: As a boy? Where? What town?
Turner: On Arrowhead in San Bernardino.
POST: When we first came to California we lived with my grandmother. In fact if you are on Arrowhead where the church is at 14th Street on the east side. Directly across the street is an old Victorian house. That was my grandmother's house. It's in good condition.
In fact one day I was driving down Arrowhead and I pulled over to the curb to look at it and this fella's out in the front yard. So he came over to the car and asked me what I wanted. I said well this used to be my grandmother's house. I told him a little bit about it, so he said, "would you like to see inside?" I said sure, so I went in and they had divided some of the rooms and turned it into a rental, room rentals. Upstairs we had three bedrooms and a sleeping porch and a bathroom. Downstairs we had one bedroom, a living room (which you could shut off), and a full dining room and a kitchen.
Turner: Tell her about what you and Howard did in the back yard.
POST: About the grinding wheel? Well my grandmother had a big grinding wheel, one you sat down at and you'd peddled it and the wheel was about this big in diameter. And about this thick you know, a big grindstone.
Well I think it was my idea, but anyway my cousin and I (he just lived a block away). Anyway I poured gasoline onto it; of course it soaked the gasoline. Then we lit it. And then we wound it up and the fire was just flying all around. So it's a wonder we didn't set something on fire.
Hanson: You're right, it is a wonder, including yourselves.
POST: Yes. Well, along that line, I almost did that too. When we were living on "F" Street, you could burn your trash in the backyard then. And I had a big oil drum, you know one of those big ones - this tall. On the bottom you would punch holes in it for air and for a draft. I used to dry clean our clothes. You could by cleaners naptha then, which you can't do anymore because it's dangerous. But anyway I would clean our clothes you know and not send it to the cleaners; you'd save quite a little that way. But anyway something I had I threw into the incinerator and there were still some embers in the bottom, and it had gasoline on it and it exploded and it came right up inside of the drum. I was looking at it like that and I burned my eyebrows off. But that's all.
Turner: And they never grew back.
POST: Just my eyebrows. I've done some crazy things. I'm still doing crazy things probably.
Hanson: Like what kind of crazy things are you still doing? I'm afraid to ask.
Turner: They'd have to lock you up if you told us.
Hanson: Go back to -- let's talk a little about World War II in San Bernardino.
Hanson: And since you weren't in the army or anything because of your job, tell me what happened in San Bernardino since you were there to see it.
POST: Well, quite a few fellas had come to work at the post office and they were single, or maybe married, but no kids or anything. And so on second round they were drafted. So their position was held, you know their seniority position.
And they might be gone one or two, three years, whatever. And I don't remember any of them dying that worked in the post office. So I don't really know how many were affected. I really don't know. But at that time the only post office they had was at 5th and "D" Street. That is a federal building by the way. All the other post offices are leased buildings. But it used to be upstairs, I don't think anymore, it might still be. But the upstairs used to have other federal offices.
We used to have an F.B.I. up there, the Department of Agriculture and Immigration. There were several others up the floor, yes.
Hanson: What kind of rationing did they have during the war?
POST: Oh they had rationing for sugar and gasoline.
POST: Oh yes, coffee. We didn't drink much coffee; it didn't affect us on that. I think what bothered us is the sugar, because I had three kids, and I have a sweet tooth.
Turner: About three or four years ago my husband and I purchased a house that was built in the mid 50's. And not long after we moved in the front sewer line collapsed. That was nice timing. And when they dug it up they described, it was almost like a tarred cardboard tube.
POST: And somebody said something about because of the war... and I'm thinking 1950's, why would, that didn't make any sense to me, but they said that they had been rationing metal or this is what they...But this is what they built, and they called it something orange.
Turner: So I was wondering if there were things that you remember that were being, different materials were being used because of the metal rationing.
POST: Well when the house that we bought on "F" Street was built, and my grandmother's house, they had the terracotta tile pipe and the thing is underneath the house you have to have cast iron until you get outside the house, then you can use something else. But I don't remember... they used aluminum wiring.
Turner: Instead of copper? You mean for electrical wiring?
POST: Oh yes. Copper was needed a lot for electrical uses, yes. They used aluminum, which was not good because you have a... Well we have an activity... I can't think of the word I want to use. When moisture's involved especially between copper and aluminum. And you could have a malfunction. That happened to us at Big Bear in the cabin. The power went off because of that.
Turner: It would short out?
POST: It was just pumped out. It just didn't come through.
Hanson: Do you remember anything about the prisoners of war that were in San Bernardino?
POST: I don't think we had any during the war. In fact, when I was working at the post office, that's when Norton Air Force Base started. It was called the Air Depot first. And I think it was just a building in the Orange Show to start with. And then later they went out to Norton, and of course first it was just called the Air Depot, and then it was named after Norton who was a pilot I guess; he was killed. A fella I went to school with, my gosh.
Hanson: Who's that?
POST: He looks old for his age. Oh these (shuffling through pictures). Those guys were around 17 or 18. Of course, in fact I have - oh they're right here I guess... are these my Tyros?
POST: Yes, okay yes. Oh that wasn't mine. That was my wife's. She graduated in '32 I guess; no she graduated in '35. Oh I know, my second wife graduated in '32. We'll get it here in a minute.
Hanson: This is 1930.
POST: That's when I graduated.
Hanson: This is 1929.
POST: Yes, in '27-28 I was a sophomore. '28-29 I was a junior. '29-30 I was a senior.
Hanson: Oh this is beautiful. Look at the artwork in here. They don't do annuals like this anymore.
POST: Probably not. I haven't seen any recent annuals. This must be a teacher who died probably. Riesel. I think that's the way she pronounced it. There is the old buildings.
Hanson: The old San Bernardino High.
POST: Well they had to... I have a fair vocabulary, but about half of it I can't reach. [Laughing]
Anyway, the earthquake we had years ago, why they had to...
POST: No, they didn't retrofit, they tore it down. But anyway we couldn't' use it for a long time, the auditorium, which is right on the back of the campus. Some of our classes we held at the church across the street, Calvary Baptist Church on 19th Street. They had some classes there, mostly study, I guess...
Turner: I don't know if that's still there.
POST: Yes, it was. And then of course the Baptist Church built a new one up on Sierra Way about 37th I think, Thompson Place. They're working on it now. That's the only place I ever wore a tuxedo. I wore one when Susan got married the first time.
Hanson: So you had a dean of girls in high school?
POST: Yes. We had one at Valley College too.
Hanson: Oh, I haven't heard of that before. Was she like a counselor for the girls?
POST: Yes, she was a counselor, right, uh huh. She was more of a counselor, yes. And the Assistant Superintendent or Assistant Principal.
Hanson: Yes, Vice Principal.
POST: He and the principal; this is the principal. Momeyer. His son worked with me in the post office. I don't know whether you ever knew of Alan Post, A. Alan Post in the state government.
POST: He's been retired quite a few years. He was the legislative analyst for years. He was up there when Reagan was there and even before that.
Turner: I think that was his first cousin.
POST: Yes. This is all the teachers. You know the teacher I remember the most was my mechanical drawing teacher.
Hanson: Who was that? What was the name?
POST: It was... did it start with a "K". Isn't that funny I can't remember his name. I can see what he looks like. What's that say?
Hanson: This is Smothers.
POST: Smothers, yes. Anyway, he was a counselor. And of course then our mechanical drawing class was all boys. So half the time we were on something else rather than mechanical drawing. And he was a real, real good counselor you know. You know, common sense. He was very good. I remember him the most.
Turner: Grandpa, was Ralph Blosser...
POST: B-l-o-s-s-e-r, Blosser.
Turner: Was that Lulu's brother?
POST: Whose brother?
POST: Well yes, her maiden name was Blosser.
Turner: Is Ralph her brother?
POST: Yes, Ralph's her brother. He was the youngest, and the one above that was Grover and the one above that was Will.
Turner: Was he in the Navy?
POST: Ralph was in the Navy, yes. He belonged to the Shriners.
Turner: It's not really San Bernardino history, so I don't know if, but I'm finding pictures of him in uniform. He would still be back in Iowa, right? He stayed in Iowa?
Hanson: So who were your friends in here?
POST: My closest friend was a black kid.
Hanson: Who was that? What's his name?
POST: Oh, let's see now. I think we sat together, you know next to each other. But he was my closest friend, yes. I didn't have very many friends. And of course a lot of the kids would buy food at the cafeteria. Of course it was depression days so I always took a lunch. It would be like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And then a banana or an apple or an orange and maybe some cookies or a piece of cake, something like that. That was my lunch.
Hanson: Oh, that sounds like a good lunch actually.
POST: And we never did have, when my kids were growing up too, we never had soft drinks in the house. Because of their teeth.
Hanson: Now were you in any of these clubs that they had? I know you said you were in track.
POST: Not very many. I was really a shy kid. Well I still am shy 'til I get started. I don't know if you think I'm shy or not, but I am.
This [picture] is on the north side of Big Bear. This family owned the cabin and we were up there one time with them. Stickney, that was aunt Edna's brother, Edwin Stickney. That's his son. Oh, one time, which I thought was interesting. We lived in Tucson, Arizona, I think it was during World War I, and we were going for a ride one day out in the desert and we had the people next door in the duplex to us with us. Anyway we had that big Cole eight touring car, which was a heavy car.
And my dad ran over a big rattlesnake and the rattlesnake just kept on going. So my dad stopped the car and that tall guy there, that young fellow, Stickney, anyway, he got out and went after the thing and he stoned it death, killed it. He was going to the University of Arizona so he took it back to school with him and cut off it's head and took off it's hide and cured it or whatever they did. Anyway, he had it on the swinging door between the kitchen and the dining room, and it covered from the top to bottom and had about this many rattlers, which had been taken off. It was a big thing. It must have been this wide spread you know. But this heavy car ran over it; he ran over it with two wheels and it just kept right on going.
Turner: When did you live in Arizona?
POST: In about 1918.
Turner: I didn't know that.
POST: Yes, we moved there for a short period. My uncle started a land project outside of Tucson, and they built a dam there for the land project for water. But the thing didn't go over. But he had Indians that lived there. They were the Yacqi Indians. I think it's spelled Y-a-c-q or something. Anyway, we lived there for a couple of years. Then we came back to Iowa and then came out to California.
Hanson: You were on the track team '29, varsity track '30, and football'28-29.
POST: Well that was a junior varsity.
Hanson: Right. What's block "S" it says?
POST: Well if you had a letter, if you earned a letter...That's the block "S" society.
POST: Did you ever hear of a Gandy dancer?
Hanson: No, tell me what that is.
POST: Well this is kind of like one [showing photograph]. They used to have the Gandy... this was used to, when they patrolled the railroads, to check on the tracks. Or they use them for big wigs to go for rides. So one of these is probably, oh, oh Leonard and Shirley, well; that's Marjorie's dad. Oh, he's in the middle back there. He was chief dispatcher for the Santa Fe Railroad.
And in those days there were two chief dispatchers; a day one and a night one, and each one of them worked 12 hours and 7 days a week. The only days they had off were if they were sick or during their vacation period. Well a Gandy dancer, these fellas went out and rode the rails to check on repairs on them.
They could go either direction and in the middle (the car's smaller than that). The middle of the platform was the support and then this, like a teeter-totter.
Hanson: Oh, where the pump each side.
POST: Yes. You could work one on each side or just one could run it. So anyway when you work that up and down it propelled the wheels. So that's a Gandy dancer.
Hanson: Oh okay. I never knew... I've seen those, but I didn't know what they were called.
POST: A Gandy dancer. That's something I remember. I remember the name. I'm better on some of these further back things than I am more recent.
[Beginning of tape 2, side B]
POST: There was a train between Los Angeles and I think it was Needles. And all they had was a big board and some lines, you know which represented the rails. But anyway they were responsible for the operation you know, and of course if there was a wreck they had to get right on it to get the train stopped and get the repairs out to them.
Turner: And didn't you talk about... did you ever put one of your cars up on the rails?
POST: No, that was your grandmother, Jean.
Hanson: She put a car on the track?
POST: Well this is what happened. She took me to work in the service station. We had a 32 Ford Coupe, and she was going back east to town on Rialto Avenue. You get down there between "E" and "F" Street and then the tracks go north in the middle of the blocks between "E" and "F" on the south side... Sears was there later, but there was a Pacific Electric Depot. And Pacific Electric was a subsidiary of Southern Pacific Railroad.
And they ran the big red cars in Los Angeles and ran them out to San Bernardino and ran them out of Rialto Avenue; and down that area they ran them up and down Fair Oaks Avenue from Pasadena and they ran them in from the east on Huntington Drive. They should have kept them on the tracks. But anyway, so she was coming along there and I don't know whether she turned a little... anyway on the street itself, the rails were just flush with the blacktop and when she turned (I don't know how, I guess something caught her wheel), anyway, she wound up she was headed north towards the depot and of course then the rails were above ground and stood up about this high. She got inside of one and outside of the other and she couldn't get out.
So she called me at the service station. I think I borrowed Jim Sullivan's car (the fellow who owned the service station). I went down there and a couple of other guys were around and we managed to lift the car up and get it out of the rails. So, it wasn't actually on the rails, but I say it was, yes.
Turner: That's one of the stories I'm mixing then. Because when I see that photo he had explained to me about how the old model cars had the same axle width and could ride, so I'm mixing stories there.
POST: Yes, that's quite a picture. See how upright he's sitting?
POST: He was always... in fact, on his days off, or not on his days off, he didn't have days off, but he was working nights from midnight to ah... no he was working from six to six. Yes, six at night until six in the morning. So he'd come home and sleep then in the afternoon sometime he'd get up. Well when he got up he would dress for work. So he always wore a suit and tie. So he'd go around the neighborhood and visit the neighbors. Then he'd come over and see us; we were just a block away on Arrowhead Avenue. He was on 14th and "D". Yes, but he was always so meticulous. Well my dad was too. In fact my dad was one, he hated to eat in restaurants. If he'd go to the restaurant he'd check the silverware and if it wasn't right we'd walk out.
Turner: That was papa?
POST: Uh huh.
Turner: If they were dirty or if they were...
POST: Yes, if they were dirty. And also, within the family, we never drank out of each other's glasses. Never. And if a hair got into some food, that was it, and so he was fussy.
Hanson: Yes I see that.
Turner: Is that the Olds?
POST: No, it looks like a Chevrolet from here. That was my dad's Chevrolet. Later we bought it. That's a '64 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. Those are worth a lot of money now and we sold that for $900. Yes, that's a '64 Impala. In fact, after my dad died my mother wasn't driving. She sold it to me and then we bought a new Oldsmobile and so then we sold it. Oh, I still have my first new car. It's in the garage.
Hanson: You do?
POST: Up 'til that time I always had to buy a used car. Anyway I bought a '67 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442; that's a muscle car.
Hanson: Yes it is.
POST: I still have it. It's got 93,000 miles on it.
Turner: He took me out driving, and I don't remember if I talked you into it, or if you talked me into it.
POST: I don't know. Right now the battery's dead, but I do have a battery charger. I need to charge it and drive it.
POST: Of course I should drive it during the summer when the weather's nice. Because that much power in the winter is no good at all unless you have chains on.
Turner: It's a beast to drive up here. You're coming around corners and you're always going into the opposite lane.
POST: It has power steering though and power brakes. In fact I paid extra for some power steering and I paid extra for disc brakes in front. I paid extra for a four-barrel carburetor. Extra for heavy-duty suspension. It has roll bars front and back and all the extras you could buy I bought.
Hanson: Yes. My husband had a '68 Camaro Super Sport.
POST: Oh, oh, well sure that's about the same thing.
Hanson: Yes. They were always drag racing those cars. You know when they were kids they'd go out and whose car was better? The Mustang or the Chevy.
POST: We used to race ours out at Kendall Drive. Nothing was out there then. There weren't any houses or anything out there. It was just a road to get to Cajon Pass.
Hanson: So that's where the kids raced?
POST: Yes, we used to race out there, yes. But I only drove at 100 miles an hour and then I backed off.
Hanson: Only 100 miles an hour?
POST: Well the way I used to check to see if it was running okay, we would take it down the hill, there's a long straight stretch near the bottom when you're going east. Well when I'd turn that corner I'd floorboard it, and if I was going 80 when I got to the top it was running fine. Yes, it would get up to 80 going back up to Lake Arrowhead.
Turner: Who was riding in the car with you?
POST: Oh it might have been Marjorie -- probably Marjorie and me. My wife and I.
Turner: That was his chance to see what it could do.
Hanson: Uh huh.
POST: Yes, when it was running all right and wasn't missing.
Turner: We're just teasing you.
POST: The only thing that gave me trouble on the automobile was the, nut that held the steering wheel.
Hanson: That's a pretty important nut if you ask me. [Laughing]. Oh! See that one went right over my head.
POST: Well it's kind of complicated.
Turner: He throws in fun all the time.
POST: That's where my folks lived, in Lancaster. That's about a '48 Chevrolet I think.
Turner: Some of the photos I'm looking for may still be out in the car.
Hanson: Who's that?
POST: Oh [laughs]. That's one of the brothers. There were three brothers and they were all over six feet tall - the Warren Brothers. They lived down the street from me. The oldest one went to school with me at Valley College. This is one of his younger brother's. I think the youngest one was 6'6" and another one was 6'3" or 6'4" and the other one was about 6'1" that was Orville.
In fact this first Chevrolet I had, this old '24 Chevrolet, I took the fenders off and took the backseat off and put the front seat on the floor. Oh, and put the hinges on the front on the winch so I could pull it forward. But anyway, when Harley, he was the tallest one; he would drive the car; he was so tall his knees would be right up by his eyes [laughing]. And he had to put his right leg on the other side of the gearshift lever. Here his legs was like this. Isn't it funny how you remember some things and some things you should remember you forget?
Hanson: Well, some things make impressions.
Turner: Is this San Bernardino?
POST: Oh yes, that's San Bernardino. That's one of my cars. I forget the model though; thirtysomething, I think that's my '37. I had a '24, a '30 roadster.
Turner: I'm trying to tell if I recognize that street or not, because it looks like a commercial building or an apartment building right there on the side.
POST: I can't tell where I'm bent over here.
Turner: Is that you?
POST: Yes, that's me. Uh huh. I'm pretty sure; it looks like my hair. Or it might be, at that angle it might be Ruddy, my cousin. I think that's a dog there. A collie?
Turner: Yes, looks like a collie.
POST: They had a collie, yes. May I go back to the West Coast theater days?
Hanson: Yes, please.
POST: Okay. One New Year's Eve my wife-to-be was working and I had a '30 Chevrolet Roadster. And the fella I had bought it from, he had a regular pipe going back this way. Well, he made that into a straight pipe. Do you know what a straight pipe is?
POST: The muffler. Then there was a valve right here. And then a piece went across... the exhaust pipe crossed by the transmission to the other side and went back. So coming out the back were two chrome pipes the same size.
But anyway there was a lever on the dashboard. You could pull that out and open the valve. It opened it to the straight pipe and shut it off to the muffler, so it was really noisy. Well anyway, so I went down at midnight, she got off right at midnight. I picked her up at 5th and "E" Street heading south. She got in the car and we went on down to Third Street two blocks and what I found out, if you had the straight pipe open and keep your foot on the throttle, but have it in neutral and to turn the ignition off and on, it wasn't hooked up with the steering in those days, it's just this electrical switch you know. So you just turn the switch back and forth and every time you turn the ignition on it would backfire. Then all the accumulated gas would explode in this long pipe and make one heck of a noise. Anyway we went two blocks and we got stopped by a motorcycle cop. We used to have a lot of motorcycle cops in San Bernardino. I think they've taken most of them off because it's dangerous for them I guess.
Hanson: There are a few, but probably not as many as there used to be.
POST: Oh, yes, but you don't see very many of them yes. Anyway, so City Hall is just to the east on Third Street near "D" Street, so he had us drive down there and we went in to the judge on duty, I guess because it was New Year's Eve. So I had a feeling he was going to call our parents you know, and have them come down and pick us up. Well he didn't, but he did suspend my license for two weeks. But we never told her folks and mine never knew either. Of course, we told our folks later on, not immediately.
Turner: Tell her about your job selling merchandise for the drug store.
POST: Oh I delivered. I was a clerk. I was a flunky. This was after I bought my old Chevrolet. This was 1929 during the summer. I worked for the Central Drug Store when it was on the northeast corner of 4th and "E" Street. Mallory Brothers had it. It was a man and two sons. Then they had the one at 5th and "E" next to the theater. But anyway, so I was hired mostly to stock shelves and when the Coke ran out I would go down to the basement and hook up a big container of Coke syrup. Because the cherry cokes were really popular then.
And then I would go and make deliveries. Because they made a lot of deliveries to people then. Of course they had a lot of older people I guess, especially prescriptions. This one time I had to make this delivery and I had to go down to South "D" Street, which was the red light district. Have you heard of it?
POST: Between 2nd and Rialto Avenue. Anyway, I would say I was 16 then.
Turner: I'd forgotten how young you were.
POST: I wasn't 17 'til November. Anyway, so I went down and I went in this big two-story house you know and the living room was fancily decorated you know. Anyway so I went in and sat down, so several of the gals came out to look over... because I took samples you know. This was sets like you put on a dresser you know; a mirror, and comb and all that jazz you know, which used to be real popular. So I had to lay out what I had you know while they made a decision. They all had accounts at the drug store. Anyway I was really embarrassed you know. And they kept winking at me and smiling at me you know. Oh I'll remember that I guess.
Turner: And he still didn't have a girlfriend until he...
POST: No, I didn't have a girlfriend until I was 18 or 19.
Hanson: Mr. Powers was telling me that he used to deliver laundry down there.
POST: Oh yes, yes, he had a laundry route. I remember, yes.
Hanson: He and George Webster.
POST: Oh yes, well George Webster had his store at Marshall and "E" Street on the northwest corner, and they had one of our contract stations with the post office. So I know Mr. Webster quite well, because once a month I'd go in and check that account. Right. Powers lived in the neighborhood I lived in, when I lived at Ralston and Sonora, which is sort of behind the old Stater's building. It's a nice neighborhood down there. Mostly nice homes and nice apartment buildings. That's where we lived when we got married. No, I knew Ray and I knew Webster very well.
Turner: Now we have family, Marjorie Post.
POST: My aunt? She was my father's youngest sister.
Turner. And where is her home?
POST: Their house is on 20th Street just east of "E" Street. On the north side there are some old big two-story houses. Hers is I think the third house. She is now dead, but she gave her home to her grandson who is quite a talented opera singer. He's had training in Germany and he's busy all the time I guess. But anyway, she taught, she went to Pomona College. In fact she and her mother, they moved out here after my grandfather died in the accident. And then she taught at Sturges Junior High, which is 8th and "E".
Turner: And mom says her house, it's two story right?
POST: Yes two, uh huh.
Turner: It has an organ, a pipe organ built into it, a beautiful one.
POST: Oh yes. Her son, yes, her son installed it.
Turner: And they used the elevation. So I don't recall ever being in the house, but so it's open.
POST: It's off the living room. In the next room there's I guess it would be the dining room is where it is, before going into the kitchen. But my Aunt Marjorie, she was the organist for the Congregational Church. I think that's the one up on Sierra Way near the 3100 block on the right side. She was the organist there for years.
Turner: And then your wife, Marjorie.
POST: Oh yes, my wife was quite a pianist 'til she developed arthritis. But her mother was a concert pianist, and before she got married, about 1900 I guess it was, she toured this country with first violinist for the King of Prussia. His name was Hans Albert, the violinist. So she played single pieces herself and then she accompanied him. The piano she had at that time, her own piano, she would practice as much as six hours or more a day. She wore the action out. She actually wore the action out and they had to junk the thing. So then her husband, I guess after they got married, he bought her the piano, which I now have, which is a Mason and Hamlin, which is a really good brand. It's a parlor grand, which is a little bit bigger than a baby grand.
Turner: It sits in the far room if you'd like to see it.
POST: It needs tuning now, but anyway, my wife was quite a good piano player. But anyway underneath the window seat in the other end of the living room are stacks of old classical music. Most of it's worn out from folding back and forth you know.
Turners: Back to cars; he likes cars.
POST: Oh yes, there's my '30 roadster. That's the one that had the straight pipe. You can't see the back. In the back I had two spares with chrome covers on them. These were real wire wheels. Then those are just a chrome ring that snapped on.
That's Jean; that's my first wife. You can't see what she looks like at all. I think that's a '37 Chevrolet. I don't know what year it was, maybe it tells on the back. This was a '34. I had a bunch of Chevrolets. Here's a '34 sedan.
Hanson: What building is this behind it? Do you know?
POST: Let me look a little closer. It looks like an apartment building doesn't it? Yes, there's tile there. That could have been taken, we were going together before we got married and she was living with her brother just outside of Los Angeles... Huntington Park was it? Anyway down in that vicinity yes. It could have been taken beside the building where she lived.
Hanson: Those are great pictures.
Turner: Look at this picture [laughing]. That's somebody you haven't talked about yet - your boys.
POST: Oh yes, that's the twins. Oh golly, that's Bill and that's David. David's the one who died. Bill is now 57.
Hanson: Oh, and they're dressed for Easter in their little Easter Bunny ears.
Turner: Here's a couple more pictures.
POST: They were born in '45, '46 I guess.
Turner: Three children. My mother, who was three years older than they?
POST: Yes, three years almost exactly three. There's your mother.
Turner: And they were fraternal twins.
POST: Here are the kids again. I don't know where that... that wasn't Rialto.
Turner: That's Redwoods. The camping trips, ah yes. We have at least two camping trip stories.
POST: Oh yes, yes, we had some good camping trips.
Turner: Would you like to hear the camping story?
Hanson: Sure, I'd love to hear those camping stories.
POST: One we went up the coast. We were on the Inland route that went across Oregon and into Washington and we went up to Seattle. We went I think it was near Seattle and then Jean's younger brother was working on a project on a dam out of town and we went out there to see him.
One time we, the thing is I would take my two weeks vacation from the post office; the longer you worked the more you got you know. So I think I got a total of six weeks a year. In fact, this is a little bit of a side, but I saved my sick leave, and when I retired I had almost 2,700 sick leave.
In those days a work year was 2,080 hours, and I had about a year and a third. Well, they didn't pay you for them, but they added it to your work time, so I wound up with a factor of 66% times the average of my top three. And of course, oh yes, I might have mentioned this earlier, the little bit I get for social security. But on my federal I get cost of living on that every time it comes around. So this one now coming up is 1-1/14%? I'll get $51.00, and that ain't bad. I feel kind of guilty taking it you know. But it's helping us to keep up with the cost of living.
So what we usually tried to do was cover as much space as we could you know, which we shouldn't have done you know. We should have just... one time we changed our camping spot every day and moved on. We were constantly putting up a tent or taking it down you know. And I had made a carrier for the top of the car; I made it out of a piece of plywood 4 x 4 and then put sides on it about this high, six inches high, and mounted it on the car upside down and I had brackets I made and I fastened the hooks to the top of the car and I had straps you know. Then when we would camp we would take it off and turn it over and then in each corner underneath I just screwed in a pipe and made a table. So we had a 4 x 4 table, which is about the size of this; I think this is 4 feet. So I had a big table for whatever, eating or whatever. But the one time we started out, we were going up the coast. We went to Santa Barbara and there was a state campground just north of Santa Barbara on the coast, so we went there to camp that night and we pulled in and it was dark, kind of late. There was an old building at the front with a light on where the caretaker should be, but he wasn't there. So we just drove on in and we kept looking for a place to park. Well, they were all taken, so we went clear on down to the edge of the ocean. We walked down there in the sand and got out our sleeping bags. Anyway, so we were all asleep and a flashlight is shining in my eyes and this state ranger woke me up. He said, "Mr. Post." He knew who I was because in those days you had to show your registration of your car so it could be seen through the window. So he knew who I was. He said, "I'm sorry you can't stay here." I said, "I have three kids, we're not in anybody's way." He said, "Well I can't let you stay." He said just up the road a little ways there's a nice place you can pull over on the beach and stay the night. So we went up and we found it. I think it was called Refugio Beach Refuge. Anyway so we pulled down there and unloaded and everybody laid down, we were on blankets and first thing we know we had ants on us. We were right alongside the Southern Pacific tracks where the trains went by and there were these high Eucalyptus trees, and the ants were dropping out of the trees right on us.
Biting us. So we had to get back up again and move on. Oh God, that was a horrible night. I don't know whether that was the same time or not, but...
There was one time, and your mother had just gotten her driver's license, she was 16. We had a '57 Chevrolet station wagon and one night we all slept except she didn't. She drove our car just about all the way across Oregon I guess. Everybody was asleep but her.
One time while I was driving, the kids got in a pillow fight with their bed pillows. At least one of them split open and there were white feathers all inside the station wagon. Oh my gosh! How come I had so many... if you live long enough you have a lot of experiences.
Oh, this one time we camped at Stinson Beach, which is just north of San Francisco on the coast. It's a nice place to camp. It's not really a good place to swim because it's cold and rough up there. We camped there, and I think we were going to be there maybe a week. We kept gathering driftwood and wood to burn in the fire, which you could have a fire you know. Well the people we had been next to, they moved on. Here they left this nice big piece of wood. It turned out it was a railroad tie, pieces of one. So we grabbed onto that you know, hey! We started burning that. Well it was nothing but creosote. That's why it was still there. All this smoke engulfed us you know.
Turner: I'm thinking about a big piece of wood that grandma Jean decided she wanted to take home. She stuck it in the back of the car and the kids had to sit on it all the way home.
POST: Oh I don't remember that.
Turner: You don't remember that? I hadn't heard about the firewood.
POST: Have you heard of Myrtle Wood?
Hanson: Myrtle Wood? I haven't heard of it, no.
POST: The only place that you can get it in this country is Oregon and it's protected, it's endangered. But anyway, my son got a hold of this piece of myrtle wood and he carved this cane for my dad. See the snake?
Hanson: Oh yes, that's beautiful.
POST: With little notches for your fingers. This was when my dad was still alive. My dad never did use it. My dad developed Parkinson's. Anyway, so when I went to see my doctor recently, he's always happy to see me because he thinks I'm in good health for my age (of course I think I am too). Anyway, oh yes, when I saw him last time I said, "I'm not as steady as I used to be. If I walk fast I'm more steady. If I walk slow I'm kind of unsteady." He said, "Well we can get you a cane or a walker." I said, "Well I have a cane, I'm not ready for a walker."