Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mom and Dad when courting

These are pictures of Mom and Dad in 1924 when they were courting. The women on the left is my Gma Ruddock, and Mom and Dad Stingall on the right. They looked like they were having fun and enjoying each other. I love the old car too. It is fun to see pictures of them when they were young lovers. Often wonder how it was when they were getting together.
The pictures aren't very good but I have to remember that was a long time ago.

Dad's Dad and Mom

This is one of two pictures I have of my Dad's mom, but have several of his Dad. I never knew her, but she looks like a real homey type person that would have a big heart and would have bread and cookies baking for any who came to visit.
I did get to know him to a point. He believed kids should be seen and not heard, so never really talked to him in depth. He passed away when I was in my later teens.

Mom's Dad and Mom

Here is a picture of my mom's mum and papa. He was a Dr. and she was a seamstress. She was a rather stern looking women. She did have a very tiny waist that any of us girls would die for. I saw a vest that my mom had saved of hers, and it looked like a very little girls, but she was a little bitty women.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Working during WW11 in the summers

The first real job I remember doing was picking cucumbers in the field when I was 12, and between putting my fingers through rotten ones and sitting on them so they would squished all over me, I couldn't eat a cuccumber for 50 years because of it. The smell would to get me.
I also did baby sitting jobs also at 10 cents an hour, but not sure how old I was when I started. The thing I rememer most about them is trying to stay awake until the parents got home which was really hard. One lady decided that 10 cents an hour was to much and went around to all the other parents trying to get it down to 5 cents. I didn't just do babysitting as I would do the dishes and little things that needed to be done, so I was pretty pissed to say the least. Thank goodness she didn't get the rest to agree to the 5 cents, so it work out fine. Can you imagine 10 cents an hour now? Pretty pathetic.
The boys, Bob and Dick, had paper routes that they ran everyday, so they had a way to make money. I remember helping Bob collect on his a few time, but don't know if I ever helped Dick. It was a job I really didn't care for.
Other jobs were cutting cots, picking prunes and then I was old enough to work in the cannery, Barron and Gray. I think that I was about 13 as they lowered the age limit to get enough workers so they could get the fruit canned. Most of the time I worked on the pear machine, which wasn't bad. It was a lot better than working on a belt picking out the bad stuff that came down. I, for some reason, disliked the grape belt the most. I know I worked 3 summers there, and once I went over to Dole for a short time. When a gal cut off her finger tips on to the the fruit cocktail belt that did it for me as couln't eat fruit cocktail for quite awhile. I was still working in the cannery when the war ended, but the next years were not as easy to get on as the guys started coming home from the war. The jobs for kids and women dwindled after that.
My next job was a full time one working for the phone company as a long distance Operator and that lasted around 4 years. I disliked the broken shifts though, and getting off late at night. Sorry to say but I took off quite a bit because of it.
About that time I decided i wanted to go back to school, so went to see about getting my GED and then about entering San Jose State's junior college. I ran out of money after the 2 semester, and quit thinking as soon as I made the money to continue I would go back. I didn't go back to the phone company as found a job at Gousha's Map company, and i really liked that job. Being a cartogapher was more to my liking and it was day hours. I never did go back to college as I met my hubby to be about the same time I started working again. In the mean time I went over to the college and they up graded my status to 4 year college because my grades were so good the two semesters that I went.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Family Picture.

Here is a family picture that Dad took of us when I was in my later teens. He was into taking pictures and developing them himself, as he, I am sure, enjoyed learning all about photography. He was a man of many talents, and if he wanted to know something he went about teaching himself. This one is of himself, mom, me, Bob, Dick and Mlee. He dabbled in photography for quite a few years. I remember when we went to the San Francisco World Fair he took a lot of slides, but I don't remember a lot except it was a huge place and I was only 9, almost 10. If i remember right Gpa and gma Stringall went along also. Dad and Mom also went to the ice Follies several times and of course Dad took a lot of slides. They were beautiful, and often wondered what happen with the all the slides he took. Dad even got into tinting some pictures himself and that interested me too.

The Hadacal special

Here is a picture of my brother Bob's first car and he called it the Hadacal special. Hadacal was a laxitive at that time, and guess he thought that a cool name for his first car. He had it all torn apart tin the pic, he but got it back together OK , as I remember. Then he talked me into driving it. No license or anything. I did OK until I pulled back into the driveway again, and didn't get it staighten out, so I took out one of my Mom's favorite bushes. I was needless to say in the dog house big time. That was the first stick I tried to drive. Eventually I did learn to drive a stick, but I was about 52 years old.


When we were free in the summer there were lots of things that we liked to do. One thing there was a walnut orchard across the street and the owner would plow it and make irragation ditches so he could water his trees. Being we had to find our own fun we would go play in the ditches when he had the water running into them. It was great fun and we were a muddy mess, so I am sure Mom wasn't to happy if we tried to come into the house like that, but it was really fun and cooling. She probably made us hose off before we could go in. We always could play in the sprinkler but the irragation ditches were the best.
Another thing we liked to do was play hide and seek especailly when it was getting dusk. Somehow we managed to find things to keep us entertained. Tag was another game we liked.

Dad built a big BBQ pit in the back yard so we had a lot of dinners out there. Another thing I loved was when we got to go out and eat our breakfast outside. It always seemed to taste better out there. Dad had built a big table with lattace work over the top so we were partially screened from the sun until Mom had a trumpet vine that shade the the table.

When I got a little older we started going to the Russian River for a week or two in the summers, and we stayed in a little cabin. Dad took us up and came back to get us when it was time to leave. I got to take a friend once that I remember and we would spend the days eyeing the boys and getting a tan. I couldn't swim but like to try to do the back stroke if I was in swallow water. I am surprised my mom let me wear that swim suit as it laced up the side and showed skin, but it was one I had made. It took me until I was about 60 years old before I finally got where I could get into the deep water and swim. I am not a good swimmer but at least the deep water didn't freak me anymore and I felt really good about that.

I met my first real boy friend one summer there at the river, and he was a really nice guy, but when he came down to visit me one time wearing a zoot suit, I couldn't handle that, and he went home wondering what happened.LOL He had the big hat, long chain and the coat was long too, with tappard pants. Poor guy, as he thought he looked really cool to come see his girl, but his girl didn't think so. There is a pic of him with me. I do still remember his first name though which was Bill.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The first years we did the usual trick or treating, but as we got older we kids started giving parties and we worked our butts off getting things ready. We had a long hall in our house with doors leading to the different rooms so it was perfect to have something scarey behind each door. To start with we would have scarey music, thanks to Dad, and when someone came to the door we would have a ghostly figure with a rubber glove on that was filled with mush and very cold to give them a hand into the house. Of course the house was pretty dark which was creepy enough to start with. Then the long walk down the hall took place after everyone was there. We took one person at a time, so we could get the right affect. One area had a fortune teller and think we recruited mom for that. Then behind another door was a witch who was stirring a big cauldron. we tried to make everything as spooky as possible with very low lights etc. She was my step grandmother and kind of a nasty lady anyway so playing the witch was perfect for her. Another door was a paper macha head cut off at the neck that we painted with blood looking areas, and had water dripping into a pan so you assumed it was blood dripping from the wound. There was also a room with a sheet covered body that would rise and scare the wits out of a person. Along the hall we had rigged up a sheet to pull across the person as they walked through. Another door led to a skeleton who was in the shower, and that was fine until one year a wize guy turned on the shower. Then there was a cupboard that had shelves and in there we put the innards which were pealed grapes, spaghetti and other gruesome things for them to feel. The parties were the talk of the neighborhood and everyone but one person came. To scarey for that little one. As we got older the parties moved to the family down the street, but they were not the same. That or it was because we weren't giving them.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Our Mom in the kitchen

When I think of my Mom I think of her in the kitchen even though she did other things too, but she spent a lot of her time in her kitchen. She was a good baker and we had decent but fairly plain meals. She made a lot of baking goods and think that is why I am a such a sweet aholic. During the 2nd world war I think it was a big challenge for her since so much was rationed, but we never went without eating, and sometime I would have liked something else. I think the one dish I could have done without was spanish rice, as there wasn't much to it except rice and tomao sauce. We always had rolls with it that I did like with honey on them. There was probably a veggie with it but can't remember. Meat was rationed so had to make do in a big family with stretching things, so we could have a special meal from time to time.
She was of the generation that if she had company she made all the meals for them, not like me letting my guest get their own quite often for breakfast and lunch. Times were different then, or I am just plain lazy.
Our meals were always sit down at the table meals also when we were growing up. She also got my dad his snack when he came home from the second job or playing music, so you can see she did spend a bit of time in the kitchen.
As we got old enough she escaped the clean up, which was left to us girls. For some reason I don't remember the boys having to do scullery duty. That was before womens lib. LOL
During the war we had a fairly large veggie garden in the lot behind us. I thought that was really neat, and mom tended that along with us doing the weeding. She had planted golden bantom corn and that was soooooo good among other things, but that is tops in my memory.
Dad and mom had a couple of what they called block parties, and the ones who came gave her ration stamps, so she could get enough of what ever food was needed for everyone. They were fun and Dad would play music so people could dance in the driveway. There were held outside in the yard. At one of those was my first experience of having ice coffee which was terrible compared to what you can get now. It was just plain old weak coffee with ice cubes.
Those block prties were fun even for us kids.
One summer Mom took off from making the meals and I had to do it. Guess it was partly to teach me to cook, and as you can imagine I was sick of it by the time she took back the cooking.

The Music Man

This was my Dad, the man who was always playing some sort of music whether it was an instrument, or records. At one time he had ten thousand records, and then sold a bunch of them and ended up with a thousand LP's. Here is a picture of him and his drums, but that isn't the only thing he tried his hand at playing. One time a horn, another an accordion, and one time he even brought home an organ. He loved music and the Big Bands were his favorite. Now when I met my husband to be there was a little difference of opinion, as my intended like western music and Dad said that wasn't even music. Sorry Dad, I love western music, but like other music also. Dad always had his hand in some kind of music, even though that wasn't his profession. He use to service the coin boxes in dinners etc, and then he started playing music for singles several nights a week. He did this as long as he could and then had to hand it over to someone else.
I don't know when he started wearing the top hat when he played but guess it was sort of his signature.

Christmas at the Stringall's

Christmas was a wonderful time around our house even though we were far from rich. Dad would set a big amplifier out on the front porch and play xmas music for the whole neighborhood, for about a week before xmas, and as far as I remember there was only one person who complained, and they lived clear around the corner from us. I really enjoyed the happy experience of the music during the day and evenings, and I went around humming and singing even though it was slightly off key. There was of course always a tree and I suspect we kids trimmed it, and we had the neatest little bird ornaments on it that I think my sis has now.
In school I was in the choir and we would form a group and go from neighborhood to neighborhood and sing xmas carols for the families in there homes at night. Everyone would give us a hand for our efforts, and that made us feel pretty darn good. We also went through the halls at school singing carols when it was choir class time.
Mom always baked goodies and made candy for days before, and as I got old enough I got right in to the middle of it, so it helped mom and I got to lick the bowls too of course. Plus learning how to bake etc..
We learned to make a lot of our gifts and getting them wrapped up really pretty was a challenge sometimes, as being times were leaner we always save the paper and ribbon from year to year, and had to use that. That carried over into my family later, but have finally given that up, as bags are much easier, and of course I save them to use later after they have been opened.LOL
Dad would see that the outside of the house was decorated also. One year he wanted me to draw a santa and sleigh so he could cut it out of wood and then we would paint it, but it was to big of a task, and I didn't get it done. Xmas was a big deal to me.The first xmas I found out there was no santa was devastating to me, but managed to go on and have even more fun. Xmas morning mom alwas made the best carmel topped rolls for breakfast, which makes my mouth water to think of them now. After we opened our gifts which took a little time as we always watched everyone open their gifts, and to this day I like to hold on to mine and watch everyone else and then open mine. Don't want to miss anything. Then we would take our things and put them in our rooms to play with or what ever later. The best xmas was the year Bob and I got out bikes. Some days before xmas two big pkg's were delivered to our house and both Bob and I were really hopeful that they were bikes but they were flat boxes and so we weren't to sure about that. Several times we would get on our bellies and try to see through the vent in the garage, but it was to dang dark in there to see anything. Glad we didn't see them as it was more fun imagining. After we got them I wanted to be out riding all the time, as they were really special, and loved the freedom of being out ridding.
The rest of the day we were busy getting dinner and decorating the table for the feast which was always turkey. In later years I was corraled into doing a lot of it. Sometimes there was a friend invited for dinner as in the picture. these days were always very special to me.