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#221 [url]

Jun 8 10 5:28 PM

The next step in sustainable jungle fashion.

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#225 [url]

Jun 8 10 9:40 PM

I wasn't going to mention it, BUT...i was 'watering' the garden yesterday & blindly reached for the first large, soft, thick leaf nearby to wipe my nether-regions - realized just in time that I had grabbed a taro leaf.  Oh my god, how would I have explained THAT one to doctor?

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#228 [url]

Jun 15 10 9:18 PM

Interesting photo from "The Automatic Earth" blog, and always worth a read. 1937. This is not so unusual as to what rural living in the the western states looked like 80 years ago. Not at all. Both of my grandparents lived in situations during their lives very similar, some in a manner perhaps more rugged-- my grandmother was born in a Basque sheepherder's wagon. It isn't so long ago that we should forget this. Our expectations are pretty unrealistic. All in all these people appear well fed, and they apparently own a home outright. I expect many might well be eager to swap positions with them.

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#229 [url]

Jun 16 10 12:03 AM

In 1945 I visited my Grandmother in Idaho. She lived in a one room shack with a dirt floor.
She and her 4 grown sons had left the dustbowl of Oklahoma and moved to Idaho .....
California was already full of Okies.  My mother was  upset to see her mother there and set out to find her  a better place to live. Mom found a 2 room shack with a floor  and a toilet.
No hot water only cold water faucet in the kitchen. $12 a month but affordable on Grandmothers
$75 a month old age pension. 
My parents and I lived in a suburb of Detroit  in an 11 room house. Dad worked at the steel plant and mom worked renting out rooms to the people who worked in the war plants of Detroit.

The war ended and we moved to Idaho . No work so we moved into grandmothers 2 room 
house . My dad hauled lettuce from the fields until he finally got a job welding about 10 miles away.
We managed to buy a fridge and an electric stove for Grandmother before we moved out.

My cousins worked in the fields to help their parents feed the family. I went out with them one day to 
help pick up potatoes and put them in 100 pound bags . At age 7 I was pretty worthless in the field.
I remember that day very well and really never want to relive it.

Luckily we left Idaho and my dad became a  union pipefitter in Illinois. Life was better then.

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#230 [url]

Jun 16 10 9:28 AM


What a story, thanks for sharing it.

On another note, your dad was a union pipefitter in Illinois? So was my dad and all his brothers! In fact my younger brother is a sprinkler fitter now, and my older brother owns his own sprinkler fitting company in Chicago. I didn't get the pipefitting gene, apparently.

Wonder if our dads knew each other. Believe it or not, my dad's name was Ed :-)

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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#231 [url]

Jun 16 10 3:21 PM

Thanks punafish. Yes my dad was a union pipefitter after 7 years of journeyman work.
Back then that meant going wherever the union sent you whenever they sent you.
Luckily most jobs were in Illinois but one time he was sent to Florida for  the summer.
Mostly he was building pipelines and power plants.  
Finally after the 7 years were up we settled near Woodriver where there was lots of work for 

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#232 [url]

Jun 16 10 4:42 PM

I mentioned it because my neighbor, born and raised in Puna, knew a pipefitter who moved here from Chicago. Turns out he was my dad's old friend (didn't know till my brother told me). These coincidences are uncanny. 

My dad and uncles were all dyed-in-the-wool union guys. (Joe, Neil, Ed and Roger Sullivan of "Sullivan Heating") Their claim to fame was service 24/7--this is the late 50s and through the 60s. If your heater broke at 2 am, they'd come and fix it. They loved doing "service calls".

They were all shaped by the Depression, unable to say "no" to work. Asbestos exposure eventually did in 3 of them.

Still remember my dad pulling me out of school to march in the St. Patty's Day parade in Chicago with the union fitters. Ah the memories!

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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#233 [url]

Jun 16 10 11:49 PM

The reason I told the story was to remind everyone that life was 
a lot different 50 years ago. My grandfather never had indoor plumbing in 
Illinois even as late as 1956. Water was carried from a well ,bucket at a time.
No electricity until after 1945. But throughout the depression 
they all worked and tended a farm . Pictures of them taken in the 30's look like 
no one had an extra pound on their body. 

My mothers family in Idaho had a much more difficult life.

It is only since the late 50's that life became easier.

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