Archive for January, 2014

My father, Charles l. Graves

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
I wrote about my mom, here is a little about my dad. He was quite a gentle man but his hands were of iron, having worked on a Texas cotton farm much of his life We moved around, picking fruit–trying to exist then settled in Quartz Hill, Ca. —-I must have been 12 or 13 years old and required to earn my own spending money (Never money enough for an allowance). It was almond harvest time. An almon…d grower a mile or so from us had a nice crop of almonds. Being energetic, I went to him and made a deal to glean his field after harvest. We settled on 1/2 of what I gleaned belonged to me.
—–I am finally going to have a few dollars! Well I worked and I worked until I had a full gunny sack, filled to the very top.
The almond grower was excited so he went and got a bag to give me my share. He brought out a paper grocery store bag and filled to up. “Here is your share,” he stated. I replied, “But!–” And the almond grower gruffly send me on my way—-.
When I arrived home dad was waiting. I showed him the grocery bag of almonds and told him what happened. he didn’t say one word to me. (He was a man of few words.) He took the bag from me and went and got in his old pickup. It wasn’t long until dad returned. I went out to meet him.
“Here son, is your share.” he said as he showed me the gunny sack full of almonds, exactly as I had gleaned them. He never spoke of it again and to this day I have no idea what he said to the almond grower. I have thought of it a million times and it always brings tears to my eyes, that man, my gentle father, Charles L Graves!—olRoff

My mom Willie Mae and my third wife Arlene

Monday, January 27th, 2014

When I was in between wives I would occasionally take a woman to the small ranch where my aged mother lived alone near Sonora, California. She would set and talk for a while, then hobble on her walker to her bedroom and soon I would hear, “Son, come in here”, then “get her out of here! She is not for you!” I grew a little leery about taking anyone. So I dared to take Arlene up for a drive. We had known each other only for a few days and I thought, what the heck. It was a Satu…rday and my mother was to meet Arlene. Mom set in her usual chair and talked a few minutes, then took her walker and headed to her bedroom. Oh what the hell, I was used to it! She yelled her usual, “Son, get in here!” I took a deep breath and headed for mom’s bedroom. There I heard, “Son! She is the one! Take her to Reno today!” Arleney and I have been happily married for 30 plus years!

Don’t judge us because we are old!

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Last night we were at the Lodi Talent show. A small framed older lady, badly crippled, sit at out right. I kept wondering what people would have seen, 30, 40, or 50 years ago if they would have looked at us then–certainly not three older crippled people! I remembered this older, crippled, gentle, Japanese bartender. I always wondered why he walked with such a limp. I later learned that he had fought bravely in Europe with the valiant Japanese-American unit. He had been severely wounded for we Americans. He never spoke about it but I will remember him for my life time. He was an American hero!—You can’t look at us older folks and know what we are really about—so many stories to be told!–olRoff



Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Today I received a phone call from a military wife. She was asking all kinds of questions. We had a lengthy discussion.. I referred her to my website and it suddenly made me realize that the website is important as a reference to people attempting to learn about folk art. I can be 100% positive as I have nothing what-so-ever for sale. I intend to keep and upgrade the gallery to assist those people who want to learn more!—olRoff