Archive for July, 2014

Columbus Georgia show

Monday, July 21st, 2014

To much of the folk Art World I am known as either “Country” or ol’Roff. I will never forget arriving in Columbus, Georgia at a show a few years back. I heard a loud scream, “Country is here”. The yeller was the wonderful Dorothea Gorman! I felt so welcome. Thank you Dorothea!

At the Columbus show I was asked if I would be willing to come back the next year and judge the show. I accepted. I asked them this question, “Now, which artist of mine do you want to win. I will chose an artist I represent?” The lady asking me looked stunned. She then asked, in  a polite Southerly manner,  if she could withdraw the offer. And that is why I love this art and the artists!

Josh Boock—ol’Roff

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Here is how I got the name ol’Roff—A few years ago I represented great potter, Josh Boock, from Bemidji, Minnesota (Home of Paul Bunyan). We  decided to do a line of pottery to sell in our gallery. Josh dubbed it “ol’Roff’s Pottery. I liked the idea, thus I became “ol’Roff”. The pottery faded away as did josh. The world lost a great potter in his young years. Rest in peace Josh. I love the name you gave me, especially when a waitress asks my name and I tell her “ol’Roff”.—olRoff

Visiting Charlestown

Monday, July 21st, 2014

I think it was 2001 or 2002 when I decided to take a trip to Charleston. I asked Angela, age 12 or 13 to go with me. I rented a room in an early Bed and Breakfast hotel where a ghost visited frequently. I think we stayed there two nights. Angela refused to go to bed, I don’t think she even took off her shoes. I asked her what was wrong. She replied, “Grandpa, I’m getting out of here if the ghost comes!”—Sadly the ghost did not feel welcome but Angela and I still had a wonderful trip.

The Massage Parlor Across from Our gallery

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I am commencing my next book. Hopefully it will completed by Christmas 2015—-I will talk about the “Ah Spa” tonight. Our gallery sat on Cherokee
Lane in Lodi. Right across the street and down a little way was the “Ah Spa” massage parlor. It had a questionable reputation and had been raided a couple of times. I spent many an hour looking across through my front window and watching men park in back of the parlor and go in the back door.—–

Well Arleney’s birthday was coming up and this idea hit me. I went to the “Ah Spa”. I walked in the front door and soon I was greeted by a middle age Asian woman in a loose kimono, She was attractive. I thought, “ummm”. I explained to her that I was there for a massage. I think she quoted me $60. for an hour but she said 1/2 hour for $45 was plenty, She told me it would be very, very nice. I told her I was interested—

I told her I would get back with her to fix a time for the appointment. I went on to tell her that the appointment was for my wife’s birthday present, The lovely Asian woman, said, “What! It is for your wife!” I told her, ” yes.”– “No! No! No!, she said, “We don’t do women!” She excused herself and turned away. I left with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye!—olRoff

Am I really going to be an author!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Unreal—I am living in wonder—can’t believe I just signed the contract for my book—I am so proud of my wife for her super editing of it. It is such an unreal feeling! I am afraid I will wake up and find I dreamed the whole thing!

A Kid In Korea final

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Back and forth like a Yoyo–Tweaking and finalizing but one difference, the best secretary a man could have is doing the tweaking and editing. I just emailed the final copy back to the publishing company. Thank you Arleney for the week-end you gave to do this—It is closer and closer to becoming a reality,. Now I am preparing the photos–probably 20 to 30 color pictures! My Korea is coming back to life–pictures were lost for so many years—Thank you daughter Wendy Renee Gates for finding them! Lastly, thank you Albert Alvarez for twisting my arm on writing this—God, how much I love my family! “A kid In Korea” by Roff Graves

The last part of the Bungee Cord Jumping incident

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The last part of the Bungee Cord Jumping Incident.— The family members that were present were Terry Gates–my son-in-law, Brandon Gates-my grandson, Missy, my daughter. They took me home where Arlene was waiting to take me to an Emergency Hospital in Stockton. (I could not go to an Emergency Hospital in Sonora due to probably possibly breaking the law regarding jumping from bridges).

The doctor had took one look at my hand and asked what happened. I told him that I had been mountain climbing and had slipped. The long rope had caught in my hand. After bandaging my hand, the doctor said,  “Now every thing is down on record for the insurance purposes, please tell me what really happened.” I told him. He laughed so hard. he called a couple his staff members in and had me retell the story.

Arleney did not think it was so funny, Actually she was kind of mad at me. This occurred on a Saturday. Sunday we had a big family brunch planned. My hand was swollen huge, and I mean huge! I did not want to go to the brunch. I had trouble getting into our car. Arleney helped me, calling me a few names as she helped push me in with her foot.

Monday morning I went to work. Attorney John Sullivan (a drinking Irishman, fun of fun-now deceased) complimented me and laughed his head off! I don’t know who all knew in our Legal office but some of Facebook reader may remember this.

Bungee Cord jumpers stopped jumping from State bridges. They kept jumping for different County bridges. In my world this got around and people probably talked about what a fool that crazy guy was. The State of California did not recognize me in any way, it couldn’t.—And I healed. All became a memory.—olRoff

Me, The Idiot–Bungee Cord Jumping

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

I am an Idiot, at least that is what Arleney told me. It was in the 1980s. I had taken up parachuting and hung around the parachute center in Galt, California. A lot of Adrenaline Freaks like me hung out there.—I was working at Cal Trans as an Investigator. Suddenly a rash of crazy people like me were Bungee-Cord jumping off of State bridges. It created a real Civil-Liability for the State. State Attorney John Sullivan was assigned Lead Attorney to stop the jumpers. John asked for me to work with and for him. John told me, “Any recourse you need is available, just stop them!”—

Now how in the world am I going to do that!—-I started trying to find out anything I could about them or where they were going to jump next. I finally found the leader. I don’t remember his name. But strangely enough, some of them were Sky-Divers. That made contact simple. I talked with the leader and I told him that he must stop, that the State would stop at nothing to close his operation down.—-Graves he said, “I Know you parachute some. I will make a deal with you. We will jump the Tuolumne County bridge next Saturday. If you jump with us, we will no longer jump from State bridges”.

John Sullivan was a character, He loved action. We agreed that I would jump.–But the State could not back me. I was 100% on my own, even my own time.

Arleney told me I was an idiot. Saturday morning I took some of my family members (not Arlene) and we headed for Tuolumne County. There we met the Bungee Jumpers at the bridge. It was over a 100ft jump and because of my terrible ego I had to go first. (I also thought I was going to be the oldest Bungee Jumper known—I wasn’t, someone else beat me out )

Well they strapped 5 or 6 bungee Cords around me with a hook about chest high. They took me and helped me over the bridge and tsoon I was to meet God and the Devil at the same time—nothing in the world like it.–heavy fall down then shot like a rocket back up.—Well when I got back on the bridge, a professional football player and everyone yelled—Hell of a Jump!  And all clambered for me to do it one more time. —Damn it, I did but this time the Bungee Cords tangled and I grabbed them with my left hand. I forgot to turn loose and the Bungee Cord ripped deep into my left hand.I hid the injured hand and told my son-in -law to get me to an Emergency Ward.—And that is another story about what happened next–too long to tell here.

I have no idea back in the Legal Office who all knew. I got no special attention but John Sullivan thought it was hilarious—And yes, the Bungee Jumpers kept their word. There was no more reports of them jumping off of State bridges again.–olRoff

My Belief

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Being my age, with my health condition it brings me solace to walk and talk with my God. Being a fairly sharp investigator I know there are stories in the bible that are just that, stories, and I question the authenticity.  God lives within me. I never question that!

4 African American Young Men

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
It was in the early 1960s—Racist problems and tension galore in our country. California had its share. I was a young California Highway Patrol Officer working in the San Leandro Squad. I loved working the Altamont Pass on Highway 50 between Livermore and Tracy. I was sitting on top of the pass when I saw a black car almost flying Eastbound toward Tracy. I took pursuit and caught the car just west of Tracy. I had clocked it at about 120MPH.
I was totally alone and 4 African American young men were in the car, I radioed my position but no help was near. I got out of the CHP Unit, racked my shotgun and approached the driver. The driver had his window down and was holding his drivers license in his left hand. He had a big smile on his face as he said to me, “I won my bet. I told them this car would do 110. I won!” I couldn’t help but smile back at him. I wrote him a ticket. He said, “You are not taking me in?” I told him, “No, just sign the ticket” I wrote it for 70 MPH (speed limit was 65 MPH ). He was shocked. He asked if he could shake my hand. I will never forget that stop!