---Alice Abrams

Friday, July 30, 2010

When a Girl's Gotta Go, A Girl's Gotta Go!!!

Thanks to the "Gubernator,"there's no money for state be certain you go before you go!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oh My! A Study in Contrasts

I recently reconnected with a dear friend that I've known since kindergarten.  She happened to find me on FaceBook!  She posted this old photo she'd kept as her avatar.  I nearly choked...I hadn't seen it in 50 years, but I remembered it!  Looking at as an adult, I'm absolutely horrified by my expression!  Was I trying to be a 12 year old sexpot?  Oh goodness. That's scary... 

Looking at the two of us, so very, very young, I'm astounded at the differences in us:  She's fair and I'm dark. She has such a darling gamin look about her, upturned smile, sweet little chin, aquiline nose and eyes that hint of spunk and playfulness. 

She used to come to church with us, and we always liked it best when it was just my dad.  He was so much fun!  He like to listen to rock 'n roll on the radio, and sometimes we'd stop and get cokes on the way home.  Or if we were really good, we'd come home via Signal Hill (a rather steep hill in Long Beach CA).  The attraction was a very steep portion of the road that was like a roller coaster - you'd get to the crest and lose your stomach on the way down. 

We went to different schools in high school, then married young and had kids. So we kind of lost touch.  She has been such a good friend over the years, calling and checking up on me.  About 12 years or so ago, we moved and our telephone was unlisted.  Our lives traveled very different roads.  She lived in Indiana and is now retired living the life in Florida!  I'm so happy for her.  FaceBook, thank you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday

This is one of my very favorite photos taken locally.  This is from the cemetery across the road from us.  It was taken in early June, and there was snow on Bear Mountain.  It's highly unusual to see snow this time of year.  We had an unseasonably cool spring, early summer.  Loved it!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Little Bit for Linda

You all know how Linda loves visiting cemeteries?  Well, I do too, and have always enjoyed reading her posts, not just for the history but for the "spooky" element she so deliciously provides - orbs and all!  These photos are of an old Kern County cemetery that sits on the banks of Lake Isabella. The picture I took of the guy fishing was taken from this cemetery.  (See 3rd photo down)

The oldest headstone is a lot newer than the ones Linda visits but is one of the oldest here.  The thing that really contrasts between this one and the ones back east is the earth - here, it's as hard as a rock and dry as a bone.  Although cemeteries are not places in which you want to hold festivities, this one is so forlorn looking.  The solitary bare stakes that are holding the place of those unknown souls give no testimony as to who is forever laid beneath them.  The contrast between these and the ornately carved headstones is great.  Makes me wonder about the folks who inhabit these graves.  It just may be the the unmarked graves hold the remains of people who were of better character than those who fared better as far as markers go......

(While Mr. Lambert's headstone is relatively new, the description says so much about this area.)

Here's the text on the historical marker:

"Kernville, called Whiskey Flat until 1864, was founded in 1860 when Adam Hamilton, a whiskey dealer, moved shop here from the more temperate Quartzburg, founded earlier that year.  Both camps resulted from the discovery of the Big Blue Ledge by "Lovely" Rogers while tracking a stray mule from the earlier camp of Keyesville."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Inspiration House"

 Photos:  Top - Ghost Town, Center - Inspiration House,  Bottom - "Little Chapel on the Lake"

This is where I spent a good deal of time..."The Inspiration House," my family's store at Knott's Berry Farm.  If you headed left, you'd wind up at the Indian Village; if you turned right, you'd stumble right into the "Little Chapel on the Lake," and on to Ghost Town. We had really good foot traffic, and if you stood at the right spot at the counter, you could catch sight of the people coming and going over the bridge. 

One of my favorite images is of a very large woman (I mean very large...) walking across the bridge away from me giving me a view of her rather large derriere.  Mind you, this was back in the late sixties when everyone embroidered everything imaginable.  She was wearing humongous bell bottomed pants on which was embroidered the body of a butterfly right up the crack of her jeans (didn't quite know how else to describe this!); on each butt cheek of her pants was embroidered a butterfly wing in outrageously bright colors.  So - if you'll hang on here with me - when she walked it was like a giant "Mothra" was on the hunt for prey!  Those wings really had to do some flapping to get over that bridge....

When I was young, I looked much older than my age.  Too bad it doesn't work in reverse, now that I'm an old crone!  Anyway, when I was twelve, my folks taught me how to make change the hard way - you know, count it back!  They gave me some lessons in customer service (meaning behave or else!) and let me wait on people.  Thus began my career. 

I remember one night a woman came running in screaming, "There's a hippopotamus outside!!!"  My dad and I ran out to see what the heck she was talking about!  We almost tripped over a tapir, which had gotten loose from "Old MacDonald's Farm."  How do you herd a tapir?  We called security and they in turn called the people at the animal farm to come get their "hippo."

There is a lot more - the monkey that got loose, the hair-puller, the mother hen.  To be continued....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fishing in the Trees

This lucky angler is fishing at one of the forks of Lake Isabella.  I'll have to go back and do my research, but the lake was created by allowing the river to flood over the old town.  I have fished in the lake and managed to lose a lot of lures in those trees!  I haven't been fishing in over 30 years and aside from riding along in the boat, don't really have any interest in fishing!  (That's how I feel about golfing, too - I'll ride along in the cart, just don't expect me to swing the club...)

We drove up to the lake to see the water levels. It's incredible what a little rain can do!  Last year, the water levels were really low, so it was heartening to see how many people were out enjoying the cool summer weather.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Early Years

1. My mother, Marian circa 1943

2. My dad's college photo, circa 1938 3. Circa 1962

My folks had one of those marriages that no one believes. They never argued or quarreled. I never once heard their voices raised in anger - at each other. I caught it more than once...deservedly!

The bottom photo reminds me of the time my mom was taking down some wallpaper in this room. She sat down on the floor and started crying. I asked her what had happened, and she pointed to the wall and said, "Look!"

There it was, in painted one foot letters and spelling out "I love you, Mums!" They'd been clowning when they put up the wallpaper, and she'd forgotten all about it. It was like a living love letter for her. My dad was a darling when it came to birthdays and Christmas, but he was not outwardly romantic. He called her "Mums" to get her goat. I can't remember any pet names between them, but I never called them "Mom and Dad."

We had a ceramics business on our property and the women that worked there obviously addressed them by their first names, so I thought I'd do the same. One of my teachers once called them in for a meeting and raked them over the coals for not teaching me to respect them by using their names and not titles. They very quickly let her know that she was not going to meddle in the raising of their child.

Most folks couldn't get past this and several of my friends teased me and told me I was adopted! Believe it or not, I respected them more than a lot of kids who dutifully used the proper title for their parents....

During WWII, my dad was in the FBI, stationed on the east coast. Actually, he started out as a secretary in the L.A. office. That sounds so strange now, but men were secretaries back in the dark ages! That was also before anyone knew that J. Edgar favored red dresses in his spare time. We have several hand-signed letters from Hoover, just standard stuff, but interesting none the less.

Being stuck on the east coast (family was all in CA), my mom took chef's courses. That's one of the reasons I've had a weight problem all of my life! Everything we ate was covered in sauce, whether it was Lobster Newburg or Thermadore, crepes of all kinds, Eggs Benedict and desserts to die for! That's one thing I really miss, her cooking. (She passed away in '92 at 75. She found out she had cancer and was gone in three weeks. She was so fiercly independent that it was a blessing.)

They had a couple of businesses until they decided to open a business at Knott's. It was an obvious choice: My aunt worked in the office; my grandmother operated the nursery and flower shop; my mom's other sister owned and operated another shop.

More about Knott's to come!