Saturday, April 29, 2017

Heading Out to the Prom

Prom Night
Granddaughter Mariah

Prom Night
Me, Mariah and Jeri

Our beautiful granddaughter Mariah heading out to her prom tonight. The school year is almost over then she is college bound.We love this girl and are proud of her on so many levels..

The One That Got Away

Kern River 1979
Jeri and I with my long gone 1979 Toyota Landcruiser
Every fisherman has a story about the one that got away. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's exagerrated a little and sometimes it's an outright lie. This is my story.
In 1979 my wife and I, along with the kids, parents and my brother, went camping at Kern River. We had a great time. A lot of good eats and quality family time. I spent most of the day, every day we were there, fishing
We hiked a little, had campfires at night and did things that people do when they go camping. We found a secluded spot with no other people around. This was key to the whole trip. It was a getaway.
On the last day I got up early and gave it one last try. I didn't want to leave empty handed. I went back to camp feeling defeated. I helped with the packing (honest) and we got in the vehicles and took off. About a half hour or so later, still traveling along the river, I hear my father honking.
“Your mother wants to have a picnic” He said.
“Already? We just got started! “
“I know, I know!” He shrugged his shoulders the way only a married man can shrug his shoulder. I got back in the Landcruser and said “They want to stop for a picnic!” She was all for it.
We found a secluded spot and the first thing I did was grab my pole and tackle box and went looking for a spot to cast my line. I didn't have to look far. There were several huge boulders with a passage to the river.
It was the spot I had hoped for the entire time we were there. The water was high, fast and cold with a lot of whitewater at the bend and a large flat rock to stand on. There was plenty of water spray but it just added to moment. I was getting soaked fast.I cast my line. I was using a dark grey Rooster Tail, my all time faorite lure. It had just been a few minutes when I felt a hard tug on my line and then I saw it. leaping out of the water in a furious attempt to shake off my lure. I can only describe it as something out of the cover of Field and Stream. It was that picturesque! It was a lunker, probably been there for years without ever getting snagged.
I had visions of granduer, maybe even the cover of Field and Stream or Sports Afield, never mind that no one was taking pictures. I guestimated about 8 or 9 pounds, which would make it the biggest trout I ever caught.
In the midst of all this I hear “Dad!'.
Again “Dad”
“I'm thinking “No, please God, not now, not now!”
Fighting with my 12 pound trout I turn and see my daughter Dee Dee. “What? I yell back trying my best to not ruin the moment.
“Gradma and mom want to go now!”
“We just got here!!!”
“They want to go!
“Tell them I said NO!!
“Okay!”
She left but in less than a minute my wife shows up and says “Everybody is ready!!
Thinking to myself “How can this be? We just got here!!”
Now all I have on my mind is my giant 16 pound rainbow trout, glimmering in the sunlight with every leap!
My focus is going fast now; a twenty pound rainbow at the end of the line, everybody rushing me to go and my award winning twenty plus trout fighting for his life. I was beginning to panic. It was supposed be my finest moment.
No sooner did I turn my attention back to my small whale then the pole snapped back and the line went limp. 'Aaaaaaaahhh!! And just like that it was over. My wife went back to camp as fast as she could. I consoled myself for a moment and then walked back to camp. I was angry. I didn't want to talk to anyone.
I opened my tackle box to put away the rooster tail that had escaped the ordeal. As I was going through my tackle box Dee Dee walks up and sees a large saltwater hook. It was razor sharp. I can attest to this because a second later Dee Dee grabs the hook and says “Ooh, what is this?” She pulled on it and it went straight though my right thumb coming out trough the nail barb and all..
Some days are like that.

Kern River 1979
Jeri and Meranda at Kern River 1979

Kern River 1979
My father and I having a cold beer together and enjoying the moment

Kern River 1979


Kern River 1979
Getting ready for dinner?
Kern River 1979
Enjoying the day

Kern River 1979
My brother Dennis and I heading to the river

Friday, April 28, 2017

Solvang, California 1989


My kids

It doesn't matter how many pictures you take of your kids it is never enough. This is one of my favorites. I took this photo of Meranda, Andrew and Savannah in 1989 at the park in Solvang, California on the way to Big Sur. It seems like yesterday but it was twenty eight years ago.


Monday, April 24, 2017

My Uncle Gilbert De La O

My uncle Gilbert is a Godly and humble man. Like my father, he was a hard working man. My uncle, my father and all my uncles are still the hardest working men i ever knew. They are part of "The Greatest Generation".

They struggled through the depression, and World War II and they survived. Uncle Gilbert was a part of the famed *82nd Airborn Division during World War II. It doesn't get any more heroic than that. My uncle has been many things in his life but for the last forty plus years he has been a devoted man of God and a missionary. I love him and admire him for that.

This is the generation that rebuilt America, one workday at a time. These are the men that the men of my generation strive to emulate.

Gilbert Salazar De La O

Gilbert Salazar De La O

Gilbert De La O

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Mini Reunion

It was a great day today. I had a great time with my uncle Gilbert, aunt Joann and my cousin Sherry Ann. It had been too many years. It was great catching uo with them. I'm thankful that they had a chance to meet my kids and grandkids (some of them).

My uncle and I talked abot God, family and boxing. He still has the moves. He was telling me about one of his fights and as he was talking his arms and hands began to move with the story (as they do with all exfighters). I loved listening to him and watching him.

Today was a gift from God. I didn't want it to end.

A Mini Reunion
Seated: Aunt Joann De La O, Uncle Gilbert De la O
Standing: Meranda De la O, me, Sherry De la O, Jeri De La O, Savannah Guerrero born De La O)

A Mini Reunion
Meranda, uncle Gilbert and me

A Mini Reunion
Grandson Jack getting to know his great great uncle Gilbert. Four generations apart

Friday, April 14, 2017

David Moreno

A follow up to my previous post.
I remember one Easter Sunday service well, or rather the walk home. We were about a block from my house when we were approached by several boys a few grades above me. My cousin David Moreno knew them. For some reason the biggest kid in the group wanted to fight me. I still don't know why.
He stood in front of me so I couldn't pass him on the side walk. It was on the backside of Valencia Elementary School. I must have been about eight or nine at the time. My cousin David was about twelve or thirteen. I have no idea how old the other guys were, but presumably, since my cousin knew them, they were about his age.
I was trying my best to talk my way out of a fight with this guy but he just wanted to fight. While I was trying to decide what to do my cousin stepped in between us ad said “If you want to fight someone fight me!”
David was not big, in fact some of us called him Barney (after Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show, not to his face). The other guy was big kid, much bigger than David. I honestly didn't think David had it in him but he did.
The kid beat up my cousin pretty good but David never quit. When it was all over we walked home and I was filled with admiration for him.
David served in Viet Nam in the mid to late 1960's, in the Army.. He was never quite the same when he returned. He was shot to death near MacArthur Park in 1991. I see him as a hero. Rest in Peace Cousin!

Good Friday

Good morning! Today is Good Friday. Except for those days when I was young and my mother made fish on Good Friday I have always eaten meat. It wasn't an act of defiance, it's just that Good Friday has almost always caught me off guard.
I seem to always find out just as I am shoving an all meat beef burrito, or a thick steak, into my mouth. Someone will invariably say to me "It's Good Friday"! I always pause for a moment of Catholic guilt and then continue with my eating. I'm not Catholic any more and I'm not sure if that rule still applies. I still eat meat on Fridays if it's on the menu.
Easter Sunday is coming up this weekend and I am reminded of the days growing up in Pico Rivera when my mother and my aunt Margaret would gather my sister Evelyn and I, and my cousins David, Kathy and Cynthia Moreno and send us off to the Easter Service at St. Hilllary's Catholic Church. While they stayed home.
We would make the trek to church, sometimes actually going in and sometimes not. This also went on several times during the year on any given Sunday. This is what good Catholics do.
Whether you eat meat or not, enjoy your dinner tonight and remember to give thanks to Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. It is his grace, forgiveness and his ultimate sacrifice that we celebrate and remember this Sunday.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Serious Jack

Jack

My wife and I were visiting our daughter Savannah earlier today and I took this photo of the youngest member of the family tree; my grandson Jack. It's hard to catch him without a smile but he looked like he was having a serious moment! Love this kid!

Friday, March 17, 2017

"Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" by Mo Pitney


I first heard this song on Austin City Limits - on the radio -back in 1979. I don't remember who sang it but the song stayed with me. It has since become one of my favorites.
It was written by Hank Cochran in the 1960's. Ray Price, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard have all had hits with this song. This kid Mo Pitney more than holds his own.