The Weed

The Weed One day I was standing in the courtyard talking to Mr Lu. All of a sudden he turned away, pointed threateningly at a weed, and yelled at it. “You said what?!” He pulled it up by its roots, broke it in two, smashed it to the ground and kicked it. Two male aides …

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The Bouquet

The Bouquet During an Arts-and-Crafts class I was admiring someone’s picture. Mr Lu came over with a picture twice as big, laid it down on top of the one I was looking at and said, “I have something for you, Frances.” I handed it to him. “Thank you, but I’m busy now.” He put it …

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[A letter from Ramapatnam, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, India, April 26, 1965, found among the letters that Dr. Arthur Gordon Boggs received from friends after he retired.] [A note concerning Indian currency: “Rs 2” means 2 rupees.] Dear Arthur, I am relying on your knowledge of my integrity in the telling of the happenings of …

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George Kincaid

George’s 99th birthday with first draft of his personal history, Boomtown How we found out about George Kincaid It was at a San Juan Bautista Historical Society luncheon at the Crane House, home of Encarnacion Ortega, my first cousin twice removed. Her mother was my 3rd great -grandmother’s sister. Encarnacion died in that house May 29, …

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Joe Cullumber

Excerpts from Life In Our Time by Joe Cullumber. Recorded, transcribed, compiled and edited by Frances Tompkins. Joe Cullumber, builder, San Juan Bautista, CA, 1998 Family History My interest in genealogy and family history began when I entered my first year of school in 1926. I was eight years old. We lived on the Flint Ranch …

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Spilled Coffee

A personal history can be chronological — a “big story” — or it can be many little stories whose through-line is just the voice of the teller.  Here is one like that…  Chabot College – spring, 1963 Monday morning. I am wearing a red top, short white skirt, not too high heals. Michael is teaching …

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