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James R. Stout

Intermission Ketchup

            It’s time to catch you up on my adventure. I’m on the road again, but with my granddaughter, Sofia, with me now. I’ll tell you about today in a little bit, but first let me tell you about the “Intermission”. Last Friday was the first day of the intermission. It started out very simply. My cousin Frances and I spent the morning visiting. We talked about a lot of things and caught each other up on things. Frances and her husband, Don, are terrific. They were great hosts and treated me like a king. I even had my own wing in their house! After a lot of visiting, we went into Meridian, California which allowed me to get some great photos of the world’s smallest complete mountain range. It’s called the “Sutter Mountain Range”. In Meridian we ate lunch at a fun place called “Tracey’s”. The décor is in the style of the late 50’s and early 60’s. They even had a couple of booths made out of a 1966 Ford Mustang similar to the ones in Elvis Presley’s movie, “Speedway”, or the one with John Travolta, “Pulp Fiction”. There were also actual old 45 rpm and vinyl LP’s hanging on nails on a display. There were probably a thousand or more.

            On Friday night Frances and Don treated me to a dinner at their country club near Marysville, California. We had a great table that overlooked a putting green and fairway. After dinner, we went back to their house and visited some more. Speaking of their home, it is a beautiful place. Frances has a great eye for decorating. The backyard is actually an extended patio with water fountains and such. There are three 10 or 12-year-old redwood trees along with others. The front yard has a cherry tree (the birds like the cherries a lot!) and it overlooks a large pasture that sheep and goats are used to keep the grass down.

            Saturday, we drove to Napa Valley and I got some wonderful pictures of the vineyards and rolling hills. Although I don’t drink wine, I did purchase a couple of bottles as gifts for my daughter and brother-in-law. The only drawback to our day was there was way too much traffic. We never did figure out what the slowdown was about. On Sunday we drove over to Grass Valley and Nevada City in the foothills of the Sierras. I took some pictures of a long-covered bridge and some of the mountains as we wound through them. After getting back to their place, Frances and I sat down, and I interviewed her and picked her brain on our family history with regards to our fathers who were brothers. She has done a lot of research and I’ll be using some of the research that she provided to help with my book. The book will be based on our father’s lives from birth until the end of WW2.

            Well, that catches you up on the intermission. I want to thank Frances and Don for their hospitality and such a great visit. I look forward to seeing them again soon. I had heard of Frances all of my life but didn’t meet her until 2011. We saw each other again only two weeks before my mother passed away. Frances had come specially to see Mom. Frances and Don are living proof that there are indeed some great people living in California.

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