Category Archives: Family Stories

El Capitan High School 50 Years Later

I visited my old high school last week – 50 years after graduating!  We are both still in pretty good shape.  The Class of ’63 was the first to complete all four years at El Capitan – it was a … Continue reading

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Fork In the Road : Celebrating Two Years

This is the 2nd anniversary of my blog, AlwaysBackroads.  I had little idea what this experience could be – it’s so much more than I expected.  Not only have I stuck with it for two years, but I love writing … Continue reading

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Mom’s 80th Birthday Yard Sale

Wearing worn jeans and a faded sweatshirt, Larry from Montana stopped by in his old RV.  Carmen came from Tecate with her children all dressed up for a visit.  We had never met them before, but they all came to … Continue reading

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Daniel Pierce (1814 – 1902)

In my grandfather’s 1902 diary on April 27th he wrote about the death of “Grandpa Pierce” – this was Daniel Pierce, actually my grandfather’s great-grandfather.  Below is a transcript of his lengthy obituary.  My copy doesn’t give a source, but … Continue reading

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Mom’s 1934 Road Trip – Part 2

This is the second half of Mom’s diary from her road trip with Fran Duffey from Illinois to Washington DC and back in October 1934.  You can see the first part here. Thursday Oct. 4 Got up at 8 o’clock and … Continue reading

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Mom’s 1934 Road Trip – Part 1

Taking a break from Grandpa’s Diaries for a week to share one of Mom’s. Harriet Duncan and her best friend, Frances Duffy, took a road trip in 1934.    Mom was 19 and Fran would have been about the same … Continue reading

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Aunt Helen’s 100th Birthday

My Aunt Helen was born 100 years ago today.  It’s a fine reason for a celebration!  She was a wonderful aunt, friend, sister and great role model. Things to know about Aunt Helen: She was always there when my mother … Continue reading

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California Nostalgia

Driving from New Mexico to San Diego for a visit last week, I thought about what I missed about my home state and came up with three things that affect me almost on a primal level. One is the California … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Bitty

My companion for over 20 years.

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Sentimental about a Tree

I’ve just picked the first apricots off the scraggly little tree in my yard.  The entire crop will be about a couple dozen apricots – most will go to the birds.  And that’s fine with me.  But the taste of … Continue reading

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Jeanie’s Birthday

Today would have been my sister’s 73rd birthday. This is one of my favorite pictures of her – playing cards.  We played cards a lot – solitaire, go, hand & foot, spite & malice, and cribbage.  And we laughed a … Continue reading

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Retracing Steps from 1939

I have many of Dad’s diaries, but none for 1939 when Mom and Dad moved from the Midwest to southern California.  In March they went through New Mexico and Arizona.  I would have expected them to take route 66 – … Continue reading

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She’s a Peach

From Dad’s diary when he was just beginning to date Mom. March 28, 1934 Delivered bills in sec 2.  Worked on dividend checks.  Bought 2 Arrow shirts. Had date with Harriet.  Buzz & Blanche went & we played cards at … Continue reading

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The International Dinner Party

In 1979 Judy Chicago opened the exhibition of her “Dinner Party” – a huge sculptured table with place settings for 39 women.  Dinner parties were organized around the world to celebrate the artwork and the concept of honoring women who … Continue reading

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Ten Years Old Again

For a few minutes this morning I was ten years old again while hiking with my best friend in juniper woodlands here.  I realized I was scouting for forts and hiding places like a child. As kids, we spent hours … Continue reading

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Nothing Doing

One of my favorite phrases from Grandpa Claycomb’s 1909 diary.

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