Right away, Ray set out to focus on the dairy business, following the conclusions he'd reached in his earlier stay in the valley. By Dec 96 he was carrying 30 head of cattle, cows, yearlings, and calves and milking 14 cows. Moreover, he tells the readers of his diary:
"Am going extensively into cows next year. Would like enough cows to make $180 per month."
By 1898, Ray was milking 32 cows and producing a lot of butter fat.
History will show that Ray's decision to go into the dairy business was good to him financially, but he didn't always find the work that pleasant. The following are a few quotes from his diary illustrating his struggle with the discipline required to be a dairyman, particularly on those cold winter mornings in January, February, and early March ... then there was the heat of the summer!
4 Jan 1897 - I don't like to get up early very well, much less to get 13 cows milked before I can see sunshine on the hilltops as I do now on these cold mornings.
20 Feb 1897 - I don't find it any fun milking 16 cows these shabby mornings. 7 Mar 1897 - Getting up a half or three quarter hours before daylight these rainy mornings, then to be kept at milking until half-past seven goes hard against the grain. Grover "the fat" has gone out of the White House and William "the backboneless" has moved in. Am of the opinion that I will have to keep up my milking of flunk.
28 Aug 1897 - Same as usual. Milk! Milk! Milk!
15 Aug 1898 - Hot weather. Cows and my spirit seems broken. It seems there are no men to be had who will stick to milking cows year in and year out. Now you have a man! and now you don't! Makes dairying a bugbear. As soon as I get place paid for, I am going to grow trees and berries along. Oh, garden some and go camping one half the time.
Ray and May continued to prosper in San Pasqual. By 1902 they had acquired the last of the ranch from Ray's Dad and they had also purchased an option on the Garlock place further up the Valley ... and they still owned Ray's original homestead in Otay.
In those days the milking was done by hand, not machine and, Ray's boys were still too young to help. The milking was also done right in the corral with the cows, not a very pleasant prospect in rainy weather.
Dairying was the primary business
in the valley by 1895.
It remained so until about 1960 or 70. Back when Ray started out, the farmers made butter from the milk and hauled rolls of butter to San Diego where they were able to sell it for about 30¢ per pound. Around 1900 there 18 dairies and two creameries in San Pasqual Valley. The creamery on the east end was owned by the Judsons and the other, on the west end of the valley, was started by the Olds and Woods families. At that time there were only five creameries in San Diego County. Five years later most of the dairymen in the valley were separating their own milk and sending only the cream to the creamery to be churned into butter. This reduced the required manpower for the two creameries so they combined their operations into one new plant. The new creamery was built on the North side of the old San Pasqual Road about 100 yards west of the Battlefield Monument.
In 1916 the Webb family started hauling their own milk to San Diego in 10 gallon cans. It wasn't too long before other dairymen joined them as World War I created a demand for fresh milk to serve the military training camps in San Diego. The Webbs used their trucks to provide a service hauling milk for most of the daiymen in the area. By 1920 most dairymen were shipping their milk directly to San Diego. As a result, the San Pasqual Creamery was merged with the Escondido Creamery.
The valley remained much the same, with several small dairies, until the early 1940's. At that point Henry Fenton returned to the valley. Raised on a ranch in San Pasqual, Henry had become a wealthy man and he was set on returning to his roots. Over a few years he acquired a lot of valley land, most notably, as a result of his purchase of the 2,150 acre E.W. Webb Ranch in 1943. This brought his overall holdings to 4,000 acres. He then built a huge 400 cow dairy operation near his headquarters in Bandy Canyon. By this time World War II had once again created an almost insatiable demand for fresh milk in San Diego. The dairies were able to sell all the milk they could produce and get a good price for it.
Most of the dairies then set out to increase the size of their herds. This, in turn created a demand for an adequate supply of top quality dairy bulls. In 1945 the local dairymen created the San Pasqual Breeders Association to assure access to top quality dairy bulls. With natural service, a bull can be used every three or four days with one cow. Artificial insemination allowed the same bull to breed 100 or more cows from one collection, so artificial insemination became the new way.
In 1947 Henry Fenton approached Charley Judson and proposed that, if Charley would join him he would arrange the construction of specially built tankers to haul their milk directly to San Diego. They reached an agreement and, before long all the milk in the county was traveling this way, as it still is today.
The Cypress Tree and the Postman
One of the most memorable sites in early San Pasqual was the Cypress that stood in front of the old Trussell/Clevenger house. It was so dominant that Ray and May first named their San Pasqual Ranch, Cypress Ranch. Anyone who has spent a hot summer day working in San Pasqual Valley knows how important a tree like that can be. For me it was the two large maple trees that Franklin and Jane Trussell had on their place when I worked there. I used to eat my lunch under those trees and then take a little nap in the hammock, enjoying the cool shade and the songs of the same humming bird, day after day.
My namesake, my Dad's older brother Rhodes, may have had similar experiences under the old Cypress Tree, but he related a different, and perhaps more unique story to me. It seems that the postman would often stop under the Trussell Cypress, it being one of the coolest spots in the valley, and there he would do
money orders for residents of the east end of the valley. Apparently either the postman or his customers were a little careless with their money on occasion as Rhodes reports that he made it a habit to come back after the postman was gone and dig for loose change in the soil at the base of the willow tree.
The New House
Despite his misgivings about the nature of the work, Ray kept on in the dairy business. He continued to expand the facilities on the ranch, but by the spring of 1904, May found herself pregnant again, this time with her eighth child, Franklin. Apparently
she was making do with the accomodations of the old Clevenger place, certainly a small venue for such a big family. No doubt May called in some of her credits and before long with the
help of his father, Ray was building a brand new house on the place ... house big enough to take care of his family, which, by that time, consisted of his wife, May, two daughters, Mary and Rebecca, and six sons, Ray Jr., Wilmer, Stanley, Rhodes, Amos, and Franklin. Actually, it appears the place wasn't finished until late 1905 as we see photos of Franklin, who was born in January of that year, posing with his Dad and his siblings on the new front porch ... and he looks to be between 9 and 12 months of age.
Compared with the old Clevenger place they had previously inhabited, it
was quite a commodious two story establishment. Stanley got a separate bedroom and the girls, Mary (now 16) and Rebecca, got a room upstairs all to themselves. It had six sizeable bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a parlor, and one bathroom. The bathroom was located on the first floor adjacent to the kitchen and to Ray and May's bedroom. It contained a bathtub ... nothing else, just a bathtub ... and some shelves for the towels. The toilet was outside. Grandpa Trussell put the same sort of veranda around the west and south sides of the house as he had done with the houses in Sierra Madre.
Perhaps the first San Diego County flood in Ray's memory occurred in February 1891 when he and May were living on the Otay Mesa. That was the year he wrote about the Tiajuana flood. Though his diary doesn't mention any visits to San Pasqual until October of that year, it seems likely that he visited his brother Date who was living in San Pasqual in the old Clevenger house about that time. In those days a serious flood would cause the San Pasqual river to flood from one wall of the valley to the other. In any case, when Ray's Dad built the new Trussell house in 1905 it was built on a substantial mound. The family doesn't know if this was
Rays decision or his Dad's.
We also don't know if they used a mound that was present naturally or whether they built one to raise the level of the house ... in any case, it turns out this was a good decision.
The first flood the children could remember was the flood of 1916. When this flood was near its peak, by the early afternoon, it surrounded the Trussell House, leaving only about ten feet of dry ground around the house. Ray and the boys hitched a team to the hay wagon and brought it around to the south side of the house and loaded May, Robert, and Rebecca onto it. They then transported the three of them south and up the hill to the Andrew Judson House where they spent the night. Ray and the boys stayed back at the homestead to watch over the house and the animals. The next day the water receded and there was mostly mud. Early in the morning Rebecca looked out the house to see her mother, marching back home with Robert in her arms. Rebecca recalls;
"I have many memories of the 1916 flood. Mom, Robert and I were moved up to the Andrew Judson House. Our house was surrounded by water. They brought the hay wagon and a team around to the south side of the house where Mom, Robert and I boarded the wagon. The water was up half way between my knees and my hips. We stayed all night at the Judsons. Several other families were there also. The next morning, the water was down so Mom started home carrying Robert. I followed her. The mud was about a foot deep in the road. The house was a little higher than the fields so it was not flooded. The water was about 10 feet from the house when we left, but it got higher in the night. The water reached the far south part of the valley, to where the land starts rising to the hillside. Dad and the boys stayed at the house all night.
"The Rockwood and Peet places were flooded. I don't know how near to the house it came. The Guejita bridge went too."
Bridges and floods have close connections. Over the years there have been a number of bridges in the valley, but to residents, the term San Pasqual Bridge refers to the bridge that crosses the San Pasqual River (San Dieguito Creek) on the Trussell Ranch. There have been a number of versions of this bridge as well. Parts of all of them are shown on the accompanying photos. The first bridge was built around the turn of the century and washed out in the 1916 flood. It was a heavy wooden bridge, just a few feet above the sand.
The second bridge, also wooden, was on a new alignment so that the road turned north just a little sooner, avoiding the trek it took through the Trussell's front yard in earlier times. This bridge is shown in the photo of the Shell Oil truck in the 1927
flood. It appears that this bridge was a little higher. The 1927 flood did that bridge in so it had to be replaced too. It was replaced with the third and last wooden bridge ... another bridge just a few feet above the sand of a wide river bed.
Another flood in the late 30's did not wash out bridge but weakened it and the County had to come in and supply rip rap to protect it during the flood. When the flood was over, the bridge had severely exposed piers and, in 1943, it was replaced with a concrete bridge.
Between the mid 1960's and 1980s, the City of San Diego leased rights in the valley to a sand company that exported a great deal of of sand, substantially lowering the bottom of the river and channelizing it. As a result of this activity and the floods in 1977/78 and 1979/80, the piers of the concrete bridge were also severely exposed but they were repaired.
The channelizing continued and following the rains of 1992/1993 the first concrete bridge succumbed, after nearly 50 years of service and it was replaced with a new, sleek concrete bridge designed for the deep channel that makes up the current water course.
The Upper Valley's Water System
As mentioned earlier, the upper end of the San Pasqual Valley turned out to be a particularly good place to farm because of the good auspices of the San Pasqual River. As Sam Johnson wrote:
Water in the mountains running through the Pamo Ranch was known as the Pamo River, and as the water continued running down hill and entered the San Pasqual Valley, it was known as the San Pasqual River; then as it continued to the sea it was known as the San Bernardo River, running through the San Bernardo Ranch; then it entered the San Dieguito Spanish Grant and again it was marked on U.S. Topographical maps as the San Dieguito River until it entered the ocean just north of Del Mar all one river and should have been named the All Saints River.
Few people realize that the San Dieguito River with 303 square miles of watershed drainage areas has 59% more water collection area than the San Diego River with its 190 square miles of such area, and its vaunted flood channel from Mission Valley to the ocean; 67% more than the Sweetwater River, and 46% more than the San Luis Rey River near Oceanside. It is by far the largest river in San Diego County in this respect.
About the time that May and Ray Trussell moved to San Pasqual water was delivered to the various ranches in the upper valley through the use of a large irrigation ditch which ran from the top of Crane's Peak to a site near the Judson home. The ditch was operated by the East San Pasqual Water Company, formed in 1873. The water from the river was diverted into the upper end of the ditch via a temporary sand and debris dam that was built just as the river turned north after leaving Clevenger canyon to enter San Pasqual Valley. The dam was built each year once the rains had stopped and the threat of a washout had receded. For decades its construction was a cooperative project involving Trussells, Georgesons, Marchuses, and Judsons, the families who benefited from the water in the ditch. Each family would send a team and, along with these, a Fresno would be used to pull the dam together.
The San Pasqual Irrigation Ditch
The San Pasqual Irrigation Ditch, though small, was large enough to deserve mention in a summary of Southern California Irrigation Practice written by
W. Hall in 1888;
San Diego and San Dieguito River Old Ditches
The existing irrigation ditches in the county are few in number, and irrigate but small areas. On the South fork of the San Diego river, the Indians on the Capitan Grande reservation irrigate about fifty acres. On the San Dieguito about one hundred acres of bottom land on the San Dieguito Ranch are irrigated from a laguna. Higher up in the San Pasqual valley there are some one hundred and fifty to two hundred acres of alfalfa irrigated in winter and spring, and on the Santa Ysabel rancho, about one hundred acres are watered by Indians in a primitive way. On the Guejito branch of the Santa Ysabel some twenty to twenty-five acres are in like manner irrigated.
From the dam, the water was transported in a ditch approximately four feet deep and six feet wide. From the dam, the ditch went around the base of Crane's Peak and then across the old road from San Pasqual to Ramona to its south side. From there it traveled along the south side of the road through the Trussell ranch, until it reached the current alignment of Bandy Canyon Road At that point, the channel turned South along the west side of the road for a couple of hundred yards at which point it gradually turned west, this time ending up on the north side of the road, terminating near the original Judson home. The ditch began at an elevation of approximately 460 feet and terminated at about elevation 430 feet, after traveling a distance of one mile, a slope of about six feet per thousand. The old road, upon reaching the current alignment of Bandy Canyon Road on the west side of the Trussell property, took a 90° turn to the north to cross the river on a wooden bridge.
Someone had to be responsible for seeing that water was diverted to the appropriate parties at the appropriate time. Valley residents referred to the person who had this responsibility as the Sanjero. Over the years several Trussells held this responsibility. It is likely that Ray held it early during his stay in the valley.
When east valley residents formed their water company in 1873, residents downstream of the diversion point quickly organized the West San Pasqual Water Company to protect their interests as well. Both parties went to court and by 1900, court decisions and allocations had resulted in a system of practices that delivered water to upper and lower valley residents according to a certain schedule. Ray's son, Wilmer, was Sanjero before he joined the service in World War I. At that time, the water diverted into the ditch served the Judson, Georgeson, Marchus and Trussell properties. As a result of the court decisions, it was Wilmer's job to either send the water down the river bottom to the West San Pasqual group or to divert it to the irrigation ditch for farmers on the upper end. During Wilmer's tenure as Sanjero the Webbs operated a farm near the knoll just east of the present site of the San Pasqual Unified School. They were affected by these downstream diversions, and they felt their allocation wasn't adequate. Several times Wilmer arrived in the morning only to find that the dam had been broken the night before. Eventually he camped out at the dam and caught one of the Webbs in the act.
After Wilmer enlisted in World War I, Franklin Trussell became Sanjero and remained so until the mid 1950's when the construction of the Sutherland Dam reduced flows in the river to the point where the live river no longer entered the valley. Several of the valley families continued to assist when the time came to construct the sand dam to divert water into the ditch.
The water system remained entirely as an open ditch until 1916 at which time the river flooded the valley, the bridge over the river washed out and, later, the road was constructed along a new alignment. The new highway was constructed along more less the same alignment as the old San Pasqual Road until it reached the Trussell ranch at which point it turned gradually north to cross the river on a new bridge instead of turning sharply north along the west side of the Trussell property line, as the old road had done before.
After the new Highway 78 was constructed, the irrigation water was transported using an open ditch on the north side of the road until it reached the large eucalyptus tree located on the north side of the road just as it rounds Crane's peak. At that point a concrete inlet structure was constructed and the water entered concrete pipelines. Remnants of the structure can still be found in the brush today. At this point the water entered two lines, both of which crossed under the road. The first was a small 18 inch distribution line that led to a distribution box on the Georgeson Ranch. The remains of that distribution box can still be found to the right of the road entering the valley. The second was the 30 in. main company line which traveled a few hundred yards down the south side of the road to a distribution box that served both the Georgeson Ranch and the Marchus Ranch (by going back under the road).
From that distribution box, the pipeline downsized to a 24 inch line and the next main stop was a distribution box just south of the Road at the edge of the Trussell property. From there water could be directed to additional distribution boxes on the north side of the road to serve both the Trussells and the Marchuses and to the south side of the Trussell property to an area later farmed by Franklin Trussell. From there the main line continued to another distribution box in the Trussell corral, available for local watering,
and then on, across what is now Bandy Canyon Road to another major distribution box that could divert flow in one direction to serve the Andrew and Herbert Judson property and to the west to serve additional portions of the Herbert Judson property as well as another small parcel controlled by Mr. Georgeson. The Judson line traveled down Bandy Canyon Road to the south, then went west in a ditch for while, then into another entrance structure into pipelines to the houses on the south side of Bandy Canyon Road, to the west end of the Herbert Judson Property and to the west side of the yard of the old J.B. Judson home. About half of these old distribution and termination boxes still exist today, though most of them are topped by round 36 inch concrete pipe now ... above the original square concrete box.
To accomplish all this, Ray Trussell built a concrete pipe manufacturing yard on his ranch and, using pipe he made, valley residents replaced the irrigation ditch system with an underground pipeline system. Three pipe sizes were used, 18 inch diameter, 24 inch diameter and a larger size about 30 inches in diameter. Both of the larger pipe sizes were probably used for the main or "company" line and smaller sizes for the "distribution" lines to individual ranches. Included with this text is a photo of Rebecca Trussell posing on a stack of the smaller pipe.
Even with modern pipelines some minor transgressions continued to occur. Folks who had an advantage being at the upper end of the system were not above taking some water if they felt they needed it, even if it wasn't their time on the irrigation clock. Bud Judson recalls several instances using the irrigation system when the flow suddenly went to a trickle and,upon checking the other diversion boxes, someone upstream would have taken an undue allocation for themselves. It was a basic requirement for downstream users to go to all the upstream diversion standpipes and make sure no upstream user's distribution line was left open.
Anyone who has worked a long, hot summer day in San Pasqual Valley knows the value of a swimming hole. There have been five places to swim in the valley that I know of and I've been swimming in three of them. The first was the old swimming hole on the Georgeson place just west of the Trussell place on the north. A nephew of one of Ray's hands, Harry Brown, drowned at that swimming hole. I understand this swimhole disappeared in the 1916 flood. I remember some similar ponds on the old Ward place as a kid, but I never swam in them.
The second swimhole was the old irrigation ditch that went right through the Trussell property. Except my Dad who was born only one year before the 1916 flood, most of the Trussell children learned to swim in that irrigation ditch. A favorite place was a
section of ditch on the Trussell property connecting the Fairbanks Morse pump to the main ditch itself. This also disappeared around 1916 when the flood occurred, the road was realigned and Ray Trussell replaced much of the old irrigation ditch with a pipeline.
Two more swimholes were natural affairs created by streams flowing into the valley, the Guejito Creek up Rockwood Canyon and the Santa Maria Creek up Bandy Canyon. Neither was very accessible as both were far enough up the canyon to the point where water flowed, even the driest of years. In the late 50's my Scoutmaster-Dad took our troop camping in both of these canyons so I've had the privilege to swim in both of them. I remember the Rockwood pool being the greater distance back but the climb to the Bandy Canyon pool being far more strenuous. Both of these swimming holes seemed wonderful once you got there.
The fifth place I knew of was the Fenton's swimming pool in Bandy Canyon. I remember going there with my cousin, Candy Carroll.
Even in the early days water didn't just come down the ditch year-round with no help. In fact it was a common thing for farmers to use China Pumps or gas-engine pumps to deliver water. China pumps, a large ferris-wheel shaped affair powered by a horse, used buckets to draw water either from the river or from irrigation ditches and deposit it in irrigation ditches at a higher elevation. One china pump Rebecca recalls was installed on the west side of what is now Bandy Canyon road a short distance northwest of the standpipe on the corner of the Fred Judson property.
Gas driven pumps were also used for these purposes and to draw water from hand-dug wells and pump it into irrigation ditches. The Trussells had a Fairbanks Morse gasoline engine pump they used to get water during the dry part of the year. Rebecca again,
"I well remember the Fairbanks Morse pump. To me it was awesome. it was located just west of the Marchus property, some distance north of highway 78. A large ditch ran from there to the (irrigation) ditch from the river. I learned to swim in that ditch." (see picture)
Chances are that Rebecca wasn't the only Trussell that thought the Fairbanks Morse pump was "awesome". The following excerpt from Ray Trussell's diary, in late 1910, shows how Ray, and his boys, Wilmer and Stanley, had a little difficulty learning the ins and outs of the new-fangled gadget:
11-12 Evening - Stanley running piano player; Had apple pie for supper. Has been cloudy today; Threatening rain. Sat. all kids at home. Boys had quite a time trying to start F.M. Gas engine but could not make it go.[Fairbanks Morris Pump -ed.] Stanley cut alfalfa in N.W. corner of big field. R.T.
11-13 - Raining a little tonight. Couldn't get engine started although we done most everything to it. May went to Escondido to church. Took Miss McCarthy with her. R.T.
[Note: Miss McCarthy was the teacher at the east San Pasqual School - 1910 ed.] 11-15 - We got engine started today. We had been turning it backwards. Cloudy today, threatening rain. Dave mowed west of house R.T.
As a youngster, I remember my Dad and Amos having a similar problem trying to start the small internal combustion engine on Amos' Caterpillar Tractor out on the San Marcos Ranch. It was easy to wrap the rope the wrong way on those engines ... much of the fun in starting a small gas engine has been lost by the modern lawn mower user whose starter cord automatically retracts in the right direction, ready to pull again.
The windmill water pumper was another common sight in the valley and San Pasqual is an ideal location for these devices as a nice sea breeze comes through the valley every afternoon at about 2:00 o'clock. In fact, locals tell me that seebreeze was often too much for these devices. Water pumpers like those once in the valley can still be seen in rural areas of California. They use a rotor, usually from 2 to 5 m (from 6 to 16 ft) in diameter, with a number of oblique blades radiating from a horizontal shaft. The rotor is mounted on a tower high enough to permit unobstructed action by the wind. A large, rudderlike vane directs the wheel into the wind. The coupling of the multibladed rotor to a piston pump provides relatively low overall efficiency. Nonetheless, it was a simple, rugged device.
Hot and Cold Running Water
We don't know what sort of access to water the Trussells had on the Otay place. They probably had a well, but it's doubtful that they had running water. Whatever they had must have been unreliable as May writes in the diary about taking the demijohn to the neighbors to get water.
Aug 14, 1889 - "Ray went in town with load. I took demijohn. Went to Brays after water."
Rebecca remembers that there were faucets in the old Clevenger house the Trussells occupied for the first twelve years. She also recalls a windmill and water tank, present from her earliest memory. So it seems likely that the Trussells either had running water in San Pasqual from the beginning or that they installed it during their first decade on the site. The water tank was near where garage now stands and the windmill was just east of it. A photograph of the water tank is shown in this book, but no photo of the Trussell windmill was found. Rebecca:
"In the old house (Clevenger house) I remember taking a bath in a washtub near the kitchen stove. We might have had running water to the kitchen sink, I'm not sure. The new house had a small bathroom, a cubbyhole between the kitchen and Mom and Dad's bedroom - no window, a little tub, no wash basin or toilet -- a large closet where the linens and luggage were stored access only from bathroom. ...I don't remember what we had in the old house, except we had faucets."
The family used an outhouse "outside" the house, even after their new home was built in 1905. In fact the house had only one bathroom and that bathroom had a tub but no sink or water closet.
Originally the house had a wood stove and a good hot fire had to be going in that stove for some time (even in hot summer weather) if hot water were required for a bath. As Rebecca recalls,
"In our house we had a hot water tank next to the kitchen stove ... pipes ran under or through the firebox and circulated into the water tank to heat the water. To have hot water we had to have a fire."
Eventually the house was outfitted with a hot water heater that worked on propane, but Amos told a story that, well before that time, the Trussell boys rigged up a hot shower out in the milk barn with propane and heating equipment they learned about from their Dad's dairy business ... just so they could take a good, hot shower when they had to get up so early on those cold, winter mornings. A similar shower was built shortly thereafter in the wood storage room in the wash house near to the main house itself. After that the Trussells showered in the wash house and the shower in the milk barn was used mostly by the milkers. Both were installed in about 1916 or 1917. Though Amos probably helped, it seems likely that Stanley was the principle craftsman responsible.
Ray used to cut a tree and bring it in for Christmas and May and the kids would decorate it. On certain occasions, candles, perched on the limbs, would be lit. Robert, my father used to tell of the time when the candles set the tree a fire. As he described it, his Dad jumped up and without so much as a word, grabbed the tree and dashed out the front door with it in his arms.
Since the late 1930's the Trussells and Judsons have celebrated Christmas Eve together at the Charles Judson Home in San Pasqual. The evening always begins with a light dinner including oyster soup. Dinner is followed by a personal visit by Santa Claus -- who always knows all the young folks by name. After Santa takes off to visit the rest of the World, the kids all gather in the Rumpus Room where each gets three chances to break the Piñata -- youngest kids first. Once the contents of the Piñata fall to the floor and are scooped up by anxious little arms, it's the adults to exchange gang gifts. The lowest number in the draw makes the first choice from the pile of wrapped gifts and everyone thereafter is free to steal whose ever gift they like the most. At the end of the evening, everyone goes home with the traditional red net bag of candy and nuts.
By 1909 there were a number of symbols of prosperity showing up. Ray's daughter, Mary, went to Los Angeles to live with her grandfather,
Davis, and go to the University of Southern California. Ray also began to take on new financial risks. In early 1909, Ray purchased 222 acres of the former Rancho Los Vallecitos de San Marcos which was created from the original Cienega Rancho by the San Marcos Land Company during the land boom of the late 1880's. He purchased the property from Dell Hale Johnston. on 13 Feb 1909 for $18,000, or about $81 per acre. According to the note established for the transaction, Ray had to pay only interest for the first two years, $1,000 for each of the eight succeeding years and and $10,000 in a balloon in February 1919. In fact, Ray did not completely settle the debt until June 1922. Ray was 46 years old the day the deal closed and he was 70 years old when the note on the place was finally settled.
Ray's sons Amos and Franklin, both told the story that their Dad took the "Cienega place" on something of a challenge, to prove that he could make money on the place. It's more likely he took the place as an opportunity to extend further his success in San Pasqual but, in any case, there were plenty of challenges to be found in making it pay off.
When Ray Trussell bought it, the San Marcos place was composed of barren hillsides and swampland and not much between. Ray installed a Dutch-style tile drain system throughout the lower portions of the property so that it would be suitable for agriculture. Later he had the help of Mr. Wills, a Dutchman who, earlier, operated the San Pasqual Creamery. Both Amos and Franklin recalled marvelling at how straight and deep Mr. Wills could dig a trench. My Dad copied the technique, installing drain tile around our home in Escondido wherever standing water would appear after heavy rains.
Ray also installed wells and irrigation ponds. He invested in the place, gradually over time, first using it as a place to raise heifers and eventually developing a dairy there also. He commuted to the Cienega place often to manage the operation. For the first three years he did so by buggy, occasionally taking the train between San Marcos and Escondido.
After Ray's son Wilmer came home from World War I, he married Francis Lewis and settled on the ranch as its manager. They had two children, Lewis and Mary, both of whom were raised on that ranch. In 1925 Ray sold Wilmer a portion of the San Marcos land for $6,000, arranging a loan through the Farmer's Administration. When Amos graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1925, Ray sold another portion of the San Marcos Ranch to him and Wilmer and Amos became partners in the "Trussell Brothers Dairy", which became an institution in San Marcos for nearly seventy years before it was sold to developers in the late 1980's. Shortly after World War II, Wilmer retired and moved to Yuma, Arizona and his son, Lewis Trussell, joined Amos in the operation. In 1945 Amos married Mabel Judson, Andrew Judson's youngest daughter and Charley Judson's kid sister. They adopted a son whom they named Judson. The Trussell Brothers Diary ceased operating in the early 1960's and in the late 1980's the property was sold to a developer who built the Twin Oaks Golf course and development on the property.
By the time Ray and May moved into the Valley in late December 1891, the San Pasqual School District was already in its fourteenth season of operation. By the time their daughter Mary was of age, it had been functioning for nearly twenty years. With the
exception of my father, Robert, all the Trussell children got their grammar school education at the little adobe schoolhouse in the east Valley.
The school is a one-room adobe building and was built in 1882 by N.R. Robert on land donated by O. Darling. It is located on the southeast side of the valley just west of the former Judson Dairies. Students stayed in the school from first through eighth grade. After that it was off to Escondido if they wished to attend high school, as all the Trussell children did. There was generally one teacher for the school and it was heated by a small wood stove and had a hand-pumped organ for music.. Shortly after 1900, a small building of light construction was built on the east side of the schoolhouse. Called the summerhouse, it served as a place for storing and eating the student lunches. Later on, about 1910, a well and windmill were installed to supply water for the school. In addition to using it as a source of drinking water, the kids used the water to grow small gardens on the school grounds. The accompanying photos show several of the teachers and students between 1907 and 1911.
Transportation, Horses to Automobiles
Back in the old days, before the automobile, the Trussell kids used to
take the horse and buggy or buckboard to high school. The buggy was fancy with a top, etc. The buckboard was more or less the equivalent of the modern pickup. On a good day, with a good horse, it took an hour to get to Escondido High School. With a slow horse on a not-quite-so-good day it was an hour and a half, easy. When Mary, Ray Jr., and Wilmer were going to High School, they used the buggy. About that time, their Dad bought some horses from Valley Center. The kids hooked one of them up to the buggy and took it to school. When they came out after school, the horse had gotten loose from the hitching post and had gone back to its old home in Valley Center. Mary had to go home with a friend who lived in the Valley Center area, stay overnight with her, and then collect her new horse the next day.
In 1912, Ray bought a brand new Reo motorcar for transportation. He was probably inspired in part by the Reo that Fred Roberts, another prominent citizen of the valley, had purchased earlier. It's likely that Fred's purchase, which may have seemed frivolous initially, proved invaluable as a means for managing operations in a variety of locations. In any case, the Reo certainly revolutionized Ray's ability to travel back and forth from one ranch to another. It also had some impact on social life. The Trussells, Roberts and Wills (who also bought a Reo) went on motorcar picnics for a while also. As the Reo got older, Ray converted it to a pickup and the kids were occasionally privileged to take it to school instead of the buggy.
Four years later, in 1916, Ray abandoned the Reo and bought Model T Fords. Some of the children have different recollections as to how many. Amos thought it was three: one to serve as his personal "pick-up", one to serve as transportation to Escondido High for Rebecca, Amos, and Franklin, and a third to serve as an ranch utility vehicle. Rebecca thought it was more like one, and
perhaps a little later, one more. She recalls Ray hitching a ride to Escondido in the Model T with the kids and then taking the train to San Marcos. In any case there were at least two eventually, one that was converted to a pickup and another that Ray converted to a sort of "camper" with the running boards converted to bins for holding camping materials. The younger boys, Amos, Franklin, and Robert all had fond memories of going with their father to visit the Cienega place and even fonder memories of traveling with their father on his camping expeditions through out California, Oregon and Arizona.
Robert, the youngest of the Trussell children mentioned above, was born on July 16, 1915, ten years after his youngest brother, Franklin. At the time of Robert's birth, May was 45 yrs and Ray was 53 yrs, both pretty old to be parents of a newborn. By the time Robert was going to high school, he used to borrow his Dad's Buick to "tool" around town.
Electricity and Telephones
The Trussells had the first telephone on the eastern end of the valley, probably installed in 1906 to 1908. It served more than one family at the time and Rebecca remembers the boys running over to the Peets to tell them they had a phone call. Though early with phones and cars, the Trussells were not necessarily so early getting electricity. This process occurred in 1921 or 1922, just a few years before Ray, May, and Robert moved to Escondido. As a result, the Trussells were one of the last families in the valley to get electricity. Ray put it off because he didn't have the cash when electricification was first offered and he did not want to buy it on time. Robert remembered following the electrician all over the house while he tried to get the job done.
Tragedy and Celebration
On July 17, 1915, the Trussells had a new addition. At age 43, May gave birth to her last child, my father, Robert Lloyd Trussell. Being by far the youngest, Robert was a spoiled child. He soon gained the nick-name,"Fuzz" because his fuzzy white hair was always sticking out. Bob spent his first six or seven years at the San Pasqual ranch and then moved to Escondido with his parents. After graduating from high school he attended business school at Woodbury College in Los Angeles ... but his real love was airplanes. In 1938 he married Margaret Kessing of Berkeley, California and, after a short stint at the Pacific Stock Exchange we find him working for Consolidated Vultee in San Diego. First in some sort of business function, but, before long, as an aeronautical engineer. He got his engineering degree in the 1940's via correspondence school. He worked for Consolidated (later Convair and then General Dynamics) for thirty years. While there he lead a PBY design team and became the company's leading landing gear expert, working on gears for the Pogo Stick, the Sea Dart, the 880, the Moon Lander and the Space Shuttle (while on loan to Rockwell). He died leukemia at age 69.
In 1917 the Trussell's oldest son, Ray Jr. (26 yrs) married Laura McGee, the step daughter of Ed Harris, a hand at the Judson Ranch. Ray Sr. then stepped in and helped his son establish a farming operation in the Imperial valley. Eventually that project didn't work out so Dad came to the rescue again and helped his son set up a dairy in Escondido, off Hale Avenue. This venture was modestly successful until Ray Jr. suddenly died of appendicitis in 1935.
About the same time World War I began and Ray's No. 2 son, Wilmer (24 yrs), enlisted in the Army Air Corp. No. 3 son, Stanley, stayed in San Pasqual to help operate the dairy there. Wilmer came back from the war safe and sound and soon after, married Frances Lewis. Ray put Wilmer in charge of the dairy in San Marcos and Wilmer raised his children on that ranch in a house southeast of the milk barn.
In 1920, tragedy struck the family. The Trussell's oldest daughter, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from U.S.C. and from Stanford University with a teaching credential, was now married to a gentleman named Bill English and was teaching high school in Delano, CA. On Christmas break in 1920, Mary came home with what appeared to be a bad cold. It got so bad the family took her to the doctor and it was diagnosed as tuberculosis. Bill and May took Mary to a sanitarium in Prescott, AZ for treatment. May's first and favorite child died in October 1921 at age 32.
Davis Trussell lived in Los Angeles with his son Harry. Grandpa used to
come and visit often, but most of the kids remember him as being pretty aloof ... not unfriendly, just aloof. Rebecca remembers two specific things: First he always got shredded wheat when the kids had to eat rolled oats. Second, when he was building their new house, he wouldn't let her help paint it. Grandpa Amos died at his home in Los Angeles in that same year at age 91. Both he and Mary were buried at the San Pasqual Cemetery.
After Grandpa died, Uncle Harry moved in with his nephew, Clarence Jones and the two of them lived together until they both died in the early 1960's. At that time they lived in Redondo Beach.
In 1922, the City of San Diego purchased the recently constructed Lake
Hodges dam from the Rancho Santa Fe Land Company and proposed to construct a "super Hodges" that would flood most of San Pasqual Valley. To facilitate the project, the City purchased a great deal of land in the valley. Instead of selling his land directly to the City, Ray chose to sell the City an option to purchase the property for a defined period of time. Probably taking advantage of the City's option payment, the Trussells later built a home in downtown Escondido on Seventh Street and Maple and moved there, leaving the operation of the San Pasqual Dairy to their son Stanley. Stanley was, at that time, married to his wife, Lucille, and the couple had been renting the old Boyle house across the road.
One of the first events the Trussells celebrated at their new Escondido home was the marriage of their daughter, Rebecca, to Charles Judson, the son of
Andrew Judson, their neighbor in San Pasqual. Charley and Rebecca had fallen in love during the previous year when Rebecca had interrupted her education at Redlands University to take care of her younger brother Robert while her mother went to Arizona with Mary. The wedding took place on February 24, 1922 and the newlyweds immediately moved into the Andrew Judson home where Rebecca T. Judson still lives today and where members of the Trussell and Judson clan still gather every year to celebrate Christmas. By the Mid '40's Charley had also developed his Dad's dairy into one of the largest and most successful dairies in the County. After Charley died in 1960, his son, Milton (Bud) took over the management of the operation. Today he is retired as well.
All during his life, Ray took an active interest in pubic affairs, involving himself in campaigns to organize the delivery of water, the protection of water
rights, the making of milk, the building of roads, etc. In 1891, he worked on behalf of the organization of the Otay Water District under the Wright Act. upon arriving in San Pasqual he was pivotal in the operation of the East San Pasqual Water and Improvement Company. He also participated with the Judsons and other San Pasqual Dairy Families in joint efforts, efforts that eventually lead to the formation of the Qualitee Diary.
In 1932 he successfully ran for Supervisor of San Diego County. While supervisor he paid special attention to roads. His son Robert remembered that he would come home each day having counted the number of cars he passed on the way to and from San Diego. The first time he met more than 100 cars on the trip was a day of celebration. Imagine what it must have meant to a man who had taken four days to travel the same route forty five years earlier using a horse-drawn wagon.
My father celebrated his 98th birthday on July 5th. An educator through and through, he worked for the Santa Rosa City Schools from 1930 until his retirement in 1963. His first position was in Biology at Santal Rosa High School where he was known for his
joy in fishing and his belief in the emancipation of women. (He grew up the middle child in a farm family of seven boys and two wonderful girls.) So he was the logical choice when, in the mid-thirties, some of the high school girls wanted a sponsor for a girls' fishing club. The "Ospreys," chaperoned by our family, learned the fishing mystique on such trips as Dillon's Beach or Bodega Bay.
In 1944, he became Officer of Child Welfare and Attendance, otherwise known as the "Truant Officer" or "Hooky Cop" for the Santa Rosa City Schools. Rhodes had exactly the right preparation for this career, having been a bit of a scamp himself when he was a boy.
Take the day he burned the school yard. Since he was only eight years old, he was out of school with time to idle around before the bell rang for his big brothers. He'd gotten some sulphur matches from a neighbor: When he struck one it appeared not to catch fire. He dropped it and tried another, and another .... and another. Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by fire.
What does an 8-year-old do when things get out of control? Right! He ran for home and hid in the attic for hours.
The big boys fought the fire with wet blankets but were unable to control it, and it blackened the surrounding hills. The Adobe School Building was not damaged.
His mother cut the pockets out of his clothing as punishment for that escapade, but Rhodes hung a marble bag around his neck and carried in it such treasures as marbles, a pocket knife and -- you guessed it -- sulfur matches.
Between the Trussells, the Judsons and their descendents, there has always been an abundance of cousins. Perhaps the first generation of cousins were the children of Ray (Virginia and Barbara), Wilmer (Lewis and Mary or Katy May), Stanley (Shirley and Alfred), Rebecca (Louise and Milton or Bud), and Rhodes (Margaret Edith, Ella Mae and Marian). Because of his age, my Dad was an "elder youth" in this group. Because of Dad's relative youth, my brothers, Rease and Bert, and I were associates of the next generation of cousins, the children of Louise (Judson) Carroll (Candy, Gary, Chris, and Pam), Bud Judson (Sandy and Bruce), Amos' adopted son, Jud, and Lewis' daughters (Drinda, Diana and Donna). All of these either lived in the area or visited frequently.
The Manure Spreader and the Skip Loader
Starting the second summer I worked for Franklin, he had me run the manure spreader. The manure spreader consisted of a bin about twice the size of the bin on the back of a pickup with a chain drive and scrapers on the bottom and a screw-type spreading device on the back. Every morning we'd grease it first thing ... as I recall it had 12 grease points. Then I'd hook it up to the tractor. I don't recall all the details of the hook-up, but it was more complex than some, and, if I recall correctly, it also hooked up to a drive on the back of the tractor. Then I'd take it over to Stanley's place (which was then being run by the man that had been Stanley's foreman) and they would fill it with manure for me from a skip loader. Then I'd haul it back to Franklin's and position myself at the head of an alley between a row of trees. From there I'd turn the spreader mechanism on and start down the row. It was quite a sight to see, especially when the spreader was full. The airspace behind the spreader would fill with manure. It was literally like manure hitting the fan. I'd then go down the row until the manure was exhausted, disengage the spreader drive and go back for more.
On my third summer, the summer of 1964, former Trussell ranch was no longer being operated so we took manure from the Judson ranch.
As a boy, I spent a lot of time at the Judson Ranch and I thought I knew it pretty well. I had watched Smiley many a time as he drove a Ford tractor around the corral, scraping up manure with the scraper behind the tractor and dragging it all into a big pile .. and then the big moment would come .. when he would use the front bucket ... either to heighten the pile, to load a manure truck or to load a manure spreader. Oh, how I envied him .... the way he ran that machine with such grace ... it was like he and the machine were one.
Returning to the summer of '64. I think the Judsons filled the spreader for me for the first several trips. But, as I recall, I saw an opportunity and I prevailed upon all parties to get a chance at operating that skip loader myself. So finally my day came. I brought in the spreader, pulling it with Franklin's Massey Ferguson. I positioned it. Then Bud Judson gave me a debriefing on the operation of the skip loader. As I recall it was a Ford with a huge, 2 cubic yard bucket, a big engine (bigger than the Massey Ferguson) and an automatic transmission with 10 forward speeds ... and then you could chose a high or low compound gear.
Confidently I approached the manure pile. Taking my first bite I went too deep and stalled the tractor. My second bite was so timid that the bucket just skimmed over the top of the pile ... but after a little practice I got a nice, big bucket full of the powdery dry manure.
I raised the bucket high above the tractor, like I imagined Smiley had always done. Now I that I had a load of manure, I needed to approach the spreader. While filling the bucket, I had been driving almost exclusively in compound low gears, but now I had some distance to cover and I wasn't worried about stalling the tractor, so I put it in high gear, something like gear No. 5. I set the speed (on a tractor, the speed of the engine is set by a little handle on the steering wheel), and I slowly let out the clutch. When the clutch caught, the tractor leaped forward, but the manure bucket did not ... net effect the tractor began to dip back and forth. I quickly put the clutch back in, but not soon enough and forty or fifty pounds of manure fell on my head (fortunately for me we always wore a pith hat when we worked for Franklin).
The problem was that I had the bucket too high ... and the high gear, just compounded it. Bud and Franklin seemed to be enjoying the show. After that experience, I decided to use low gear for a while and carry the bucket a little lower. So I finally got to the spreader. Another thing I remembered Smiley doing was raising the bucket real high above the truck, tipping the bucket slowly, and letting the manure gently sprinkle down, like a graceful water fall... manure fall anyway. I was a little worried about the bucket hitting the spreader, so I decided I'd use the "water fall technique". As I approached the spreader, I raised the bucket about as high as I dared (if you're going to do a manure fall, you need lots of height for maximum dramatic effect) and I gently tipped it. Now this particular manure was very dry, we had a nice afternoon breeze (the sea breeze that hits the valley every afternoon about 2 p.m.) and ... I had positioned the spreader upwind of the manure pile ... so, as the manure gracefully fell, a substantial amount of it blew right back to me. After that I decided that it would be better to shoot for minimum height and minimum manure on me and for the rest of the project, I just scooped up the manure and loaded, no fancy stuff.
More Tractor Stories
The first summer I worked in San Pasqual for my Uncle Franklin, I helped pick and pack peaches, I spent long days in the hot sun with a short-handled hoe cleaning out the weeds between Crenshaw melon plants and tomatoes, and I picked tomatoes until my hands had become permanently green. Starting late that summer he began to train me to do the tractor work for him. He had two tractors, a Farmall with tall narrow wheels, perfect for cultivating between the rows of melons, tomatoes, etc., and a Massey-Ferguson, the workhorse of the farm. I particularly liked to run the Massey-Ferguson.
I believe my first assignment was at the end of that first summer to disk
under the field that I had so carefully hoed and picked clean. I would guess it was around two, maybe three acres. The Massey-Ferguson was quite a capable brute. After you made a pass with the gang of disks behind you, you could use the hydraulic lift to pick the whole gang up out of the ground ... so that the tractor could be turned around for another pass. I believe the tractor had six gears forward and two in reverse, three and one, but with a compound low. That first year, I attacked the field in compound low and second (Franklin called it low-second). Each time I reached the end of a row, I'd carefully lift the disk gang (which was heavy enough that the front end of the tractor just weighed enough to keep the wheels on the ground ... oh, those engineers!), put in the clutch, put a foot on both brakes (the MF had separate brakes for both wheels, but you could hold them both down with a big foot), shift to compound low-low, put my foot on one of the two brakes, turn the wheel, and slowly let out the clutch, turning the tractor around. At this point, I would now find myself rolling down the berm into the field again ... faster than anticipated ... hit both brakes, and the clutch, again, lower the gang, shift into low second slowly let out the clutch, and off I was on another row. There was no point in trying to shift up while enroute ... the minute you put the clutch in, the disks would "drag" the tractor to an immediate stop (actually ... it was a much more effective way to stop the tractor than the brake). That summer it took me all day to disk that one plot. By the end of the second summer, my confidence had risen somewhat and I took a more agressive course. Now I'd disk the row in high first (about the highest gear at which the tractor would pull the disk without stalling) and, at the end of the row, I'd pull the disk out while slamming on one of the wheel brakes. With a little luck I wouldn't even have to use the clutch! I took a while to get the technique down and I'm afraid the field wasn't quite as neat as the first time ... but I finished the work in a couple of hours and felt pretty good about it. Franklin didn't say how he felt, but the next day he asked me how the axle on one of the disk gangs got bent.
My experience in disking the trees in the peach and plum orchard was similar. Here the idea is that I would disk between the trees, going both ways and leaving a small square patch of untouched ground around each tree. That I would have to hoe. I took me about four days to disk the grove (in low-second) and maybe three weeks to hoe the little
squares the first year. The second year I got smart. I thought, "the idea is to get real close to the trees ... that way the work with a hoe is kept to a minimum." I also decided I'd run the tractor a little faster. I started out in compound third, but after a while, I got impatient and shifted up to high-low. Now I was rolling! You have to understand that disking close to the trees meant driving the tractor under the trees ... and these were low hanging trees. Before long, a branch caught me and dragged me right off the seat of the tractor ... I looked behind me and saw those disks ... I had hot flashes and gruesome nightmares! ... somehow my left foot grew about nine inches and I was able to push in the clutch. The tractor stopped immediately. From then on I went back into low-third and I decided a little hoeing wouldn't hurt me so much.
I worked for Franklin the summers of 1962, 1963, and 1964. In some of those years I also worked during my Spring Break. Such was the case in 1964 when Franklin had me using the Massey-Ferguson and a carryall to move the soft, rain-dampened earth around at his new place in Ramona. The carryall was a big bucket on wheels with a scraper on the bottom. It was like a miniature version of those big yellow Caterpillar carryalls they use to build the highways. Franklin would tell me which spot he wanted me to scrape dirt from and where he'd like me to put it when I got through. The thing is the ground was real wet and the Massey-Ferguson was a wheel tractor, that is, it had wheels, not tracks. Some of the spots I was moving the earth to were on pretty steep slopes. At first that worried me and I'd take small loads and go slowly. Eventually my confidence began to build and I'd take much larger loads ... soon I'd bring that carryall to the dump site brimming with fresh, wet soil. As I worked my way down the ravine I was filling, I began to notice that the tractor and carryall, together, would slide sideways a little as I was on the hillside trying to get to the site and unload ... and while I was unloading ... but I also found that if I picked up the speed a little, I could, more or less, power through it. That worked for quite a while until one Friday afternoon I found myself sliding down the hill with a full load of earth. The more I put power to the wheels, it seemed the faster I slid. Finally, I ended up with a large oak tree between the tractor and the carryall. I couldn't figure out what to do, so I went back to San Pasqual and told Franklin. I thought he would yell ... he probably did .. but not at me. Next time I came back the tractor and the carryall were fine and so was the tree. I asked Franklin what he did. I imagined three army tanks ... or a very powerful prayer. He said he used a shovel ... those Trussells ... they were always using shovels.
All through my childhood, we visited San Pasqual often, spending time with both the Judsons and the Trussells. When we lived in Linda Vista we would often stay over night at the Judsons. I remember Rease and I would stay in the west bedroom on the top floor. I used to love thinking I awakened with the roosters. I would then go out and watch Smiley and his son feed hay to the cows. They did it from a horse drawn wagon and, if I caught them in the hay barn while they were still loading the bales of hay I could catch a ride. Those old work horses were pretty amazing. They had the entire route and every stop memorized. Smiley would just make a chirping sound by sucking air through his teeth and off they would go to the next stop ... of course they took the same trip 365 times a year. I also used to love wandering around the barn to find the baby calves and let them suck on my fingers. During the spring, when they were putting up the silage, you could hear the machine that chopped the corn from a long way. As I recall the chopper was driven by a big belt from a tractor and after it chopped the corn it sent it up a long snout into the top of the silo. Out behind the annex to the house was a garden that Rebecca kept and, on early trips, I seem to remember Mom and Dad working in that garden too. But the garden didn't interest me so much.
The chickens DID interest me. There were chickens everywhere. The ranch did have a chicken house and, if you visited it real early in the morning, you could find eggs the chickens had laid. I was only successful in this enterprise on a few occasions. As early as I thought I was someone usually beat me.
Another big time in those early visits was horseback riding. Actually I doubt if I ever rode the horse in those early days by myself. Generally I would ride with my Dad or my Uncle Charlie. Later on as I got older and gained more confidence I would go riding with my cousins, occasionally with my cousin Karen Ullyatt, who just loved to go to San Pasqual and ride the horses. I remember two things in particular: Galloping in the alfalfa fields, being scared to death, and how, every time we even pointed the horses in the direction of home, they would immediately want to run directly there with no diversions.
Guns came as part of the San Pasqual culture. Most of my San Pasqual relatives had them. They were required from time to time to perform normal ranch duty, protection from rattle snakes but more than that they were used for hunting and sharpshooting
practice. I was most familiar with Franklin's guns and those of our own. Actually we only had three 22's and a shot gun and what I remember about Franklin is mostly that he had a lot more. He even had a set up for skeet shooting and I remember trying it on his place. I found it nearly impossible to hit those darn things and the gun kicked the heck out of my shoulder. He also had a pistol which I also had the opportunity to use a few times ... had the same experience ... couldn't hit a darned thing and it had a heck of a kick. Until I ran into those weapons, I used to think I was quite the sharpshooter. He also had a 30 ought 6, a rifle which fired a relatively small caliber bullet but did so with a large chamber for the charge. I think he used it for deer hunting.
My early training with rifles was in San Marcos. There Dad taught us how to carry a rifle, how to manage the safety and generally how to treat this dangerous weapon with proper respect. It was also in San Marcos where Rease and I used to sit for hours, leaning over the pipeline that carried the Escondido-Vista Aqueduct with either my Dad's or my Mother's 22, shooting ground squirrels or an occasional jack rabbit. Dad's 22 was preferred because it had a telescopic site with cross hairs. You could hit a squirrel at 100 yards with that thing. We had to get them on the first shot or they'd scurry back down their hole. Amos seemed to encourage the practice as the rodents were destructive to his crops anyway. Later on I got a BB gun and eventually a 22 gauge air-pump pellet gun at home. I became quite good with targets that would sit still for a moment.
About this time we went out to San Pasqual to visit the Judsons and, having brought Mom's 22 with me, I prevailed upon Uncle Charlie (against his better judgement I'm sure) to let me shoot a few of those chickens he had "free ranging" around the farm. Eventually he gave in, defining the area where I could hunt and limiting my targets to the roosters. Well it wasn't long before I had two of those roosters, right between the eyes. Would've had them sooner, but they kept moving their stupid little heads. I guess Charlie heard the action and decided it was time to visit. He told me that before I shot any more I should clean the ones I had already terminated. He would help me. First we went to the milk barn where he filled a galvanized bucket with water and injected it with live steam from a line in the barn until the water was scalding hot. Then we went out to a small refuse pile the ranch maintained just north of the milk barn, between the room where the grain was stored and one of the corrals where the cows waited for milking. There we dipped each rooster in the scalding water in the bucket and Charlie instructed me on how to pluck the feathers from the chickens. The dip in the scalding water facilitated this greatly. After the feathers were removed, I was surprised to learn that chickens have hair. Charlie got some newspaper, wadded it up, and using some matches he carried on him, he lit the newspaper and we literally burned the hair off the chickens. I learned hair burns easily, but it doesn't smell so good when it does so. Then he took me into the kitchen where Mom and Rebecca worked with me to help me open the chickens up and gut them. I viewed this as an unpleasant and gruesome task. It took quite a while. By the time we finished, it was dark and I'd forgotten all about chasing anymore chickens with my 22 that day ... in fact the loss of interest turned out to be permanent.
When the Robert Trussell family lived in Linda Vista my mother, Margaret, used to raise Cocker Spaniel puppies. We kept the mother and one puppy, named "Blondie" from one of the last litters. Though I remember a picture of Blondie and I remember her mother as being more red in color, I can remember only one concrete experience with the dogs and it happened to be in San Pasqual. Often when we would go to San Pasqual to visit Rebecca and
Charley and Uncle Franklin and Jane, Dad liked to go over and visit Mrs. Johnson and she would give us oranges. She had the best oranges and I suspect Dad's habit of eating Johnson oranges and drinking their juice went back at least three decades. I remember him telling me that when he was 12 he gave the Johnson boy an old 22 rifle he had acquired in a trade for fifteen quarts of orange juice... can you imagine, fifteen quarts! As I recall Mrs. Johnson lived on the northeast side of the valley, just up the road past the cemetery.
Well, back to Blondie. It's a short, sad story really. During one of our visits to Mrs. Johnson, when we started out, our car went over a little bump. Dad suddenly exclaimed, "Damn!", stopped the car, and ran around the back. Turned out we had stayed in with Mrs. Johnson a little longer than usual and while we were there, Blondie had fallen asleep under the car. We took Blondie home and buried her.