Mom broke her hip and fell on 12/12/12 (also my sister Betty's 64th birthday).  She was just getting out of her chair to go to the bedroom for a nap.  Dad was there but he could not break her fall.  She may have tripped causing her to step awkwardly.  She was taken to the Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) which is one-quarter mile from their home.  It was a bad break but the surgeon told us on Thursday (12/13) that he "can fix it."  They put Mom (bed one) on the third floor with another woman (bed two) who was also waiting for surgery.  KRMC assigns a nurse-aide to each of these rooms.  Treeva is a 27-year-old nursing student (and former used car salesperson) who will graduate in May.  She has a 5-year-old daughter and a live-in boyfriend.  Treeva took great care of my Mom and the other lady, both of whom were mostly confused about their situations.  Bed-two could not have solid food but she was constantly saying: "Can I get some food?" and "These people won't give me any food!" and "You're starving me to death!" and  "I want a ham sandwich!"  Treeva answered her every time explaining that her stomach could not handle food right now.  After a while, Mom joined the chorus when Bed-two would say: "Can I get some food?" then Mom would say "Get her some food."  Treeva said that this would be her nightmare tonight.  Finally, both patients fell asleep.  We were hoping that Mom would get her surgery on Thursday afternoon but it was postponed to Friday morning because of a surgical staffing problem.

Mom went into surgery at noon on Friday (12/14).  Because of the severity of the break, it was a 90-minute procedure.  The doctor told us that it was a complex break that had to be reconfigured like a jigsaw puzzle.  However, Mom came through the surgery without complication.  She will start physical therapy on the weekend and could be home in three to four days.  [JAM 12/14/2012]

My father will be 89 next month.  He and my 88-year-old mother will also celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary in April.  Dad was in the mood to tell war stories when I saw him this week.  I have heard most of the stories but he told one this time that I had never heard.  He said that he had not told this story because he thought that nobody would believe him.  Dad had joined the United States Navy soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  After a brief amount of training, he was assigned to the USS Maryland battleship (that had survived the Pearl Harbor bombing attack) for the duration of World War II.  The Maryland experienced significant damage and loss of lives from torpedo and kamikaze attacks during the war in the Pacific.  In April 1945, a kamikaze strike forced the battleship to return to the naval shipyard in Bremerton, Washington for repairs.  During his time at Bremerton, Dad had befriended a civilian welder on the repair crew and had been buying cigarettes for the welder from the navy base where military personnel could purchase a carton for fifty cents.  On August 3, 1945 with repairs nearing completion, Dad met his friend and told him that he had the last carton of cheap cigarettes for him because the battleship was sailing back to war against Japan.  The welder told Dad that the Maryland would never get to Japan because the island would be bombed soon and the war would be ended.  The Maryland sailed for three days but then turned around when Hiroshima was hit with an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.   The battleship sailed back to the port of Long Beach, California where my father met my mother during the victory celebrations.  Did a civilian welder know in advance one of the most highly guarded secrets in our history?  My Dad thinks he did.  [JAM 3/20/2012]


After I retired, I found my childhood friend Cameron Stone (first on the left) living in Palm Desert, California.  He had built a successful business (Cam Stone Automotive) there and had become a prominent member of the community.  We held a neighborhood reunion at Cameron's house with Dan Schulenburg (on my right) and Richard Moreno (on my left) in the summer of 2012.  Cameron Stone had just retired and sold his business as we reconnected with him.  Sadly, he died on Christmas Eve 2012 at the age of 66.  [JAM 6/13/2020]

When I retired in 2009, I decided to try to find some childhood friends.  The first ones I found were my "blood brothers" from elementary school.  I attended four schools in the third grade.  My Dad decided to sell the house on Corby because he wanted to live in Texas near his sisters and be a long-distance trucker.  I thought we were on vacation.  But after one long work trip, Dad decided to come back to Southern California.  We first lived with my grandparents in Bellflower and then rented a house on Orr & Day Rd. in Norwalk.  After my grandfather died suddenly after Christmas 1954, my grandmother sold her house in Bellflower and helped us buy a house on Studebaker Rd. where she lived with us.

I had no friends in that neighborhood but continued 3rd grade at Glazier.  Meanwhile, my grandmother got a temporary job as a housekeeper for a single father with three sons who lived across the alley from us.  They were my first friends there.  The oldest boy, Cameron was also in also in 3rd grade but was 8 months older than me.  He was like a big brother to me. Cameron's friend, Danny lived on the same block.  The three of us goofed around together from 3rd through 8th grade.  During one summer we decided to be blood brothers.  We always played at Cameron's house because there were no adults at home except for the rotating housekeepers.  Cameron and Danny cut their fingers with a knife and I scraped a finger on the concrete wall to make it bleed.  We put our fingers together; put the blood on a stick and buried it.  Blood brothers.

After 8th grade, Cameron's father remarried and sold the house in Norwalk.  They moved into his step-mother's house in Downey.  During the summer between 8th and 9th grade, I would ride my bicycle from Norwalk to Downey to play with Cameron and his (now) three brothers.  Dan Schulenburg and I went to NHS.  There were about 20 of us who came from over from Los Alisos to NHS when the school district decided to give those one block south of Rosecrans the option of Excelsior or NHS.  Over 90% of my elementary school friends went to Excelsior.  Danny and I walked to high school because we did not like riding the bus.  When I got my learner's permit at 15-1/2, I would drive us to school and my mother would drive the car home.  Danny and I never had a class together at NHS.

After high school I lost track of the blood brothers.  I saw Cameron one time after I was discharged from the navy.  He was living in an apartment in Downey with his first wife and their young son.  We talked for a while and the next day we went to a baseball game.  I did not see him again for over 35 years.  I saw Danny one time when we were both shopping at Camping World.  We were both married with kids but he was going through a divorce.  Danny was an architect who had formed a company with a partner.

I found Cameron after retirement through an internet search.  He was living in Palm Desert and was the owner of a successful auto repair shop known as Cam Stone Automotive.  I called him and set up a meeting in Palm Desert.  He was also retired but did not want to be.  When I got there, he was wearing braces on his legs to ease the pain when he walked.  He had finally seen a doctor about the pain in his feet but they did not know what was causing it.  He had a really nice house in town where he was living with his third wife who was still working as a nurse.  He drove me to see the very nice business that he still owned but was leasing to a friend.  Over the next two years, I would stop to see him and his wife when I went to Kingman to see my parents.  We always met in Palm Desert because of his condition.

In 2012 we decided to have a reunion of the blood brothers in Palm Desert.  It took a while, but I finally found Danny.  He had sold his business and was living in a motor home with his second wife.  They did not have a permanent home.  They would drive every year from Lake Havasu in the winter to North Dakota in the summer.  They would park the vehicle at various family properties on the route.  Danny is second from left in the photo.  Cameron is on the far left.  The fourth guy is another friend from the neighborhood who went to Catholic school.  We talked for hours and had a nice lunch.  We had planned to have other meetings but Cameron died suddenly of stomach cancer on Christmas Eve 2012.  The last time I saw Danny was at my mother's memorial in 2013.  He showed me that Cameron was holding a bloody handkerchief in this photo.  We think that he knew he had a terminal illness at the time but did not tell anyone.