About Me

Overview

 

What started as an e-mail to a friend regarding an incident that had happened in our youth morphed into something more than just a few e-mails. After exchanging several stories I decided to incorporate them into a single document and share them with the readers of the world. The first installment is basically an introduction to Yours truly and a host of personalities that will be returning in future writings. 

Degar (1-1-12) A "Happy New Year" Wish To ALL!

Meet the Author

 

I am a native Californian with my birthplace being in that "sleepy-little-hollow" of Taft, which is located in the southwest sector of the San Joaquin Valley in the county of Kern. My family soon migrated to Long Beach in 1949 and into the east-side neighborhood of Belmont Shore. I went through the local schools up to and including Woodrow Wilson High School where I graduated in June of 1963. I spent my adult life in the petroleum industry enabling me to see much of the world. I have since retired and spend my time between Long Beach and Nuevo Arenal, Tilaran, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This is my first attempt at writing anything let alone my life's story. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!



Product Details
Degar: The Life and Times of an "Odd Duck" Vol. 1 Book1 (Same as above) by Degar D. Drake, Hilary Ellis and Dann Froehlich (Kindle Edition - Nov 4, 2011)Kindle eBook-



Dennis Frank Garrison b. June 20, 1944 in the Westside Hospital - Taft, California to Alvis Warren "Red" Garrison USN and Kathleen Lois "Bunny" (Anderson) Garrison

I am the "bump" under Mom's dress and dear old Dad's to blame! (1944)

The Westside Hospital in Taft, California

Westside Hospital in Taft, California (my birthplace: June 20, 1944)
Mom holding baby Degar (err, Dennis) in Maricopa, CA 1944
Earliest known photo of the "Artful Dodger" (1944)
Degar at 8-years in St. Bartholomew garb (1952)
Bobby G & Degar (1954) Degar at 10-years of age!
Degar at 11-years old! "The one that didn't get away!" (1955)
Degar & Bobby G (1958) Degar at 14-years old! (Photo by Jackie McLean)

Letters written to Mom from the cabin on the Greenhorn (Lake Isabella) 1958

Letters to Mom (1958) #2
Letters to Mom (1958) #1
Kathy, Don, Degar & Barbara at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in the Summer of '60 (Degar is one-month-shy of his 16th birthday!) To be continued..............

History of Taft, California (Degar's place of birth in 1944)

Taft's Center Street (Note: "Tuttles Eatery" on right would in 75-years become the "Office Bar" where Degar and the "Ange" (aka: Tom Angel) drank many a beer! You can read of our misadventures in Chapter 11 of my memior)
Early Days of Taft #1 (When it was named: MORON!)
Early Days of Taft #2 (Mr. Boust had an eerie resemblance to the aforementioned "Ange," aka: Tom Angel)
Early Days of Taft #3 (Taft's humble beginnings with what would become Taft Heights in back-drop.)
Early Days of Taft #4 (Old wooden derricks in a massive oilfield)
Early Days of Taft #5
Early Days of Taft #6 (Center Street circa: 1910) In later years the Fox Hotel would be built just to photo left.
Early Days of Taft #7 Taft's 1st Undertaker/Mortician (Note the plume of smoke in back-drop; business must be booming!)
Early Days of Taft #8 (Warmock & Hopkins Store in 1909)
Early Days of Taft #9 (Note: wooden derrick of yore moving to a new drilling location!)
Early Days of Taft #10 (Mascot Oil-Lease up on 25-Hill the place of my Father's birth: Alvis Warren "Red" Garrison January 23, 1924)
Early Days of Taft #11 (May's Gusher)
Early Days of Taft #12
Early Days of Taft #13 ("Lakeview Gusher" largest oil spill of the era near Maricopa)
Early Days of Taft #14 (Lakeview Gusher #2)
Early days of Taft #14 1/2 (Lake View Gusher #3)
Early Days of Taft #15 (Early "rough-necks" working the floor!)
Early Days of Taft #16 (This was the advent of rotary-drilling in the 1910's)

Taft's Early Fire-Fighters

Early Days of Taft #17
Early Days of Taft #18
Early Days of Taft #19 (circa 1918)
Early Days of Taft #20 (When the new fire station was built in 1964 I was in the employ of the Taft Plumbing Company (owners: Glenn & Bill Black) and installed the on-site plumbing system)

Oilfield and Town Fires of Yore!

Early Days of Taft #21 (Olfield fire of yore at the General Petroleum tank-farm)
Early Days of Taft #22 (Anchor Oil Company fire near Maricopa circa 1920's)
Early days of Taft #22 1/2 (Oil-field fire)
Early Days of Taft #23 (Fire on Center Street: circa 1925)
Early Day of Taft #24 (Burns Department Store Fire!)
Early Days of Taft #25 (Live Boxing)
Early Day of Taft #26 (Live Boxing #2)
Early Day of Taft #27 (The Old Distillery & Saloon)
Early Day of Taft #28 (The C&C Theater on Center Street)
Early Day of Taft #29 ( The C&C Theater was to later become the Sunshine Theater - cicra: 1920)
Early Day of Taft #30 (The West Coast Hippodrome Theater on Center Street)
Early Day of Taft #31 (A 4th of July Parade on Center Street)
Early Day of Taft #32 (The Fox Hotel burnt to the ground shortly after the opening of a "Topless Bar" circa 1967)
Early Day of Taft #33
Early Day of Taft #34 (Opera House Cast)
Early Day of Taft #35 (State Bank of Taft later to become the Crocker-Anglo Bank)
Early Day of Taft #36 (Trust Bank on Center Street)
Early Day of Taft #37 (Midway Driller)
Early Day of Taft #38 (Center Street on a busy day!)

Taft's Conley School District

Early Days of Taft #39
Early Days of Taft #40
Early Days of Taft #41
Early Days of Taft #41 1/2 (sorry; a late entry!)
Early Days of Taft #42
Early Days of Taft #43
Early Days of Taft #44
Early Days of Taft #45
Early Days of Taft #46
Early Days of Taft #47
Early Days of Taft #49
Early Days of Taft #50
Early Days of Taft #51
Early Days of Taft #52
Early Days of Taft #53
Early Days of Taft #54 (St. Mary's Catholic School is where I attended classes in 1951 before relocated to Long Beach for a second time in as many years; actually the first time was in neighboring Lakewood.)
Early Days of Taft #55
Early Days of Taft #56
Early Days of Taft #57
Early Days of Taft #58
Early Days of Taft #59
Early Days of Taft #60

More Photos of town (more specifically; Center Street and the "Oildorado-Days" of yore)

Early Days of Taft #61
Early Days of Taft #62 (Note the "daredevils" up on the tower above the theater's marquee)
Early Days of Taft #62 (I can only imagine what navigating Center Street was like in the rain?)
Early Days of Taft #63
Early Days of Taft #64
Early Days of Taft #65
Early Days of Taft #66 (Taft's Center Street in the1935 Siver Jubilee Parade)
Early Days of Taft #66
Early Days of Taft #66 1/4 ( And yes; another late arrival and the second to last photo of Center Street!)
Early Day of Taft #66 1/2 (opps; another late entry and last photo of Center Street circa 1941)
Early Days of Taft #67
Early Days of Taft #68
Early Days of Taft #69 (the Indy 500 it's not!)
Early Days of Taft #70
Early Days of Taft #70 1/2 (Opps!)
Early Days of Taft #71 (Apparently there was a Hurricane (their words; not mine!) in Taft as the photo above attests too!)

Churches of Taft

Churches of Taft #1
Churches of Taft #2
Churches of Taft #3
Churches of Taft #4
Churches of Taft #5

Fellows, California

Fellow #1 (Birth-place of family friends; Boyd & Richard (Dick) Parris in 1920 & 1923 respectively))
Fellow #2
Fellow #3: In the early 70's Mike Dunn (bar-keep at Topper's Bar & Resaurtant) and yours truly would sneak out of Taft on that 5-mile creep via the back-road through Taft Heights to the Fellows Hotel to get a "cold one," that is, until our wives got wise!
Fellow #4
Fellow #6

Reward, California

Reward, California (This is a new one on me folks. Apparently it was 3-miles southwest of McKrittick!)

McKrittick, California

McKrittrick #1
McKittrick #2
McKittrick #3
McKittrick #4
McKittrick #6
McKittrick #7

Maricopa, California (Note: this is the forerunner to the town my now late Mother; Kathleen Lois "Bunny" Anderson Garrison was raised)

Maricopa #1
Maricopa #3
Maricopa #4
Maricopa #5
Maricopa #6
Maricopa #7
Maricopa #8
Maricopa #9