Archive for January, 2016

Mondays with Melitas – January 25, 2016

SEVEN YEARS LATER                                             JANUARY 25, 2016


Today is Saturday, January 23, 2016. The Warden and I had a couple of visitors. I had to scramble around and dress hurriedly and there is no such word in my brain’s dictionary as “hurriedly” anymore — “slow as molasses” is more like it.

Jennifer and Mike arrived, and after much hugging, we planted ourselves on the sofa, where a non-stop gab fest began. We had not seen each other since 2009. Now then, Jennifer is a granddaughter of one of my oldest and dearest pals since 1938. Gram was none other than Bertha Petinack Ragan Tickey. She was, and remains a star of stars in Women’s Softball. She accomplished records (stats) which probably will never be broken. Just one is that she won 762 games and lost only 88 with 161 no hit, no run games. She holds the all-time record for single game strikeouts in a National Tournament with 20 in 7 innings in 1953 and then named to the National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1972, [Google her to finish the list.] Sadly, she went on her “big vacation” in 2014.

Naturally, the conversation was about Bertha and my closeness to her. I was invited to Dinuba because I had been Bertha’s first catcher in high level Women’s Softball League which played from Phoenix, to Orange to Long Beach, to Santa Ana, Fresno, and Portland, OR. That isn’t all of the teams but it gives you some idea.

On January 23, 2009, Alba and I were invited to attend a momentous occasion in Dinuba, CA, where Bertha was living. Dinuba High School was dedicating a brand new softball field in honor of her.

Sitting there, we went on to remember March 2009. That was my fifteen minutes of fame. I had been honored to be the Grand Marshal of the San Juan Capistrano Annual Swallows Day Parade, and it was fitting that Bertha attend, along with daughter and two granddaughters. So that conversation went on for awhile. Those were days never to be forgotten, and here is what we didn’t realize until later: January 23, 2009, we were all at Bertha’s dedication, and here we were today, the exact day seven years later!

Jennifer’s mom (Janice) is quite the Entrepreneur. She has a Candy business up in Sonoma area: Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia, CA,; Columbia Candy in Sonora; and Nelson’s Candies in Murphy, CA.

I now have a beautiful heart-shaped box of Valentine candy sent from Janice via Jennifer and Mike. Thank you one and all.



Sweet Memories.


MELITAS FORSTSER                                     MONDAYS WITH MELITASberthabig

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Mondays with Melitas – January 4, 2016

Playing Cribbage with Grampa Moore (from her book “What a Life”)

When I was around 5 years old, my folks had Mom’s parents, Charles and Charlotte Moore, move down to live with us in Fullerton. They were in their mid-seventies. My Dad had a comfortable room with bath added on to the rear of our home. This room had an outside entrance so that they would have their privacy — and besides it was probably much cheaper to build it that way instead of going through the outside wall of the house. They had lived in Virginia City, Nevada when they moved there in the early 1870’s for Grampa Moore to work in the silver mines, and he became a Superintendent with the Sutro Mining Company. They had migrated to America from England where Grampa had worked in the coal mines, settling first in Pennsylvania with a job in a coal mine there. My Mom was born in Virginia City in 1878.

Grampa Moore had a favorite big chair in a corner of our dining room. The chair was one of those Mission Style types, popular in the early 1900’s. Heavy, heavy oak legs, wide arm rests, and the back could be released back if you wanted to relax a bit and not have to sit straight. The seat was a leather-covered removable cushion, and the back also removable. It was a great chair, and I used to love to sneak on it when no one was paying attention, because I was always told it was Gramp’s chair. The chair was next to the big dining room window so he could get a glimpse of the street, but most of the time he would read the newspaper, then he would sit there playing solitaire. Then he would take a walk around the neighborhood for a little fresh air and settle his nerves, I would surmise. He was always yelling a lot at Granny Moore, and I really don’t know why because she was quite deaf and couldn’t understand half what he was yelling about anyway, and that only made him madder. When I look back on this, I think he was just frustrated with sitting around not knowing what to do with himself.

Grampa would try to get someone to play cribbage with him — his cribbage board was always close by; but no one seemed to have time. Granny sometimes would sit and play with him, but it didn’t go too well so she wouldn’t go near that corner of the dining room for fear of getting roped in to a little game. My Mom was too busy with raising us three kids that were still around, and Dad was away at work. And Buddy, my brother, who was 10 years older than I, was in his own little world with school sports — and excelling in them so no time for cribbage with our Grampa.

I will never know how it happened ….. all of a sudden there I was sitting there with the cribbage board between us, and Grampa teaching me the game. Well, I just fell right into it, loving every minute, and we would play for hours. I didn’t even bother going to the 3rd house up the street where I just loved to go and find the pan to wear at that rakish angle and sit on their front porch steps for awhile and watch the world go by on No. Pomona Ave.

Viv, my younger sister— by 18 months —- never got involved. She probably was smart enough by now to know not to interrupt something I was involved in. Besides, she had her dolls.

So there we were — Grampa Moore and me playing our little hearts out doing the “15-2, 15-4, and 4 is 8” and since he was a very wise Grampa he was probably letting me win a few games so I wouldn’t quit on him…..knowing me.

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