Saturday, February 19, 2005

To continue on in the early evening, our next stopping off place was the Fiesta RV Park in Indio, California. I called old, dear friend Patricia (Patti) Cates, now Brenner who lives in Sun City in Palm Desert, not far away. The next day we went to her lovely home to go out for lunch.

On the way there we stopped for an entrance view of Sun City.

Marilyn took a picture of the two of us out front.

We drove over to the Boulevards Restaurant within Sun City.

We visited with Patti after lunch in her beautiful family room.

We said our goodbyes and snapped a shot of her corner lot.

And stopped off at Curves on the way home to work off lunch.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER CAMPGROUND ... This is where I began writing this saga ... at the Thousand Trails Oakzanita Campground at Descanso, California going north on Highway 79. We stayed there 4 nights, traveling one day to Julian, California, an historic spot in its own right ... famous for its apple pie and other sweet things.

Marilyn had boysenberry pie (in the rear).


The Cedar Fire - October 2003... found my grandson, Adam, fighting this fire with the CFD (California Fire Department) together with an engine unit from the Novato, California, Fire Department of which my son-in-law, Forrest Craig, (and Adam's father) is one of their chiefs. Adam was a mile away. It was a devastating fire and it took the life of one our own, Steven Rucker, and burned badly several of the other fine men. Friend Harry Lehmann, Novato resident and friend of the Ruckers, has written a lovely song now on a CD entitled "Sirens of Mercy."

Now that I have spent a little time in the area where Steven died and the others so courageously fought this deadly conflagration (started by a careless camper, I think) I want to add these pictures to the memorial.

This is the way the area looks today, 16 months later.

And another shot ....

While driving toward Julian from our campground we found this sign near the local volunteer fire station.

We found out in town that the local citizens dedicated the road where the trouble happened, firefighters trapped, in a small town named Wynola down Highway 78 west of Julian... a dirt road just past the school house ... and renamed it Rucker Road.

As always in the aftermath, new life springs forth and today the famous surviving apple trees are in bloom, as are the daffodils ... spring has sprung .....

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
--John Fitzgerald Kennedy


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