posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 11:10 AM
The Redheads and the Matched Pair of 1890's
The oil patch along the SoCal coast - and any other oil lease areas - turned out some very muscular and confident young men.
Many of them deal with heavy weights in a dangerous, fast moving and slippery area.
Toss in some body surfing and ocean swimming along with a little skindiving, sandlot hardball at the college's well groomed diamond and it all added
up over time,
More than a few beauteous young ladies were surprised to see some of these presumed to be poor and on the wrong side of the tracks guys strip down at
Surprised because they didn't realize they'd be so sexually attracted to them.
Now and then, they'd see them around town in an older, well cared for and well tuned car wearing either dirty oilfield levi's & t-shirt or their
newer clean t-shirt.
Most times with their similarly dressed pal's.
Times like that there was no particular interest from the neatly turned out girls.
Sometimes a lucky oil field guy would get a date from one of these mostly unobtainable young ladies and who knows, maybe it was the young ladies who
were the lucky ones.
Not long after, they’d go too far and some of the girls gained weight rapidly for a few months.
A few of the idiot townie’s would ask why and usually the girl involved in that conversation answered that it was too many pizza's and beer and
leave as soon as it was polite.
Yeah, pregnant or not, they were embarrassed and who the hell could blame them.
Some of the girls were gutsy and just told them that she was pregnant and that they could kiss her ass.
More than a few of them figured that would be a great place to do some ass-kissing and they’d be pleased to do so.
That was when the fights started and more than a few townie’s got their butts kicked by the slender appearing and more than tough and strong oil
More than a few times the girl’s with middle manager exec type father's would drag down the old hunting rifle or shotgun and go after the daughters
Things happened sometimes.
Some father's died, some young men died, but most times each realized the futility of their position and went home after more than a few bitter words
Here it is fifty years later and the hurt and hate from one family to the other is still there.
The daughter did what pregnant, unmarried girl's have always done.
They went to school out of state if they could, but whether they went to school or not, they ended up living at an aunt & uncles until the dust
Not long after their return you'd see them pushing a baby carriage or the like and once in a while there would be a happy ending with a marriage and
a child new to the world.
Other times the new mom would end up single for a lot of reasons.
The Vietnamese war was heating up, the drug and hippie era was in full bloom, many young men were running off to Canada and it was easy for a
chicken-# guy to disappear no matter the reason.
The fatherless child would grow up in the girls family home and once locals realized what had happened, the general thought was the child was better
off in a stable home with a mom and two loving grandparents.
It was interesting to see - in this case - the girl's red haired child running with the red haired child of an oil field guy and a blonde girl new to
the town and the state as well.
They were best friends and many times both families let it go and it was just another family skeleton in the big, muchly used closet that most
Long hidden secrets could come to light years and generation’s later.
Some of them exactly what the town thought, but didn’t truly know and some that were a total surprise.
Strangest part about this story is the father of the girl, a Mr. Armstrong, the local bank president tried to shoot an oilfield guy named Michael, got
a round off and the classic old Winchester pump 22WRF ended up with a barrel bent at about 90 degrees, a crushed receiver and a severely damaged
walnut stock that was still beautifully figured, but now useless.
Out on the C.C.M.O. lease, well 19A, the lease just east of La Conchita near the Ventura-Santa Barbara county line is where Mr. Armstrong caught up
with the perceived miscreant.
The old man didn't expect the big compressor at the plant down the hill to blow the relief valve and the loud noise scared him, but it was a commonly
experienced noise in the oil fields.
Michael took the 22 rifle away from the old man without hurting him, stuck the barrel into a solid as a rock 4" guard pipe on the rig steps and bent
hell out of it.
Then he crushed the receiver & stock in the big Wilton vise on the back of the electricians truck and handed it gently back to the old man.
That was the end of the Armstrong family's matched pair of octagonal barrel Winchester's.
The 22 caliber 1890 was ok, but the WRF was pretty much a goner.
The two rifles came down off their mantlepiece display and were stored away.
As far as I know the 22 caliber was never fired again and ended up lying at the bottom of the dresser drawer collecting a bit of surface rust in the
humid and sometimes salty air of the Ventura, California coast.
Michael married the daughter and came to be accepted as a loved member of the Armstrong family.
Mr. Armstrong, a pretty lovable old guy his own self outlived Gail’s mom by quite a few years.
He wasn’t what you’d call a character, but he did have a strange sense of humor.
I don’t know how old he was when he attended Michael’s retirement party.
Michael, now 65 was completely stunned when he opened the long and slender package.
Inside were the two 1890's . . . the almost perfect 22 caliber and the almost totally destroyed 22 WRF.
The 22 WRF had a beautifully finished walnut stock, a straight and almost new barrel installed, but the old man couldn’t find a new or even an old
receiver to complete the repairs.
Just as well I suspect, it was almost to the point similar to the old story about Abraham Lincoln’s old axe.
I’m pretty sure you know that story, but that’s about all I’m going to say about Michael and Gail other than to mention I’m a redhead, still
have the 1890's, my family still works in the oil fields and I grew up in Ventura, California.....
Translucent can be very clear at times....
[edit on 6/9/2009 by Desert Dawg]