Through Any Given Door

1.55 Buck Fever, Sep 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15)
Sep 1  Went to State Fair in Sacramento. Got pennant, glassware, and chameleon. Saw exhibits, spent $5. Had false alarm. Eve went also.
Sep 2 Washed Carters windows for first time got $15 for inside and out. Got sheet, plate, block, and single issue of the new red GAR stamps.
Sep 3  Two $50 radios were stolen from the store. Maybe C.O.P. (College of Pacific) boys. Stayed open until 9:15. Got black satin for case.
Sep 4  Saw show Calamity Jane and Sam Bass with Howard Duff. Had mass here at 8-10-11 for first times this morning. I went to 10 o’clock.
Sep 5  Labor Day, opened store at 9 and closed at 7. Put up 10 cent and 50 cent counters. Went back to lock the safe. Got pint of chocolate malt.
Sep 6  Signed up for courses at high school. Will take chemistry, P.E., English, typing, business law, advertising and band. Carleen registered. Had movies for band.
Sep 7  Band played at Center squad game at C.O.P. (College of Pacific) one hurt. Carleen won 2 season passes to College of Pacific Football game. Saw All American Eddie La Barron play football. 
Sep 8  Saw the The Boy With the Green Hair. Heard “Opportunity Time”, 5 year old boy won by singing. Accordion player best.
Sep 9  Got Christmas cards in. Brought those that had to be filled home and filled many. Got records completely put in stock.
Sep 10  Washed Dr. Parkers windows for $1 and got regular job there every Monday. Carleen got letter from Angels Camp. Bought new belt.
Sep 11  Played with band at Elks picnic. Second day off this year from store. Cassie Jo went. Took down curtains. Got nosebleed playing volleyball.
Sep 12  Back to school. Carleen frosh. I am now a junior. Only boy in typing. Cleaned Dr. Parkers windows 75 cents per hour

Carleen, Sonora Union High School freshman group photo

Sep 13  Freshmen being razzed. Saw show Neptune’s Daughter Red Skelton and Esther Williams. Got assignment for Wildcat, took horn back.
Sep 14  Mopped Dr. Parkers office for $1.25. Hagemeyer had band play Boster for first piece. Taking Spanish, English, Typing, PE, Business Law, Band and Journalism
Sep 15  Wrote post card to Dick Roach KROG. Semifinals of “Opportunity Time” 11 year old girl won. Dropped Spanish, took up Chemistry.
Sep 16  Went bowling for 1st time but I have watched before. Jim Baker taught me, got scores of 82-95-94 and I paid 92 cents. Got sunburn playing football in 3rd P.E.
Sep 17  Saw shows Geronimo and Manhattan Angel at Lower. Dad went hunting but did not catch a deer.
Sep 18  I am business manager for Sonora High newspaper and must get all the ads from stores and pay for printing the paper
Sep 19  Had to use old horn at T.C.B. practice. Got ads for Wildcat, bought workbook for Business Law.
Sep 20  Read some real old Green & Golds. Got more ads. Band marched for first time. Have got $8.80 in ads.
Sep 21  Mopped and waxed Dr. Parkers floors. Nurse came in. Carlson came back to school from hospital. Had cheerleader assembly.
Sep 22  Band marched for practice again. Got more ads for Wildcat. Got job at Gem Cafe washing windows and Mode O’Day.
Sep 23  Band marched in public for first time in auditorium, downtown, and at football game with Sutter Creek. We won both 32-7. Big fire during game.

Sonora High auditorium

Note from Larry: The building to the right of the auditorium housed the science, English, history and math classrooms. There were four or five major buildings on campus including the gym. The industrial arts buildings were across the street in wooden buildings. Behind the auditorium were the tennis courts and football field. The back of the auditorium contained the band and orchestra room so the music was away from the other classrooms in the other buildings. Yes. I took every music class I could including orchestra, band and music theory. The building could host the entire student-body of about 500 students. 

Sep 24  Ordered Easter, Graduation, Valentine, and many other kinds of cards from Vollant. Looked through chemistry set.
Sep 25  Saw show Come to the Stable at the Sonora Theatre. Did some setting up for the printing of Wildcat. Today was Dad’s birthday.
Sep 26  Had band practice 13 people there at T.C.B. (Tuolumne County Band). Changed typewriters again at school. Class can sit anywhere in Business Law now.
Sep 27  Flea Circus came to town, just a clip joint, saw strip tease. 90 cents to get in main show, 30 cents to sit down, $1.10 for other place.
Sep 28  Went to Junior-Senior hockey game. Seniors won 8-0. Formed Hi in band practice. I am the dot of the i.
Sep 29  Got plastic covered student body card that is white this year. 2 girls in English lost wallets. Still getting ads.
Sep 30  Went to Polio Benefit show. Lasted 3 hours and 1 hour on KROG, Burks M.C. Had mock wedding, dances, all kinds of talent.


Uncle Jim Fouch with Shorty

September 1949 • Twain Harte ~ September is deer season. My father was initiated into deer hunting up in the Twain Harte hills above Sonora in the canyon behind Sugarpine. He’d been pheasant hunting with his brother-in-law, Jim Fouch, up near Colusa a few times, but hunting deer was a whole ‘nother ball of wax. First off, my father got buck fever. Then he got lost. When a hunter has a deer in his rifle sights but freezes and can’t pull the trigger, that’s buck fever. Dad had never killed a deer; he got lightheaded when he had to kill chickens. Dazed and feeling a little sick, he dropped his gun and wandered into the clearing. With the hunters in red caps and jackets firing every which way, he hightailed it out of camp, crashing into the woods. Dad stumbled along for hours. Rather than hiking the ridge out to Tuolumne not that far from where he was, he followed the coursing Tuolumne River downstream through the rough canyon to Jacksonville, miles from where he started.


It took him half a day to get back to a road, and then half a day more waiting for a passing car to flag down. No one knew he was lost until he finally showed up in the early evening, shaken, embarrassed, and exhausted. Not only that, he’d lost everything he had with him. His hat. His rifle. His pride. Hunting is exciting for some, but if you get buck fever, hunting is a nightmare. For my father, who was raised a farmer and not a hunter, deer hunting once was enough.

to be continued…

© 2017. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

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  1. Larry must’ve been darn indispensable! And a master of understatement. I sympathize with your dad… good for him that he couldn’t kill a deer!!

  2. Susan Davidson Dalberg says:

    Larry rarely mentions “mom”. Hmmm.

  3. What was Angel’s Camp? Your poor dad. How frightening that must have been.

  4. Jim Chatfield says:

    That was quite a story on deer hunting and quite an experience for your father.

  5. Darlene Mills says:

    Knowing the area you write of, I know what a very long distance that is. We were recently boating down in the old Jacksonville area and I live in the Tuolumne area. My father was an avid deer hunter. I can only imagine how difficult it was. If only Larry were there to write his story. Lol

  6. Your poor dad! It must have been a nightmare being lost. Glad you got him back safely.

    • I get my sense of direction, or lack thereof, from my father, but I’ve never been THAT lost. Another reason that I’m an indoor girl. My mother wasn’t much better, though she lost her way on a much larger scale.

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