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  • Back before the Pubic Wars, as a young lad, I would go rabbit hunting with my father.

    Let me back-track. This was in the late '30's and my father would get permission to use a family "ranch" called El Capricho. Family lore said the place was won in a poker game from a sailor.

    Originally big plans were for the place. Two wood structures were built, both on the Mexican plan of center room with two rooms on each side with a covered porch along the front. There was also a swimming pool that was crumbling from no use. Why no use? Water. There was a rickety windmill down by the creek, but no matter my father's attempts to pump water, we were high and dry. But I digress.

    The year, take your pick. '38, '39, '40 the drill was the same. In August we would prepare for our vacation at Capricho. Out would come the large canvas tarp where all the bedding and clothes were laid out. This was rolled up and laboriously put on the roof of our '36 Chevy and tied to the bumper on each end. Before being tied to the back, our provisions were crammed in the trunk. Then we would pile in, six kids and two adults.

    We had no electricity or water at the ranch, so we used coal oil lamps for light. The days pretty much went the same. My father and I would get up before dawn and go rabbit hunting. My father would sit on the fender and using hand signals, would lead me on the hunt. Down and around we went until we had plenty of rabbits for the evening meal, which consisted of rabbit, mashed potatoes, gravy and a big garlic salad.

    After breakfast we would prepare to go to the beach for swimming. we were about 20 miles inland of Oceanside and took advantage of the surf for swimming, bathing and fun. We had a picnic on the beach and then headed back, stopping by the filling station to fill our water bottles, a local stand for corn and the market if needed.

    On Saturday night, my father would let us listen to the "Hit Parade" on the car radio.
    Then the day would begin again, hunting rabbits, but this time I might be the on on the fender giving the hand signals.

    Picture is the author on the left with real and step siblings.
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