Sunday, July 13, 2014

(ROBERTS) Jerry and the Rhubarb

One night in the 1950s, or thereabouts, little Jerry Roberts was walking home. 

El Monte area, California

His family lived on Fawcett Ave in South El Monte, California. Although the area is now urban, at the time it was surrounded by fields and a hog farm called Durfee's Ranch.

South El Monte, showing Legg Lake and Fawcett Ave (the red marker)
Notice also Durfee Ave, named after the ranch that used to be in the area
As Jerry walked home, he noticed the fields of rhubarb near Legg Lake. He happened to have a grocery bag with him, and he happened to like rhubarb, so he started to pick some.

Next thing he knew, a cop was pulling over. 

"What are you doing?" the officer asked. 

"I'm just picking some rhubarb," Jerry replied. 

"You can't do that," he was told.

Reminiscing on the story 50 years later, he added, "I don't think I even got to pick any" before the cop arrived.

The family larder was not filled that night, but a simple story was created that has become a beloved part of my family's lore.

Little Jerry Roberts :)
Don, Jack, Jerry, and Diana Roberts at their Uncle Curtis Laws' house,
circa 1954