“Citrus Groves. That’s where we are traveling today. We are going to visit the Citrus Plantations in the San Fernando Valley.”

She loved to wave her arms in a wide sweeping motion, as if the whole world was her next destination for our Tourist Visits.

I thought the dog should hear this one, because we never would go anywhere without him.

“William Claude – Where are you?” Most likely digging a hole, or something like that, and sure enough he showed up with a bottle in his mouth.

“Pure Corn Whiskey “. That was a strange thing to find, but dogs will be dogs!

Mildred was the wife’s name, while I was called Harry Bison-a, which everyone said sounded French, but that’s what they say about everything that sounds foreign.

William Claude just staggered over to the dog dish and collapsed in the water. “Hmm”, I said. “Must be a hot day for him. I’d watch out for that water though, you just never can be sure!”.

Mildred loaded up the old truck and we hit the road for the San Fernando Valley. I had a map from the filling station, but couldn’t seem to make heads nor tails of it. I finally decided to let William Claude have a go of it, and put him on the hood of the car, our own hood ornament, pointing and such.

We drove for hours without any luck at all. I had heard that the San Fernando Valley, being famous for its citrus trees was the pride of the nation. For us though,  it was only a faint reminder that houses were more important than Tangerines.

We stopped at a small store, and bought some Popsicles made from watermelon, complete with seeds! Mildred just sighed while William Claude sniffed around looking to roll a drunk, or find two bits to buy a bottle at the local off-license store.

“You know what?” I told Mildred as we spit out the last of the watermelon seeds. “If I had a few more dollars put aside, we could have bought us, our own Tangerine Plantation”.

Mildred just looked at me and said, “That would have been a gift”, as William Claude staggered around the corner. “W.C.” yelled Mildred. “What trouble have you gotten into this time?”

W.C. just collapsed on the front seat and belched! The smell reminded me of Tangerines, but then I had them on my mind all day, then into the wee hours of the night as we drove home again.

Well, we got us a nice trip out of it all the same, but I don’t think we’ll drive all the way to Los Angeles again. Too far and too many foreign influences

“Hic” said W.C. in agreement, and passed out into his dog dreams, wearing a top hat and  twirling his cane…..




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