Posted in Family History

Observations of G-ma Ruth’s diary

No entries for the next few days in G-ma Ruth’s diary, but I have noticed a few things in putting these posts together. I had always heard that during that time my grandparents lived in St. Helena, California. They even had a P.O. Box #43 there. But I have noticed that the telegrams that were delivered in April 1943 are addressed to 1731 Alabama Street, Vallejo, Ca. This is the house at that location. It was built in 1928 so I have to assume it was somewhat similar in 1943. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.

In the diary my grandmother calls it an apartment so perhaps the addition on the house contained a small apartment or the area where the garage is now could have been a small apartment. Will have to see if I can find any other information on this address. This house is very close to the Mare Island Naval Station, so I can see why they would be living here. St. Helena is about 30+ miles away. From her diary she talks of visiting St. Helena often and usually staying over at her brother-in-law’s (Carl) place.

She has written already in her diary her desire to live in St. Helena…even looking at some places there. Will have to see as the diary continues whether they move or not!


Posted in Family History, Pyatt

1926 – Life on the Navajo reservation

Navajo Reservation Oil Well circa 1926

G-pa Pyatt (Charles Alfred Pyatt)

G-pa Pyatt and Dad (Earl E. Pyatt)

G-pa Pyatt and Dad

My father, Earl E. Pyatt, often talked about living on an Indian reservation when he was young.  He always commented to us on how all they had to eat was pinto beans and creamed corn.  He loved pinto beans but never really acquired a liking for creamed corn…hardly remember it ever being served at our house.  My nephew was doing a report in school on Indians of the Southwest and my father sent the following information to him regarding his life there.

Excerpt from my Dad’s letter dated 8/31/2003 to Steven (his grandson) regarding life on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

“When I was about four years old my father worked for an oil drilling company and we lived in company housing on the Navajo reservation.  This was in the Four Corner’s area west of Shiprock, NM along the Utah-Arizona border.  I was the only kid in the oil camp and so the kids I could play with were all Navajo.  They didn’t speak any English, but I did learn a few words in Navajo.  I guess we used a sort of sign language and didn’t need words just to play.

I remember playing in and around their hogan and remember the smoky mesquite aroma from their clothing and inside where their mother cooked their meals.  Another thing I remember was playing “stick horse” – running around after each other with a broomstick between our legs pretending it was a horse.

We lived there until I was school age and then moved to a town in New Mexico so I could go to school.  Later, during World War II, I was in the New Mexico National Guard and had several friends there who were Navajo.  In the combat area in the Philippines, they were in charge of telephone communications and passed information in Navajo so they would not be understood by the enemy.  All the Navajo people I have known were very nice people and I enjoyed knowing them.”