Posts Tagged With: jail


Yesterday, our group arrived at this couple’s home and began helping me cut up vegetables. The woman would catch my eye and hold up her hand for enough carrots. She shook her head for the peas not to go in yet. Then indicated silently when the peas were added to the pot. She began the clean-up while the this typical Indian dish was cooked.

It surprised me that the husband directed the cooking action. Theo is adding spices. Pam is stirring. Notice the husband has leather shoes.

Ranvir told us that every household that cooks for itself has one of these treasures. Curry, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamon, cumin seed, and mustard seed. Sometimes ground cloves, ground cinnamon and basil seed.

Families cook outside in a home-made adobe stove. In the pan goes mustard oil first. The vegetables are carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, red onion, potatoes, peppers and peas. Stir fried first, a bit of water later to steam until done.

The wife cooked the naan on that same stove with a special pan of some kind. Her recipe is millet and water. We all tasted the food by scooping up the vegetables with a  piece of naan. Yummy.

The father gave us a tour of his property where he grows most of the food for this extended household. He has guava trees and another tree from which you use the twigs to brush your teeth. I’ve already forgotten the name of it.  I carried a branch around with me for two days to see what it was like. It has an alum feel and the broken end of a small branch acts like toothpicks and floss. (Indian people use regular toothbrushes.)

Using well water,  one daughter-in-law  hand washes clothes.  Each married son has his own house and an out-door bathroom with a flush toilet flowing into a common septic system. The toilets and septic system a benefit of Grand Circle.   Even though he isn’t as poor as most in this area, Grand Circle want people to adopt better hygiene. If Grand Circle hadn’t stepped in, they would simply use the ground and bury their waste. He sets a modern example for his kids, grandchildren and neighbors around him. Another form of education.

The kids have ample room to run around and play in a clean area. It is typical of older children to help with younger children in Indian families.

Someone made a rustic jungle gym.  Strong poles are tied together for the kids to swing and climb upon.

A group picture before we leave. Carol and Kathy hold up samples of the wife’s colorful clothing.

The family bids us goodbye.

They have a cow for milk.

From their long driveway, we see a beautiful girl with a baby. Ranvir speculates that she is probably 15 or 16 years old. Typical age for poor, uneducated girls to marry.

Our next visit in the village is a Women’s Cooperative where we will eat lunch. This woman, Joy, a dietician decided to help one family, and never left India.

These women are from a warrior tribe. Their husbands hunted tigers and leopards and sold the skins illegally. During a government crackdown, they were arrested and imprisoned. With their husbands in jail, these wives had no skills to make a living except prostitution. How would they survive?

At the Cooperative, they learn new skills. This gentleman shows me a block printed bed cover.

We’ve seen how it is done. A student carefully practices on a small square.

Some learn to sew. I buy three pillow covers and a lovely embroidered purse. Prices are a bit higher here than on the street, but still a bargain.

Men help the women, they keep track of the money, some  sew and/or maintain the machines and buildings. They also have a flush toilet on the premises.

Illeka is my lunch mate and she teaches me arabic  names of food we are eating and I give her the English words. Illeka is talkative and can  speak  somewhat garbled English and French.

Kathy has her picture taken with the women she bought things from.  Illeka indicated she wanted her picture taken with us.

But we misunderstood her. She wanted her picture taken with me with something I bought that she made. She showed me her craft and I obliged by buying this little hat hair pin. She was really sweet and charming.

Tomorrow, we take a long train ride to Bharatpur.

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Murphys Pokey – Murphys, California

Mary is no longer available for RV traveling, but we remain good friends.
Because we have 4,000+ postings, I’ve invited her to continue posting entries on this blog.
I’m currently in my 21st year of full-time RVing and my lifestyle is changing, For more info click Here


The motorhome is parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California. I am scheduled to depart November 28th. While here, I’ll do cleaning, routine maintenance and minor repairs to both vehicles.



Today’s Subject…Murphys Pokey…

Mary’s home is in the middle of a general area known as gold country, elevation 2,100 feet.

While wandering around town a few days ago, I came across the Murphys Pokey…not a sight I see everywhere I go!


As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…






























To read all about Murphys, click this link…,_California




I hope you enjoyed the photos!

Yesterday was mostly sunny and 66 degrees. Forecast for today is cloudy with some rain and 60 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 700 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet 2016

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During my visit to the Archives Wednesday, Deputy Patty Stinson gave several of us a personal “tour” of the murals she painted for the Office of Emergency Services, a public building at Santa Rita The subject of the murals came from historical pictures and history of the department.

IMG_2740 (Copy)Above is the earliest history and is done in a sepia tone, as old pictures were in those days. Some highlights: Center left, Sheriff Henry Morse road horseback from Sunol to Los Angeles in pursuit of Joaquin Murrieta. Above his head is a little Adobe that is still part of Komandorski Village in Pleasanton. It served as the first courthouse and jail. Under the horses hooves is another building built as a courthouse and beside it a bigger  courthouse with a prisoner hanging in the doorway, the punishment for major crimes of the day. Behind the steam engine is the first Patrol Car and below right is the first Patty wagon. Follow the road above to officers in brown gear. Complaints that the cops looked too much like telegraph delivery men made them change to navy-blue uniforms. To the left, a mad Chinaman threw a bomb that killed six officers. Patty put a lot of thought and work into these murals. She segued this one with a slight color change, on the right, to the next mural.

IMG_2741 (Copy)This mural is in black and white. Above left corner depicts the first Prison Farm in the State, nestled in the hillside near what is now Highland Hospital. The woman seated above the Greystone Sign is Firth Band, a cattle rustler. Around the coffee table the story was the detectives interrogating her insisted she couldn’t lift a huge steer into a truck, she must have had help. She stood 6 feet, 2″ tall. When she had had enough of the badgering, before he could blink and eye, she grabbed hefty Detective Welch, one hand around the shoulder, one under the crotch,  and lifted him into the air with ease. I asked Welch if it was a true story. He told me exactly how she grabbed him. Top center, an officer beaming a light down into the compound where inmates lived in barracks. To his right, Ramona Hoffman, a female deputy operating what is now an ancient comptometer.  The Russell City Country Club? Russell City was actually the county dump where people, mostly African Americans who couldn’t get decent housing, built their own. Wooden shacks and even some cardboard shacks, and eventually some little houses, a hall and a market. None built with permits. Famous black musicians would come to the Bay Area and play to sell out crowds and then do free concerts for their brethren at the Russell City Country Club. Below right is Captain Minna Ralph. She was chosen to be the first female deputy sheriff, though a number of female matrons did police services at the jails before her. When the Civil Service Exam for Sergeant came up, the exam board forgot to post that the exam was open to men only. Minna took the exam and passed. There was an outcry against a female “stealing” a position, but she got the rank. It opened up doors for other female deputies. She later became a Lieutenant and Captain, all “firsts” as well. On the right of the mural is a touch of color as it segues to the next one.

IMG_2743 (Copy)  Top left, female deputies new uniforms are designed like stewardesses. One deputy commented can you imagine us trying to run in those skirts? Females were only allowed in the jail then. Captain Ralph fought for positions in transportation and juvenile. Change came slowly but they eventually got into patrol cars with great success and you see them left center firing pistols on the range. Top center is Spade Cooley, a man in jail for murdering his wife. He was a famous musician. Twelve deputies were indicted after the street wars in Berkeley depicted to his left. The deputies were raising funds for their own defense and Deputies Baugh, Matzek and Saper asked for permission to get Spade Cooley out of jail for a weekend for two concerts. They housed him, guarded him and bought him a belt buckle and a pair of boots at his request. Cooley’s friends came up from as far away as Texas to hear him play. One famous western movie star rolled into Oakland with great big steer horns on his fur-lined Cadillac. Cooley did one concert and in the middle of the second one, died on stage of a heart attack. Who can forget the case of the 26 school children kidnapped from Chowchilla and buried underground in Livermore?  The Sheriff still has a posse, for parade purposes only, bottom right. And, a dual picture of Martin Luther King and Joan Baez. The Santa Rita jail was the only prison King visited. He came because Joan Baez was imprisoned when she protested in song and in person on the streets of Berkeley.

Alameda County Jail reflects the times as it played its part in the historic changes of society. We can’t let history get thrown away. Our archives preserves it for posterity.




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The Alameda County Prison at Santa Rita houses the Sheriffs Office Archive and Museum and is run by volunteers. It has been a pet project of mine for many years, but with my new traveling lifestyle, I make very few meetings. New at the jail since my last visit was this array of solar water heaters. I quickly counted 22 of them. WOW, was I impressed. What a savings for the taxpayers.

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Three new solar array installations also new. This powers the training center and related buildings

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Another array sits on the hillside behind the jail complex.

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This one only looks like it is sitting in the weeds. Instead it was the position of my camera. Interesting to me, one of the volunteers told me, one of these arrays is connected to a robotic track that turns them to follow the sun to get the most benefit from the sun. Solar is getting cheaper and cheaper as more people wake up to the savings. The jail has huge generators on-line as back up for any type of power failure.

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Newly rebuilt, the “old” style guard tower is now manned by a mannikin. The guys are looking for someone talented enough to paint a realistic face and hair on this “officer.”

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My cousin Toni Moore lives in Pleasanton not far from the jail and she invited me for lunch. She fixed a marvelous chicken salad for lunch.

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Her oldest son had a nearby dental appointment and joined us. Kurt introduced me to his girlfriend, Yolanda, as cousin Mary and I kept thinking, no he is cousin to my kids.  They are all about the same age since Toni and I went to High School together.  But, he is right. We are second cousins and it has been way too long since we’ve visited. Cousin and auntie or uncle are used pretty casually to include anyone you are closely or distantly related too. It works for me.

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In an hour, I leave for the Alameda County Sheriffs Archive where they are having a ceremony to dedicate the rebuilding and moving of an old jail Guard Tower. It was rebuilt, retaining as much of the original materials as possible, about 1990 or so. The Association decided it needed replacing because part of the flooring had completely rotted out. But, more on that when I return.

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Over the years, I’ve learned there are very few Police Museums in the United States, mainly because there are destroy orders for just about everything related to police work once they have passed a certain date. We are lucky to have accumulated and pulled together artifacts and history of the people and procedures of law enforcement in the County of Alameda. We are also fortunate that we’ve had the permission and support of the reigning Sheriff along the way, who was Sheriff Plummer when we started in 1989 and current Sheriff, Ahern, now.  All volunteers work and assesssion the archive materials, refurbish artifacts and display them for posterity.  Sitting on the “pattern” table, an old store fixture donated to us, is a pepper fogger, refurbished by Les Moore. It sprays tear gas at an advancing mob and was used during the civil unrest of the 1970’s. When the retired deputies get together and talk they remember the first time they used it, the wind shifted and they ended up gassing themselves. (It is only funny now.)

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This cycle shield and calling cards were donated to the archive in 2012. We still don’t have much of a history on Berdoo. The Angels and the Cops have a checkered history. They knew each other by first names because the encounters were so frequent. The Angels got started in Alameda County and riders today still like to imitate their “bad guy” persona. The Angels have cleaned up their act in recent years. An interesting story if someone could write it. Sonny Barger wrote his memoirs and it was loaned to my husband, (who arrested Sonny more than once), by the wife of Angel Magoo. Magoo died young and my kids went to high school with their kids and they are still friends today. Magoo’s wife, Lynn Tinsley, and a couple of her brothers also rode with the Angels. She wanted to raise her kids away from that reputation and did. She died in about 2004.

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Because we are on a former military base, Camp Shoemaker, the department inherited many items from the military including the nickname for their brig, Greystone. Greystone became the punishment detention area for the jail. Old Santa Rita was torn down and rebuilt in 1985 as a prison, a jail no longer, a complete lock-down facility. We are there to document the changes from its inception in 1948, under Sheriff Gleason. Gleason was sheriff when I was hired in 1958, and I’ve known every sheriff since then. This has been and is an interesting project that my husband (since deceased)  and I started in 1988.

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The setting was anything but ghostly and I’m a major skeptic, anyway. Calaveras County’s old courthouse and jail in San Andreas was a temporary home to wild and dangerous characters during the gold fevered 1800’s. Here, members of the historical society gathered sociably for wine and beer before dinner in what was once the jail yard.

The walled yard is made of native stone, mortarless, and is called dry wall; now over-grown with vines, and beautiful. I spent a lot of time here when I wrote historical features in the 1980’s. Black Bart, the  infamous poet bandit was kept in the jail.  And judge Gotttschalk committed suicide inside the courthouse. Tour guides point to blood spattered books in the law library from his suicide. The building has  been declared haunted by people who have worked here over the years.

Records indicate several inmates were buried “behind” the jail. No one knows whether there was a body under a broken headstone left from 1882. The top of the stone was missing and then rebuilt from pictures. The first court house was a tent. The second one, made of wood, burned. The fine old brick building is too small for a modern court and has been turned into a showplace museum by the Calaveras County Historical Society.

The Historical Society removed an unused public oven from the gold rush town of Calaveritas in 1994 and rebuilt it in the courtyard. Community ovens were made from native stone and held together with mud from heavy clay soil. Ovens like this one hold up well if covered over by a roof. The oven has drawn members to meet in warm months outdoors for pizza, home-baked bread with a salad pot luck, or chicken bargeques. It takes about three minutes to cook a pizza in this oven and they are delicious.

I sat with Sylvia and Cliff Edson, a local restaurant owner who just bought an old Victorian and is restoring it while living in it. They are dealing with ghosts, or several spirits in their house. Sylvia gets frightened by them. Cliff has had the house blessed several times, and is a believer. They don’t upset him. They were stunned to find out the subject of the meeting was The Paranormal. They hadn’t read the notice about who the speaker would be.

I have no idea how many pizzas Clyde Weddell made that night. He made three types, sausage, pepperoni and pesto with sun-dried tomato.  Absolutely delcious.

When Clyde makes pizza, he tosses it into the air. I was never quite able to catch the pizza in the air, but it was fascinating to watch him work. As it got dark, he donned a headlight.

After dinner, we listened to Rick Panzarina talk about debunking and validating ghosts, or paranormal presences in old buildings, businesses and private homes. He turns most of the seekers away, after determining they are only interested in sensationalizing their claims. He says, a good ghostbuster doesn’t  ask for money to investigate your ghost because then, they would always find a ghost.  He uses lasers, 11 cameras, video equipment, and high tech sound equipment. He gave results of having investigated the ghosts in the Court House and other places where he has found evidence of paranormal activity. The blood on the books, if it is blood, did not belong to Judge Gottschalk.  All he had to do was look at the date Gottschalk killed himself, and the date the books were published to know the “spatters” couldn’t have been from his death. He could find no para-normal activity in the Courthouse. He explained in detail how wooden floors make popping sounds that closely resemble footsteps. He and his team of seven people do not allow whispering. They address any presence in a loud voice and ask it to declare itself. They got one very clear “Hi!” Once, out of about 50 buildings. They do not play to sensationalism. Some people would rather have their “fun” reputation than have a ghostbuster disprove any paranormal activity. And, for tourism in the Motherlode, that is quite all right with the locals. Almost every old hotel in the area claims to have a ghost. It is soooo fun!  I’d love to have a ghost in my house. Wouldn’t you?

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