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Donald “Fruit” Smith

   After graduating from Arvin, I went to work for my Dad, E.B. Smith, on his farm and a couple of neighboring farmers. I was married twice and divorced twice by 1965, had three children in those two marriages, Dawn, Toni, and Shelton. They are terrific adults now. In 1967 I went to work for USDA in the eradication of pink bowl worms in the San Joaquin Valley, one of my jobs was to ride as a spotter in a small aircraft and release sterile moths in infested areas. During one of those flights we stalled and went down on the side of Bear Mountain, about two miles above “The Cross.” Needless to say I retired from that job.

     In 1971 I remarried and went to work for a nearby water district. We had two children Nevada Smith, and his little sister Victoria (Torey) Smith, I also had another child Stacy. I guess they are not children any longer, although it seems like they should be. I now have six offspring and twelve grandchildren. That marriage ended by divorce in 1989.

     In 1996 I visited Montana where two of my sisters had relocated. I loved the State and decided to move there that same year. In 1999 while working for a local construction company on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation I developed a lung disease and was forced to retire. In retirement I am an avid hunter and fisherman. 

     In 2008 I married Patricia E McCombs-Smith whom I had met the year prior. We now live on a small farm fifteen miles from Conrad, Montana. Which is located about sixty miles south of the Canadian border. We grow CRP on our farm. What is CRP you ask? Conservation Reserve Program, put into place by the USDA. Farmers plant native grasses control the weeds, and the government pays fifty dollars a year an acre. Farming has really never been easier. Pat and I live in a large home with our ugly Shar Pei, a double yellow headed Amazon parrot, and a cat that could be the best mouser west of the Mississippi. My wife is retired from Los Angeles Unified School District. When you think about it, it’s amazing that we were both from California with the population of millions of people and travel fifteen hundred miles and meet in a town of less than two thousand. Fate is a funny thing, is it not?

    Pat and I travel a lot, but will be unable to see my fellow classmates at the reunion. All I can say is have a great reunion. I’ll miss not being there and I will see you all in 2060. I would like to add that Gerald McNeill and his wife Bonita and I have remained friends all these years.

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