ELVIS EDWARD FRAPWELL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

28 July 1997
I was born on the 4th of December 1905 in the small town of Soquel 4 miles east of Santa Cruz, Ca. After several years of searching my father and two of his brothers joined in a partnership and bought two of the five dairies in Scotts Valley six miles north of Santa Cruz in July 1911. The two dairies were combined into one operation, my father ran the dairy, my Uncle John lived on the old home place in Corralitos near Watsonville. There it was apricots, apples, peaches, prunes, black berries and strawberries. The third partner sat in a fine home in Santa Cruz. There were five boys in the family and my grandmother insisted that there would no quarreling between brothers. That held true to the death of the last one.

I was four and a half years of age when I moved into Scotts Valley and surrey with the fringe on top was the only way to get from here to there. After milking the cows it was a fast trip to town and return in time for the four o'clock milking.

I was soon in a one room school, one teacher and eight grades. At the age of twelve the family had acquired a car and I immediately learned to drive. To this day I have never had an auto accident. When I learned to drive the roads were dusty and full of chuckholes in summer and in winter it was ruts and mud.

In 1920 it was high school and with the family car as a buss picked up other students including small children enrolled in a parochial school. Graduating from high school in 1924, I decided to return to high school as a postgraduate student for a number of subjects that I was unable to crowd into the four-year curriculum.

It was now time to look for a job. My first job away from the ranch was a temporary summer one in the St. George Hotel in Santa Cruz. Then back to the one legged stool with a milk pail between my knees. Then in March I was asked by a friend who was the Superintendent of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco if I would like a job as assistant to a photographer from the National Geographic Society to take pictures of Wild Flowers of California. (See June issue 1929). Three months and I was back on that one legged stool again. Aren't friends wonderful! In August 1927 a friend who was the wire chief in Santa Cruz for the Pacific Telephone Co. ask me if I would like to work for him on a temporary basis, called to work on Monday morning and paid cash Saturday 5: P M. I have never sat on a one legged stool since. It must of broken my father's heart that I didn't stay on the ranch.

Working in Construction and moving from town to town I met a schoolteacher Ruth Kerr in Gilroy. We were married 29th of June 1929. Ruth retired briefly and followed me from job to job until the depression when we were located permanently in Palo Alto. Our daughter Althea joined us on the 21 of June 1931. Edward H (Ted) came aboard the 22nd of December 1934. In 1936 we bought a lot on Seale Avenue in Palo Alto and built a home, across the street from hay fields.

I joined the Masonic Lodge and became interested in the Royal Arch branch advancing through the degrees of that Lodge to the position of High Priest a period of seven years.

When Ted was nine years old, he and I joined the Boy Scouts, I as Scoutmaster with a particular interest in camp development, leadership to two National Jamboree's, International World Jamborees to Canada, England, Philippines, Greece, Idaho USA, New Zealand National Jamboree and a delegate to the World Conference of Scouting in Seattle Wa. USA.

Since I had escorted Boy Scouts to the Philippines and on around the world it was fitting that I show Ruth what I had seen. With her we added a three-week tour of Russia, and on to Poland, Hungry, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Japan and Hawaii. Our family travel included all of the western states with vacations to Mexico and Cuba. Ruth and daughter Althea attended a summer session at the University of Mexico while Ted and his father went fishing in Canada.

A few years before retirement in 1966 I became interested in where the family came from. My father's answer was vague, England, Somerset, each time was a different answer, so I took it upon myself to find out. It took five trips to England and one to New Zealand to assemble a book full of information, which I had published in hard cover, which covered a period 1452 to 1966: The Frapwell Family Record.

Since retirement it has been maintaining and managing our rental property and now, we have passed that responsibility on to our two loving children. At 91 years with a marriage of 68 years to one gal, what more should I ask for.

Elvis E Frapwell (04 Dec 1905 - 16 Aug 2004)