Mom and Dad (1946)
Learning to colorize photos using layer masks and the quick selection tool.
My uncle, Ollan "Oats" Kessler.
The Kessler Clan
I have no idea where or when this might have been taken.
All it says on the back is, "The Kessler Clan".
Me at about 7 years old
Standing in a driveway in Delano, California.
Even then I wore Converse All-Stars.
Marion Merle Kessler (Fox) 1925-1971
Mom's birthday is July 19th. She died just 6 weeks after I was discharged from the Army. We were living at Canon Air Force Base, Clovis New Mexico. Shortly after her death, my father retired from the Air Force and moved home to Delano California. I lived there with him for a while before moving to Torrance, California.
While I was in Clovis, New Mexico, I became friends with a local disc jockey. His rock station broadcast from the recording studio once owned by Norman Petty. Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, is where Buddy Holly and his band adopted the name the Crickets and formed their unique style. It was 1957 and Holly's upbeat, pop sound became the transition between the raw rockabilly of Sun Records and the sophisticated pop rock music that would follow in the decades to come.
The studio was pretty badly worn and no longer being used when I saw it years later, but the acoustics of the sound room were still excellent. I've often thought that it should have become a museum.
Like my mom, Buddy died way too young.
James Franklin Kessler 1919-1984
Of the hundreds of pictures I have of my father, about half of them are in uniform.
This seems to be of the time when he was in the Army in WW II.
I love this car he is standing by. He and his buddy may have been getting ready for some fun. Let's hope so.
Dad and Baseball
I can't remember a time when my father didn't play baseball. He lettered in three sports all through Delano High School (Class of 1938). He was still playing competitively late into his forties. He was one of the best fast-pitch softball pitchers I ever saw. This shot shows the team picture of just one of the many military leagues he played on.
He is standing on the left.
Although he died in 1984, he lives on in my heart, my memories and in photos like this.
Here's my dad passing on the secrets of the barbecue to his sons.
I'm on the left. Mick is in the middle.
George Air Force Base, Victorville, California
I got married the first time in June 1974. Lynda and I went to Las Vegas and were married at The Chapel of the Bells.
The following weekend, her folks threw us a reception at their home.
Left to right are: Standing-Chris and Peter Gerritsma, Robin Barrows, Me, Lynda, Alan, Joyce, Aaron and Wayne.
Front- Brian Barrows and Mick (my brother).
Peter and Robin are my step-sibs.
Pictures are truly a moment in time and this illustrates that in a most remarkable way.
Peter and Chris- divorced
Robin and Brian- divorced (Brian died last year)
Doug and Lynda- divorced
Joyce and Wayne- divorced
Mick got married and still is, to the same woman (Christi)
Aaron- nobody seems to know what happened to him.
A Young Airman
After being drafted in World War II, my father, James Franklin Kessler, got out of the Army and reentered the service in the Air Force where he served for 26 years. I remember that his service number was AF39081548. Why that was written on this picture I will never know. What I am able to speculate about this shot is that he was very young here.
I started playing organized baseball with a Cub Scout League. After that there was Little League, Pony League, Babe Ruth and finally, Intermural in High School. Somewhere along the way I lost my desire to play competitively until the mid 80s when I turned to softball leagues wherever I happened to be working at that time.
I have always followed Major League baseball and have been a lifelong Dodger fan. I can still remember the uproar when they moved to the left coast.
My dad was a Dodger fan also and some of my fondest memories are seeing him with the earphone plugged into his AM transistor radio listening to the games in Victorville as they were broadcast from Los Angeles.
Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett (the Dodger Play-by-play announcers) were highly revered names in our world.
In this picture I have my first baseball glove that was given to me by my dad. I am also wearing the baseball shoes with spiked cleats that I bought with my paper route money. Man, nothing felt quite like metal cleats when you were playing baseball. They are illegal now.
When this picture was taken. I was playing for the George Air Force Base Little League team. I was a pitcher.