The California Barrel Company

The California Barrel Company

a Novel


Jon Presco

Copyright 2019

After Berkeley Bill Bolagard defeats his arch enemy, Thomas Gideon, and finds the benevolent Woman of the Star at the core of this once malevolent computer, he and Monica get married and move into their old cottage in Berkeley where they both enjoy reading her father’s books in peace and quiet.

Then, one morning, while reading the newspaper, Bill’s peace of mind is disturbed when he reads an article  about a developer who is on a mission to scrub the bay area waterfront of all things that are old. The bay that Jack London came to adore, will be no more. Furthermore, this developer has formed a company, AA, Adam’s Abbreviation, that is condensing all literature, as well as movies, into a three minute read-view on a new smart phone called RIB. Rapid Intelligence Benefits.

This developer claims young people can receive all the benefits readers have enjoyed for a thousand years while riding BART, or, while flying to Europe to take in the sights of a foreign land without leaving the airport. The Happy Tourists are hooked up to Tour Simulators. One can take in all the sights in a few hours.

“Where are you?”

“I’m at the airport. I just got back from Europe! I had a ball!”

“Lucky you. I spent the weekend reading the complete works of Shakespeare for my college thesis.”

“You were always the smart one in the family.”

Bill heard Monica emerge from her bath.

“Monica, listen to this! I think I discovered a artificial lifeform that is fed artificial intelligence via a cellphone. Folks are becoming as smart as can be, but, there is no test! Everyone is agreeing not to be tested! What will they think of next?”

“How much do they charge per agreement?” Monica asked.

Bill cringed. Monica was always the smarter one. Pluss, she had been married to Thomas for twenty-two years, the greatest scam-artist of all time. She knew all his tricks.

“Let’s see. The Adam’s Apple App charges $5 dollars a Trip-Read.”

“That beats paying for a college tuition!”

Bill’s mathematical mind did some rapid calculations.

“If 20,000,000 million suckers bought ten degrees of quick&smart permission a month, that’s…………..?”

“Bill! Leave it alone! Haven’t your done enough for humanity?”

to be continued

Summoning The Muse of Sir Sterling London Joaquin Lord de Rosemond





Reading from ‘The Gideon Computer’

Gideon One 001Here is John Gregory Presco reading from his novel ‘The Gideon Computer’. This is a time capsule for my grandson, Tyler Hunt, the son of Heather Hanson.

Copyright 2014


Chapter One

Part Two

Humboldt Cooperage Company
Humboldt County, CA Biographies

HUMBOLDT COOPERAGE CO. – Established in 1903 on a small scale with a capacity of from twelve to fifteen thousand feet every ten hours; by subsequent steady growth the Humboldt Cooperage Company has increased to a capacity of fifty thousand feet and furnishes employment to one hundred and fifteen persons in the factory besides twenty five men in the woods. Seven miles east of the main plant in Arcata is located the stave bolt plant. After the logs have been brought to the landing, the drag saw cuts them into proper bolt lengths, and they are then loaded on cars and brought over the company’s tracks to Essex, thence by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad to the Arcata plant, where they are sawed into staves and heading. From the spruce and fir are manufactured staves that are shipped to San Francisco and there put together into barrels intended for all purposes, containers for liquid and dry products such as oils, asphaltum, sugar, butter, fish and fruit, and into pails for candy and other articles. The field of operation is being enlarged through effective salesmanship, the firm having an able representative in Henry Koster, through whom arrangements are being made to ship the products to the Orient.

From the beginning there has been a steady improvement in the plant at Arcata. It has been the aim of the management to keep in touch with every modern facility for the increasing of the output and the reducing of the expense of manufacture. An electric power system has been installed and modern machinery of original design introduced to render efficient and effective the output of the factory. There are not wanting many who insist that, without a single exception, this is the best equipped plant of its kind in the United States. Much of the credit for the individually efficient and mechanically modern cooperage with electric drive throughout and the best facilities of the century in every department, may be given to the vice president and general manager, Julius J. Krohn, a native son born in what is now Madera county, Cal. Before coming to Arcata he was associated with the California Barrel Company of San Francisco and thus gained a wide and valuable experience in the line of cooperage. In addition to the business, which he manages with keen intelligence and sagacious judgment, he is aiding in the material upbuilding of Humboldt county through personal efforts neither few nor small and as a member of the Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee and Chamber of Commerce of Arcata, as well as Humboldt Chamber of Commerce of Eureka, occupying a place of recognized importance among the public spirited men seeking the development of local resources. Associated with him in the financial guidance of the growing business are the following gentlemen: C. L. Koster, president; W. B. Sweet, secretary; H. A. Koster, Gen. John A. Koster, F. J. Koster and J. H. Day, constituting with the officers the directorate of the concern. Throughout this section of the state the corporation has gained a reputation for reliability in business transactions, breadth of commercial vision and tact in dealing with customers, employes and other business concerns of the state, and the solid reputation already established may be regarded as prophetic of future growth and continued development.

History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915

The Terrible Demise Of Young George Blank – September 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

California Barrel Company employees on the platform of the original building. Top row, left to right: John Piasco, Mr. Kimball, George Porter, Harvey Tighe, Mr. Larson, Bert McCreery, Ernest Schorling, Frank McNeil, Byron Smith, Asa Ensign, Arthur Durdan, Charley Molander, Joe Kossuth, John Dawson, George Blank, Mr. Munford, Carl Wolquist and Martin Bennick. Middle row, left to right: A. Laine, Mr. Berg, Milton Samis, Frank Marohnick, Emmett Porter, Mr. Stone and Je Marohnich, Sr. Front row, left to right: Manuel Mendes, Jow Maronich, Jr. and Mr. Grater. Far front row, left to right: Stacey Fisher, Chas, Schmidt, Harold Welch, Chas Frederickson and Ed McClaskey. Photo courtesy HSU Library Humboldt County Collection

From the Arcata Union:

Aug. 19, 1911

Fatal Accident

Tuesday morning at six minutes past 10 o’clock, George Blank, a young man who had been employed at the Cooperage plant in Arcata in different capacities for nearly five years, met with a shocking accident by being caught in a belt running on the main shaft, and was literally torn to pieces in a very few seconds, parts of his body being thrown in all directions about the mill…

George Blank

While there was no one who actually witnessed the accident, the theory seems to prevail among the employees of the plant that Blank had slipped the belt on to the wire machine and then stepped along the platform to the drive shaft, which was connected directly with the engine and making 270 revolutions per minute, said shaft being almost on the same level as the top of the wire machine.

He then took his left hand and attempted to slip the collar beneath the belt, and instantly had his hand drawn between the belt and the drive shaft, with the result that his body was beaten and battered to pieces against the second-story floor. The unusual noise overheard attracted the attention of several of the men, and the engine was stopped in short order, and the sight that met the gaze of those men about the mill caused many strong men to quietly leave the scene. The left arm was still wrapped around the shaft, which was all that was found at that point…

George Blank was born in Trinidad on Oct. 18th, 1890, and had nearly attained his majority when death ended his career.

Turner Took French Leave

Clarence Turner, the Eureka young man who was found guilty on Aug. 11th for exceeding the speed limit on his motor bike, or motor cycle, as the law insists they shall be called, failed to put in an appearance Saturday morning to receive his sentence. After waiting a reasonable time for the convicted man to come before him, Judge Beers declared the $40 bail bond forfeited, and the case is closed, at least for the present… Turner would undoubtedly have been fined $50 or $60 if he had stayed to receive the sentence, and he evidently thought it would be rather a bright thing to do to give up his position at the Reed & Reed Garage and leave the county on his motor bike in the night, than to stay and take his medicine.

As there has been considerable criticism of the action of the town board in keeping the speed limit for autos and motor cycles at 10 miles per hour, and yet tacitly allowing a limit of 15 miles, according to their instructions to the Marshal, mention might be called to the fact that there were three auto owners on the jury who found Turner guilty by a unanimous vote…

It is a pretty well established fact that [Turner’s attorney Henry L.] Ford know that Turner had left the county the night before, and that he was probably speeding through Mendocino County when the time for the pronouncing sentence arrived.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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