& Betty Adams
Each summer the Adams family returned to their California home to earn money in order to support themselves the following school year in Chiapas. With plenty of timber available around their Mosquito home, the entire family worked as a team during many long, hard sweltering days. Freddie & Linda fastened bell hooks to the logs, Betty drove the tractor to raise and lower the cable that went through a pully, and Celian pushed the logs into position on the truck. Little Lanita played in the dirt.
One day while felling trees on a steep hillside, a large pine bounced off an oak tree and jumped back. Celian tried to scramble out of the way, but slippery leaves and pine needles caused him to fall. The tree crushed his right leg, shattering the bones from ankle to knee like shredded wheat. He spent 11 months in a cast, first to his hip, then to his knee, with steel pins in his ankle and by the knee. He still walks with a limp to this day.
It was the same leg he'd broken as a teenager when his Harley smashed into a car in Placerville years before.
Though he experienced severe pain, Celian couldn't stand to just lay around. Within six weeks he was out in the woods again. Betty carried tools, gas, oil and chainsaws. Celian hobbled around on his crutches, then sat in a wagon pulled by Freddie as he cut the logs into lengths. Loading was a challenge, but the family managed. Driving was tricky though - but Celian managed to haul many loads of logs to the sawmill by using an axe handle to press the truck accelerator!
Freddie and his sisters grew up knowing the meaning of hard work - their dad saw to that! Besides working out in the woods, there were multiple chores to do around the house before anyone was allowed to play.
Here Linda and Lanita are hoeing weeds by the old Ranch house and "Shanty," where canned fruit was stored and wringer washing machine was set up.
During their free time Freddie, Linda and Lanita enjoyed playing with their Tonka toys, picked up at Thrift stores. They had entire networks of roads through the orchard. The girls "played cars" much more than with their dolls.
Every so often, they had "choosing parties," where all the vehicles would be put together, then the kids took turns picking ones to be "their own."
Each Spring, Daddy would take the tractor and run a disc through the orchard, turning over the soil and destroying all the roads. But the kids just started all over again, making new ones!
The Tonka toys were stored away for many years. Then recently the grown Adams kids got together and had one last "choosing party," and the toys have been enjoyed by the next generation of kids!
Back to hard work - and discipline! Celian wasn't hesitant to give a good spanking when needed either. Nobody can remember what's going on in this picture, but evidently Freddie was uncooperative, and Daddy was letting him know he'd better shape up - or else! The kids often called him "Mean ole' Daddy."
One thing that stands out clearly in Freddie's mind was Daddy's love - after a spanking, Celian would hold the kids on his lap and tell them how special they were to him. Fred clearly remembers his last spanking. He was 11 years old, and while playing ball with his sisters, accidentally hit Linda in the face. She ran crying to Daddy, who promptly gave Freddie a good spanking. Celian felt really bad afterward when Linda stopped crying and said it was an accident. So much so, that whenever Freddie got in trouble, he reminded his daddy that he had credit! Freddie never got another spanking - even though he deserved it at times!
As the years went by, the family acquired a 1957 Chevy Carryall and a 15-foot long "Love Bug" trailer for their trips back and forth between California and Chiapas. And every trip, the vehicles were fully loaded and tightly packed. Even the hollow side walls of the car were filled with canned food and shoes. Used clothes were compressed tightly into bales, making a base in back for a mattress bed where the kids rode laying down. The bed was lumpy - it consisted of a zippered mattress cover full of clothes and children's felt materials as well! Additional items were stored under the hood over the engine as well!
Traveling back and forth year after year, the family made it a point to go a different route and see new places as part of their education. Soon they had to stray a long way from the straightest route, which gave them opportunities to see most of the National Parks and other places of interest in the country. Some detours took them as far as Key West, Florida, New York City and Fairbanks, Alaska! Those long drives are a source of many pleasant memories that the family treasures to this day. At times these trips were financed by collecting, crushing and selling aluminum cans for 20 cents a pound.
Here they're having fun shivering in the snow at Glacier National Park.
Time continued passing. The kids grew up, attended High School at Colegio Linda Vista, and continued their education in the U.S. But Celian and Betty found it hard to pull away from the places and people they loved in Mexico.
So Betty continued teaching there, and Celian cut lumber for the school's Furniture Factory, using an Alaskan sawmill - a frame with rollers mounted onto a large chainsaw.
At times the sawmill was hauled by muleback to remote mountain villages, where Celian and his helpers cut lumber for church buildings in many places.
The members of the Maravillas church at left were so grateful, they chisled their appreciation into the concrete floor of their church - right in the entryway!
The Fernández brothers (seen in the sawmill photo above) are now grown and married, but they still keep in touch, and go out of their way to provide warm Mexican hospitality when any member of the Adams family visits Mexico.
Here you can see three of the nine Fernández kids - grown and towering over Celian & Betty. Ismael (left) works on an oil rig in the Gulf, Martín has an A/C business, and Isaí works for a Mexican Airline.
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