Musings of An Old Man

by Brian K. Moore

Pete's Pocket

Phyllis and I first met Pete and Peggy Sartor in the late 50s or early 60s. We built a home for them on Rodeo Drive in Victorville. Peggy still lives in this home. Pete passed away a number of years ago. We also built an addition to some apartments that they owned in Victorville.

Peggy was our son Jim’s typing teacher and she must have been a good one because Jim can really type. She was also a Victorville City Councilwoman on the first Council when Victorville became a city.

Pete was in the cesspool/septic tank business and Pete and I were business associates, because he put in the septic systems on many of the buildings that Phyllis and I built. Pete had a big back hoe and a skilled operator so he also dug my swimming pools. The skilled operator’s name was Al Fliesman.

One day when Al was digging a pool for us, I walked up to his big rig and complimented him on his skill. Pete was standing about twenty feet away from the back hoe with his back toward us as he talked to another employee.

Al, seeing an opportunity, said, “I’ll show you how good I am.” He swung the back hoe around a little and reached out the bucket, which had four or five big teeth on it and brought it just behind Pete real close and then he quickly slipped one tooth in Pete’s back pocket and ripped the pocket off his pants!

Pete was startled, to say the least, and looked quite displeased and I feared for Al’s job, but Pete decided to laugh it off and Al kept his job as back hoe operator, par excellence.

That could have been the end of this story, but the story goes on.

In 1991, decades after the pocket incident, Phyllis and I were boarding an airplane to return from a trip to Australia. As we walked down the isle in the airplane, who should we see but Pete and Peggy Sartor! They had been on a trip to New Zealand and were heading home by way of Australia. Although we did not get to sit with them, because of the assigned seats, we had a nice visit with them and rode home on the same airplane.