Serving Northern California

Since 1985

Life At Carlton

From Carlton Senior Living on Facebook


Why Carlton?

We help residents live their lives with attractive senior housing options, acclaimed services and our legendary “culture of care.”


Our Mission

We’re a family-founded, family-focused company, and taking care of you and your loved ones is our mission and our passion.


Service Principles

We aim to love, honor and care for our residents with exceptional service, enthusiasm and integrity.

Senior Living Surprise

While vacationing in San Francisco I decided to take a quick trip up to Pleasant Hill to see an old dear friend of mine who lives at Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill. I must say you guys do it right! The food was incredible (especially the salad bar!) I was quite impressed with the staff who went out of their way to make me happy. Very clean and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. As I left a fun county band started to play... I wanted to stay but had to leave, hopefully next time I will catch them. Keep up the great work Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill!!!Dr. Wright

Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill Assisted Living Is Truly Special

Special thanks to Lisa Spivey at Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill, on my visit to see my dear friend, you were so warm and welcoming and thanks for the nice chat. You and your whole team are gifts to all the resident that live their. If I retire in Pleasant Hill someday, I wish to call Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill my home. Thanks again and lunch was delightful.S Pelegrino

The Best Senior Living Community

I visited Carlton Senior Living Downtown Pleasant Hill and I was very much impressed with how you guys run this senior community. I live in Florida and what I've seen in my parts is not even close to what you have assembled here. The food, activities and staff are all above board. Very lively place as well. I'm impressed.John B

Assisted Living That Is Like Coming Home

Warm and friendly staff at Carlton Senior Living San Leandro! They make you feel welcome. Very nice apartments, lots of activities and the Sunday Brunch that I was fortunate to attend was OUTSTANDING! Really as good as anything you will find anywhere in the City. Not sure how you do it but I'm sure glad you do. John loves it there.Kathy Oslow

Wonderful Retirement Community

Thank you to the Carlton Senior Living managers and team, for all of the care, patience, time and efforts you put in to helping my father, he was a blessed and happy man until he passed in March. My husband and I appreciate all that you did for him. We really want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sending us flowers on his funeral. Thanks again!Betty Shrine
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Our Memory Care

“Everyone is helpful and caring. It is such a relief that my mom is taken care of at Carlton’s Memory Care. I never worry about her care or well being and she is happy when I visit. Thank you all!” – Alice C.

From the Carlton Senior Community Blog

"There’s a Bit of Daredevil Inside! The 20th & 21st Century Life of Bobbie Rose" by Harriett Burt

It is an interesting coincidence that Barbara Sharp ‘Bobbie’ Rose was born in San Francisco on June 21, 1918, right in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the last deadly worldwide health assault before the Covid-19 pandemic we are now experiencing. Bobbie’s mother was in labor for three days. It took her five months in the hospital and one month with relatives to recover, at least partially, from a serious infection. It was not totally cleared until sulfa drugs were developed in the late 1930s. Another problem in this most difficult birth was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Bobbie’s neck. To keep the baby alive during the birth, the doctor held the cord away from her neck. Even then, Bobbie showed the focus and strength that has served her for over a century. The family also helped out by having a friend who invited Bobbie’s mother to have her baby for free at the San Francisco hospital he owned including the unexpected extra five months mother and daughter stayed there. Bobbie is also testimony to the fact that we can live and even flourish through hard times as she survived and even flourished through not only the Spanish Flu pandemic but also the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the last year of World War I, all of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all the wars in the Middle East. She has also witnessed and benefitted from so many medical breakthroughs and the countless inventions we now take for granted including film and television. To top it all off, the arts both in crafts and music, are the gifts which she was born with and has shared over the years. Bobbie also had caring parents who made sure she had many opportunities to grow and expand. “I guess the folks sacrificed an awful lot for me. I wish I could have appreciated it more at the time,” she says. Bobbie’s maternal grandfather had come to California from England sometime in the second half of the 19th century when he was 17. His immigration papers said he was to go to Portland, Oregon although it should have been Portland, Maine. While in Oregon, he worked for the Post Office before joining the United States Army. But he also met and married Bobbie’s grandmother who was living in Portland at the time. Long story short, they married and he joined the Army around the time of the Spanish-American War. He was stationed at Corregidor in the Philippines then at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay for two years. The family lived in Alameda while Bobbie was growing up. The paternal part of her family included her great-grandfather who grew up in Philadelphia in the early 1800s. In the 1840s, before the Gold Rush she says, he decided to bring his family including eight children to California using the Isthmus of Panama route. It was a difficult way of reaching California from the East Coast before the Panama Canal existed as travelers had to survive a 44-mile walk through the jungles. Many died of malaria and other tropical illnesses. Bobbie’s ancestors made it to San Francisco alive, however. It was most difficult for the family, especially for Bobbie’s then eight-year-old paternal grandmother who struggled to walk as she had rickets. In the end, however, they all lived and were soon on the ship to San Francisco. The good news is that once the family reached the City, the great-grandfather who was a doctor, had no problem finding work.  Two of his sons also became doctors. The third son, Bobbie’s grandfather, was an inventor of short-lived success when he developed a chemical to preserve plywood. The problem was, after great early sales, all the stock and the building it was housed in burned down because the “miracle” plywood chemical contained highly inflammatory material. The inventor’s son, Bobbie’s father, was born in 1889. As a young carpenter, he was hired to work on the Panama-Pacific Exposition where he helped build the iconic Palace of Fine Arts, the only building of that famous Fair which still stands as a San Francisco landmark. When no longer needed, he was laid off when the project was finished just before the grand opening in 1915. However, the young Pacific Gas and Electric Company was expanding as statewide more and more buildings and homes using the utilities we now take for granted. Fortunately, Bobbie’s dad had been trained to work with and repair much of the type of machinery used by the new power company. He was quickly hired as a PG&E engineer and assigned to one of the PG&E service offices and powerhouses in small towns and cities to assist customers and provide local power along what is now called the I-80 Corridor from San Francisco to the California/Nevada border. Although Bobbie had been born in San Francisco, the family lived outside of Auburn at the time. When she was five, she went to a one-room, one-teacher schoolhouse for 1st through 8th grades. There were 10 or 12 students, half of whom were Native Americans and one who was Japanese. “We all played together,” she recalls. “We didn’t think about it.” In 1927, her father was transferred to San Jose. How was the move for nine-year-old Bobbie? Ninety-three years later, she doesn’t hesitate to say, “It was horrendous!” First, she had to repeat fourth grade as the curriculum in San Jose was much more advanced than in a one-room school. Second, the kids teased and pestered her unmercifully. She had long red hair which was constantly being pulled. “I begged my mother to cut it but she wouldn’t.” To make things worse, Mother made Bobbie wear a hat when she went outside during recess….just one more thing to be teased about. Her years at Herbert Hoover Junior High were no better but San Jose High, class of 1937, was somewhat easier. The next stop was San Jose State College, where she earned a degree in general business and found her future husband. Hugh Rose was an accounting major. She met him when the professor used the alphabet to seat students at a long table. R was obviously next to S. Finding out accounting was Hugh’s major, Bobbie took advantage of his knowledge whether she needed it or not, she notes, with a twinkle in her eye. The numbers ‘added up’ so to speak in the mathematics of love. College tuition was reasonable in those days but her mother held on to the purse strings carefully as PG&E salaries had been cut as the Depression continued. “I always bought used books unless it was something I wanted to keep,” Bobbie remembers. Among her memories are taking dancing and music lessons but it was really the decorative arts she loved. She was taught to knit by her grandmother when she was four years old. She also embroidered and did other art crafts. When asked about quilts, she admits that she had made one although it took her seven years to finish it. Her father was quite a good oil painter, she says. Several paintings of scenes in the northern Sierra and the Oregon coast in her apartment attest to his skill. Bobbie graduated from San Jose State in 1941, a year after Hugh. To her shock, she had barely taken off her cap and gown when “my father very politely threw me out!” She replied in alarm, “I am going to get married! But I have to wait until he has some money!” Hugh had already purchased a cedar chest for her but that would not be enough to live on or in. “You are now through with your studies. Get a job.” was the quiet but firm reply.  So, she was hired as an accountant with the Food Machinery Company, a long-standing Santa Clara County business that in peacetime produced cannery machinery. During the war, it also produced for a time Water Buffalo Tanks, designed for use in marshes and swamps. “They took us for a ride once but the tanks were not that successful,” she notes. Bobbie and Hugh married in 1943 after Hugh had finished not only Army basic training but also training in military financial procedures and Officer Candidate School. He eventually reached the rank of Captain. In fact, at the end of the war, he was about to be promoted to Major which would have required him to stay in the service a little longer. He refused because, he told Bobbie, he missed her so much. Bobbie adds, “we were both so darned lonesome, we couldn’t wait to get together.” He was quickly hired by the Dole Cannery in San Jose. “The day he came home, I was through” at Food Machinery Company, Bobbie says. “I was a housewife after that!” In addition to her basic housekeeping duties, “I made all my own clothes. I love sewing.” She also volunteered to sing in a number of choruses and in grand opera and light opera concerts in San Jose. The couple lived in Santa Clara for a short time and then bought a home in Los Gatos where they lived until 1970 when Dole closed the San Jose cannery. Dole sold the cannery equipment to Tri County Cannery in Modesto so the Roses moved there where Hugh worked his last five years and they planned their retirement and the home they would build on the five acres near San Andreas in the Sierras they had bought in 1965. In 1975, the couple then became a home building team. Hugh did the heavy construction work, Bobbie did whatever was needed to assist Hugh, the home carpenter/cement layer/sheetrock installer, etc. The strength of their marriage was such that the two of them worked side by side for two and a half years without a fight or a divorce. Part of the reason may have been that the couple took a few months off each winter of those years and drove to Arizona for two or three months. But Bobbie says they only did that because you can’t build a house when it is snowing. After the house was finished, they traveled whenever they could. “We went to Alaska four times and across the United States and Canada several times.” When asked if they traveled to any foreign countries, her reply was a quick “No. If you couldn’t drive, you didn’t go.” Over the years they owned a variety of recreational vehicles to drive from San Andreas to Alaska, across North America and of course, each winter to Arizona. Bobbie learned to tow every type of ‘rolling home’ from camper, trailer, mobile home to a fifth wheeler. For 33 years their travel time during Northern California’s winter was spent in Yuma, a popular ‘second home’ for many seniors from all over the country and Canada. While some retirees bought or rented homes in Yuma itself, Hugh and Bobbie made friends with folks who gathered each year in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) camp about 18 miles north of the city. The couple bought a Volkswagen ‘bug’ with a Porsche engine which they stored there in the winter for use from December to February, March or April. It was no vacation for ‘fraidy cats’, however. Bobbie fondly remembers some of the group’s favorite activities. Some days 20 or so vehicles of various models including a number of Volkswagens would go out into the desert hills to explore the narrow canyons and roads. Hidden Canyon, as its name implies, was hard to find and harder to get to unless a group of strong men “bumped you over” (i.e. lifted the rear end of your car and moved it a foot or two over to the right wall of the very narrow mountain road under an overhang of solid desert rock.) The driver could then turn the car to the right and move on down the road). Another ‘road’ took you up and down some “steep, steep hills.” At one point on that road, there was a 90-degree turn that the driver and passenger could not see because the car windows only showed sky. The “Captain” in charge of the drive could see them from below and would radio “Rosebud” and “Thorney” (The couple’s CB handles and Arizona names) giving stern directions to “TURN NOW”. “Weren’t you scared?” was this writer’s horrified response. “No, I loved it!” was Bobbie’s daredevil reply as if it were no bigger a deal than confidently stepping off a curb with your eyes looking straight ahead at the same time. Another of the many activities the group organized were ‘moonlight rides’ into the desert on nights when the moon was full. They would go out just before dark and ride around the desert, some without turning on their lights, until midnight.  Bobbie says she and Hugh always turned their lights on. 2010-11 was Bobbie and Hugh’s last winter in Arizona. He was 94 and she was 91.  His health had begun to fail with symptoms of dementia and macular degeneration. In fact, she had been driving them to Arizona for the previous several years because of his worsening eyesight. Hugh passed away on February 28, 2013 after nearly 70 years of marriage. Around the same time, Bobbie was in the same hospital with pneumonia. As she recovered, she got to sit with him a time or two before he died. She has fond memories and great stories of their life together. Her own complete recovery took six months during which time, her niece, who lives in Pleasant Hill and is as close as a daughter would be to Bobbie, brought her to Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez where she has lived for seven years. Bobbie kept their home near San Andreas which she visited from time to time after moving to Carlton only to lose it and everything in it, including most of her decades of craft artwork, the only quilt she ever made, and all the pictures of her family and of her and Hugh’s life together in a 2015 wildfire in the Sierras. Asked how she dealt with that, she said with soft-spoken resignation, “It was hard but if you’ve lost everything, you just have to deal with it.” Now 102, Bobbie continues to be positive and busy with her many hobbies and enjoys playing Rummikub and Mahjong with friends. As for living in 2020, she says “It’s no worse than any other time as long as I‘ve got my health and can do a few things.” That’s Bobbie Rose for you—sensible, focused, strong, honest, and pleasant to be around whatever her age is or has been. Written by Harriett Burt, Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez Resident Read additional pieces by Harriett Burt Read more

Resident Spotlight - Doris Voigts Bloom

Resident Spotlight - Doris Voigts Bloom

Meet Carlton Senior Living spotlight resident, Doris Voigts Bloom - Doris was born on November 29, 1922 in Mill Valley, California to parents Fredrick and Fodie Voigts. She had two sisters, Barbara and Shirley. As a child and young adult, Doris was athletic; she loved playing tennis and golf. She still enjoys watching both on television. Doris attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. After high school, Doris went to UC Berkeley. She jokes that she went to school to get her “Mrs.” While studying at Berkeley, she met John “Jack” Bloom. Jack was on the crew team and they met when he drove her back to Berkeley after an outing with her sorority sisters. After they married, they moved to North Carolina; Jack was in the Army and he was stationed out there. After his time in the service, they moved back to Mill Valley as they were both from California and they missed it. Together, Jack and Doris had two daughters, Kathy and Sharon. Doris moved to Davis in 2018 to be closer to her daughters. Doris and Jack were able to travel extensively. They visited a few countries in South America and Asia, as well as Hawaii, France, and New Zealand. Their trip to France is one of her favorite life experiences; she and Jack rented a car and drove all around the country. She also loves Hawaii. It is hard for her to pick a favorite trip; she feels that every place they visited was so different that she cannot compare them. Doris’ life philosophy is to “live and be healthy.” She would like to be remembered as a good, giving, and kind person. She lives by the Golden Rule: “do for others have you would have them do unto you.” Doris likes soothing classical music. Her favorite book is Little Women. She loves German food and pecan pie. Here at Carlton Senior Living Davis, she loves playing BINGO and reading in the Carlton library. She most admires her mother, who was hardworking and selfless. View additional Resident Spotlight articles. Written by Ben Slade, Resident Liaison at Carlton Senior Living Davis Read more

"Life Isn’t Always Easy, But It Can Be Fulfilling: Bill Rainford's Story" by Harriett Burt

Life Isn’t Always Easy, But It Can Be Fulfilling: Bill Rainford’s Story Carlton is not the first place Bill Rainford has lived in the neighborhood dominated by Taylor Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Road and Alhambra Avenue. A few years ago he owned a condo on Ridgeview Court, which is located near Carlton. But he has also resided in an impressive number of other neighborhoods across the country and overseas for much of his life before ending up twice, so to speak, in Pleasant Hill. Rainford is the name of a village in the northwest of England formerly famous as a producer of clay pipes. His paternal grandfather grew up there leaving in the 1890s to fight in the Boer War. Coming home, he soon married and then sailed with his wife and baby son to the United States. They lived briefly in Boston before settling in Norwich, Vermont where Bill’s father grew up. Norwich University was the first of six private military colleges and universities, including The Citadel in South Carolina, organized in the United States. Although less well known nationally, it is recognized as the birthplace 200 years ago of what later became the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) which operates not only in the private military colleges but also in many of the land grant universities across the country. Bill’s father graduated from Norwich and chose a military career which included World War II. Bill was born on December 5, 1939 in Goffstown, New Hampshire. All he remembers about WWII is the invasion of Normandy and the town grocery store where, like this writer, he pestered his mother for a treat only to be told she didn’t have enough ration stamps for it. He had barely started school in 1945 when the family packed up and prepared to go to western Germany where his father had been assigned as an occupation officer. The Rainfords were taken to Frankfurt first. To Bill’s young eyes, the city “looked like a table because of the bombing.” By 1950, the Germans had cleaned up most of the bomb wreckage but hadn’t yet replaced the buildings. The cities have long since been rebuilt but the vivid reminder of Frankfort then is still stark in his memory 75 years later. Nearby Heidelberg remained largely intact because of its many hospitals and thus was spared the massive destruction of most of Germany’s major cities. As a result, American military officers and their families were assigned homes there. Bill, now six years old, went to the American schools established for children of the military. It wasn’t always easy for him or the rest of the family. One neighborhood German child, grieving his father’s death on the Eastern Front, threw some liquid on Bill’s face which stung badly but fortunately caused no permanent damage. However, Bill does have a cherished memory of his years in Germany. “I met a fascinating man who could see our back yard from his bedroom. He invited me to visit him.” The man was an elderly bed-ridden gentleman who had been a Field Marshal in the German Army. Unfortunately, Bill does not know his name or any details about his service but having learned enough German by the time they met, he always greeted him by saying “Guten Tag, Herr Feld Marshal” as he sat down to be enthralled by the stories the Field Marshal recounted about World War I and the Kaiser. When the old man died, he left Bill his World War I dress military helmet, a picture of the Kaiser and a set of all the postage stamps used in the German African colonies prior to World War I. The family returned to the U. S. when Bill was a 5th grader. “We moved all the time,” he recalls. When his father was stationed at the Pentagon, Bill remembers riding his bike on a Saturday from their home in Arlington to the 14th Street Bridge bus terminal, leaving the key to his bike lock with the terminal clerk and catching the bus to the Library of Congress where a librarian was ready to help him find the research materials he needed for a class assignment. His father demanded to know where he had been but couldn’t say much when Bill told him and showed the research material he had obtained. When it was time for high school, his father made him go to Valley Forge Military Academy. The most positive thing to Bill about the celebrated school was the fact that J. D. Salinger had attended it and used it as the setting for “Catcher in the Rye.” After being dismissed in his junior year for drinking, Bill was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in a small New Hampshire town and finished his high school education at a school with only 17 students, a much happier experience than Valley Forge. Bill’s British grandfather was a real American politician, he says. He never ran for office himself but had managed the first Senate campaign of Styles Bridges, a nationally known five term senator from New Hampshire from the 1930s to 1961. At one point, he recalls, “my father told the Senator I wanted to go to West Point.” Bill refused to apply for an appointment. But when he graduated from high school in 1956, he chose to enlist in the army with his mother’s help. His father was shocked. “You want to go into the army as an enlisted man?” he exclaimed. Asked why when he couldn’t stand his father, he still wanted to follow him into the Army, Bill’s response was, “I was going to go anyway so he couldn’t stop it.” Later in his young adulthood, on another issue, Bill says he told his father off and never spoke to him again. “I had a difficult childhood,” he observes in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. The United States Army Airborne Division was famous in WWII for parachuting into Normandy on D-Day and other important battles. Bill loved Army Airborne both as an enlisted man and later as an officer and eventually took enough training to reach the top skill and leadership positions. One of his first orders after completing basic training was to go to Alaska for jump training. After seven years at various posts, in 1963 he was encouraged by his peers and those above him in rank to apply for the Army’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia. Bill apparently was ready himself since his father was not coercing him. But he notes, the recommendations said his work ethic and values were exactly perfect to be an officer. The predictions were correct. He was promoted from Second to First Lieutenant and then to Captain. Bill also earned a Bronze Star, an Army commendation medal and two Purple Hearts in Vietnam. OCS was a successful experience for him. Bill graduated first in his class which gave him his choice of assignment. When asked if his father ever said anything to him about becoming an officer, the answer was “No.” Soon he and his family with two young children went to the 508th Airborne based in Panama. When America became involved in the Vietnam War, Bill was transferred to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Commanding a rifle company, he knew the troops needed to be “whipped into shape because we all knew where we were going.” There would be no parachute jumps in Vietnam. Like many combat veterans, Bill chooses not to talk about his year in Vietnam except to describe it as a “maturing experience.” As it turned out, his year “in country” ended in February 1968, just as the North Vietnamese were launching the Tet Offensive. He knows he was fortunate to miss that. Bill left the army within two years because, he admits, “I wanted to make money” but also because he felt he had accomplished what he wished to in the service. He was then encouraged by others to learn about the new and expanding world of computers. The Army Data Processing Training was excellent, he says, and it landed him his first civilian job, working for Ross Perot. Perot was one of the earliest businessmen to develop a large, successful business using computers to help other businesses manage data whether in employment, sales, records or any other need they had easy record-keeping of all kinds of information. Asked what Perot was like, Bill pointed out that the millionaire mainly hired retired military like himself. Perot “was driving, dynamic and expected a huge effort” from employees, he observed. When asked why he left after two years, he replied, “I liked bigger computers. They’re more satisfying.” For the next several years as computers took a larger and larger place in our lives both in business and soon in our homes, Bill worked for and learned a lot at a number of companies either developing or applying computers to their businesses. He worked for Control Data where “I got some training in programming.” Other company names on Bill’s resume included National Semi-Conductor and Foremost-McKesson Data Center in Oakland which paid him an annual salary of $40,000 which seemed like half the money in the world to him in the 70s. From 1980-81, he was Director of Computers at UCSF Medical Center. He calls that his favorite job although he left it after only one year. The reason? Bill answer was that while the Center’s administration was very easy to work with, “dealing with the doctors” was another and very frustrating story. After a number of years of working for others, he decided to set up two small companies, one specializing in networking projects, the other focused on custom work such as designing logos for companies such as Safeway. Bill considers himself lucky to have entered the field when he did. With a smile, he says, “if you could find your fanny, it was easy to learn.” Meanwhile, his third marriage had failed due to his wife’s alcoholism. Bill, who has been clean and sober for 37 years, asked for and received full custody of the couple’s seven-year-old Katie who has grown into a mature, bright, capable and charming woman with a degree in psychology from USF and a Master’s degree in business at New York University. She now works for a consulting firm specializing in giving people with potential the tools they can use to enhance their skills and be successful. That is a talent she inherited from her father who used it on a number of people he managed as well as, he admits, his own daughter. Bill took Katie all around the country during the summers of her youth to see the variety of sites of beauty and historical interest our country possesses. He also took her to Contra Costa Children’s Chorus rehearsals and any other activity she was involved in. The pair even cleaned house together each Saturday using Katie’s checklist of what needed to be done. When Bill was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, Katie, by then a junior at Campolindo High School, lived with her loving maternal grandparents while Bill was recovering. Katie is very fortunate in her education, Bill feels, because she attended the highly rated Palmer School for elementary and middle school students in Walnut Creek. He was sorry to learn of its closing in early June of this year. “She’s an amazing young woman,” he says proudly. Katie now is a very successful personnel analyst working for Connery Business Consulting, a firm that has software that provides people who have a lot of potential the tools they can use to enhance their abilities and opportunities just as her father had done in his work life. When asked if it all boils down to “you looked after her when she was a child and now, she is looking after you as a senior?” He thought about it and “Yes” was his unequivocal answer. When Bill was asked what he was proudest of looking back over his 80 years on earth, he didn’t hesitate. “I was able to spot people with talent and get them started.” After giving some examples (ED: which would certainly include Katie), he concluded by saying “I have great pride in my ability to develop people.” Written by Harriett Burt, Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez Resident Read additional pieces by Harriett Burt Read more

"Chickens, Eggs and the Broody House" from the Memoirs of James Thompson Sr.

"The Story of the Old House" is just one of the many short stories from the memoirs of James Thompson Sr., a resident of Carlton Senior Living San Jose. Written during the 1970s, Thompson's writings illustrate what life was like as a child growing up in the small town of Dyer, Indiana during the 1930s. Dyer is a town in St. John Township, Lake County, Indiana and is a southeastern suburb of Chicago. According to census records, the population of Dyer was just 672 in 1930 and had increased to 976 by 1940. "Chicken, Eggs and the Broody House" by James Thompson Sr Every spring we got a hundred baby chicks and raised them in the garage. Sometimes we got the chicks from Mike Burson who had a hatchery in the basement of the drug store. When the chickens were bigger they went to the chicken yard where the roosters provided Sunday dinners for most of the year. Then hens provided eggs. If we have extra eggs, we got credit at Hoffman’s IGA store at four corners. (The four corners was where the town’s only traffic light was.) Those eggs were a lot fresher than you can buy today. In the winter, the chicken house had maybe six or eight hens. With the doors closed, the inside temperature was above freezing even on cold days. The chicken coop was close to falling down and some of the rafters were propped up with two by fours. There was a smaller coop we called the broody house where the hens could set on their eggs until they hatched. It made a good playhouse. I got some leftover patching plaster and filled all the nail holes that I could. I bought an old dry cell battery from Gene Schultz for a nickel and wired up a tiny bulb and pretended that you could really see with it.   "The Story of the Old House" [caption id="attachment_23332" align="alignleft" width="120"] James as a high school student.[/caption] We lived in an old house that rented from the Hilbrich’s. After the war, we had to buy it, because they wanted to sell it. It wasn’t much, an old farmhouse built before the Civil War. It was built before electricity. The electrical wiring was added after the house was built. A single cold water faucet was in the kitchen. There was no hot water unless it was heated on the cookstove. There was originally a barn beside the road but it burned. A chicken house, broody coop, an outhouse, a garage and a woodshed were there. When we moved in, the house had an old outhouse in the back with a brick walkway. The outhouse was in danger of falling down. Uncle Henry built a new outhouse which lasted until a bathroom was built five years later. The bathroom had an old used cast iron tub and was built very cheaply. The outhouse then became a woodshed. Another memory was the bare pine floors in the bedrooms. I got slivers in my feet, unless I wore slippers or shoes. The house had a shallow cellar made with limestone blocks and had a dirt floor. It was fine for me as a child, but the adults had to duck their heads. The cellar finally was made deeper and a cement floor was put in. I found an arrowhead in the dirt that was excavated from the floor. There was no basement under the dining room or the kitchen. The kitchen was added to the original house, lean-to. In the winter, the kitchen faucet could freeze, so the water was left on just a trickle. I used to get my baths in the kitchen sink when I was two or three. To get soft water, rainwater was pumped from the cistern under the front porch and heated on the stove. The drawback was there was soot in the water. The Saturday night bath was more truth than fiction. Uncle Henry worked on the railroad. Before we had inside plumbing, he would take a bucket of water and a wash pan to his room and wash up. He was in the army in France near the front lines during the war (WWII), he said his early years training stood him in good stead. (Published on July 12, 2020) We look forward to sharing more of James' short stories on Carlton Senior Living's blog in the future. Want to read more from our resident writers? Check out these pieces by Elma Blaud and Harriett Burt. Read more

Resident Spotlight - Peggy Raftery

Resident Spotlight - Peggy Raftery

[caption id="attachment_23360" align="alignright" width="300"] Peggy posed with Resident Liaison, Ben, during Carlton Davis' Halloween celebration.[/caption] Margaret “Peggy” Kellogg Raftery was born on December 6, 1932 in Woodland, California to parents Neal and Myrtle Kellogg. As an only child, she learned to entertain herself and her favorite childhood memories are of the arts and crafts she came up with. She enjoyed drawing, coloring books, which were big at the time, and making paper dolls. Peggy attended Chico High School. She had always known that she wanted to become an artist and she chose art as her elective all four years there. She won a scholarship to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, but she passed it up. Instead, she attended Immaculate Heart College, a Catholic college in Los Angeles. They had an excellent art department and she thought it was fun to be in Los Angeles after always living in small towns. Peggy married Joseph Raftery in 1955. He was a lawyer, and then a judge, in the small town of Dixon. They had five children together: Paul, Mary, Dick, Tom, and Joe. Peggy has three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Joseph and Peggy loved camping and visiting state and national parks together. Notable camping trips included Yosemite, Yellowstone, Redwood National and State Park, the Grand Tetons, and Glacier National Park. After her marriage, Peggy became a homemaker. She continued to make art and entered, and won, a number of art shows at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and the California State Fair. In 1970 she went back to school and took an etching class. She began doing a type of colored etching called intaglio. Her husband bought her a printmaking press and she ran her own studio in Dixon. She loves printmaking and became a member of the California Print Maker’s Society. Peggy lives by the golden rule—do unto others as you want to be done unto you. She likes jazz and her favorite musician is Benny Goodman. Her favorite meal is bacon and eggs and her favorite dessert is rhubarb pie, which she used to enjoy making herself. Her favorite scent is cinnamon. She most admires author Mark Twain for his creativity; her favorite books are Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. She would like to be remembered as an artist. Here at Carlton Davis, Peggy likes being able to meet new people. She appreciates that there are so many nice and interesting people living here as she really enjoys hearing other people’s stories. Interviewed by Ben Slade Written by Jessalyn Eernisse Read more