Bob's stepfather, Bill, was a great guy. He always seemed so happy to have all of us kids around and he would drag us around the desert, showing us all off to his friends. He and Grandma Cora had moved to the desert from Los Angeles because of his asthma. The dry desert air helped his breathing.
Bill was a building contractor, and built a large part of the Eastern Coachella Valley in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. He always wore a white cap, which I would describe as a newsboy cap. He called it "my office", and when given any type of paperwork he would lift his cap and place the paperwork on top of his head, then replace his cap. He knew all of the farmers in the Coachella Valley and would take us with him when he went to visit with them. Often we would end up with a date shake or a cactus shake. One of the friends he took us to visit was a guy that lived in a small house far away from town and from any other people. There were no modern conveniences at his house, including electricity and running water. It was just a man and his dog, out in the middle of nowhere.
Bill was very intelligent and would explain different things to all of us kids. He also had a great sense of humor, and he called everyone "stuff".
One time Bill and Grandma Cora took us all down to Mexicali, just across the border in Mexico. After sightseeing and shopping, we went to a restaurant for some food. The waiter brought my Mother a plate of food with a chili pepper on the side. My Mother asked Bill about the strange red thing on her plate, and Bill told her it was something similar to a tomato. My Mother loves tomatoes and picked up the chili and took a big bite. Just as my Mother took the bite, Bill had a glass of beer placed in front of my Mother's plate. My Mother didn't like beer, but after biting into the chili, grabbed the beer and drank it down. "Hey stuff, I thought you didn't like beer", Bill said laughing.