Father is learning to be a rancher here.
The ship was in San Francisco in 1849, when the cry of "gold!" went out. With Grandfather's blessing, Father left the ship and went looking for gold along the American River. He had no trouble finding the precious metal, since he was one of the first to arrive. By the time the gold-seeking "hoards" arrived, the gold rush was in full swing and my father was a very rich young man.
San Francisco exploded into a big city, but my father wanted to live in the wide, open spaces (a good thing, too). He met my mother (you can read why she was in San Francisco HERE), and they were married. They moved to the San Joaquin Valley, near the foothills, and started their ranch. Justin was born a year later, when Father was 30.
Father has a twin brother, Benjamin, whom I don't remember meeting, although Melinda tells me he, Aunt Ellen, and my cousin Daniel did come West for Father's funeral when I was five. But they still live back East. In 1860 (way before I was born), Grandfather and Grandmother died, and my father's older sister, Rebecca, moved to San Francisco. She started interfering with her brother's family right away and has done it ever since! You can read about Aunt Rebecca HERE.
It didn't take Father and Mother long to make the Circle C ranch one of the finest spreads in the entire Valley. For my part, I'm awfully glad Father chose the ranching life (even though Aunt Rebecca thought he was loco not to want to live in the City). I miss Father dreadfully, but Justin is a lot like him, so he has really helped me when I start feeling sad about Father being gone.