“Well, I’m 69 years of age. I was raised in a little town near Fowler, California, which is a small little town south of Fresno. I was raised on 20 acres of grape ranch. I moved to San Francisco when I was 18, and then moved to Los Angeles when I was 20. I have one daughter, two grandchildren. I will be retiring next year, praise the Lord. I work for the county of Los Angeles in the courthouse here.
20 acres of grape ranch. We grew Thompson, which is a grape we dried into raisins. Right out of Fresno is a little town called Selma, the raisin capital of the world. But basically, we do a lot of raisins, a lot of table grapes. If you go into Smart & Final, you’ll see that a lot of grapes, packaged fresh for you to eat, they come from Reedley, California, which is where I grew up. A lot of them are eaten fresh, and a lot of them are dried into raisins. And they also have wine grapes.
I work for the Sheriff Civil Management Bureau. We serve papers. If you own an apartment building, or you own a condo, or a townhouse, and you have a tenant that you need evicting, if they do not leave after you serve them a 30 day notice and everything, then that is our job. We come out. I’m a civilian myself, but the sworn – which is the deputies – they will go out, and if the person is still there, then they will go put them out. That has to be done by deputies because you’d be surprised how people get very desperate sometimes, when they have no place to go and get put out. Two years ago, we had a deputy that was shot and killed up north when he went to do an eviction. You know, people snap.
But let’s say for instance, you were in a car accident, and the person who hit you refused to pay you. Well, regardless of whether they have insurance or not, they still owe. And all you do is you would go to court, you would file a small claims, have us serve it against the person. We will go out, for a nominal fee, and serve them with the papers so that they would come to court. Once they come to court, the judge will make the decision if they owed you. If the judge says, ‘Yeah, you owe this person,’ then they’re going to give you a writ of execution. The writ of execution, you take that to us, or a private processor – doesn’t matter. Those are legal state documents, that if they don’t do what we say, the state will step in and do something to them. And what it entails is, this person owes you money, and because they have a job, from this month on until they pay you off, they have to give you a fourth of their salary.
Or you can decide I don’t want to take it in dribbles and drabs. ‘I’m sure they have a bank account, and they have money in it.’ Then you can levy on their bank account. We’re just middlemen. You go to the courts, and the judge gives you a writ of execution, and we just carry it out. We file the papers. And because of the fact that we do file the papers, and people pay us, we generate our own funds. I used to work for the state years ago, EDD. They generate their own funds also, because remember, when you collect unemployment, you already paid into it.
I hadn’t planned on working at all – going back to work. I was engaged to a gentleman. I lived with him for about seven years. And I didn’t work. And he had a heart attack and died. He did leave me a little money, so for about a year and a half, I didn’t do anything. I just lived off of the money that he left me. But I realized, as you know with money going out and coming in – unless you’re a Rockefeller – you’re going to have to find a job. So I had worked for the county before. This was 2006. The county was hiring in 2007, and they just had 50 thousand million jobs, just before the crash. And so I got so many job offers – actually, when I went on the interviews, the first interview I went on was the sheriffs’.
Well, I enjoy spending time with my grandkids. I do sew. I enjoy gardening. And I do like to travel. I just got back from D.C. in July. Travelling is wonderful, but it ain’t free. And once I retire, I’m trying to decide what I want to do with the next part of my life. Because if you’re still in pretty good health, you might want to do something: either volunteer, get a part-time job, take in foster children.I don’t know if I just want to languish at home and watch TV. I’m thinking of maybe selling real estate. I thought about opening up a cleaning business where you get 3 or 4 people to work for you, and you supply the jobs. So that’s something I’ve thought about, and a friend of mine mentioned, ‘What if they steal something?’ Well, you know, I would have to hopefully, fill out some kind of clause in the event that something is taken. That’s just something that you would have to think about. Because it’s more than just a notion of trying to open up a business. You can still run a person’s background, but you never know what’s going to happen. I doubt very much that something’s going to happen, but you do have to think about it.”
Excerpt may be edited for clarity.