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Gene Collet

Fathers name: Elmer James Collet

Mothers name: Victoria Pauline Provok (maiden name)e

Country of Birth:

United States

Year of birth: 1938

Places of Residence:


Brothers/sisters: Edith Anne, Thomas James and John

Studies: Hard knocks & hard times

Profession: Sales& Business owner

The beginning

I was born April 24, 1938 in Long Beach, Calif. We moved to Honolulu, Hi, when I was young , maybe 1 1/2 years old.
There is a picture I have seen of my mother and sister and I on a boat going to Hawaii.I don't remember Hawaii at all.
My mother told me our address when we lived there, it was on King Street, and I looked it up the first time I was in Honolulu, about 1979 or 1980. The house was still there. Really small. From there we moved to Vero Beach, FL. The only thing I remember was we were at beach and I was running away from my sister on the beach. As I was looking back at her I ran off a 5 or 6 foot seawall. When I landed I wasn't hurt so I got up and started running again. Lots of people on the beach were laughing. Dumb kid!!
From there we moved to Miami Fl.
I started school there. Catholic school and I hated it. The sisters were always hitting me on the hand with a ruler. Not always on the flat side.
I can't imagine why they were hitting me as I was really a good kid. I thought. But I made it for 2 years.
We then moved to Palm City, CA. That is what east Imperial Beach was called then.We lived at the Navy base Ream Field.
There was a large farm the surrounded the housing area and they were growing celery.
When it was ready to harvest a lot of Mexican workers came and picked almost all of the celery.
A day later I was in the field and I found lots of celery that wasn't picked.
Just then the farmer drove up and told me I could have all that was left in the field as they were going to plow it under in a day or two.
I got my wagon and filled it with celery and walked through the housing area selling it for 5 cents a bunch. I was rich. I sold 2 wagon loads before they plowed the field under. It was my first fortune but not many more followed.
I went to Emory Elementary school for 1 year and the only time while I was in school I was the teachers pet. I didn't sell her any celery. My first and second grade were in A Catholic school and the third grade was in a California public school.
I already learned everything they were teaching in the third grade.
So I knew it all. Only time I ever did.
My mother and father purchase there home on IB Blvd in 1947 it was a 2 bed room 1 bath house that most of you remember.Very small but on an acre of ground. When we moved in there were chicken, rabbits, fruit trees all over and Ginny the mule.
I tried to ride her but when I would get on her back she would not even take one step!
One day my father decided to use the mule to plow the big field on the back of the property.
They had all the gear to put on the mule and attach the plow.
Well we got every thing ready to go. My Dad was holding the plow and screaming at the mule to go and nothing happened.
After a few minutes he told my sister and I go go and pull on the reins of the mule to make him go forward. We did and the mule took one step.
Right on my sisters foot. Screaming and shouting went crazy. My Dad and I pulled on the reins to get the mule off her foot which he finally did.
My sister was crying my dad was screaming at the mule Well that ended the family plowing adventure. The Mule never did a thing again except eat. She was sold about a year later and the man who bought her had her pulling a wagon around IB selling something. About 6 months after they sold her she broke out of her corral and walked to our house about 1/2 mile and died in our corral.
Our whole family was very sad.
While living there I went to IB Elementary School for part of the forth grade.
End chapter 1