The Smudge Pots lasted into the late 40's, I believe. Since we have many commonalities in our lives, Hugh, I will tell a couple more. One month after I was born, the U.S.A. declared war on Germany and Italy and we were in WW1. I was born in May, 1917. I was born in Los Angeles, as was my mother, who had 9 children. Pregnant 9 times she said.
My first memories were when living in Pasadena, then we moved to Wilmar, in the San Gabriel Valley. We, too, suffered from the Smudge Pots, but no one complained as we knew freezing the trees caused an awful loss of money, not only for the owners, but for Pickers we knew, and for the men that made extra money tending the Smudge Pots.
I joined the CCC after graduating from Alhambra High School in 1934, spent 1& 1/2 years in Sequoia Natl Park, learning to Carpenter, mostly, so that is what I did for the rest of my life, construction. It was about 1937, I think, when we had our worst freezing. I was carpentering on a house in Rosemead, the smudge was so thick the Sun could not shine thru it, so it stayed freezing at our job. Our Boss finally stopped work and sent us home "because of freezing weather!" at Noon ! In Rosemead!
My father lived into his sixties, and always worked at something. He wore out his Prince Albert Suit pants on the WPA. He had had a good custom furniture business in Pasadena and was a Mason, Master of his Lodge, prior to the Depression. We had the same lean times as most of our neighbors.
As boys we stole fruit whenever we found it, also learned to sneak into theatres, by one distracting an Usher while the rest of us would go in (Usually four of us) then let the "Distractor" in the back door.
We had a grocery Store two blocks East of our Grammar School, Garvey School, and would deviously sneak an apple into our shirts almost every day on the way home from School. After we would get about half a block away, the Greek owners would run out hollering at us for stealing.
After I was in the CCC and was telling about that, it finally dawned on me-those Greeks never moved their apples inside or ever stayed near them when we came by!
Love to all, Norm