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|New photo here December 6 and here December 25, 2023 (captions in red)
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|Rodney Glenn Neely and Jennifer Ann
Estel were married at Lake Tahoe, July 7, 1984. After working in the food
service business, they attended Kings River College in Reedley, graduating
in 1990 with Associate of Science degrees in forestry.
Their career has taken them to Three Rivers and Dunlap in the southern Sierra foothills and in 1992 to Oakhurst, 20 miles south of Yosemite.
In 2004 they moved into a house they built on five acres north of town, so this looks like a long-term stop.
|Jennifer Neely was born in
Bakersfield, daughter of Richard Estel and Jacquelynn Callan.
After moving to Oakhurst she became a firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
She became a full-time student in 2002, and since 2005 has been working for the Madera County Office of Education, teaching at risk students from 4th through 9th grade in Chowchilla. She won a Teacher of the Year award in 2010.
|Rod Neely was born in Fresno, son of
William Neely and Patsy Bell.
He has worked in Sequoia National Park and for the U.S. Forest Service as a firefighter and in timber management. In 1999 he joined the elite Sierra Hot Shot fire crew, who are the "marines" of firefighting. He also worked briefly with a crew harvesting sugar pine cones for a forest disease control project.
He operated his own business, Evergreen Tree Service, a tree trimming and brush clearing service, served a stint as a recreation ranger with the USFS, and worked for two lengthy periods for ACRT, a company that inspects PG&E power lines for trees that need to be trimmed away from the wires. In January 2021 he returned to work for the division of ACRT that inspects Southern California Edison power lines. A work-related disability now has him looking for less strenuous work.
A succession of cats have shared the Neely home. We honor the late lamented Whitie, Fridge, Kitten, and Wiggy. Scoop (camera shy), Noodles and Scruff carry on the tradition. Thatís Wiggy keeping his cool, Wiggy and Scruff sharing the recliner, and Noodles giving the bright-eyed stare.
As of October 2006 Scoop and Scruff have gone to the big sandbox in the sky. Three gray tiger cats - Noodles, Buster and Stickers made a perfect collection. Then came the unexpected addition of Sausage, a black cat who was adopted to save him from a dangerous location. That's Buster, Stickers and Sausage, left to right.
Sausage went the way of all cats, possibly serving as a coyote's entree in the wilds of the Sierra foothills. New to the family is Giblets, whose favorite pastime is biting the hand that pets him, as well as rolled up socks and anything else within range
|Nibbles - newest member of the family, considers this Indian grinding stone a perfect resting spot
|Enjoying a "wild" apple in Nelder Grove
|Gizmo stands guard
|It's always good to
have an old chunk
of wood handy for claw sharpening
|Gizmo, a true snow-loving cat
|February snow at the Neely place
|Getting ready to burn a brush pile
|A tiny flame leaps up...
|...and in seconds, this is the result
|Nibbles helps keep an eye on the fire
|The newest addition, Little Hombre, June 2011
|Hombre, August 2011, relaxing after golf
|Jennifer's birthday picture: Nephew Johnny & wife Brittany; sister Teri, nephew Mikie, Jennifer, dad Dick, brother-in-law Tim, September 2011
Hombre and a recently captured
|Rod & Jennifer's
famous enchiladas -
2012 Father's Day dinner
|When good pumpkins go bad
|And when they go even badder!
|And finally, the worst
|Jennifer and the Giant Pomegranate
|Bath time for Buster
|Rod, his brother Ron, & Jennifer, Thanksgiving 2012
|Work piles up when you
keep the grass down on 5 acres
Neely cat, summer 2013 (by J. Neely)
|Sputnik, when he was
with his favorite toy (J. Neely photo)
|Hombre loves a good head scratch
|Jennifer waves to Rod and Dick, out on the trail
|A strange artifact along the Neely property hiking trail
|Jennifer's graduation photo, 1984
large number of Neelys -
2013 Thanksgiving Gathering
|"What the heck did they do to my climbing tree?"
|Jennifer, on her first day of school...
|...and holding her 2013
the same model lunch box
|Gizmo in the snow
|"Let's see, cat food or cookies?"
|Muffin, new kid on the block
|Smoky, newer than Muffin
|Muffin, on the alert
|New Year's Eve at the Neely's
|Bam Bam kicking back on the couch
Meanwhile, Pebbles thinks she's hiding
|Bam Bam ventures out
|Sisters: Jennifer and
Teri on top
of Mammoth Mountain, 2015
Boomer and Bam Bam on the Neely Trail
|...but it gets Rod anyway
better than ice
|Jennifer celebrated her
Mamie, mom Jackie, Angie, and sister Teri
|Jasper on the alert
|Jennifer with aunts Anne and Linda
|Stryper and her favorite string
|A rare photo of Pebbles
and Polly, looking
innocent (they aren't)
|Mr. Bibbs on the wood pile 2020
and her dad, Dick,
at Nelder Grove, June 2020
Newton, indoor cats,
welcome a walk on the leash
|Peanut steps out
explores a deep and
probably dangerous hole
|Peanut, ready to go to work
|Peanut hides out in the bathtub
|Sunset from the patio (by Wes Thiessen)
|A closer look down in the drainage
Photos by Rod Neely, Jennifer Neely & Dick Estel, copyright 2000 - 2023
Rod & Jennifer's firefighting days
Updated December 24, 2023