The Neelys
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New photos here May 5, 2017 (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 a class of 4th through 8th grade students 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.

After operating Evergreen Tree Service, a tree trimming and brush clearing service, and a stint as a recreation ranger with the USFS, he rejoined ACRT, a company that inspects PG&E power lines for trees that need to be trimmed away from the wires.

Rod & Jennifer on the Neely Estate, spring 2003

Rod & Jennifer on the Neely Estate, spring 2003

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. 

Buster

Stickers

Sausage

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.

Jennifer, Giblets, Rod

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
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
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
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
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 Little Hombre and a recently captured lizard (it escaped safely)
Jennifer's birthday picture: Nephew Johnny & wife Brittany; sister Teri, nephew Mikie, Jennifer, dad Dick, brother-in-law Tim, September 2011

Little Hombre and a recently captured lizard (it escaped safely) December 2011

Rod & Jennifer's famous enchiladas - 2012 Father's Day dinner
       
When good pumpkins go bad And finally, the worst
When good pumpkins go bad And when they go even badder! And finally, the worst
   
Jennifer and the Giant Pomegranate Bath time Rod, his brother Ron, & Jennifer, Thanksgiving 2012
Jennifer and the Giant Pomegranate Bath time for Buster Rod, his brother Ron, & Jennifer, Thanksgiving 2012
    
Work piles up when you have to Keep the grass down on 5 acres Dusty, the newest Neely cat, summer 2013 Sputnik (originally Dusty) with his favorite toy (J. Neely photo)
Work piles up when you have to Keep the grass down on 5 acres  Dusty (renamed Sputnik), the newest Neely cat, summer 2013 (by J. Neely) Sputnik, when he was still Dusty, 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
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     A large number of Neelys - 2013 Thanksgiving Gathering "What the heck did they do to my climbing tree?" 
Jennifer's graduation photo, 1984  A 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 birthday gift, the same lunch box Gizmo in the snow
Jennifer, on her first day of school... ...and holding her 2013 birthday gift, the same lunch box Gizmo in the snow
    
"Let's see, cat food or cookies?" Muffin, new kid on the block Smoky, newer than Muffin
"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
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

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 Jennifer attempts to tame the mutant mullein... ...but it gets Rod anyway

Boomer and Bam Bam on the Neely Trail

Jennifer attempts to tame the mutant mullein...

...but it gets Rod anyway
   
Jennifer discovers a frosted pine cone What's better than ice cream on your birthday Jennifer celebrated her birthday with Mamie, mom Jackie, Angie, and sister Teri

Jennifer discovers a frosted pine cone

What's better than ice cream on your birthday

Jennifer celebrated her birthday with Mamie, mom Jackie, Angie, and sister Teri
    
Jasper on the alert  
Jasper on the alert Jennifer with aunts Anne and Linda  
   

Photos by Rod Neely, Jennifer Neely & Dick Estel, copyright 2000 - 2017

Rod & Jennifer's firefighting days

Updated May 5, 2017