Hey Bernie, I see you live in Central CA. San Joaquin Valley, perhaps? I grew up there (near Fresno), but left when the state converted to socialism.
You're right, getting a permit to carry is virtually impossible in California, which is pretty bad considering the crime rate there. Like you, I sometimes carried a small handgun anyway (NAA Blackwidow or Sig P-230) on the theory that it is far better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!.