Sunday, December 09, 2007

An Old Coyote in Mayer Az. Ghostown

Saturday the 8thI saw that my morning haunt was open. You can tell cause some times the neon OPEN sign is glowing. The for sure way is to look at the big old rusty hasp near the handle to see if the padlock is unlocked. I longed for the warmth inside. The weather ended up hailing and snowing a bit and the promise of it could be felt as a particular kind of chill seeping in around my sweatshirt collar. Mayer, Arizona is at about the 4500 ft. altitude. The air was higher-altitude-in-December-brisk and I did want to stop at Big Bug Station to check in with my landlord about the “baker’s table” he had promised to put into my kitchen . Topper his usual half rascal, half geezer self shouted to me as I passed his car on my way to the Big Bug Station door. He was trying to get my attention as he untangled himself from his oxygen lines and hauled out his tank on wheels. He likes to talk with his hands and that made his trying to get unwound from the line harder. I just shouted that I’d meet him inside. When he arrived in, Mike called out,” You old coyote you!” And Topper approached him and whipped out a huge ole knife! Thing is, he turned his attention to me with the knife in hand. I hoped I didn’t look too bug-eyed but I know my flinch was visible. Topper said to me, he was addressing me, “You said yesterday that this knife had your name on it.” Stunned, I had to gather my wits. Then I remembered and tried to talk Topper into remembering that it was Mike not I that made that claim yesterday as Topper was describing this knife he owned.. Mike is the knife collector. I’m just the newbie in town trying to get moved in before the snow set in. This particular knife had Chinese letters on it as Topper Said, “Maybe it’s Japanese writing cause they look kinda the same to me.” Topper was real disappointed that I wasn’t interested in the knife. I think he was going to give it to me. Topper seems to be like that. I left he and the Big Bug Station host puzzling over the origins and age and value of it and headed out to unload suitcases of what few mementos of my life that I had not sacrificed to garage sales long ago remained.I regretted having to miss staying and meeting about seven more locals that had gathered there this morning but getting moved in was my priority.