Friday, September 05, 2008

Tumbleweed Talk in Mayer, AZ Big Bug Station

Today Robin from Chino strolled into Big Bug Station. She drives a medical van and had some time to kill before a pickup. With her cup of coffee in hand we introduced ourselves all round. This morning was a pretty full house. I brought up something I’d heard about Chino,AZ yesterday. I’d heard there were hundreds of tumbleweeds that blow back and forth and pile up along the fences in Chino area. Robin agreed and shared that horses absolutely love to eat tumbleweeds! You wouldn’t think that cause they are sooo dry and prickly but it’s a fact. They will gallop across a field to get to a stray tumbleweed first.

I spend a lot of time in Australia and there they call a tumbleweed “a roly poly.” Course here a roly poly is a potato bug or someone with a bit weight around their middle. Today’s picture is of me with an Aussie roly poly.

Robin went on to say that it seems no matter how old you are if you review your day you will find that you found out something new. And today “roly poly” is new. For me, horses loving to eat tumbleweeds was new.

In the 1930s Bob Nolan, songwriter and cofounder of the singing group Sons of the Pioneers, wrote Tumbling Tumbleweeds.

Lyrics to Tumbling Tumbleweeds

I'm a roaming cowboy riding all day long,
Tumbleweeds around me sing their lonely song.
Nights underneath the prairie moon,
I ride along and sing this tune.
See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.
I'll keep rolling alongDeep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

Monday, September 01, 2008 Features Other Blog

The electronic version of Big Bug News newspaper features more and different-from-this-blog writings of mine about the lives, past and present, of those who live in Mayer, AZ.

click on and go to the header and click on "blogs"

That will take you to...

Big Bug Station Mayer, AZ
Barbara McCondra
Barbara is a freelance writer, book author and lecturer. She draws caricatures, writes verbal portraits and is now also sharing her observations and humor about Arizona characters and the historic town of Mayer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back in Mayer, AZ

I've been on the road, broke down, put in new alternator and returned tail between legs. However, Big Bug Station made me feel at home and I was served an excellent cold pressed cup of coffee and welcomed back. Sam Mardian Jr. popped in on his way for his usual hiking trek each day and gifted me with a great book written by as he put it, "my wild child cousin wrote this." It is Siren's Feast an Edible Odyssey by Nancy Mehagian. I love it. a bio with recipes and so well written. How could I not perk up now with my car repaired, back home with friends, and a good read tucked under my arm.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Turquoise Quest Ends in Mayer, AZ

Remember the late 1940s Sky King and his cereal box offer of Sky King’s Turquoise Secret Decoder Ring? (this is Sky King of radio fame not yet TV). Oh the thrill of taping your hard earned allowance money onto the cardboard cutout from the cereal box and mailing it in. The rush to the mailbox each day. The anticipation. I loved it but it was too big. Not to worry. It had been advertised that it was an adjustable ring. Well two fine lined fractured teeth later it was on my finger. One finally broke off twenty years later. Turquoise is usually on my mind anytime I look in the mirror. and see the cracks and the cap. But a slightly snaggle toothed grin breaks out at the memory anyway. Well, I still have a fondness for turquoise, the Native American sky stone. I live in a state famous for the mining of it. It is December’s birthstone, my birthstone. It also is Diana’s birthstone. Diana lives across the street from me in the Old Town Mayer white frame two story hotel converted to apartments. Diana and I run into each other getting coffee at Big Bug Station. She is one of those who have sent me on the turquoise quest.

Beings that I run in the Southwest’s rockhound circle when on the road, people ask me for turquoise, opal, tanzanite, etc. So what did I find and bring back to Mayer last week? A box of fishing lures. That sparked some interest with the fellows that hang at big Bug Station but brought out that dullness of disappointment in my turquoise searchers’ eyes. So I feel triumphant today with having found some turquoise jewelry to show Diana. Trouble is I like it so much, I want it. Oh these demons I do battle with daily. They wear me down. However, last week when Diana’s eyes glimmered in anticipation as mine did each trip to the mailbox nearly sixty years ago, and then the light dimmed at the news I had only fishing lures, I vowed to bring her several sky stones to choose from next time.

I will triumphantly return to Mayer this week with much sky stone in my pocket.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anything Can Happen at Big Bug Station In Mayer, AZ

Busy Morning at Big Bug Station.

Sam brought in a Cherokee Nation Newspaper from Oklahoma and a discussion on the Cherokee written alphabet (the only Native American alphabet created so Native Americans could have “talking leaves’ the written word on paper) caught our interest. It is a syllabary…symbols for syllables rather than a true alphabet with symbols for consonants and vowels.

Carol snagged a three wheel electric scooter at Hope’s Attic (our in town second hand shop) I tried to talk her into turning it into a Rat Rod Scooter a sorta Rat Scooter until I saw it was already a hot candy apple red and to paint it with grey black primer would be a crime. Adding perhaps an antique auto grill would be cool though. You shoulda seen the look she gave me…I think the Rat Rod Scooter idea is out.

Mike was pawing through a box of World War I and II army helmets. We all wondered about the several tiny holes in the World War II one. Ventilation perhaps?

Tim mentioned flying saucers and Don painted a word picture of he and Deb’s encounter with a beaver and its den or lodge in Kansas. So I googled and found this interesting theory on why beavers build dams or rather why SOME beavers build dams. Be surprised and check it out

I flew the coop early to play catch up on my writing but shared time later in the cool of late afternoon in front of my apartment on the veranda swing while Mike’s daughter Claire, Carol, and I each savored a root beer float in glasses I had chilled in the freezer. A nice small town cocktail hour sans booze. Tame but soul satisfying.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day in Mayer,AZ at Big Bug Station

The old Dance Hall was “purty busy” on Memorial Monday at Big Bug Station. I suffered a bit of character overload. The Stitch and Bitch group was there sharing crochet and needle crafting secrets with each other. You can thank Rose (who else of course) for the group’s name.

Our local musical duo, D Squared, was playing an assortment of harp and guitar music for potential clients. The bar was lined with a couple of Dons (not the mafia type, today anyway) myself, and a Spring Valley local we nicknamed Gabby. She was telling us her plan to go back out in the hills and pan for gold. Don One was sitting neat and dapper in his western gear but without fiddle today. He seemed somewhat amazed at the number of people gathered today as was I. We usually have a fairly steady stream of a few at a time.

Don Two was telling me he used to live on a hilltop high above Phoenix in the late 1950s. His family turned their home into The Cloud Nine Restaurant. Customers had to bang on a pipe at the bottom of Shaw Butte for his father to come down the steep incline in a four wheel drive vehicle. His dad would drive them personally up to the restaurant. The Movers and Shakers of the time were the restaurant’s patrons. Men like Carl Hayden, Barry Goldwater and star power entertainers.

The old dance hall windows in the back cast a bright glow into the room and silhouetted those inside. The windows give frame a view toward Big Bug Creek. And there in the back sat Alan, seemingly as one with his laptop and the antique padded church pew bench he sat upon. He is a Tai Chi Master who holds classes here on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Alan was in for a little WiFi. For those of you who are not exactly cyber literate, WiFi is an internet access that Big Bug Station has so patrons can use their laptop. Just the other day Alan was in using the laptop to talk back and forth with a friend in Russia. It makes feel calmer to see Alan. I think a sense of peace walks with him. Alan blends in with his surrounds. Probably that makes for a good Thai Chi Master.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mayer Daze and Snake Talk at Big Bug Station

Ooohps, Ray informs me that the Hopi Rattler wasn't the pink ropey looking snake he saw. He said, "Try coach whip snake." Well, here is the result of that google search. "His response was, That's , more like it but I don't remember the markings on the back." Red Racer came up in the conversation but that turns out to be another name for coach whip snake. Ah well. I also learned that black rattlers will even chase you. We were all standing in the sunlight outside Big Bug Station. Dexter, also called the Killer Killer (he hunts coyotes) and an excellent fiddle player, was nodding in that wise desert rat way of his. The moment was torn assunder by the thunder of a whole parade of four wheelers roaring past us on Central Ave. They were out practicing perhaps for the upcoming Poker Run that takes place annually here in mayer during Mayer DAZE celebrations. It is the 4x4

Poker Run that claims 15 acres of terrain and 22 miles of trails. You bring the truck and they will bring the cards. Intrigued? Well just click onto this site and check it out. Mayer Daze is June 7, 2008 this year. For more information contact the Mayer Chamber of Commerce 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. at 928.632.4355

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rattlesnake Sightings Begin

As early as a month ago, Rattlesnake Bob (also known as Cordes junction Bob) was out and about getting rid of weeds and started coming into Big Bug Station with rattlesnake sightning stories. Now Bob's hearing is not so good these days and he was wondering why his faithful dog and companion was going so crazy. Bob was nearly standing on a rattler and didn't even hear it. Fortunately Bob's dog has been vaccinated against rattlesnake bite. (didn't know you could do that and sure is wise thing to do in Arizona country) however, the dog needn't worry but Bob needed to. He takes that rattlesnake sensing dog everywhere with him on his property and from the sound of the number of sightings that's a good thing. Bob is softspoken and carries traces of earlier younger years time spent in Oklahoma in his drawl. he tells his stories gently and it is always a surprise to realize the seriousness of his predicaments.

Of course any talk of SNAKE brings out more snake stories. Ray who has a custom furniture making store on the end of the building, told us of a pink rope he spotted laying across some iron in his yard. Wondering what self respecting cowboy of the wild west would own a pink rope he was shocked when he watched it slither away! so I googled "pink rattlesnake" and found this Wickopedia definition:

Common names: Hopi rattlesnake,[2] Arizona prairie rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake.[3]
Crotalus viridis nuntius is a venomous pitviper subspecies[4] native primarily to the desert plateau of the northeastern portion of the American state of Arizona, but also ranges into northwestern New Mexico. Named for the Native American Hopi tribe, which inhabits the region, its range overlaps that of the nominate subspecies and some interbreeding is believed to occur. The taxonomy of the C. viridis group is a matter of debate, many considering the various subspecies to be nothing more than locality variations.
After the scare stories of that morning I was pleased to read in the cyber world information stream that altho scientists have identified 36 species of rattlesnake, according to Arizona Poison Centers, less than 1% of rattlesnake bites result in human deaths. Whew! But where you tread and where you put your hands. Arizona is rattlesnake country afterall.
(PS Don't EVEN bother asking Rattlesnake Bob to sell you his dog)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hit and Run in Mayer, AZ

Yup, a crash heard in the middle of the night about one in the morning. But not by me. I was asleep snug and safe in my bed. However, me car Mate! She had her behind kicked in by another vehicle identified in the dark of night as perhaps a white or cream or light tan Bronco maybe in the 1990's. Hit and run and still not identified. My son is searching the junk yards of Phoenix for a replacement boot (I mean trunk lid)...Oohps am speaking slightly Aussie today as have been emailing friends over there. See I don different hats in different countries and sometimes the vernacular carries over for abit. Oohps, Aussies use the term "abit" alot...see what I mean? Oh well one step at a time to repair comprehensive insurance you see.

Friday, May 02, 2008

No Mexicans or Chinese Allowed to Mine Gold

A party of 30 prospectors from California, led by ex-mountain man, Joseph Rutherford Walker, arrived in the Bradshaw Mountains near Prescott, AZ. One of the creeks where they found gold was Big Bug Creek. They also found gold at Lynx and Groom Creek.

They laid out a mining district by building corrals and establishing claims. A drawing was held with each man receiving two claims of 100 yards each on either side of the creek.

Mexicans and Chinese were prohibited from mining there by laws they drew up. The resolution originally read,
“no Mexican shall have the right to buy, take up, or pre-empt a claim on this river for a term of six months to date from the first day of June, 1863 to December 1, 1863,”
and it was changed a month later to keep out Chinese from working any part of this mining district, too.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Any Stupid Ass Can Find Gold

Some say that “any stupid ass” can find gold. Perhaps that saying was derived from this typical prospecting story.

A rich Arizona placer deposit was found on top of Antelope Hill by a group led by Paulino Weaver, A.H. Peebles and Jack Swilling in 1863. They were prospecting for gold up the Hassayampa River. Antelope Hill was so rich in gold that the site was renamed Rich Hill. You know how mining stories go…it seems that one of the fellows in the party went looking for a burro that had gone astray and found gold!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Stagecoach Shotguns and Purty Music in Mayer, AZ

Well for a moment there I thought the time machine door had opened up once walks a rangy looking cowboy type with a shotgun by his side and asks in a deep smoky voice (not exactly menacing but smokey,) "Where's Mike?"

"You're not gonna shoot im are ya," I asked all wide eyed.

Turns out it was just Catfish Campbell in to show MIke who loves antiques, his grand daddy's "stagecoach shotgun" a Swedish made job from about 1897. It was made by Husqvarna.

There we were all sittin' and talking about old west history when Catfish walked in. Man, you can't get a more western feel than that in Big Bug Station on Central Ave. in Mayer. The place was originally a stagecoach station on Big Bug Creek hence the name.

Later in the day I was all set to run some errands but as I was leaving my aprtment two doors down from Big Bug Station I heard purty musical strains pouring out the open door. Well there ya go, the Judge was in on his break and he was strumming his guitar and singing with my friend Dexter (earlier in my blogs I talked about him as the Killer Killer) who was playing a fiddle! Only Cordes Junction Bob and I were there to hear it. But that made it feel like my own special personal treat. I heard the boys say something about fried balogne, eggs, and gravy and didn't know if that wasa the name of the tune or ifin the music reminded them of eatin' such. Twer no nevermind which as the whole scene just polished of my day real fine. You can see it has even affected my citygirl speech.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Deserts are a Magnet Alaska, Arizona or Australia

I have always been more comfortable where ever there is desert. Even in my years at Prudhoe Bay Alaska I was happier at Prudhoe Bay an arctic desert than in Anchorage. At age thirteen Mom and Dad drove me from Missouri to California, (yup. I am one of those Route 66 kids) to see the grand opening of Disneyland.

I fell in love with the desert then. I went back to Freshmen year in highschool and wrote a composition about the desert and its magic. Also drew a desert landscape that depicted the vastness. I did this in art class and it included saguaros, an arroyo, and part of an old mine entrance with Route 66 stretching on endlessly into the horizon. At thirteen I was hooked. So deserts draw me like a magnet and desert loving people become my friends. The high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the frigid desert of the Northslope of Alaska, and of course my passion, my addiction, the arid opal bearing deserts of Outback Australia. Hence the name Parched Earth Opals.
So, as I am not in Mayer for a few days, I write today of why it was natural that I ended up here writing of desert rats and people who wear many hats.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mayer, AZ Cattle and Goofy Monikers

Ron one of our better story tellers here in Mayer, had us in stitches yesterday morning over coffee at Big Bug Station. It all started when he told us that he was working on installing a new cattle guard. I inquired as to what made cattle guards work. I was informed that cattle as well as horses are very cognizant as to where they put their hooves. It seems cattle shy away from cattle guards because they can see down into the emptiness below the grid and it seems to frighten them off. They cross them like crazy if a bit of snow packs in between the grid and it looks solid. Now I don’t want to steal Ron’s thunder and repeat his story but reckon you ought to ask him when you see him to tell you the story about the cow that did get its ankle stuck in a cattle guard.

You see it involves the antics of a local of many years ago, long since passed, and includes a guy by the name of Bill Spitznickle. Bill was a grown man at that time. I always listen closely to any story that has characters with names like that. Just think back to your school days as a kid. There were always other kids whose names were as memorable as Billy Spitznickle and I just bet they where big in your life somehow or were connected to a most unusual incident. For instance: my first crush was on a young lad about fourth grade whose name was Herby Puchner (pronounced Pookner) and mom paid him to walk her kindergarten daughter, me, the three blocks to school in the mornings. Come on you know you have a story that involves a kid with although not as complicated as Rumpelstiltskin, was still most unusual. Anyway, several other players along with the cow were in this episode in young Ron’s life including the hapless fellow who had to suffer the humiliation which is inherent, it seems, in much of what is funny to those around them. It wasn’t Spitznickle but I needed this story to bring up my wonderment at “where did all the somewhat goofy last names go?” I just can’t spoil Ron’s story without at least getting permission to tell it here first.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dynamite and Coffee in Mayer, AZ

Wellll, not really dynamite. Just stories about a fellows life working for Hercules Powder. His dad did, too. And they both made it out alive. His dad barely did 'cause one day back in New Jersey when the plant went kaboom and his father, an explosive chemist, dove into a concrete culvert to save his life. Trouble is the culvert was very narrow and Dad got wedged in partway under the road. He really could dive. Not all were so lucky that day. Tim had been a powder monkey and a tester of dynamite batches. Tim was just two years old and was told that the blast blew out windows for miles and at his house, a brass doorknob fleww off and whizzed over his head in his cot, missing him by inches as he slept. tim is way older now and long retired. He wears his dad's great ring with a red Hercules emblem on it. Tim is softspoken but his stories seem to raise the decibels and are easy listenin'. We shared stories and respect for the power and danger while sippin' coffee. Mike Connors, the owner and host, downed a sweet roll. I liked Tim's low cal dynamite stories with coffee better.
This site tells the story of that blast that happened in 1940

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Aprils Fools a Night of Banjos

Banjo, harp, guitar, and concertina along with great talent, superb songwriting and witty story telling was served up the night of April 5th at Big Bug Station. This was the first musical concert that I had been in town and able to attend. Someone had added a large fern to decorate the stage and the banjo artist said “Who would have thunk I’d be playing banjo in a fern bar!” Bill Burke and Fred Coon from Phoenix along with D-Squared with Don and Deb performed. The house was packed with an attentive and appreciative audience from the surrounding area. Whatever ghosts still linger in this old dance hall from 1902 must have been just as thrilled as I to hear such tunes once again filling the room. Mike Connors’ Big Bug Station has great acoustics for such performances complete with a mini stage and spotlights that he manned from the upper alcove that over looks the hall.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prospectors 3 Men and a Mule

Click on the above to get to an amazing blog that found me. In an earlier post I had referred to Don Pablo, long passed on now. Emmett Dwyer who has a copyright on this photo contacted me. he is writing his blog as a novel and it needs to be read from the oldest post backwards to get the gist of it.
What better way to comment on today's world with its wonders of the West and its problems as history is being made than to have some old desert rats prospecting and observing and commenting from their and Emmett's perspective? I love this blog.
My own father spent time hanging out with Don Pablo in 1956 and 57 down Phoenix way. Check out my Tuesday, January 08, 2008 blog titledMayer, AZ Big Bug Station has a New Website! It covers my Big Bug Station meeting of "Margaret with the Irish Brogue" who was Don Pablo's nurse during a hospital stay he had once.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mayer, AZ Time Travel Big Bug Station Style

Are those old wooden doors into Big Bug Station a time portal or what? I was hunkered down on the stool and sippin’ one of Mike Connors’ hot cold pressed coffees, when in walks a dude that had seven foot tall charisma made up of tall bull rider type of cowboy hat and an ankle length slicker in the Aussie drysabone tradition with buttoned capelet over the back. He looked so tall and soooo silent as he seemed to stalk into the room and just absorbed the feel of the place. He probably thought that he had stepped back in time if he was of this time. I know, I know, I have an overactive imagination but he really seemed more to have stepped Out of the past rather than into as most of us here at Big Bug Station feel. The old dance hall/gathering place has that sort of fell to it. Guess the tall silent stranger spoke to someone a bit. Enough to find out he is from the East Indies or was it the West Indies? Anyway that and he is a Zen Master. Whoa! I told you we meet truly interesting locals here at The Big Bug Station. This one usually hangs his cowboy hat in the Cottonwood, Cornville area. Hope he comes back. I think he would have a tale or two to share.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Suspicious Minds in Mayer, AZ Big Bug Station

I'm not at Mayer, AZ for few days so ate some bar b que chicken breasts my son fixed for me last night in Phoenix. Holy Cow or should I say Holy Chicken.!! What BIG breasts. What are they doing to our chickens or as Australians say "chooks". The breasts were huge enough I think we need to call it Churkey breasts or Turken breasts. What are they doing to our poultry? Hmmm very suspicious but there ya go, suspicious minds tend to hang out at Big Bug Station in Mayer, AZ.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Peridot Mined by Apaches in Arizona

Today's conversation was about the gemstone Peridot ( birthstone of august babies if you use the modern birthstone charts) Sam looked up a map of the San Carlos Indian Reserbvation area and found a tiny town named Peridot , also. We who were bellied up to the bar for cold pressed coffee this morning were talking about souvenir jewelry of Arizona need not be always Turquoise as peridot is mined by the Apaches in the White Mountain area, and Four Peaks Amethyst is a popular stone in Arizona, too. Sam shared that he had a photo of his father hanging on his wall in full feathered headress. Sam is a colorful patron of Big Bug STation. A Native American in cowboy gear with his peoples ancient wisdom looking face and a western twangy drawl. contrasts when cultures collide, meld, reshape. We spoke of the merits of prickly pear cactus jelly and interesting old ancient artifacts as wall hangings. Sam always has some back tracks knowledge of the wilds of Arizona.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mayer, AZ Onyx Mine has a New Owner

Check out this site for information on this historic mine in Mayer, AZ near Big Bug Creek .
For really terrific photos of the quarry, go to this site The photos are worth the time!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Away from Big Bug Station Mayer, AZ

I am on the rockhound road for a bit and not hanging out at Big Bug Station but got access to a computer and found this western jewel. See the connection? Desert Rats hang out at Big Bug Station in Mayer, AZ and this old publication celebrates desert rats and the desert!

Go to google and type in Desert Rat Scrap Book. What a wondrous defunct old publication.
For more on Big Bug Station go to

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mayer, Arizona Mining Certificate 1910

Scroll lower down its page and see the history of the stock and its issuing company which sounds somewhat nefarious according to the Copper Handbook, 1910, p.640-41 info written on this website. Includes a fellow in jail, and other unseemly allegations.....goodness is this possible in the mining investment game of the early 1900s? (said with tongue in cheek)

A popular gathering place in Mayer, AZ

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Zen Cowboy Coming to Mayer, AZ?

check him out at

Chuck is coming to Mayer to perform on February 9th 2008!
Big Bug Station is hosting. See

I Miss the Hangings in Mayer, AZ

No not Old West hanging by the neck till dead but "hanging around" the local antique old west dance hall that is now a gathering place for characters interested in western history, mining, gold, antiques, western art, animal sculpture, antiquue knives, wild west ephemera, commeraderie and a good cup of complimentary coffee.

I was at Quartzsite, AZ doing the rockhound rounds at their annual shows and haven't moseyed into Big Bug Staion to catch up with what new and interesting western art has been added.

I see at the http://www.bigbugstation/ site under Musical Events that the Zen Cowboy is coming to town to perform at Big Bug Station on Feburary 9th 2008. Check the site out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mayer, AZ

On the site, click on Musical Events to see great show coming up Feb. 9th at Big Bug Station. The website keeps changing. Watch for more to come. Wis I had a pretty picture to put with this, maybe you can imagine one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wyatt Earp in Mayer, Arizona

Virgil Earp, Wyatt's brother, lived in Prescott for awhile. The Earp family was closeknit so Wyatt had ocassion to pass through Mayer. Indeed, Joe Mayer, town founder and owner of the commercial area there claimed a friendship with Earp. I like to think that he might have had his hair cut in the barber shop that my apartment once was. Maybe this is equal to the "Washington slept here" claims of the East? Just more of western history, Mayer history, I need to investigate. This is going to be fun. Something else to talk about over the complimentary coffee in Big Bug Station a gathering place in Old Town Mayer.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Authors and Artists Hang Around Big Bug Station

This writer has her book behind the coffee bar at Big Bug Station. It speaks of crazy full moon nights and opal fever driven days on the opal fields of Australia where I have spent 25 years mining opals. The recipes of campfire tucker (Aussie slang for chow) is a bonus.

Mike Connors invites other local authors in for a cuppa.

Check out local Mayer artist's website One of her paintings is hanging in Big Bug Station and for sale.

Check out Mike's new website.

Mayer, Arizona Onyx Slabs Photos

Check out this site for some views and prices of a vendor selling onyx from Mayer, Arizona

While you are at it, check out

Friday, January 18, 2008

Raspberry Sound Today in Mayer, Arizona

I have no enthusiasm for Mayer today as just doing mundane old drs. checkup, prescription renewal.... old people thing. But in searching for a good raspberry image I found a heap of them at this site featuring today the fellow's info on pictures of the raspberry sound! Check it out!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Antiques for Sale History for Free at Mayer, AZ Gathering Place

Only one block off highway 69 toward Prescott is Central Ave. where Mayer's "Old Town" is located. It is well worth a looksee as a tourist, antique collector, historian, or as an all round just nosey individual out for the day or weekend. It's a pity that there are not signs along the highway pointing out that buildings built in 1902 are still standing and in use today along Central Ave. AND some of those historical buildings are free to those walking within to have a look. Complimentary coffee, free historical conversation, and antiques for sale.

Yesterday's blog shows Monique, the Neiman Marcus mannequin, in Big Bug Station's front window reaching out her arm in supplication to invite passerbys in. I think I got a dirty look from Monique today because yesterday I referred to her as a department store dummy! And I even got her origins wrong. Not Saks or I. Magnin. So I apologize to Monique and any other department store dummies I may have offended.

For more info see

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mayer, Arizona Welcomes You to Big Bug Station

This is Monique. She is a classy department store dummy from Saks Fifth Avenue or was it I Magnin? Come in and find out at Big Bug Station over a complimentary coffee. Monique is in the localgathering place's storefront window beconing to Mayer's visitors. One of the many heart warming images and stories to be found inside.

Deb Gessner of D-Squared fame was inside today with her "camera obscura" taking images of Big Bug Station's interior for one of her wondrous art creations she is always giving birth to. Deb captures images in ways that are alot of fun to watch. Can hardly wait to see what she does with them. I will keep you posted. OR you can find out for yourself with a drop in to Mayer's Oldtown part of town. Just pull in to the old red brick 1902 building and check the local patrons out. It 's live entertainment of the human kind, either down home or way out, historical, arty, and warm and comfortable. I'm glad that I live nearby.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cold Pressed Coffee Served at Big Bug Station in Mayer, Arizona

Big Bug Station serves complimentary coffee made using the “cold pressed” method. Cold pressed coffee makes for coffee without acidity or bitterness that is totally smooth and reminiscent of perhaps the Hawaiian Kona Coffee. Coffee gets most of its acidity from the hot brew cycle. Instead of using heat, cold pressed coffee soaks in cold water for about 14 hours and creates a concentrate that after being drained off and with the addition then of boiling water makes a great smooth coffee. It has the flavor without the acid bite. Some of the well known coffee houses use this method to make their iced coffee drinks.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mayer, AZ Big Bug Station has a New Website!

Check it out.

We are adding new stuff each day or so.

Don Pablo was a character in the desert near Rialto Pass on Scottsdale Road in Phx, AZ when the road was washboard dirt. My dad used to hang out with him in the late 1950s. Don Pablo had lots of antiques and wondrous prospecting stories to tell and a big as ole feud going on with his nearest neighbor for miles who was just across the road from him. I only remember that gentleman as Curry and his place was Curry's Corner. Curry looked just like Wild Bill Hickok or Colonel Custer. the two of them made a real pair. So of course I would run into Don Pablo's nurse, Margaret( now retired, and a local) from when he was in Good Samaritan Hospital in Phx. in the 1970s. She was sitting right next to me sipping on that great "cold pressed" coffee that Mike Connors offers complimentary in our Mayer hangout and antique haven. I about fell over off my wooden stool (yup we sit there like the cowpokes did long ago at the old wooden back bar) when she asked Mike if he ever knew Don Pablo. We then exchanged some memories of ole Don Pablo. He used to be seen walking around downtown Scottsdale with a parrot on his shoulder. My dad Ray Yurcik used to hang out with Don Pablo in the early 50s and traded his Louisiana dueling pistols complete in their case with molds to our bullets and all for Don Pablo's square wooden box which came from a shooting gallery in the early 1900s. If you hit the metal button in the middle, the doors popped open to reveal a Victorian bedroom scene with a porcelain headed doll family. Ma was in bed nodding her head while looking into an hand held glass mirror while son was holding up his nite shirt peeing into a pee pot (the stream was bent glass tubing) and pa was rocking in his rocking chair reading the paper all while a music box played. don Pablo came to my father's home in Maryvale once driving an old car with a HUGE set of longhorn steer horns mounted on the hood. He was followed in by a Native American squaw. I say squaw cause she was dressed in the old style of Native Americans on the reservation of the late 1940s early 50s. (You can see where I got my penchant for collecting characters in my life) You never know who you will meet at Big Bug Station. I am loving it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

D-Squared in Big Bug Station Just Jawing

For get a bout the opal trip. Never happened cause I am going deaf and never heard the knock and we forgot to exchange phone numbers...DUH. Next time...

I got to have a good visit with Deb, one part of the couple that is D-Squared. Dan is the other so of course the two Ds make D- Squared I am guessing. Photo to left is by Bart Nagel, anyway Deb is a great sculpter, her work is at the Glendale, AZ Library. Don told me the other day that the butt part of the sculpture is his very own sweet cheeks. I noticed Deb in all sortsof odd ball positions with her camera taking close up shots of some of the unusual items always on display and for sale at Big Bug Station. She is having great fun playing with the images graphically and seeing amazing art in the upclose and partial pix of the most unusal things. She is a study in an "Artist at Work." I wish I had my camera to take shots of her taking shots. Fun to watch. Today we spoke of her art and my opal mining.

Two days ago I was talking to a "killer killer,' another Don who frequents Big Bug Station in Mayer, AZ, about his hunting predators. And today the conversation was of hunting Deb's images.

Then Mike, our host, slapped some Mayer onyx slabs down next to my coffee cup on the old western bar. Good looking onyx. But then I never saw a rock I didn't like.Always something wild and wonderful goin' on in sleepy little Mayer, AZ. my new hometown.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year from Big Bug Creek Mayer, AZ

Happy new Year from Big Bug Station Mayer, Az I'm going to start off the new year right and go prospect for opal in the Arizona hills for a change instead of Australia!