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!