Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Remember When: Inner Critic

Artists, writers and other creative folk are all aware of their Inner Critic, monkey mind, inner editor . . . whatever.

A few years ago I had the thought of coming up with a physical critter. It took about a year to decide on how to do it. The final inspiration came from an Internet class by Tam at Willowing.

This is one of the Inner Critics who has gone to live with somebody else.

The concept is that when you are feeling blocked or getting
down on yourself for some reason just pick up this little
critter and let him know its time to ZIP IT!!

Believe it or not, that physical action can actually break the chatter
and you can get back to what you are doing with a new outlook.

The Inner Critic plays a big part in writing memoir. Not only
are you writing, a creative pursuit, but you are dealing with memories, emotions, confusion, and perhaps guilt.

One way to break through is to just keep writing, don't let those
things get in the way. Keep the pen moving or the keyboard tapping.
If you do get caught up in a negative memory or thought or even just the chatter; write that down, and then get back to the subject of the session.

Or try an Inner Critic.

I was just reminded of something my hairdresser said a few years ago when I was complaining about my hair (paraphrased for the current subject):

Embrace your inner critic.

Keep on writing those memoirs!!

Memoir Prompts:

Write about something you wish you could forget.
Did you read pop magazines as a teen?
What are some of your favorite words: just because of the way they sound?
Write about your least favorite grade school teacher.
Have you ever had a garden of your own?
What is your favorite bird? Why?
What are some things that really irritate you?


Z = Zane Grey: A to Z Blogging Challenge

  Zane Grey was and is a beloved western history writer who spent many years in the Rim Country of Arizona.

I visited the original cabin in about 1981. It was located along the Tonto Creek about 18 miles east of Payson. Beautiful country for camping, fishing and just spending a day in the forest. The cabin was built in the early 1920s and remained until it was burned during the Dude Fire in 1990. It contained one large room with the popular decor of the Old West. A small detached kitchen was behind the cabin.

While there I purchased this paperback of one of his most famous books. It still graces my bookshelves along with this one about the Hashknife brand which I've written about twice during this challenge.

From 1918 to 1929 Grey spent most of his time in northern Arizona researching and writing the westerns he became famous for. He was the author of 60 novels, 200 short stories, non-fiction articles and over 100 movies.
A replica of the original cabin was opened in Payson's Green Valley Park in 2005. It is part of the Rim Country Museum.

For more information about the Zane Grey cabin and museum visit Payson.

For those who read my earlier post introducing the Four Cs of Arizona Economy the answer is:
cattle, citrus, copper, cotton and climate
To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y = Yuma: A to Z Blogging Challenge

Yuma, Arizona was, in the 30s and 40s, the marriage mecca for Hollywood stars. Fast and easy marriages were the draw for the stars before Arizona added the pre-marital blood test. The age of consent was only fifteen which also drew its fair share of brides and grooms.  

Loretta Young and Grant Withers jumped on a plane for Yuma and were married on January 26, 1930 by Justice of the Peace Earl A. Freeman who went on to perform so many marriages he  became known as "The Marrying Judge."

In 1931 Mary Astor and Gloria Swanson were both married there.
In 1932 Tom Mix married Mabel Hubbell on the courthouse steps in front of a crowd of fans.

Errol Flynn, John Barrymore, Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert were all married in Yuma.

Mary Astor was married again in Yuma in 1937 along with Helen Burgess and Anita Page. Stan Laurel was also married there; three times.

Many still travel to Yuma to be married the the process is slower and must start with the Yuma County Clerk of the Superior Court.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X = X-Diamond Ranch: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 The X-Diamond Ranch is located near Greer in northeastern Arizona. I visited there a few years ago to do research on my book about the death of Ike Clanton; Arizona outlaw and survivor of the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral.

Besides being a working ranch there are cabin rentals, horseback riding and fishing.

I didn't have time for all of that but I did tour The Little House Museum which was a delight.
The museum is filled with treasures, all beautifully displayed.

The buggy John Wayne used on his ranch and in some of his movies. Wayne's ranch is just down the road from the X-Diamond.

The displays show the life of the pioneers who settled that part of Arizona when it was still a territory.
The music display includes a Nickelodeon with old saloon music.
Visit X-Diamond Ranch to learn more about the history and services of this beautiful setting.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W = Willcox: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Willcox, Arizona is in the southeastern part of the state along Interstate 10. It is a quiet town surrounded by cattle ranches, orchards and vineyards.

We used to spend quite a bit of time there as part of the Warren Earp Days. The youngest of the Earp brothers was killed in 1900 in the Headquarters Saloon and is buried in the local cemetery.

Railroad Avenue is the heart of the historic district and is home to the Rex Allen Museum.

Rex Allen was an actor, singer and songwriter. One of my favorite items in the museum was a pair of cowboy boots made into golfing shoes. That's dedication. He was born about 40 miles from Willcox and lived there until he left to tour as a rodeo rider. He later starred in 19 Westerns with his white horse, Koko.

Rex Allen died in Tucson at the age of 78 and his cremains scattered at the Railroad Park in Willcox.

At the time we were going down there on a regular basis the Marty Robbins Museum was in Glendale, Arizona. It has since moved to Willcox.

Marty Robbins was a top singer and songwriter in country and western and pop recordings. He was born in Glendale and lived there until he joined the US Navy in World War II. On his return to the Phoenix area he did local performances until he was discovered and moved to the Grand Ole Opry.
He was also a Nascar race driver and acted in various movies.

The best apple pie I've ever had was from Stout's Cider Farm. Sadly the economy forced them close as it has so many small businesses. I wrote about one of their pies here.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.





To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V = Vortexes: A to Z Blogging Challenge

   Vortexes, or energy centers, have brought an unexpected fame to the beautiful area around Sedona, Arizona. Many people report a strong uplifting experiences among the red rocks; especially Bell Rock.

Vortexes are formed by spiraling spiritual energy. It is believed the strength of the vortexes in Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon are unequaled in the United States if not the world.

Once an Old West town where many of the classic westerns were filmed Sedona took on a new feel with the entrance of New Age stores and numerous retreats. Some of the classic movies filmed here were "Angel and the Badman," "Blood on the Moon," "3:10 to Yuma" and "Stagecoach." Some of the stars who worked in the area were Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Joan Crawford, James Stewart and Elvis Presley.

Events held in the area are the Sedona International Film Festival, the Sedona Bluegrass Festival and the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U = Uncle Sam Steamboat: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 The Uncle Sam Steamboat was the first steamboat to run the lower portion of the Colorado River. It was launched in 1852 by James Turnbull to supply goods to Fort Yuma. Sadly the Uncle Sam sank in May 1853 and it wasn't until 1855 that travel along the river became routine.

Fort Yuma was established after the Mexican-American war in 1848 on the California side of the river, across from Yuma where the Arizona Territorial Prison would later be built. Transportation of troops and supplies through the desert was taxing and dangerous.

The Colorado Steam Navigation Company continued to grow and by 1876 there were several steamers. Sandbars were a constant problem which was solved by Captain Mellon who learned to turn the boat around and use the side paddle-wheel to dig their way through.

Travelers often slept on deck to catch any bit of breeze possible. It took up to fifteen days to make the trip up the river from the Gulf of California to Fort Yuma. That time was cut down as better boats were introduced to the river.

Today canoeing, kayaking and other water sports are popular along the Colorado River including the Colorado King paddleboat sternwheeler.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Remember When: Birthdays

Last week was my husbands birthday. We don't usually do much with gifts but we do enjoy going out to eat. We've always chosen where we want to go on our birthdays but this year I felt like trying something different.

I didn't tell Doug where we were going until we got in the car and then I only said Fashion Square Mall. He made a few guesses because he knows the area so well, and one was right but I didn't tell him that until we were about there. Then I admitted we were going to P. F. Chang's.
We always go early so there are no crowds and enjoy a nice quiet meal.
Then we go "walk it off."
We had never been to the Scottsdale Waterfront so that was our destination after the meal, part of my plan since it is all one big connected area.
They have taken what was once the canal and built up around it and added artwork and pathways and shops and made it into a great place to relax.
Doug, who is an Arizona native, gets a kick out of that but I figure it's good somebody finally did something with what was once ugly wasted space.
People bring their dogs, bicycles and jogging shoes and it was quite an experience.
One piece of artwork caught my eye so I had to get a photo of the pony express.
Doug pointed out the Hashknife brand on one of the horses, something he learned about by reading my post here.

He was pretty proud of himself.
We walked around and window shopped and ended up over at Fashion Square which I hadn't been in since our daughter worked there in high school.
We were still full from dinner so we bought a couple of sodas and pie to go at one of the shops and brought it home. He had apple and I had coconut cream. Yummy.
We had a wonderful evening and Doug said the element of surprise just added to the "specialness."

By the way, anybody for a penthouse?

Memoir Prompts:
Describe a special birthday you planned for someone.
Describe  special birthday somebody planned for you.
Do you pick up pennies, dimes, nickles on the sidewalk
or just pass them by?
What type of outdoor art do you enjoy?
When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
Do you remember your first bike?
How do you react to panhandlers?
Have you ever panhandled yourself?

T = Taliesin West: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Taliesin West is a mystical tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's vision in the Arizona desert. I've always been somewhat aware of the famous architect and his life (we were married in a church designed by him) but not an avid fan. I'm drawn to architecture from much earlier eras.

Wright began construction on his winter home and studio in 1937 and continued working on it until his death in 1959. It is now the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

I toured the buildings and grounds a couple of years ago with a book club group and really couldn't believe my eyes.

Wright built a studio, home, theater and various other buildings designed to be a part of the desert.

With an amazing view of the northern section of the Valley of the Sun and the Camelback Mountain the campus is still a mecca for artists; some who have lived on the grounds for many years.

Surprises can be found at every turn and sadly the tour itself doesn't allow for time to let it all sink in.

Taliesin West is a must see when visiting central Arizona.
For more information on Taliesin West go here.
To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S = Salome: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Salome is a town in the desert of southwestern Arizona and was once the home of Dick Wick Hall, Sr.
I'd never heard of him or possibly even Salome when a friend gave me a copy of this book in the early 1990s.
Hall was a humorist who began writing in post-World War I days. With the boom of the automobile stops along the route to Los Angeles were needed and Hall found his home in what he called the "Laughing Gas Station."
His humor eventually drew the attention of the Saturday Evening Post and Salome became famous.
He began by putting humorous signs up along both sides of the highway telling people to stop at the Laughing Gas Station where they could find Free Hot Air, meet the lady dancer and the frog.
We made a quick stop a few years ago so I could get a picture of the old place. Apparently as I got out of the car to take the photos kicked my husbands wallet out which was stuck into the top of my purse at my feet. We didn't realize it until we got home and called the local sheriff who went looking. The wallet never showed up and we never had any issues. At least somebody was fairly honest in old Salome.
That Salome Frog
For the Love of Mike, Don't Laugh at me
But lend me your Ear and Some Sympathy,
For Out in the Desert here I am Stuck --
A Dog Goned Frog and all our of Luck;
I was Hatched out here by some Mistake --
Three Hundred Miles from the Nearest Lake,
And all the Water I can get to Drink
Is what Leaks out of the Kitchen Sink.
Salome is a town of Nineteen Folks
Who Live on Sunshine, Sand and Jokes,
Where it needs No Law to Keep you Dry --
For even the Clouds all Pass us By --
And All I can Do is to Think and Sit
And Wish that I could Get Used to it,
THAT'S WHY I Look so Sad and Grim --
"An Arizona Alibi: The Desert Humor of Dick Wick Hall, Sr: Arizona's First Famous Humorist" compiled by Frances D. Nutt with a foreword by Barry Goldwater.
To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R = Route 66: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Route 66 was a two-lane highway running from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was the chosen route for road trips across the country and also for those chasing dreams in a better place. "Route 66" was a television show in the early 60s which added to the nostalgia with stars Martin Milner and George Maharis.

As faster cars and lifestyles required smoother more efficient roads four-lane highways took over and much of the old route was lost construction and side routes. Interstate 40 took travelers through northern Arizona away from the main streets.

The need for business in the bypassed towns led to a growth of tourism and nostalgia did the rest.

Route 66 runs through northern Arizona with sections of the original route being refurbished. The route takes the traveler past volcanoes, pine forests, the Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater and the London Bridge.  There are many relics of the old days along the route and more are being rebuilt as the history of Route 66 becomes more and more of an icon.
Route 66 was The main drag of Flagstaff is Route 66. In Holbrook is the most famous spot along the route; the Wigwam Motel with its teepee rooms. In Winslow the traveler finds a monument to the famous corner of the Eagles song "Take It Easy."

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q = Quartzsite: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Quartzsite, Arizona is known as a center for winter visitors and RV camping. Many more come to the area for the gem and mineral shows and swap meets. They provide the major portion of the town’s economy.

Originally the site was an adobe stage station built in 1856 by Charles Tyson. With a good source of water and grass for the stock it became an important stop between California and Arizona. Tyson's Station was visited by diarist Martha Summerhays in 1874 as she traveled through the area to meet with her soldier husband. She described it as melancholy and uninviting. 

Parts of the original adobe walls were used to house the Quartzsite Historical Society in 1980. It contains local memorabilia, relics and photographs.

The area slowly died away but in 1896 there was a mining boom in the area and town of Quartzsite was born.  

One of the local landmarks is the burial site of "Hi Jolly." Camels were brought to Arizona by Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War in 1856 He believed camels would be the answer to dealing with the harsh environment of the southwestern United States. Ahiji Ali was one of the drivers brought over with the camels and he was nicknamed "Hi Jolly." They were used to help Lieutenant Edward Beale’s effort to establish a reliable wagon route west. The experiment met its end as the camels were mean tempered and other livestock was panicked by their presence. Hi Jolly ended up in Quartzsite where he died in 1902. Thirty-three years later the Arizona Highway Department erected a pyramid-shaped monument over his grave. The grave also contains the ashes of the last government camel.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P = Palo Verde and Palm Trees: A to Z Blogging Challenge

  Palo Verde translates as “green stick” which is an apt description of this native Sonoran Desert tree as every part from the smallest twig to the trunk is green. The blooms however are bright yellow and become a beautiful part of the landscape every spring. When the blossoms fall they leave a puffy yellow carpet across streets and yards.

The palo verde became the official state tree of Arizona in 1954. The seeds were used to make flour by the Pima and Papago tribes of the area.

I will forever remember the first time we arrived in Phoenix. It was 1967 and my mother and I were making the move from Kansas to the Valley of the Sun. I was fascinated by palm trees, which lined the streets in stately rows.

As many palm trees as there are in Phoenix all of them are imported and there are three major species. They are the Mexican Fan Palm, the Date Palm and the Queen Palm. One fun story is that workers in the area of Cave Creek sat along a ditch eating dates for their lunches and throwing the seeds over their shoulders. There is now a long row of palms along that ditch

This brings us to another of the Five C's of Arizona economics: Climate. Tourism is one of the main industries and that is fueled by our wonderful climate.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O = Oatman: A to Z Blogging Challenge

Oatman, Arizona is located in the Black Mountains of western Arizona. It grew from a gold find in 1915 although there had been settlers in the area for many years.

The Oatman family travelled from Illinois to the territory that would later become Arizona and were ambushed in 1851. The only survivors were Olive and her sister who died while in captivity. Olive was tattooed by the Mohave Indians who later released her in the area of present day Oatman, lending her name to the mining community.
Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were married in Kingman on March 18, 1939 and stopped at the Oatman Hotel as during their honeymoon. It later became known as a part of the famed Route 66.

Oatman has become a favorite Arizona tourist attraction due to interest in Route 66 and some of their gentle residents: wild burros who are allowed to freely roam the town. The burros are descended from prospector’s donkeys left years ago and carrots are sold in many of the shops for tourists to feed the animals.

To further entertain visitors there are numerous classic car rallies, Old West shootouts and cookouts.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.