Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Bisbee and Tombstone Journey"

A journey back in "Time". Best describers my recent foray. This summer brought forth several travels. It started in May to visit the Zuni Artist. Who were at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Then off too Hopi land. To record Ahkima Honyumptewa story of the 'Hopi Emergence Story'. And to be able to video some great ancient Hopi Petroglyphs was a bonus. The day before I headed up too Hopi Land. I visited Lakeside-Pinetop area. Their to record 'Pow Wow in the Pines'. Next stop was back up too the Museum of Northern Arizona. Where this "Time", it was the Hopi turn to display there art work and dances. Next stop would be Prescott. For there annual Old west Days. There I recorded the group called, 'Generation'. A bunch of great kids. While their I recorded some more footage the 'Shoot Out at the OK Corral'. Presented by 'Arizona Gunfighters'.

Next journey was too New Mexico. To record the '90th Annual SWAIA Indian Market'. Which is held annually in Santa Fe. On the way I got some great video of 'Richardson Trading Post', in Gallup. Returning home I visited 'El Morro National Monument'. And quick drive around Zuni Pueblo New Mexico. Not sure how many miles I put on my trusty Chevy Pickup. But I always remind "God" and my truck. Thanks for getting me around safely.

The last foray of the summer. Took me just north of the boarder of Mexico. To one quite well known Arizona town, Tombstone. The other was Bisbee. A abandoned mining town. That was revitalized by my generation of Hippies. Once again I've posted some great videos of the journey. On my You Tube channel (RD47blog). Firefox will not allow me to put links on my blog.

I wanted to stay in either Bisbee or Tombstone. It was the Memorial Day weekend. So the prices for a room in either was sky high. I decided to stay in Benson. Which is 20 miles north of Tombstone. And about 55 mile north of Bisbee. The road between both towns is in great shape. To my surprise it only took about 2 hours plus. To get to Benson from Scottsdale. So if you would like a good day trip. You could easily visit both towns in one day. From the metro Phoenix area. One small surprise was the Boarder Patrol Check Point. It's just north of Tombstone's city limits. They make all vehicles stop at the check point. I got the feeling the country is at war. Maybe it is in many ways. With the onslaught of illegals crossing the Mexican boarder into America. The agents were friendly and polite. All though as the agent looks into your vehicle. You will see two, 'armed to the hilt' agents. Sitting inside the check point shack.

The first day of my two day trip. I headed for Bisbee first. Trying in my mind to imagine what Bisbee looked like. From a couple poor You Tube videos of the town. Much to my surprise it was nothing like the videos. In fact I hope my videos do justice to the town of Bisbee. As you near Bisbee. You rise up into the Mule Mountains I believe. They are the mountain range Bisbee sits in. You are welcomed to cool breezes and green surroundings. The area around Bisbee was full of green grasses and flowers everywhere. So much so, I started recording the road into Bisbee. Once in the town limits. You take Tombstone road I believe. That takes you too the old, down town area. With homes sitting on the slopes of the mountains that surround Bisbee. The homes are old, but well kept. The streets are clean but old. When you enter the business part of Bisbee. You will see instantly. That this once was a very prosperous town. The Queen Copper Mine, sits at the east end of town. It's a open-pit copper mine. That was abandoned years ago. Then the town like so many other Arizona mining towns. Pretty much became a ghost town.

Thanks to the Hippies of the sixties. The town was revived. In much the same way Jerome was saved. By the Hippies of the sixties. They were the artist. I should say the 'starving artist'. In Bisbee they found cheap housing. Stone fronts on the main drag. Dying for someone to rent them. Open areas around the town to grow pot and other necessities. They are the one who made Bisbee what it is today. A artist town, and a destination spot for tourist. All the shops are very nicely decorated. With your local artist art works for sale. As you walk along. You could be in Jerome, or one of many Hippie towns in Colorado. The art and the art mediums are the same no mater where you go. The town folks are very friendly. Only encountered one individual that didn't want my Cam-Corder looking into there shop. The nicest person I meet was art. He was doing his wood works. Here is the name of the video I made of his art work, "Art's Art, Bisbee Arizona". Like so many folks in these out of the place towns. Art didn't want to be photographed, but his art was screaming at to be recorded. I recorded Art's Art. Then went back inside to tell him. That I was going to put his artwork on You Tube. Art was all smiles, shook my hand in appreciation and love. You see, Art was my age.

I spent 5 hours in Bisbee. With a final stop at the Queen Mine. It has a tour you can take. That you back into the old Queen Mine. The tour last for over an hour. I didn't take the ride. Been in a lot of old abandoned mines as a kid. Don't much care to do it any more. You get the oddest feeling upon entering into Mother Earth. To me that feeling is over powering. You are truly at the mercy of your Creator. As I headed back too my hotel in Benson. I stopped at the famous Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone. It's a free look into Tombstones past. You won't find the Earp brothers buried their. And you won't find Doc Holiday's grave. You will find the grave of the Clayton gang members. Who were killed by the Earp Brothers and Doc Holiday. In the battle of the 'OK Corral'. Along with several other buried in Boothill. Check my videos out too see what it looks like.

Sunday morning I headed down too Tombstone. To record the streets and events from Tombstone. I was hoping to record the shoot-out at the OK Corral. And give folks watching my videos some find if feeling for the town. They wanted $10 too watch the shoot out at the OK Corral. I already had footage of the event from my Prescott Old west Days. Instead some local actor were doing a comedy of old west days in Tombstone. So I recorded that. One of the oddest moments of my journeys. Was a moment inside 'Big Nose Kates' saloon. Ilike to keep my cam-corder rolling as I walk around. So you get the feeling your along side of me walking. As I walked into 'Big Nose Kate' saloon. I was recording I thought (turns out for some reason, this part was not be recorded). The bartender and person who sang and played music at the saloon was talking to me. I didn't know it, but a Cochise County Marshall walked in behind me. I had noticed earlier. That the Marshall was keeping a close watch on me. Nick the person I was talking too at Kates. Said to the Marshall, 'what are you here for Marshall? I'm here to arrest someone. (my knees got weak) Nick said to the Cochise County Marshall. And who would that someone be? Marshall says to Nick, 'I'm looking at him (my knees get weaker).' They then both began to start laughing. I had been set up. Nice to bee noticed, but this took a couple of years off my life. I recorded a couple of songs Nick played for the patroon of 'Big Nose Kate' later on in the day.

The last thing I recorded (not sure how this happened) was, 'The March of the Gunfighters'. It was a great ending. Each years they do this march down the main drag of town. With folks dressing up in 1880s period clothing. In a contest for prizes. You can see it on my You Tube channel. One final though about this last weekend journey. In both Bisbee and Tombstone I noticed. Each town had a Freemason Temple. In Tombstone it was the best looking building in town. And in Bisbee is was at the end or start of the commercial district. In the future I'd like to go around to most of Arizona's old mining towns. And record the Freemasons Temples.

"God" bless


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