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Packet One of Pouch Four

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This paper is not entered as 2nd class mail. It's a first class newspaper.


Pack Rat

Published at Fort Oliver
1000 Palms, California
Four Times a Year
But sometimes they don't have them.
Darned if I am going to the trouble of mailing it for nothing.
10 Years ................... $5.00
100 Years ................$50.00
Something to think about!

Asbestos editions will be forwarded
in case you don't make it.

Published by

H A R R Y   O L I V E R

Fort Commander
Lamp Lighter

Pack Rat


    A paper that grows on you as you as you turn each page . . . excepting page 5
    Pictures are by the author, many of them are woodcuts.

I did all but the spelling.

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Not one of these names or places is COINCIDENTAL.
It isn't how long you live—but HOW.
—The Wilkinson's of Cactus Springs, Nevada



Pack Rat

    And then there was the rancher's widow over Bowie way. When he died she collected $50,000 in insurance. Up on being presented with the check she sighed: "Oh, dear, I'd give $10,000 to have him back."

Brewery Gulch Gazette,



    One of my four Grand-Kids asks me the other day why my Old Black Stetson wasn't pretty like Hop-a-long's—and when I says, "Cuz I been burning too many Buffalo Chips, I guess." The kid didn't savvy—nor did its Ma—so I guess I better tell about Buffalo Chips.
    Buffalo Chips, dried Buffalo droppings, a popular fuel in the early days on the plains, where wood was scarce. It was hard to get a fire started with them, but when dry, this "prairie coal" made a hot one. However, it soon burned out and required replenishing. It also made as much bulk in ashes as there was in fuel, and the ashes had to be carried out, as often as the fuel was put in the stove. In cold weather it was claimed that the constant exercise of carrying in fuel and carrying out ashes was what kept the fire-tender warm.
    Many of the old-time cooks in the early days had nothing else to cook with, and although this fuel gave off a peculiar odor when burning. It did not affect the food. When Buffalo Chips were damp, it was hard to make a fire with them, and a certain old range cook told me that in one season he "wore out three hats tryin' to get the damned things to burn."
    Today cows are making a pretty good imitation "Prairie Coal" here in the desert—under the trade name of COW CHIPS.

•   •   •

    "What makes me a Desert sage?" some ask.
    "Well I just got started sagen' and been sagen' ever since."

•   •   •

    If you fold this paper again, long ways, it makes it just right for killing cockroaches or vinegaroons.

•   •   •

    The facts in this paper are not hackneyed and moth-eaten facts but you will find them different from most facts no in common use.

•   •   •

    Every man has all the common sense he wants, because if he wanted more he'd get more.

•   •   •

    To the borrower of this paper— If, as you read these words, you are careful to remember who's paper it is, and make it a habit to read each packet, you can save yourself 50c a year.
    I hope some day you may read it right after pay day.

•   •   •

    I do not ask the public to do anything that I was not willing to do myself—. I have read this paper from start to finish—and so did the proof reader. (I hope)


    Twelve thousand persons are paid by the government to administer the affairs of 303,000 Indians—one federal employee to every 32 Indians.
    Cost of government can be reduced! Government can be made more efficient! Remind Congress you want the Hoover Commission's recommendations put into effect — and no fooling!
    Mail your Congressman a copy of this paper

These lines by me the DISTRIBUTOR—H. O.


    Story of the week . . . It was a long, lazy summer afternoon . . . and two Indians . . . one on each side of a wide valley . . . had struck up a conversation . . . using smoke signals . . . This went on for quite a while . . . and one of the Indians growing bored with the whole, thing dozed off to sleep . . . An atomic explosion out in the middle of the valley . . . awakened him with a start . . . Gazing awestruck at the huge mushroom of smoke . . . rising into the air . . . the Indian shook his head admiringly . . . and murmured . . . "I wish I'd said that"!
—Banning Live Wire

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    You may of heard this or read it — but I am reprinting it so's you that keep your back dopies will have it. 9/10ths of my readers keep back copies.

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Coyotin' 'round the rim

    Mark Twain's habit of swearing was revolting to his wife, who tried her best to cure him of it. One day while shaving, he cut himself. He recited his entire vocabulary and when he was finished, his wife repeated every word he had said. Mark Twain stunned her by saying calmly: "You have the words, Dear, but you don't know the tune."

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    Animals are smart —

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    As long as you laugh at your troubles you may be sure that you will never run out of something to laugh at.

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    I've seen to many successful men. I think I would rather be a failure.
Says Gordon Stuart

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    RENO: Where the cream of the crop goes through the separator!

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Old Timer, Cabot Yerxa Tells One

    Years ago "B. A." (before-autos) a city man rented my desert homestead cabin to take a rest. A desert-rat and a team of burros delivered him from the Railroad together with food and water enough for 40 days. But within a week, he was back in the big city. Because, as he said, "There is just too much of NOTHING down on your desert."

Desert Scene



Bad Men Buried Alone

    The Murphy mine was the only producer of any importance in this district, located on the east flank of the Toiyabe range, about 50 miles south of Austin, but in Nye county. A party of French prospectors wandered into the area in 1863. It was a costly operation, with supplies hauled in from Austin over the summit of the Toiyabes at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. The Murphy mine is credited with a production of $750,000, but the mine paid no dividends. An enormous mill building, built of brick, and ruins of several stone houses on the side of the canyon above the mill, are about all that remain today. Ophir creek, a small clear stream of tumbling water is a favorite trout stream, and each year is visited by dozens of fishing parties.
     Lo Young At the mouth of Ophir Canyon, placer gold was discovered a few years ago, but so far nothing has come of the discovery. On the side-hill where the canyon breaks down into Smoky Valley, is a small cemetery, with perhaps 25 graves, many of them containing children. Names of most of those buried there, are now forgotten. Below the main cluster of mounds are several isolated graves. In one of these a gunman, name now unknown, was buried. "Rutabega Tom," an Old Indian, still living, tells the following story of this lone grave:
    "One bad man, nobody like, buried there, because nobody wants him close to good people. He mean man, killum man just for fun. One time he pick fight with young fellow called Black Bart. They promise fight battle. Each take gun, stand back to back, them walk off thirty steps, but this bad mans he walk only take twenty steps, then he turn quick like rattlesnake striking and shoots at Black Bart. Mebbyso he excited, for he miss target Black Bart he walk 30 steps, turn, and bad man he is running off. One shot—and he fall—dead. Dead all over. Good people bury bad man all by himself, so he won't go to happy hunting ground, with other mans."
—From 50th Anniversary Edition, Tonopah Times Bonanza

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Tortoise A true desert turtle story

    Any of you old Desert Rats want to bet a gallon of good whiskey that the following turtle story ain't true?
    Old Bill Goegiein a retired assayer, now living in Wickenburg, Ariz., is noted for his veracity all over this desert.
    In May, 1921, he went to Los Angeles and drove back a new Ford car. About five miles west of Amboy, Calif., he noticed the whole country ahead seemed to be moving and it was. A great migration of turtles was crossing the road ahead. The deep ruts in the road were filled with turtles and hundreds and thousands were crossing over them, moving in a northerly direction.
    To the south as far as he could see and to the north as far as he could see was a moving mass of turtles spaced a few feet apart. As there seemed no end in sight, he decided to drive through them. He put her into low and ground through turtle meat, blood and guts for a full quarter mile before getting clear of the great migration.
    When he arrived at the little filling station at Amboy, he stopped to clean the wheels and fenders of turtle meat. While there a small truck came in with the same experience.
    After Old Bill told me this story, I made it a point to ask every old Desert Rat I met if he ever saw anything like this. In time I found an old cow puncher who saw the same thing in southwestern New Mexico. Thousands of turtles were crossing the Southern Pacific tracks and were piled up trying to get over the rails. A number of Indian Squaws were there filling gunny sacks with turtles. One old Squaw said that the turtles from all over the desert went to a certain place to lay their eggs. After which they all migrated so as to leave the feed for the young turtles. Sounds reasonable.
—John C. Hart, Wickenburg, Ariz.

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    By S. Omar Barker

    Mañana is a Spanish word I'd sometimes like to borrow.
    It means "don't skeen no wolfs today that you don't shot tomorrow!
    An' eef you got some jobs to do, in case you do not wanna,
    Go 'head an' take siesta now! Tomorrow ees mañana!"


Fair play Burro Race Denied Betting Permit
July 4th—1950
From Denver Post

    The state racing commission Monday turned down a request to permit pari-mutual betting on a burro race between Leadville and Fairplay.
    The commission cited a statute which prohibits pari-mutual betting on Sundays. The race is scheduled for Sunday, July 20. It is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain News and the Fairplay Chamber of Commerce.
    A spokesman for the commission said members had taken the request under advisement, but "when they found out the race was on Sunday, that settled it."

•   •   •

    Frankly, we are hopelessly confused over the question whether "Fairplay," the animal which was not allowed to compete in the burro race over Mosquito pass last summer, was a victim of race discrimination.
    "Fairplay" — some unkind wag has nicknamed her "Slaughterhouse," a name which might be more appropriate for a lady wrestler than a female marathoner—has raised this issue herself. She has done it by giving birth to a jackass, which has been dubbed "Foulplay" as a rebuke to the judges who put Mama "Fairplay" out of the trans-mountain race.
    The judges said "Fairplay" was ineligible because she was a mule—not a burro—and the race was for burros only. Mules, of course, are not supposed to have babies. A famous wit once called the mule an "animal without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity."
    "Fairplay" believes she has proved conclusively, by producing "Foulplay," that she is not a mule but a burro after all, in spite of the unkind things that the judges said about her. But one of the judges has replied that "Fairplay" was not put out of the race on the ground that she was a regular mule but that she was a "Spanish mule."
    A "Spanish mule," he says, is not a mule at all but a large-sized ass, while a burro is a small-sized ass. An ass, it seems, is a donkey and a donkey may be either a mule's father or a hinny's mother—but all this isn't getting us anyplace.
    The town of Fairplay, one of the sponsors of the Mosquito pass race, got its name from the fact that in pioneer times it offereed all comers an equal chance to stake out mining claims—something which the late arriving gold rushers were denied at Tarryall and some of the other mining camps.
    In the interest of fair play, we hope Fairplay will at least present "Fairplay" with a proper certificate of ancestry saying she isn't a mule at all and that any slur which mave have been cast on her material ability, intentionally or unintentionally, is deeply regretted. Whatever "Fairplay" is, she obviously is a sensitive creature and her feelings have been hurt.

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Dry Camp BlackieDry Camp Blackie

    "A city feller pulled in to a gas station on the desert looking for the room marked "Gents." He saw a crude lock hanging on the outside of the door and assumed the door was locked. He asked the gas feller for the key.
    The sleepy desert rat opened one eye and yawned: "That door ain't locked buddy. That lock's jes' a-hangin' there."
    Ain't that jest like life sez Dry Camp Blackie. A guy goes around looking at the doors thinkin' they're locked . . when they ain't locked at all! The lock's jes' a-hangin' there."
—Dana Howard

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There are more than 7500 miles of passages, drifts, crosscuts, tunnels and shafts in the copper mines at Butte, Montana.

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Unnatural History

    "The jackalope," says the Douglas, Wyoming, Chamber of Commerce, "is perhaps the rarest animal in North America." It is so rare that if we were not accustomed to believing all we read in the newspapers we should be inclined to dismiss it as the farmer did the giraffe, "There ain't no such animal."
    Jack Ward, secretary of the chamber, describes the jackalope as being distinguished from the rabbit family by its horns, and yet differing in shape and color from the deer family. From this we infer that it is a jackrabbit that has grown up on the waters of Antelope Creek, in the northern part of Converse County, of which Douglas is the county seat.


—From the Calicao Print—Grail Fuller, publisher; Lucile Coke, editor—Published at Daggett, Calif., (25c a copy) comes this plan to save theBurros. Desert Rat Scrapbook wishes to endorse the Weight's park idea 100 percent and asks you readers to work for it . . . Let's get behind the burro.

The BURRO: Is the only animal with a sense of humor.


    Old Calico ghost town with its fascinating historical background and the spectacular canyons of the Calico Mountain are far more worthy of preservation as a national monument than many areas so designated. But so far efforts to obtain monument status have failed. Perhaps one reason is that backers of the movement have not been able to use the often-successful argument that the action will preserve some interesting form of plant or animal life—say a cactus or Joshua tree or wild sheep. So with the idea fo advancing two important causes we suggest that the addition to preserving the Calicos for their history and beauty, Calico National Monument be made a refuge for the desert burro—one of the great and characteristic figures of the American West.
    Perhaps you think the burro can take care of himself? He's a might smart fellow and he could—if left alone. But now he's being blitzed by one of our government agencies—the National Park Service. We are told that burros must be eliminated in Death Valley National Monument and in Lake Mead recreational area, because they are threating the existence of the bands of wild sheep there. Some fantastic figures on burro population are given to support the idea.
    Now we already have two refuges in Arizona set aside for the desert sheep—Kofa and Cabeza Prieta. If the burros are threatening the sheep in their refuges, some remedial action should be take. But, strangely, there has been no public complaint on that score from Kofa or Cabeza Prieta. The noise is coming from Death Valley and Lake Mead. Death Valley was not set aside as a sheep refuge, or for the benefit of any one particular form of wild life. Visitors there seem to be interested chiefly in its scenery, history and desert atmosphere. The burro adds to all three more than the wild sheep. Lake Mead is a recreational area. Which would add to its recreational interest—unseen sheep or desert burros?
     Burros One of the chief complaints against the burro seems to be that he is an "exotic." That means evolution didn't design him on the exact spot which he inhabits today. In other words, he is an immigrant. But neither did the bighorn sheep originate in the desert. Some experts hold that they came from Asia originally, across the Bering Straights. It is quite certain that they were immigrants into the desert from the Canadian Rockies. So the sheep are favored over the burros because they emigrated earlier. That theory could lead to disastrous consequences if applied to all competing birds, beasts and plants in our national parks and monuments. Which came first to our western ranges — the coyote we kill or the calves we rescue from him? Even the white man wouldn't fare so well on that basis. He is one of the most recent "exotics" on the desert. The burro was in Death Valley long before the park service.
    Until recently the principal charge against the burro by the sheep conservationists was that he—and the wild horses and domestic cattle—fouled the springs and waterholes until the wild sheep would not use them. The argument that the burros are taking the food out of the sheeps' mouths is a new one not likely to hold up well under investigation. Yet somehow it seems more logical to these one-line-of-thought sheep protectors to kill off the burros than to take the same amount of time and money to develop watering places that neither the burros nor any other animal could foul. That's the sort of   hole conversationists' work themselves into when, with the best of intentions, they go wild on one subject. They have been known to endanger the very thing they sought to protect by upsetting the balance of nature in attempting to protect it.
    And nto all the experts agree on the status of the wild sheep in the areas under question. Joseph Grinnell of the University of Californian in his "Mammals of Death Valley" wrote that in 1933—a year that the park service naturalist declared marked the maximum decline of the big-horn—the sheep remained "about as numerous as the limits of subsistence of least food-supply allow." And he said that perhaps their only non-human restrictive factor in this region were the Golden eagles, which killed the lambs. If the burros are disposed of, a delicate problem may arise here—which came first, the eagle or the sheep?
    Personally, we're in favor of burros, eagles, wild sheep, coyotes, mountain lions and rattlesnakes. They all have their place in the pattern, and not one of them is as destructive as man. But if it has reached the stage where persons in authority have the notion that the burro must be exterminated to protect a few sheep, then it has reached the stage where some desert area must be set aside for the protection and preservation of the burro.
    In many trips through the length and breath of the desert country, we have never seen even a fraction of the thousands of wild burros which are pictured as encroaching upon the sheep, and it does not seem possible that they exist. But infrequently we have come upon small bands of the wise little fellows at some of the loneliest watering places, and finding them has been among the genuine thrills of desert traveling. With the aid of public opinion, they survived the attempt of ruthless hunters to convert them all into dog and cat food. They must not now fall victims to the conservationists.
    So if those in authority insist that the burros must be done away with in favor of the wild sheep, in areas that are not refuges for the wild sheep, we must insist that a refuge must be set up for them elsewhere. The burros payed an important part in the mining history of the desert, and therefore it seems only appropriate that Calico National Monument-to-be, with its own great mining history, should be their protected range.
    Let's fix up a few watering places, develop some browsing ground, put up a few "No Sheep Allowed" signs and let the four-footed pioneers of the American Southwest peacefully follow their own devices. Surely they would be a far greater tourist attraction than wild sheep which are never seen. And future generations of Americans will praise us more for perserving the burro in his native state than they would if we saved a few more wild sheep at the burro's expense.

Phat Graettinger tells one:

    A tourist asked the old Indian Chief what he did all day.—
    "Drink and hunt," he answered.
    "What do you hunt," the tourist asked.
    "Drink," answered the Old Chief.

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    In a remote part of northern Arizona, Guy Hazen of Kingman was doing some prospecting. He sat down to rest among some curious-looking black rocks, after a few minutes idly hit one with his hammer. He was surprised by the musical tone that rang out.
    Hazen dug out some of the black rocks, took them home, and arranged them into chimes. The tones are said to be true and beautiful.
Desert Magazine


    Released from between the dual tires of an Arizona truck, Peggy Bloom's kitten acted as though it was in the depths of a hideous nightmare. It cut all kinds of strange capers. The reason for its odd antics was logical.
    The truck driver reported that Peggy's cat got caught in between the two tires. For approximately 12 miles, 5,000 times, the kitten went round and round before being rescued. And it required an hour to unwind the feline.
Truck Driver

Page 4           FUN PACKET

This page is dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist--the Desert Prospector

Harry Oliver's

How To Be A Desert Rat And Like It

As told by LIMINATIN' LEM the desert efficiency expert

Liminatin Lem     LIMINATIN' LEM, the fellow who does without, was a telling me what become of his relatives. His Aunt Sarah dislocated her neck while gazing at that lofty Yosemite Falls. A grasshopper dived into the open mouth of his Uncle Tobe when he was telling a lie, he never got to finish. And his paw a comin' home with a load of dynamite in his old flivver, got stuck in the mud and decided to put one stick of dynamite under the wheel and blow her out, forgetting to take the case of the durn stuff out of the back seat. They picked him up a mile away still hangin' to the steering wheel, which was stickin' in a gopher hole.

•   •   •

    . . . Sez worst part of doing nothing is—you can never take any time off. Lem is sure thinkin' way ahead of most folks.

•   •   •

There are two days about which no one should ever worry—yesterday and tomorrow—he says.

•   •   •

    LIMINATIN' LEM — Desert Efficiency Expert Says — "The easiest way to be rich is to cut down on your desires."

•   •   •

Rest in the desert does not seem to fatigue one as it does elsewhere. Says Lem.

•   •   •

If a fellow works hard and saves his money by the time he is 50 he can afford a nervous breakdown.

•   •   •

Never put off a hard job till tomorrow. Put it off for good.


    Thirteen years ago, Lem stops at the store an' asks me if this is Nowhere, California. I says no, but allowin' me a circle of a hundred feet the rest for miles in every direction, is just nowhere in particular.
    "That's better yet," says he, "I'll stay." I thought him strange then, but I know him now. He's a sort of desert efficiency expert; goes around figurin' on what he can do without.
    Seems the first thing he eliminated was his background, his family had wore themselves out carryin' around a lot of choice junk they brought out from Arkansas by ox-carts in the forties; an what they had picked up since. He was born in to that mess of stuff and hated it, so soon as it become his he unloaded it as quick as he could Then the elimination idea got hold of him and he couldn't stop. He makes a clean sweep of the relations, shakes off the wife, gets rid of the mother-in-law, unloads the house and lot, discards the auto, ousts the cat, discontinues the insurance and his mailin' address, drops religion, clears the deck of his friends, and bails out his business.
    Ever since his pickin' Borego as a place to live he's made progress on this doin' without idea, he says you can't wash a lot of dishes if you only got one plate, one cup and no saucer. Lem don't do a thing much but do with-out, says 99 per cent of our trouble could be done away with if we wouldn't accumulate. Everybody likes Liminatin' Lem and his preachin' but it weren't till a big song writer fella comes all the way out here from New York that we knew how powerful his preachin' was. He'd heard about Lem an' tells me one day that Lem's been livin' the life and lyrics of a song he wants to write.
    Now, lots of people have had songs writ about 'em 'cause they did somethin'—stood on a burnin' deck—made goo goo eyes—ran out of bananas—or headed for the last roundup, but Lem gets into this song cause he don't do nothin'; ain't got nothin' and don't plan on doin' nothin' but nothin'.
    I sees that he meets Lem, but Lem don't help at all, he throws this song writin' fell way off his track.
    "First," says Lem, "why have new songs? The best ones is the old ones, and they're a darn site easier to remember."
    Then Lem gets to provin' to this fella' and tryin' to convert him into believin' that it just ain't worth while writin' a song and that he just came out here to this valley of escape to get away from things.
     Well any way the song-writer sits down to the old piano complainin' about how it sounds, puts down a few dots in what Lem says is perfect music (just lines, empty lines). He don't get nowhere 'cause deep down he wants to live like Lem, an' hopes if he talks long enough to Lem he'll get nerve enough to chuck the whole struggle back east.
    The hot weather, Lem's slow movin', sleepy way of sayin' there ain't no use doin' nothin', and a sage julep or two all helped to sell this fella on doin' nothin', till he could do it almost as good as Lem. So there weren't nothin' done about the new song.
    Lots of folks can do nothin' in fast short spurts, but nobody's been able to compete with Lem for very long.
    This song-writin' fella' doin' well, a'stretchin' his legs just as far as Lem's an' had gotten to the point where he could look at the critters in the pasture across the way without countin' 'em. He was makin' progress.
    Haywire Johnny stops it all one day by runnin' in an' handing him a city telegram.
    Lem just looks up slow an' says, "don't open it—it's only trouble."
    But he does, an' it was.
    The people that prints his music wants to know where the song is.
    You're goin' to hear that song, you're goin' to hear it a lot. It's got a nice lazy swing to it—it fits Lem all right and here's how it got written.
    All the time Lem and that fella was arguin', or I better say agreein' about eliminatin' them files was writin' the music, lightin' on them empty paplers an' puttin' dots on an' between the lines. While this fella was packin' up Lem says, "Quick Johnny, get the Flit, if you don't them tobacco-chewin' flies is goin' to load him down with a couple operies an' he'll never escape.
—From the Editor's book Desert Rough Cuts, a haywire History of Borrego Desert, Ritchie Press, Los Angeles, (out of print 10 years). These are the yarns the old keeper of the "Busy Bee" store told.


Plub Stewart     Sheepherders go out into the hills with several thousand head and one human companion. The natural result is that the pair, forced on one another when they least want it, form the habit of hating each other.
    An ex-sheepherder once told me of a fellow he once rode with. Not a word had passed between them for more than a week, and that night as they rolled up in their blankets his pardner suddenly asked:
    "Hear that cow beller?"
    "Sounds to me like a bull," I replied.
    "No answer, but the following morning I noticed him packing up."
    "Going to leave?" I questioned.
    "Yes," he replied.
    "What for?"
    "Too much argument."

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    Buffalo Bull Maxwell head man of the Randsburg Desert Museum reports a sad happening in Spring District. According to Buffalo, Larry Reynolds, mechanic at Hardy Witts garage was bitten by a rattlesnake yesterday and in spite of everything they could do, the snake died within 30 minutes.


People who travel thousands of miles to get a picture of themselves standing by the car.

One Year $2.00         Single Copy 25¢
Grubstaker: The late Scotty Allen
The Pony Express
Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails

Pony Express

Herb S. Hamlin, Editor
Address All Mail to

795 Sutter Street
San Francisco 9, Calif.

Published Monthly at Placerville,
California, Formerly Hangtown


    In his book My L. A. teells of the Mexicans of the Belvedere District as only Matt can tell 'em.

    The battle of the sexes comes in for considerable attention at Belvedere Justice Court. There was the case of the man charged with battery. He had viciously beaten his lady friend. She was in court and bruises were visible on her face and arms. They sat silently glaring at each other as the judge read the arrest report.
    At length he looked up and said: "Say, why don't you two get married?" The man grumbled something unintelligible. The judge turned to the woman and asked: "Would you marry him?"
    "Yes," she said eagerly.
    The judge turned to the man. He explained that the maximum sentence for his offence was six months in jail. Did he think he wanted to marry her?
    The man, still sullen, said he guessed he did.
    "All right," said the Judge, "you two go downtown and get a marriage license and come back here."
    "But I have a marriage license," the woman broke in, reaching into her purse. "We got it four years ago, but we never used it."
    A recess was taken and the judge performed the ceremony in his chambers. The woman was bright-eyed, the man doggedly reluctant. As they walked out, she smiled defiantly: "I don't care if he leaves me now."
Everybody is eagerly waiting for Matt's new book—SOUTH FROM TEHACHAPI.

Knott Ghost Town

Would like to hear from or learn the whereabouts of
2515 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles 33, California

Bits of Desert Life


    And that reminds us of the Parumph farmer who took a load of hay to Las Vegas and dold it for a good price. Thought he: "I'll surprise my wife." He bought a suit of clothes, a hat, new underwear and a pair of shoes. He placed them in the back of the wagon and started home. Nearly tghere hs stopped by a dry lake, took off his old clothes and threw them in the lake. They sank immediately. When he went around to the back of the wagon, his new clothes were gone. He hesitated for a minute, then got in the wagon and said: "Giddap, Maud—we'll surpriser her anyway."
—the Legion Liar, Las Vegas, Nevada

Reno Old Timer GRUB-PILE
By George Bideaux

    The Dry Lake Dude was talking to a torn looking cowboy over on Maley street the other morning. "What's the matter, bud?", he asked. "They don't treat me right out at the ranch anymore since they turned it into a dude outfit," replied the waddie, 'they used to let me sit at the table with the family." "How come they cut you off?" asked the DLD, "bad table manners?" "Nope! that wasn't it, they say my appetite's to big. I set a bad example for the payin guests."
—Brewery Gulch Gazette

Thar's GOLD in them thar' hills


Happens Every Summer
    During recent decades the sale of maps has brought a far greater return than has the mine.
Cross     Every summer, chamber officials report, they receive letters reading like this:
    "I have come into possession of an old map showing the location of the Lost Dutchman mine. Can you please send me information on how to outfit an expedition?"
    Sheriffs Lynn Earley of Pinal and Cal Boies of Maricopa urge extreme caution on the part of the would-be fortune hunters. They estimate almost 20 persons have lost their lives in the barrn Superstitions.
    Both advise prospective map buyers and those who believe they hold the key to the treasure to use extreme care and caution in accepting the validity of maps and in attempting to explore the mountain fastness.

A Sea Bee's Grand Pa

    Saying is one thing and doing is another.
    In Montana a railway bridge had been destroyed by fire, and it was necessary to replace it. The bridge engineer and his staff were ordered in haste to the place. Two days later came the superintendent of the division. Alighting form his private car, he encountered the old master bridge-builder.
    "Bill," said the superintendent—and the words quivered with energy—"I want this job rushed. Every hour's delay costs the company money. Have you got the engineer's plans for the new bridge?"
    "I don't know," said the bridge-builder, "whether the engineer has the picture drawed up yet or not, but the bridge is up and the trains is passin' over it."

hr short center

Night Watchman


    The insurance man went to the hospital to see Dynamite Dan. He wanted a full account of the mine explosion; wanted all the details—
    "Well, sir," said Dan, "it was like this: you see, I was standing with me back to the mine. All of a sudden I hears a hell of a noise: then, sir, this yellow headed nurse, she says to me, "Set up an'try to take this."

about the same

    Black Sullivan, who used to be around Dawson, was given the job of escorting a "looney" outside. All the boys gave him much advise. Said one: "Be sure and handcuff yourself to him or you may wake up and find him gone."
    "If I lose him," answered Black, "I'll just grab the first prospector I come to and nobody will ever know the difference."
F. A. Collarman.

Ideas for a Desert Circus have been sent me by many . . of my readers.



An idea that just won't die
Mirage Center, California


Your Editor staged Gold Gulch at the 1935 San Diego Exposition

Dear Desert Rat:
    An association of capitalists was formed here the other day for the purpose of promoting a chain of rodeo bowls in the desert area. As yet the names of those active in the affair are not available for publication but it can be stated here that the group comprises an array of starry eyed Peg Leg mine hunters.
    The program as outlined calls for the construction of elaborately designed bowls with almost unheard of structural and lighting effects. Plans call for the staging the wildest, buckingest, pitchingest, kickingest, throwingest, bull dozingest performances ever seen at a wild west show. Every device that money can buy will go into the making of comfort of the patrons. Even the loges will be furnished with saddle seat chairs with stirrups attached in order that the Hollywood cowboys may have an imaginary ride in unison with the buckaroos.
    Desert atmosphere will prevail throughout the performances, even to the novelty stunts such as jack rabbit roping, burro wrestling, catching greased coyotes, rolling barrel cactus, hurdling chollas, etc. In all bronco busting contests the wrangler will mount his cayuse by dropping from a helicopter. From there he will be on his own.
    Plans for eleven of the bowls are almost complete. These will be the Sand Dune Bowl at Yuma, the Mirage Bowl at Desert Center, the Silt Bowl at El Centro, the Locust Bowl at Brawley, the Typhoon Bowl at Salton Sea, the Barnacle Bowl at Coachella, the Gnat Bowl at Indio, the Rat Bowl at 1000 Palms, the Black Widow Bowl at Palm Springs, the Hurricane Bowl at Whitewater, and the Cockroach Bowl at Palm Desert.
    To complete the annual circuit with a rodeo each month some consideration was given to the construction of a twelfth bowl. This would be the Chuckaluck Bowl at Morongo Valley, the event to be held during the skiing season.


Good Old Desert Fun.

OL' RIP-SNORTIN', two-fisted drinker, gives with some cheer

Rip Snortin'     OLD RIP-SNORTIN' says he was standing astraddle the Mexican-California line when that earthquake messed up those towns' name—Mexi-cali and Cale-xico.

•   •   •

    There are more old Drunks than old Doctors—These Radio cigarette tests must be killin' them Doctors off.

•   •   •

    "The trouble with whiskey is that you take a drink and it makes a new man of you. Then he has to have a drink.

•   •   •

    A tourist asked Rip, . . . Isn't there another cure for snake bite besides whiskey?" Rip's answer was: "Who Cares?"

•   •   •

    Rip says, "Prohibition was better than no liquor at all."

•   •   •

    Old Rip-Snortin' ain't no prohibitionist, we all know, but when he was charged with selling liquor to the Indians it took his friend Calculatin' Cal to get him away from the Law. Cal's smart, he just says to the Law—"Look at Rip—look at him again—now gentlemen, do you honestly think that if he had a quart of whiskey he would sell it?"
    Old Rip-Snortin's free of the Law and says he's glad he switched to Calvert.


    We always called him Rip-Snortin' because he is and was a two-fisted drinker. Back in the old days he used to mix Sloan's Linament with his whiskey so's he could tell he was drinkin'. After prohibition he was happy for a while because that white mule bootleg stuff seemed to agree with his in-ards. Then to get a scratch out of his liquor he took to puttin' sand burrs in it.
    He says tequilla ain't bad if you sit on a cactus while you're drinkin' it, but after three days of drinkin' and settin' you get used to it.
    It was old Fig Tree John that told Rip the story about the jumping cactus drink the Indians call Hello Hell. Twenty-two Indians got together on a party once with just enough Hello Hell for a few drinks around. Two drinks apiece put them dead asleep like as if they'd been drugged. It was one of them fifteen-minute parties. Well, eleven days later eleven of the twenty-two wok up and buried the other eleven, took another drink and went off to sleep again. No sooner did the grave diggin' lot pass out than the lot they buried woke up, heaved the dirt off their chests and buried the eleven they found layin' around loose, leaving the place tidy-like.
    Rip Snortin' gets the instructions for makin' this brew and thinkin' he's on the way towards a real drink, goes to his cabin on the ridge of Sleepy Mountain and starts manufacturin' it.
    The one thing Rip likes better'n his liquor is that runt baby burro of his. He trained it to paw three times and heehaw so's to get a lump of sugar. The burro was good at it, and Rip could do his part no matter how hard he'd been drinkin'.
    Well, the night for tryin' that Hello Hell drink comes and Rip hits it with one drink after another not carin' much if he did sleep away some of his time like Fig Tree John says he would, because no one ever come up on top of the mountain to his mine anyway. But he did hide the shovels, not wantin' to be buried and after tyin' up the baby burro he put out enough hay to keep the runt goin' for eleven days. Bein' set for emergency after he gave himself over to keepin' close account of the way that jumpin' cactus stuff acted, till he lost consciousness.
    It's hard to tell how long Rip did sleep, but when he woke up snow was a blowin' in from the ridge thru a big sag in the cabin door and he was froze stiff. He pulls himself to the door and looks for the baby burro, but all there is is the piece of ragged wet rope hangin' from the post. Rip figures maybe the runt is around by the suger can, and finds signs of philanderin' pack rats but no burro.
    Rip's burnin' up inside and cold as ice outside, so he starts down the mountain for the Busy Bee store where he can reverse them conditions.
    Now in good weather it takes about four hours to come down the mountain. Rip's watch had stopped and wouldn't start when he wound it, like it was paralyzed from not bein' used. Of course, his trail down the ridge was lost in the snow drifts, but Rip had been down there too many times to worry about losin' his way. He keeps goin' down the side of the mountain till way after dark. Soon he sees a lot of lights ahead and can't figure 'em out.
    "Well, I'll be blowed!" he says. What's happened to Borego Valley?"
    Then he hits a highway. "Paved roads," he says. "What hombre coulda paved that in eleven days?"
    Next he comes to some date trees and gets sick all over, so sick he has to sit down. Figurin' how Pat Boomer was the only one that had planted dates in Borego, last he remembered, and how these big trees are an old stand, bearin' in their prime, he knows he musta slept fifteen years or more. It's not far from Pat's place to the Busy Bee store, but everything looks different now.
    Rip goes on down the road, gettin' dizzier with each step. There's lots of date farms everywhere and not far ahead a town. Yes. A town has grown and automobiles are thicker than hornets. He drags himself along feelin' mighty old with the fifteen years he's slept and sayin' to himself he's had all the drinkin' he'll ever want in that one last spree.
    When he gets to the town he asks, "Where's the Busy Bee store?"
    Is it supposed to be in Borego Valley?" one in the crowd asks him.
    "Well," snorts Rip, feelin' older by the minute, "it always has been."
    With that the fellow throws back his head and laughs. "You're way off," he tells Rip, pointin' up. "See that mountain there? Well, if you go to the top of it and drop down the other side you'll come to the Busy Bee store."
    Rip was laughin', too, when he finally got back to his place on my counter. He says he bet there's a lot of women wish they could get rid of the fifteen years that quick.
From "Life" magazine, August, 1932


Brewery Gulch Philosophy

    A boy and his dog. Did you ever notice that mellow misty-eyed look a fellow gets as he watches a boy striding down the street with a happy adoring dog romping at his side? Does he live again another day when he and his old dog romped and played the same way? Is he visualizing that night long ago when his mother, standing over a cringing boy with his dog hidden under the covers, trying to be gentle as she says, "But, Son, your dog hasn't been bathed or cleaned, and besides a dog is neither a sanitary or healthful bed companion." While the boy wonders if mother doesn't know how nice and warm that furry body is to stick your cold feet against, and why can't mother understand that wonderful feeling a guy gets when he cuddles to such a wooly lovable companion.
    Is there a birth of loving-loyalty at that time which years, knowledge and comprehension can never drown? Just look at a man's reaction about his dog.
    If a neighbor causes his wife anguish, that guy gets sore. He doesn't like to see his wife upset that way, besides it interferes with his evening's rest.
    Let another neighbor speak harshly to one of his children, and he's mad enough to fight.
    But Oh, Brother! Just kick his dog!


Play In the Sun, In the Water and Under the Wind

Motor Boat

250 Feet Below Sea Level
Swimming and Boating
Desert and Seashore Homesites

9½ Miles East of Mecca, California


    The scene was set in a gambling hall in Tonopah. Each night, seated at the same table of chance, is a Chinaman and each night a Salvation Army lass makes her rounds, seeking donations for the cause. Each night also, the sectarian approaches the Oriental and in a soft voie, askes, "Will you give a gift for Jesus Christ?"
    The Chinaman was a good gambler and was usually winning, so when the damsel requested money the man from China would nonchalantly toss her a five dollar gold piece.
    One night, however, the Chinaman's luck had abandoned him and he was in a surly mood. As usual the Salvation miss entered. She made the rounds of all the tables, and finally came to the table of the Oriental. Again in her soft voice she asked, "Will you give a gift for Jesus Christ?"
    The Chinaman gave her a disgusted look and blurted, "Wat's a molla that Jee Clie alla time bloke?"
—Excerpts form Chas Lockwood's Scrapbook



    Panamint City was the only mining camp reportedly ever to be refused service by Wells Fargo Co. because the large number of desperados daunted even the intrepid mail and freight carriers, says Lucius Beebe.

Only One World Famous

Valerie Jean Date Shop

11 Miles South of Indio on Highway 99
or Please Mail Your Order
1 lb. Finest Dates and Confections, $1.30
3 Lbs. Finest Dates and Confections, $3.50
Including Delivery—Write for Folder





    COLORADO SPRINGS — Old-timers here are snickering smugly over a news dispatch for Sydney, Australia, describing an 1854 recipe for a strong drink, popular among miners. The beverage included such ingredients as cayenne pepper and Indian opium.
    According ot Harry Galbraith, veteran writer and a member of the state historical society, the digger brew was calm as May compared to pizen, a potion dreamed up by early trappers and hunters working along the ice cold streams of the Rocky mountains, where they were always soaking wet and the labor they did exhausting.
    Pizen, known later as pop skull and later yet as panther milk or panther juice, was prepared according to the following formula, vouched for as historically correct by Galbraith:
    "To a five-gallon keg of Taos lightning (or whiskey) add a one-pound plug of chopped chewing tobacco, two pounds of burnt dried peaches, and twenty charges of gunpowder." The consumer was then advised to stir well and drink by the tincupful.
    Taos lightning itself is believed to have been alcohol of about 188 proof, but even such a stalwart draught was ineffectual in warming a man after some days of drenched clothing in bitter cold. Thus, striving for a warmth no mere distillate could produce, the originator of the drink described by Galbraith prepared his paralyzing broth so vile that the only name thought worthy was pizen.
    It became popular and spread out of the mountains to the Ohio and Mississippi boatmen and then back west with some of the wagon trains of the Pike's peak or bust era.
    The quaffing of pizen, Galbraith asserts, had some curious results. One was the invention of a William Tell game, considered exceedingly funny.
    Two friends stood sixty feet apart. One friend balanced a tin-cup full of pizen on top of his head. The other armed a rifle and tried to shoot a hole in the cup so the liquor would dribble down over the face of the cupbearer. If the rifleman missed and hit his friend, as sometimes happened, the catastrophe was greeted with laughter. By some strange process of thought, the joke was considered to be on the rifleman.
—Thanks to Bob Scott of Denver

Dick Oakes

All text was hand-entered (no OCR scans) by Dick Oakes who did the layout, markup and graphics reproduction (all of Harry's misspellings retained). The contents remain the property of Bill Lincoln and his heirs.