Desert Rat Scrap Book logo

Three of Nine


PRICE 10 CENTS   .   .   .   .   .   .   . ONLY ONE LOUSY THIN DIME


Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one. (Not a Texas Boast)

Desert Rat Scrap Book small logo

Packet xxxx of Pouch xxxx

hr short center

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


Published at Fort Oliver
Four Times a Year
But sometimes they don't have them

After the Democrats get rid of Summerfiled
and stamps come down in price,
I will go back to 50c a year

This offer expires when I do

Pack Rat
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
1888                     1999

Fort Commander
Lamp Lighter

Pack Rat


By special arrangement I have obtained permission, to quote from myself.

hr short center

I am so Dam Truthful except when I am Lying . . .

hr short center

Time wounds all heels.



Pack Rat

May you long enjoy putting out your Wind Proof, Gloom Proof paper.
John R. Poss

hr short center

People ask what comes from having my lights burning late into the night? . . . The result as I am sure is breathtaking electric bill.


    I have just adopted two Daughters, My own Daughters don't live here in the Desert but have Sons and Daughters of their own over on the coast.
Cat Dot     My two new Daughters, came from the Isle of Man, they were about as big as Chipmunks when I got them. One is named Dot and has no tail the other's name is Comma and has just a bit of a tail.
    They are twins exactly alike only for that bit of a tail and as black as a Halloween night, and shiny as my old crow, they walk like Irishmen and run like Rabbits. Their hind legs are long, their front legs short, and they waddle and hop like they were animated.
Cat Comma     There is nothing happier than a kitten and two kittens are a three ring circus and a much better show than TV.
    There is no sad note in the adoption, as my two new Daughters came from a fine but crowded home. Martha and Ray Martin turned over the adoption papers to me as all the rest of the big family at their home of 8 Goats, 1 Steer, 3 Turkeys, many Chickens, 5 Geese (Trained) 1 Dog (small chichuahua, 10 Sheep, 3 Horses, ad 5 assorted Cats. Yes there were no tears, full approval, everybody happy.
    "Whiskers" my 105 year old Dog made up his mind not to like Dot and Comma for a few days, but their waddle and hops soon won him over. As you know Manx Cats are called "Rumpy's" in England, as their rump is extraordinarily round and their long back legs make the look as if they were going down hill.
    You are sure to read more about these little helpers in the next 10 or 20 years. . . Punctuation should be better with Dot and Comma on the job, and I will try my best to get "Whiskers" to bark in italic's instead of CAPITAL letters.


An optimist is one who makes the best of it when he gets the worst of it.

hr short center

Most of us are confident we could move the mountains if somebody would clear the hills out of our way.

hr short center

Medical science claims whiskey can't cure the common cold. Well, neither can medical science.

Desert Roadrunner

Mr. McQuire Mr. McQuire


Dear Commander:
    When we go down to Palm Springs and then to Palm Desert where out son used to live, I always purchase some Desert Rats.
    Perhaps you would like this true story.

    In the early 90's, two Irishmen lived in Rapid City, South Dakota, who were neighbors of ours. These man were half brothers; Mr. Keenan and Mr. McQuire The latter had a brother-in-law by the name of McCarthy who owned the International Hotel. The depot was over a mile from the hotel and an old fashioned bus, met the train, for the accommodation of guests. The span of buckskin colored horses were spirited and often ran away. One day when McQuire was driving, the team ran away and upset the top heavy bus.


    Later, McQuire looked all around on the street apparently for something he had lost. I called to him and said "Mickey did you lose something?" "Yes" he replied, "I had two twenty dollar gold pieces; one was mine, and the other was Keenan's. I lost Keenan's."
Yours truly
L. S. Overpeck

P.S. No doubt you know that Rapid City is the gate way to the Black Hills, not far from Deadwood. If you use this, I wish you would send me some extra copies.

hr short center

Don't worry God

    "Now, you naughty boy, you go right upstairs to bed," scolded the miscreants Mother, "and be sure to say your prayers and ask God to make you a good boy." The chastened youngster did as he was told. "Dear God, try to make me a good boy," he mumbled, "but if you can't don't worry 'cause I'm having lots of fun the way I am."

hr short center

    40 years ago I used to ride to Westmoreland on horse-back . . . from Borego Desert. . . . Fact I sowed my wild-oats in Westmoreland, I am overwhelmed, aghast and agog, . . . as I read the dazzling fact that Westmoreland is today the Hay Center of the Desert . . . . and I was only fooling.

If both sides make you laugh, you are broad-minded.3      

sure hits the high-spots in our Desert West

Bennett Cerf as a boy

BENNETT - - - as a boy

    And then there's the old one about the Boston youngster visiting the West this past summer with his family, who got his first view of the Grand Canyon. He was obviously impressed by this mighty work of nature and could hardly wait to inform his playmate at home of his experience.
    "Dear Tim," he wrote excitedly, "today I spit a mile!"


Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.

hr short center

Some day we hope to be wise enough to get the vitamins that wild animals get by eating what they like.

hr short center

So many widows look so pretty and carefree in their husbandless life that man should learn a lot from them, and probably will.

hr short center


When little Jimmy returned from summer camp, his parents asked him if he had been homesick. "Not me" replied the youngster. "Some of the kids were though—the ones that had Dogs".

hr short center

My bloodstream maybe largely printers ink and bourbon whiskey.


Original writers are scarce, but those that can steal with good judgement are scarcer.

hr short center

The man who is fit to live in solitude is the one that society can't spare.

hr short center

Dry Camp Blackie, says he doesn't get the hicops very often being on the wagon—but when he does—he just enjoys 'em.

hr short center

A man never likes a cat until a smart cat likes a man; then he's a cat lover for keeps.
—Wiliam Allen White

hr short center

The popular noting of genius is . . . of one who can do almost everything . . . except make a living.

hr short center

Genius is only a superior power of seeing.

hr short center

Set ' Em Up, Joe . . .

    "The usual, Joe," said the commuter, "gotta catch my train." The bartender set up five cocktails in a row and the customer gulped down three, leaving the first and last drinks on the bar. Then he dashed out. A man standing nearby asked the bartender why the customer left the two drinks. "Oh, he does that all the time," shrugged the bartender. "Says the first one always tastes terrible and the last one invariably gets him into trouble at home."


    Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870) Famous Australian Poet

    From poem "The Sick Stockrider."

"For good undone, and gifts misspent and resolutions vain.
'Tis somewhat late to trouble. This I know—
I'd live the same life over, if I had to live again—
And the chances are I go where most men go."

    Harry me old chum, you high priest of the old west, here's one you'll love by our greatest poet of Australia, depicting the dying words of one of our cow-boys or "stockriders" as we call them.—HENRY CLIVE.

A bit of History as told me by Ted Hutchison,
Famed Desert Plant Wizard of Old Calico.

Dear Harry:
    Here is an item you may want to use of an actual happening here in Calico. I'll give you the dope and you can write it to suit yourself. I checked with Mrs. Lane who lived here in Calico when it was a going town, went to school here, was married here and, with her husband, ran the general store.

  *   *   *  

    Eugenia Daughtery, her boy and his pet Billy Goat lived in Calico with her parents and told this to Mrs. Lucy Lane long after it happened back in 1887.
    "One day I was sitting at my dressing table which had a large mirror, curling my hair. Beside me was a coal-oil lamp which I was using to heat the curling irons." (Those days they would stick their curling irons down teh lamp chimneys to heat them.)
    "Somehow our pet Billy Goat caught a glimpse of himself in the Mirror, lowered his head and charged at his reflection, upsetting the lamp and setting the house afire."
    "Strong winds carried the flames up and down Main Street burning the town completely.
    "Before rebuilding the townspeople determined that every third house or building should be adobe as a fire prevention measure.
    "They would build forms, rig-up adobe mills or start a mud puddle in the middle of the building site and tamp the mud into the forms. When they finished they had a building and a basement where the mud was dug out.
    "Thus a new Calico was built and the rich silver to make all those Silver Dollars you see at Las Vegas and to supply the Navajos with Silver-Dollars to cut-up and make their colorful Indian Jewelry."

DISPATCH to Mr. Walter Knott From the Editor of this paper.

    Mr. Knott:—I, being a Scapegoat, a Beguiler and a bearded near-Goat myself. I am able to contact the Goat-Spirit World . . . and I must tell you. You have a bit of a debt, a debt you should pay with great respect, honor and esteem, and grant, Sir, Billy 'Calico' Goat, Esq, his request . . .


    "I am the Goat Gost of the Ghost Town of Calico . . . I made History, big History . . .like that of Mrs. O'Leary's FAMED COW of Chicago."

    "I think you 'Mr Knott' should have a statue of me placed in a prominent spot. As I am for sure "The Gost Goat" of your Gost Town of Calico."


One humiliating thing about science is that it is filling our homes with gadgets that are smarter than we are.

hr short center

Give everyone you meet the time of day and half the road,—and if that don't make him civil,—don't waste any more fragrance on the cuss.

hr short center

Enough is just a little more.

hr short center

If a man wants his dreams to come true,—he must wake up.

LOOK-OUT Dog Lovers
If you neighbor throws rocks at your Dog.

    Have you read that those "Big Thinkers" who write the books that make us think say, they say, "All Dog-Haters are 'misanthropes' (people haters) and the love is themselfs."

    If your wife works in the garden have her refrain from giving too tempting a target to that neighbor, the darn misanthrope.H.O.

The Road Of The PIONEERS

    Remember "Old Highway 99" . . . Some of you will as you look at the picture below . . . But I, you Editor, want to caution you motorists to drive carefully the stretch of 'Old 99' from Fort Oliver to the Old Stone House, as the pavement is raised in ridges 6 inches high, crossing the Highway in places.
    I think these ridges have been caused by rattlesnakes crawling unde the pavement, when we get that 120 degree heat. It drives them under ground.
Harry Oliver

Full of Life
"The desert may look dead to us, but they say that those who live here find it full of life."

Tombstone Old Timer THE JERKY TRIAL

As told by Rolly Canfield of Gold Beach "who was present at the trial"

    Plenty of Joneses here in the Siskiyous . . . I remember a few years when you'd a thought ever' other man in the county was named Jones. You know it's agin the law in Oregon to kill deer out of season, but most of the mountain folks do't pay much attention to it. One day Sampson Jones came into Gold Beach with three mules loaded to their hocks with jerky (that's dried venison) and started peddling it.
    He was arrested and brought before the J.P. and a jury empaneled. Fact is, seven of the jury was named Jones, and, believe it or not, even his honor himself was named Jones. Witnesses were called and the jerky put in evidence. One man took the stand, chawed a hunk of the dried meat, and solemnly pronounced it sturgeon. He swore he had dried thousands of pounds of sturgeon and nobody could fool him. Another as positively swore it was mutton; another said it was calf; another shark; another goat; and another mule or maybe burro.
    The case was presented and the jury deliberated as long as any of them could eat jerky and then announced their verdict: . . . . .
    'We the jury find the defendant not guilty, but recommend that next time he do not bring in so much at one load."

hr short center


One of the compensations for age is that you can brag about your youth with less likelihood of being contradicted.

hr short center

Get your happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.

hr short center

Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplify, Simplify.
Henry David Thoreau
1817       1862

hr short center

By R. H. Cook
Klamath Falls, Oregon


    In Tonapah, Nev during World War I, every time a soldier left for the front, a parade led by the Mayor and the town band accompanied them to the depot, where the band played and gifts were presented to the boys. During summer vacation the kids about ten strong, each rode a donkey at the depot. They all lined up at attention while the speeches were made and the band played. Then the band would lead the parade back up town. Fall came, Kids all in school. Now every time the band played the ten little Donks would come down from the hills, join the parade, stand at attention thru the ceremonies and then trudge back to the city and the various jobs donkeys have to tend to, with nary a kid in sight. I suppose there are stll a few old sour doughs in Tonapah that can verify this tale.

hr short center


All my cats and dogs are thoroughbreds by association. It's not conceit . . . it's honest self-appraisal.


This page is dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist--the DESERT PROSPECTOR



    Builders of the $421 million Glen Canyon Dam Project in Northern Arizona are faced with competition from one of the oldest and best dam builders of the world.
    The competitor is a furry little beaver, who is putting on a one-man show just downstream from the dam on the turbulent Colorado River. He hasn't taken time off from the job to comment, but is spending all his time and efforts on the job at hand.
    The little flat-tailed critter is working under a definite handicap, since there are no trees nor even decently sturdy shrubs nearby. Doing with what is at hand, the beaver is utilizing twigs and branches, mostly driftwood from the edge of the stream.
    Impressed with the beaver's determination, workers have been leaving food for him. But no reports of them bringing him trees to aid in the construction project, the site of which is about 100 yards downstream from the base of the dam, now under construction.
    His arrival, unheralded by government publicists, caused puzzlement. Seems the nearest known settlement of beavers is more than 100 miles from the damsite. Perhaps he heard of the project and decided to get on the payroll.
    Workmen consider him a good luck charm. One of them commented: "Now we've got an engineer's engineer on the job."
    Col. A. T. Griffin, project manager for the contracting firm, watched the beaver at work, and said, "We should move him to the upstream cofferdam to plug some of those holes."
    Sounds as tho Mr. Beaver may get on the payroll after all.
From the Brewery Gulch Gazette




The following article on the passing of his pet dog, Helen, was penned by William Randolph Hearst in reply to a letter written him by Frank Barham, publisher of the Los Angeles Herald-Express.
It was printed in "In the News" column of the Hearst papers of April 29, 1942.

Dr. Frank F. Barham,
Los Angeles Herald-Express

Dear Frank:
    Thank you for your kind and sympathetic letter about Helen.
I guess she liked you because you are a "regular fellow," and she knew it.
Dogs are very wise.
I do miss Helen very much.
Yu know, Frank, a boy and his dog arre no more inseparable companions than an old fellow and his dog.
An old bozo is a nuisance to almost everybody—except his dog.
To his dog he is just as good as he ever was—maybe better because he is more appreciative of the dog's devotion.
Anyhow, the dog and the old guy understand each other and get along "just swell."
So I do miss Helen. I was very fond of her.
She always slept on a big chair in my room and her solicitous gaze followed me to bed at night and was the first thing to greet me when I woke in the morning.
Then when I arose she begged for the special distinction of being put in my bed, and there she lay in luxurious enjoyment of the proud privilege until I was ready to leave.
But whether in repose or on the alert—in her chair or on her feet—no one came near the door day or night that may little sentry did not challenge him. And all day long at work or at play, at meals or at the movies, at social conversations or business conferences, Helen was on the job and stuck steadfastly to her self-appointed task of protecting her master and her friend. Whether she was walking by his side, or seeming asleep in her chair, she always kept at least one watchful brown eye fixed intently upon him. The protection of a big husky like myself by a little wisp like Helen was unnecessary, of course, and amusing perhaps, but that was her serious conception of her duty and she performed it with touching fidelity.
Who could fail to be won by so much care and consciencious concern—so much attention and affection?
Alous Huxley says:
"Every dog thinks its master Napoleon, hence the popularity of dogs."
This is not the strict truth.
Every dog adores its master notwithstanding the master's imperfections of which it is probably acutely aware.
And its master, unless he is lower in the animal scale than the dog, responds to such devotion.
It suits itself to your moods.
It does not chatter when you want quiet.
It is gay when you wish to be gay.
When you are sorrowful it is sad.
When you want to be alone it waits patiently outside your door.
When you leave the house or the car without it, it watches in tense expectancy till you return.
Then it always greets you joyously.
By coming back you have lifted a great load off its mind.
As Irene Castle says:
"You can say to a child, 'I will be back soon,' and it does not worry.
"But when you leave a dog, it does not know whether you will ever be back."
You might be gone an hour or a year, or forever.
So the faithful animal is in a constant state of distress and alarm until it sees you coming home.
That is why it cannot restrain its delight.
Its friend, that it has feared lost, is with it once again.
It is not left alone in a cruel world.
Not because it thinks you are Napoleon, not because YOU think you are Napoleon.
But because love creates love, devotion inspires devotion, unselfishness begets unselfishness and self sacrifice, and that fact is more than a commendable quality in the animal kingdom.
It is the eventual hope of humanity.
Helen died in my bed and in my arms.
I have buried her upon the hillside overlooking the green lawn—where she used to run—and surrounded by the flowers.
I will not need a monument to remember her.
But I am placing over her little grave a stone with the inscription—"Here lies dearest Helen — my devoted friend."W. R. HEARST

    Your Editor wishes to thank W. Lee Wenzlick, Publicity Photographer, DESERT AIR HOTEL, Palm Springs, for her idea, and help in finding Mr. Hearst's tribute to his little pet Dog, 'HELEN".
    Lee, worked with Mr. Hearst for over 20 years.

Prospector Burro

Yermo, California

13 Miles East of Barstow

Calico in the 1880's was the largest silver mining Camp in the southwest. Almost obliterated by time, it is now being restored by Knott's Berry Farm. An ideal outing for the rockhound, and camping groups.



    An American history teacher was quizzing the class concerning the origin of famous sayings of famous Americans.
    Teacher: "Who was it that said 'Give me liberty or give me death'?"
    Class" "Patrick Henry."
    Teacher: "Who said 'This country with its institutions belongs to the people who inhabit it.'?"
    Class: "Lincoln, in his first inaugural address."
    Teacher: "Who said 'With charity toward all men and malice toward none.'
    Class: "Lincoln, in his second inaugural address."
    Teacher: 'And who was it that said 'Dont shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.'?" No one answered immediately; finally one member of the class asked 'Was it Brigham Young?"
—Walter S. Hughes of Ojai

ONE YEAR, $2.00         Three Years, $6.50
Grubstaker: The late Scotty Allen


Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails

Pony Express

Herb S. Hamlin, Editor
Address All Mail to

P. O. Box 326

Published Monthly at
SONORA (Tuolumne County) CAL.
(Founded by real Sonorans—1848)


A Story of early BOREGO DESERT
one   - R -   please


    It was in May of 1904. . . . Getting off a Southern Pacific train at Niland I cut across to Kane Springs, I was headed for Warners Ranch by way of San Felipe Wash. . . . Salton Sea was to cover my foot prints in 1906 and 1907, but as I crossed through the Salton Sink I saw a Sea of astonishing Mirage's . . . at mid-day.
    The Mud-Volcanoes were not as active as I was to see them years later. I had a bath and a good chance to soak my burning feet . . . at Kane Springs, . . . then on and up the wash, (old Borego road). . .. . At Harper's Well I met some Mule Skinners, . . . . Ten wagons with each leading two mules and loaded with "Fresno's". The boss had a team of light mules and a Buckboard, they were heading for Imperial to level land.
    The water at Harper's Well was muddied-up but I got a canteen of clear water from the cook wagon. . . . I had a knap-sack full of Mexican beef "Jerky", corn-meal, coffee and some bread-date I got at Yuma, also a big tinplate and an old rim-fire-32 calier-six-gun and about 10 shells. . . . (Nothing like boiled cornmeal and Jerky for hiking food).
    It being May I had water at will and San Felipe Wash was not hard to follow, . . . but I was surprised to see fresh box-board signs marking the trail, . . . "with Chinese words on them."
    On my second night's stop I camped up a little draw just above the wash, I had made coffee and had my hot food cooked over a squaw-wood fire. . . . as I sat by the few glowing sticks I heard something down the wash, . . . . I covered the fire with sand and took a stance behind a big rock wall to wait.
    Soon a big fellow, with a gun, bent as he looked for my tracks, passed by, . . . Fortunately where I had stepped out of the wash 40 mules had abolished any chance of seeing my foot prints.
    In a few minutes he was back stopping at the mouth of the draw to sniff of my lingering food smell, fire or coffee. I thought how lucky I was he did not have a dog.
    After about 15 or 20 minutes he was back with another beg fellow, he too had a gun, but said he could not smell anything, so they went back down the wash.
    Soon about 60 Chinese came by, I could see about 6 or 7 women in the pack . . . they had boxes, bags and bundles.
    I had, had a rest and a meal, I had water,—it was a pleasant evening,—so I thought I would see more of the smuggling of Chinese,—something we did not have back in Indiana.
    Time enough had passed so I knew they had no rear-guard. "ADVENTURE," I was 17 years old, big for my age, my rim-fire-32-caliber-six-gun would fire about one in three of the shells as I clicked the six—most of the 8 shells in my pocket had been around once. I had no plan of doing more than see where they would go.
    As we climbed the night air got chilly, and I saw one of the big fellows go ahead of the pack and light a coal-oil-lantern, he was looking for road signs and I know they had come to the cross road—The old Butterfield Stage Road to Vallecito—South,—the road to the Julian mines—West—and Warner Hot Springs—to the North.
    Watching I was surprised to see they took none of these three roads but started off in a northwesterly direction across the desert. I could see a few scattered spots of light a mile or two away, then they disappeared, vanishing all at once,—as did the lantern of the smugglers.
    I knew the direction to Warner Springs, I could see the Mountains silhouetted in the background.—It could not, I thought, be much out of my way to know more about this adventure, where 60 people disappeared int the desert darkness. The moon was in its last quarter, but some clouds gave a blue glow to the night. It was getting cold, the ground was wet. I had a feeling I was being watched. I thought of the little Chinese girls with their little wooden sandals in this wet mud. I thought I heard a sound like feet patting mud. I looked at the ground. Mountain Lion tracks everywhere, thousands of them, a chill came over me. I was being watched. I saw a big tree ahead, but Lions climb trees, this I thought I was THINKING fast. I remembered reading that Mountain Lions never attack people. "BUT WHO THE HELL SAID THAT?—DID HE KNOW?"—then I saw them— a great Lioness with two cubs . . . "Gee they looked hungry" . . . they were about a hundred feet away and going the same way I was, I cut left, and saw a bigger "He-Lion" going our way about a hundred feet to the right, then I did some fast thinking, you might know because I am here today to tell all this.
    You just remember THIS—I know going up a big tree should not help as they could climb big trees better than I could—So I kept walking—and I uinlaced my shoes getting ready to shinny up an armload of thin, tall cotton-wood saplings just ahead, boy I did a fast job of it. I kicked off my shoes and socks, grabbing two, two-inch saplings in each hand, and shinnied up 15 feet in no time. I knew they could not climb up because they cannot hang on with only one claw. I wondered if they might try to shake me down, but no, they just came to my shoes and socks and sniffed, one little cub took a big sniff, Coughed, choked and almost strangled. The the Mother Lion took the little fellow by the nap-of-the-neck, and started for the hills.
    From my high vantage point I saw the Lion family galloping over three low hills and out of sight.


This is the first of five stories of my 55 years "in and out" of Borego . . . The title of the second will be . . . Lloyd Kelsey and Doc A. A. Beatty take me to my homestead in a air-cooled Franklin Car.— 1916.
Third: I build the first "Class-A-" building in Borego Valley,—' The old Adobe H. O. Ranch home.
H. O. Ranch is headquarters as we build the (Doc Beatty) road to truckheaven.
    My old Ford the last car over the road.
As press agent for a Ghost I plant 60 Peg-Legs to help coax the old rascal into Borego Valley.
    14 years of Annual Peg-Leg Trek and Liar's Contest . . . gets National acclaim.



By Matt Weinstock

    From out of the desert, where the lizards and chuckwalla roam, comes a discouraging word from my sagebrush podner, Harry Oliver.
    The serenity which Harry enjoys at his adobe fort at Thousand Palms, where he publishes his quarterly Desert Rat Scrapbook, has been disturbed by the revenuers.
    Harry, 71, has been notified by government men that he must either give up his pension or stop earning money.
    The Scrap Book isn't the problem, as it operates at a loss, or did until he recently raised the rate. The rub is that Harry has been paid $11.50 each for some yarns he spun for a Riverside paper. He must give the $111.50 to the government or lose his pension.
—ONCE HIS IS 72, he was told, he can keep the money he earns. So far, he has not devised a means of speeding his birthday.
    Harry was asked by L. Burr Belden of the San Bernardino Sun why he didn't just quit. he replied he was having too much fun. "I'm told I'm in my second childhood," Harry said, "but I'm having a lot more fun than in my first one.'
    His advice: "Matt, don't get old—the pension isn't worth it."

Gone With The Witch

    You know, of course, as a cat-lover, that your cat has tried to talk to you . . . tell you things. And you have understood some of it—simple things like "I'm hungry," and "I want to be scratched behind the ear," and "I is it all right for me to sleep at the foot of your bed?"
    Perhaps you have even understood many more things Kitty has said for cats, to those who know their language, "talk" on a variety of subjects, trying their best to express themselves so that you, who love them, will know just how they feel about life and the world they live in.
      EDITORS NOTE . . . .
    This is the greatest Cat and Dog book I have read. We that think we know how our pets look at life, how and why they help us in our not-so-happy hours, should get this book, or have you City Library order it.

    Send $2.75 to VANTAGE PRESS, INC.
    120 W. 31 STREET, NEW YORK 1, N.Y.


    The Arizona State Parks Board will designate the village of Tubac, some 45 miles south of Tucson on the Nogales Highway, as State Park No. 1, it was learned today.
    The board was established by the past session of the Legislature to investigate park sites throughout the state.
    Tubac was promoted as a possible site by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Griffin, recent arrivals to Arizona and Tubac residents. They appeared before a meeting of the board here Dec. 16 and discussed plans.
    With the establishment of the Tubac state park, the board will accept a donation of land from the Griffins. This property contains the ruins of the old presidio. It will be restored with private and public funds.
    A Tucson member of the board, Ricki Rarick, said today that no immediate expense to the state is envisioned. He said the town park is expected to be given the state by Santa Cruz County.
    Tubac was the first capital of what is now the state of Arizona. The state's first newspaper, "The Weekly Arizonian" was established there Mar. 3, 1859.
    State Parks Director, Dennis McCarthy, Phoenix; Dr. Emil Haury, of the University of Arizona, and Rarick toured the site Saturday. It was after this tour that final selection of State Park No. 1 was made.




Finest Accommodations
Gasoline and Oil

Open the Year 'Round
Showplace of



    CALICO (AP)—Walter Knott, famed for his Buena Park berry farm and chicken dinners, has restored this ghost silver-mining town with startling fidelity.
    From the parking lot you can ride a little train up the steep slopes into the heart of town. When you alight, the printshop where the newspaper, "The Calico Print," is published is on your left.
    WALTER AND buckets for the fire brigade are in the center of the street, across from Lane's Mercantile Store.
    For 25 cents you can visit the cool recesses of the Maggie Mine, which in its heyday produced $75,000 worth of silver ore.
    Outside in the bright sunshine, the ramshackle buildings of the boom town have been replaced by faithful copies perched precariously on the brinks of gritty cliffs.
    GEM STORIES, silver work and curio shops abound along the main street. There are also shaded picnic areas. Instad of the hard liquor of the boom days, there are fruit juices and water to slake thirsts.
    Calico—about 160 paved miles northeast of Los Angeles and 11 miles northeast of Barstow—straggles up the slopes of the sunbaked Calico Mountains as it did shortly after its founding in 1880.
    In the spring of that year, three prospectors found a silver deposit so rich that ore veins four feet thick were soon uncovered. Silver then was worth $1.29 an ounce. In 16 fabulous years, more than 75 million dollars worth was carried from Calico's earth.
    A BRAWLING town of 3,500 sprang up. There were saloons, fancy ladies, a Chinese colony to solve the laundry problem, and a schoolhouse on a knoll.
    In 1896, the price of silver dropped to 53 cents. Calico died in her tracks.
    In 1950 Knot, who worked in the Calico mines one summer before making a success of his berry farm and restaurant at Buena Park, bought the site. Today he has almost wholly restored the ghost town. No admission is charged.
    The miners agreed that Calico was a pretty name.

Calico Goat
Famous Calico Goat

Mark Twain Mark Twain

A rich neighbor of Mark Twain had a library twice as big as Twain's own—a fact that Twain rather resented, the more so because he was convinced his ostentatious neighbor had never learned to read. "My neighbor," scoffed Mark, "likes a thin book because it can stead a table, a leather book because it can strop a razor, and a heavy book because he can throw it at a cat."

hr short center


    About an 18th of my 18,000 papers are sent to folks that can hear KDES radio of Palm Springs.
    You other folks may have a similar radio station Animal Lover,—I hope you do as our Don Meyer is a champion and is constantly working for our little animal friends.


When He Sights Water


Old facts this Editor might never know if he didn't open his mail.

hr short center

Since men learned to print, no night is wholly black.
—Christopher Morley

hr short center

Familiarity breeds contempt—and children
—Mark Twain

hr short center

    A rancher near Lancaster, heard that turkeys would eat grasshoppers; so he turned his flock loose in the fields. The turkeys ame back bare; the grasshoppers ate the feathers off them, he says.
—Evan Esar

hr short center


    Tonopah rose, had died and all her worldly possessions, including a parrot were being auctioned off.
    "What am I offered for this beautiful bird?"
    "One dollar" bid a bystander.
    "Two dollars" roared another.
    "Make it five, daddy," squawked the parrot,"—"and I'll be especially nice to you."

Knott's Ghost Town


    An old Newspaper, published in 1848 was found in the Garret of an old desert shack. The paper is framed and is in the Pony Express Museum. The following letter is printed in the paper:

"Dear Jim;

    "Come right off if you are comin' at all, as Silas Haimes is 'sistin' that I shall hae him and he hugs and kisses me so continually that I can't hold out much longer. I must hee him or you ery quick for my feelin's is sich that I must git me a feller before next winter. I just can't stand it nohow much longer.Sally Ann P."

    The Museum comments, "Red Hot Mama in 1848. Mae West was an iceberg compared with this ancient Cleopatra."

hr short center

There's a warning sign in Echo Canyon "WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE."

hr short center

A man shaves about 20 square miles of face in a lifetime.


    The lecturer on forest conservation was loudly berating the general public for its indifference to the preservation of our timber reserves.
    "I don't suppose," he declared, "there is a person here tonight who has done a single thing toward conserving our supply."
    After a momentary silence, a meek voice spoke up from the rear, "I did. I once shot a woodpecker."

hr short center

    This is one you don't dare print.

    3 Alley cats all expecting kittens soon.
    I'm expecting to have a beautiful batch of Angora kittens.
    Oh! I'm going to produce a beautiful batch of Persian kittens.
    Well! Girls I'm to have some kittens real soon too. But, I don't know what kind they will be. You see, I had my head in a tuna fish can at the time.

Harry Oliver's
on Wax

    John Norman's Desert Records proudly announces the debut on disc of the old Desert Rat himself in a collection of great stories from The Desert Rat Scrap Book.
    For the first time you can hear Harry Oliver spin the most famous of his tales. In high-fidelity sound, recorded on-the-scene at Old Fort oliver, are stories of the Singing Sands, Madame Bellows, the Cold Nose Caper, Dick Wick Hall's exploding mine, Music and Booze, Haywire Weather and many others.
    Order your copy of this 12-inch long-playing record today. It's yours for only $4.98. Send check or money order to:

P.O. Box 1304



    These "Oliver Twists" are mainly to publicize Old Fort Oliver, this Paper and the Humor of the Desert.
    I have worked hard to convince the Press of the truth.
    Once with Dry Camp Blackie's help we spent the whole night with buckets of whitewash spooning the Buzzards . . . 'Kilroy Was Here,' all over the grey walls of Old Fort Oliver.
    The Press Photographs could see the Buzzards had spent the night . . . but had gone.

They are Back Again In 1959
From—Ole J. Nordland—Indio, Date Palm

    Eleventh Annual event outshines the Capistrano Swallows.
    Coronation of Princess Yellowstone was a highlight, as was the well planned rerouting of the Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Canadian buzzards so's to make the Fort the first stop on trip north from Mazatlan, Mexico.
    Harry Oliver who was sworn to secrecy about the three Nation part of the gathering, was told he might tell of the Princess, he says she signed his register and this is what he told:
    Princess Yellowstone is an albino of great beauty, has long been the pet of the Park Rangers and has been featured in Motion Pictures, her white feathers photograph beautifully in moonlight shots of Ghost Towns. T'is also said that she has laid many an egg for TV comedians. Oliver told this reporter that several of the world's best song writers are working on a ballad—"When the Buzzards Buzz Old Fort Oliver" says, with good luck they might, some day.

RoadrunnerBuzzardsJack Rabbit

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.