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Three of Ten




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

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Packet 3 of Pouch 10

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


Published at Fort Oliver
Four Times a Year
I just had to do it
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


    "Age never bothers me, it's only a number."
Walter Huston

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I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.



Pack Rat

    LOREN EISELEY writes about a great atomic scientist who picked up a tiny tortoise in the desert to take back to his children. Then he had a change of mind and carefully put the tortoise back in the exact spot he had found it.
    "It just struck me," explained the scientist, "that for one man I have tampered enough with the universe."

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"The chief function of your body is to carry your brains around."—Thomas A. Edison

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Years do not make sages: they only make old men.



    In Washington, D.C., Chief Justice Earl Warren requested that Congress spend a paltry $33,000 to put an electric pigeon chaser atop the Supreme Court building. The request was made in 1958. IT'S STILL PIGEON-HOLED.
    Your Editor see's in a sporting-way the right-fulness of this delay. Just think if you were a bird with a love of dropping your name around in white, surely those long black robes would be tempting targets.

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    The Ranch hand was nonchalantly displaying his skill in rolling cigarettes one-handed. A duly impressed Easterner expressed his admiration for the dexterity involved. "Actually, rolling them don't take much," said the cowhand, "It's getting the filter in that's the trick.
Donald O'Connor

Maark Twain MARK TWAIN

    Mark Twain once observed sagely, "One should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on the hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again—and that's well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more."


The Sun, you glorious orb of day,
Ninety-four million miles away,
Will keep revolving in its orbit
Till heat and motion reabsorb it.
Sent by Charles B. Lockwood

    Your Editor wants this paper to be "Old Fashioned," and he tries to be "Old Fashioned" himself. I want this paper to be as comfortable as a pair of old shoes, or a rocking chair . . . real old time comfort, but after drinking about twelve "Old-Fashions" . . . I find that my mind gets younger, and I just don't think as "Old Fashioned" the rest of the night!
Your Editor          

Fat Mule Rider
THIS WEEK Magazine / October 6, 1955

Little Animals-Less Space


Dogs wag their tails when happy—Cats, when angry.

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The wisest Owl occasionally hoots at the wrong time.

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A Mule knows three times as much as a Horse, and a Burro is smarter than a Mule.

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The Navajo Indian domesticated the Wild Turkey.

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Cats can't count—A mother cat will always make six trips to move five kittens, from one place to another.

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My lazy old Rooster has a sense-of-humor—he is so lazy he won't even crow—he waits for another rooster to crow and then just nods approval.

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    Paisano — meaning fellow citizen—is the Mexican name for our Desert Road Runner. New Mexico has made him its State Bird.

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In baiting a mousetrap with cheese always leave room for the mouse.

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"Tommy, the canary has disappeared."
"That's funny, Ma. It was there just now when I tried to clean it with the vacuum cleaner.

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    In Texas it's four to an Egg. But that's Texas for you. Yes the Armadillo has four young at a time, they all come from one egg—identical quadruplets.

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And speaking of — Angels, reminds me, about the baby Mouse who saw a Bat for the first time and squealed, "Look Ma—an Angel!"

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"The gnats are driving us gnuts."
—Mary Paige, Wickenburg Sun

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    Dry Camp Blackie says, "A dragonfly can fly with one wing torn completely off."—
    Blackie is a bad, bad boy.

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Said one angry skunk to another: "So do you!"

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A female katydid can never deny the male's charge that "Katy did." She has no sound equipment.


Prospector Pulling Mule

BY: Amy Oliver Vrooman

Dad Builds Historic Adobes

As the family grew—more rooms were added—more chimneys peeped over the wall—till it took on the look it has today.

    In 1917, 44 years ago, Harry Oliver, "The Old Mirage Salesman," started to build an adobe home in Palms, California, that was soon named, "The Last Slice of La Ballona Rancho," which it truly was.
    In the year it took to get this home built, Dad tore down three old adobe ruins, using the dobe briks; and as he was wont to say at the time, all of the ghosts and legends of the past were plastered into the walls, which soon looked much the same as before. (Dad bragged that he didn't lose a ghost in the process!).
    It was in this old adobe that myself and my sister were born and raised. It was a happy home—and the ghosts continued to live on there as our playmates, and oft-times, at dusk, these ghosts could be seen flying over the 6 foot dobe wall. (Dad often said I looked like a little ghost sailing over the wall on my swing.)
    The old Oliver Adobe—the home of my childhood and many memories, "The Last Slice of La Ballona Rancho," is still standing at the corner of National Blvd., and Stilson street, Palms, California, on a very, very thin slice of the ancient La Ballona Land Grant.

Old H.O. Ranch


    This dobe ranch house was the first (Class A) home built in Borrego by Dad in 1926, built for my Mother to help her battle against tuberculosis. It was at this spot in 1928, Dad and and the other homesteaders gathered. Thus the start of the short-lived, "Doc Beatty Road," to reach Highway 99 near Truckhaven. (That was some rain!!)
    Here on the wide ranch house porch, Dad wrote his books, "99 Days in The Desert," "Desert Rough Cuts," and brought to life his wonderful characters that live on in "The Desert Rat Scrap-book." It was here that Dad began his reign of twenty-six years as press agent for a ghost. The ghost being "Peg-Leg Smith," and also started his peg-leg factory of wide-spread fame. (If all the weather beaten peg-legs of Borrego belonged to Peg-Leg Smith, he'd have had to be a blamed centipede!)
    The year 1946 saw the first Peg-Leg Trek. Nineteen-hundred and forty-seven entertained the first Peg-Leg Liars' Fete and Trek. In 1960, October 9th, the California State Parks erected a stone and bronze monument to Peg-Leg and his now equally famous press agent, adjoining the "HO Ranch" in Borrego Desert.

Old Fort Oliver


    With his family grown and with homes and children of their own, Dad left for his dream castle of adobe at Thousand Palms, California. It was here at "Old Fort Oliver" that Dad started his "Desert Rat Scrapbook," (the only newspaper you can open in the wind), in 1946. Dobe being as old as the earth itself—Dad says it's no wonder this Fort of his is in a great book of all the famous Forts of California, because no matter how you hide it, the truth will come out!
    It is here in 1961, that Dad is reigning as king of the Desert Rats, and turning out his bits of wisdom and humor in the form of his newspaper, "The Desert Rat Scrapbook." He is in his true element and a happy contented man. Would that we could all say the same and mean it as he does!


WRITER'S NOTE: A new book just off the press—dedicated to the Armed Forces of the United States of America and especially to the United States Army, tells the story of "Old Fort Oliver." This book is entitled "Forts of the State of California," written by J. S. Whiting and Richard J. Whiting of 3705 55th S. W., Seattle 16, Washington. (Price $5.00)

English Words
English Words in Southwest Spanish

    I asked a professor of Spanish how many English words are now in common use in our daily Spanish. His answer was: "Three or four hundred certainly—I could not tell you exactly without knowing how many have been invented today." . . . Then he quoted this speech: . . . "No parques su carro allí, porque se escratches." . . . "Don't park your car there, because it will get scratched" . . . "Park" is not Spanish, and "carro" does not mean automobile, but wagon. And the corruption of SCRATCH is probably the most barbarous hybridization yet recorded!
—Erna Fergusson

Field Trip to 29 Palms

    An absent-minded U.C.L.A professor of biology said to his field class:
    "I am now going to show you a very fine specimen of a dissected frog which I have in this parcel."
    Unwrapping the parcel he found that it contained a sandwich, a hard-boiled egg, and some fruit. He scratched his head in bewilderment, and muttered:
    "But I know I've already eaten my lunch."

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    Mountaineer's wife to druggist: "Now, be shore an write plain on them bottles which is fer the horse an which is fer my husband. I don't want nothing to happen to that horse before spring plowing."

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Johua Tree


    Smart of God to plant the Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert. (It don't bend and make people think the wind is blowing.)

A Red Mountain Story

    A stranger tied his horse at the rail near the window of Slim Riffle's Owl Cafe, and left to look over the crop of tomatoes. The horse put his head through the window and asked for a martini with a dash of horseradish. The bartender mixed it and handed it to him. The horse drank it smacking his lips.
    "I suppose you think it strange," said the horse, "that I should ask for a martini with horseradish in it."
    "Hell no," said the bartender, "I like it that way myself."

Galloping in From Another World

    Now a Harvard professor—and of course, they're the ones we've got to watch, whether they're in the Administration or didn't get the call—speculates that at such time as something makes it to earth from outer space, it is likely to turn out to be something is likely to turn out to be something not unlike the centaur, the half-man, half-horse of Greek mythology.
    Dr. William W. Howells, a Harvard anthropologist, writing in a British scientific journal, takes his lead from a colleague in the astronomy department who has theorized that in the universe some 100,000,000 worlds exist where evolution has produced life in advanced form.
    If such is so, Dr. Howells goes on, then these intelligent beings will most like be like us in certain respects, having, if not actually bones, blod vessels and a nervous system, something very like them. They will feature also, he says, a head (large brain included), two arms (with "plenty of fingers") and four legs or more.
    "Do we do anything well that a centaur could not do better?" Dr. Howells asks in his article. This is not an accurately answerable because human experience with centaurs is so slight. Dr. Howells is willing to "lay a small bet that they will be like centaurs." One may say that this shows he has little doubt about the correctness of his prediction, or one may say is the kind of bet which is offered only because the chances of proof, one way or the other, are remote, light years away asa a matter of fact.

Oliver on Recordbr>

Me as an Ass-Centaur from the
cover of my Joke Book of 10 years ago.

Of all the things that have come from outer space to the movie screen, we cannot recall a centaur. It may be that the moviemakers, spurred by Dr. Howells, will how make up for an obvious oversight, especially if they can devise no more outrageous spatial visitor. Of all the things the movies have brought us from outer space, they have yet to surpass the beautiful girls in the scanty clothes. A centaur in a scanty outfit is, we would hope, beyond consideration.
    Surely all of us have learned in our lifetime to put nothing beyond possibility—with but, we would hope, the one exception of a centaur in a scanty outfit. Yet it must be said again that it is not likely that any of us will be on hand to greet the fist centaurs arriving Here from Out There, which is perhaps just as well since getting used to the company of people, to stretch a word, with more legs than two might require more adjustment than we are capable of on such relatively short notice.
    But it is not difficult to imagine the first centaur from outer space being met by reporters on our own small share of earth, one of whom will inevitably ask for the visitor's opinion on American women. The answer, if this visitor is not too much unlike others, is no less inevitable than the question: "They're quite charming and have lovely legs, bute, of course, not nearly as many as they should. Do you do anything well that a centaur could not do better?"

Editor's Note:
We Desert Rats often see Mermaids in ours Mirages—
they squirm and wriggle with sand in their girdles.


Dry Camp Blackie

Dry Camp Blackie has a new invention, a rattlesnake burglar-alarm. The rattles are on springs and buzz . . . scares hell out of burglars.

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    What animals is the fastest swimmer? In a swimming race between a duck, a turtle, a rabbit and an alligator, which would be your choice? At the Tokyo zoo recently, a swimming race between a variety of animals was held. A rabbit won it, an alligator, the favorite in the betting, was second. A turtle finished third and a duck fourth.
—E. V. Durling

Old Timers that have been caught in Desert floods know that a Jack Rabbit is about ¾ "out-board-motor."—H.O.

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    An Idyllwild rancher was much annoyed by fast drivers who speeded by his place, endangering his children and chickens. At first he didn't know what to do about it—then he finally got an idea. He put up a large sign that slowed them down to a crawl immediately. It said, "Nudist Camp Crossing."

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We're in a nice class — the world's creatures which live longest are whales, elephants, tortoises, and human beings.

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Happy Married Mesquite

    Tex Reese took our lazy desert Mesquite tree and happily married it to a up-standing South American Señorita-Tree. Their bright green branches dance gracefully in the desert's hot night winds.
Harry Oliver

How To Be A Desert Rat And Like It     4


Catnip Ashby
Captain Ashby

    Captain Catnip Ashby sez he's decided that for his tombstone he will use an 800-pound meteorite which he says he saw fall in the desert 30-odd years ago. "It came hissing through the air, bright as a piece of the sun," the old timer declared, demonstrating with a whirling canteen much too near my head.

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Liminatin' Lem
Liminatin Lem

    Liminatin' Lem sez he dug a well in a dry wash at his mine near Surprise Well, lined it with rock and was proud of the job when along came one of those freak desert cloudbursts and now he has to climb a ladder sixteen feet high to draw water from his chimney-like well.

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Old Whiffletree

    Old Whiffletree sez: "In 1850 the Wells-Fargo Express used to ship a million dollars in gold East most every day, 2,000 miles by stage coach. Highwaymen didn't get much either. He sez we ought to put some of them old stage drivers on them city bank automobiles what is so bullet-proof and shiny.

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Topper Jake Topper

    Jake Topper Desert Rat sez: a hen at his shack wanted to set, so lacing her fruit he put some Desert Tortoise eggs under her.
    The hen remained faithful to her job until the tortoise were hatched. But hasn't been seen since.

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Little Animals Take Less Space

"I just swatted five flies, two males and three females."
"How can you tell."
"I got two on the cigar box, and three on the mirror.

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Never tell the truth when you make can garnish it a little bit and make it much more interesting.

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Any animal is a substitution for friends you don't have.

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You'll find that any dog's a prize, provided he's your dog.

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Ever notice how dogs win friends and influence people without reading books about it.

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

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While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot feel old, no matter what his years may be.

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There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.

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The trouble with being a turtle is you can't run away from home.

Prospector Mule

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.





Finest Accommodations
Gasoline and Oil

Open the Year 'Round
Showplace of



    Awakened by Whiskers thrusting a cold nose in my ear, I listened. There was someone opening the window of the Desert Rat editorial room up front. I got out of bed, and with my old 45 about 3 feet ahead of me and "Whiskers" 3 feet behind me, I went quietly through the press room, snapped on the light, and found a skinny little fellow going through the drawers of my desk. As I bellowed, "Hands Up!" Whiskers went for his legs. The unsuccessful burglar surrendered promptly, and stood patiently while I went through his pockets. I found $16.00; just think, and I did think, and it made me mad as if I had jumping cactus in my beard—that buzzard would steal from a starving editor of a 5 page Desert Rat newspaper when he had $16.00 in his pockets!
    Whiskers and I let hin keep one dollar and pushed him out the window. We think it'd be a good idea to leave that front window open!

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My Dog Whiskers
The best dog I ever worked for

My dog liked this hundred year old brief from Josh Billings' book "Uncle Josh."

    Dogs are not vagabonds by choice and love to belong to somebody. This fact endears the to us and I always rated the dog as about the seventh cousin to the human species. They can't talk but they can lick your hand. This shows that their hearts is in the place where other folks' tongues is.
    We have no reliable account of the first dog, and probably shan't of the final one. If Adam kept a terrior, or Eve a poodle, the lapse of ages have washed away the fact. If Noah had a pair of each breed of dogs on board his vessel, and only one pair of fleas, he was well out for dogs and poor out for fleas.
—Josh Billings; (1818-1885)

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    A tourist walked into the patio at Old Fort Oliver, headed for the water-cooling olla, grabbed the largest cup and started to help himself.
    Dry Camp Blackie and Whiskers, had 3 of their 4 eyes closed, but Whiskers growled and Blackie opened his eyes enough to see what's-up, then says to the tourist, "Better take my cup, the smaller one to the right, Whiskers doesn't like strangers to use his."

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My Dog Whiskers
The best dog I ever worked for

    Smart I am—and my dog Whiskers looks at me like he thinks I am getting old. We Old Prospectors just have our ways of doing things. I lost a little tiny screw out of my glasses—so I swept all the floors—put the sweepings in a gold-pan&8212;poured in the water and panned for hours—till I fount that little screw—but somehow while working I lost my glasses in that muddy mess—I have just put up 4 monuments—and slapped a placer-claim on my back yard—and by gee I will mine my glasses this coming week and prove to "Whiskers" the boss, I am smart—and a dam' good miner as well—
and this is another reason I am a little late with this packet.

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My Dog Whiskers
The best dog I ever worked for

    You people who have sent money to "Whiskers" my dog will be sorry to hear that he is not a good poker player.
    Dry Camp Blackie told Whiskers that he had a perfect poker face, played a good game, but would never win a cent playing with "Colonel Have-a-shot" my pet Old Crow. Blackie told him he should be smart like "Sin" my cat, you see, Sin wags her tail all the time she is playing.
    Whiskers wags his tail every time he gets a good hand, but he told Blackie with tears in his eyes that he didn't wag it. He says it just wags by itself.

17 Happy Years in the Life of
A Desert Dog - As he tells it.

Whiskers, Desert Dog


    THOUSAND PALMS — This village went into mourning Christmas Day.
    Whiskers was dead.
    Whiskers, as much a part of Harry Oliver's life as the old adobe walls of his Fort Oliver, died courageously as he livd in the arms of his owner as neighbors stood by.
    Seventeen years old, Harry's dog Whiskers was beloved by the entire community.
    For those who stood by, as Whiskers fought to the last for his life, there was no shame in wet eyes and constricted throats.
    For Whiskers was a symbol. He stood for the community, the mascot of a village. A village that was a struggling hamlet of 17 years ago, and that is today a credit to its sister villages in the Coachella valley.
    Who fired the fatal shot on Christmas Eve? Who knows? Perhaps a stray bullet from holiday revelers as Whiskers awaited at midnight on the village corner for a friend.
    For Whiskers was like that. He took great pride in his capacity of reception committee for all visitors to Thousand Palms, including all dogs of various breeds to pedigrees.
    I once asked Harry if he'd ever taught Whiskers any tricks. "No, he didn't know any," Harry said, "But he like to talk a lot."
    Besides old Fort Oliver, in a quiet cactus garden, today there is a new little mound. Beneath it, Whiskers sleeps.
    There were many neighbors at the funeral. For the whole village, it was a sad Christmas.
    Someone had placed pretty stones on the mound. Another neighbor brought a ceramic piece for the headstone. This morning, flowers beautify the grave.
    Thousand Palm has lost a pioneer, and a friend.
    Harry has lost a pal.

    For many years my dog Whiskers has given a sparkle to the pages of this little paper. Many of his stories are true, but some I think he makes up!
    When I pat his head and he wags his tail, all sorts of ideas just seem to come to us with smiling faces.
    He was always smart. Back seventeen years ago, when he was just a little pup, we began to see eye to eye. He would wee-wee in the corner then bark at the little trickle starting across the floor. He just wouldn't go over to the corner to the pad of newspapers I had here for him!
    I had waited for this opportunity to train my dog, just as the book said—(page 94)—without pain, without loss of his friendship, and to keep his respect. No—I didn't scold him, no angry words; I just wiped up the evidence of his last performance, and as the book said, went and got an umbrella, turned the hose on it, and placed it in the corner. When a trickle came from the umbrella, with the smart little pup watching, I scolded and spanked the umbrella, and shook it! As the pup watched me, head cocked to one side, I opened the door and tossed the umbrella out.
    Did he learn? Sure he did! The next day he tore that offending umbrella to ribbons, and he has been fighting on my side ever since! Fortunately no umbrella has ever attacked me—they are rare as hell in our desert.

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    In my bitterness, after this tragedy, I as stirred, I gave no thought to the law of compensation—then. Today as I near the age of 75 an reread the quotation from the many, many letters sent by his friends, I just must think—

•   •   •


    "God is a sure paymaster. He may not pay at the end of every week, or month, or year, but remember He pays in the end.
Anne of Austria

•   •   •

    Our good Friend Peter Odens—Newsman & Radio Old Timer said—
    "Wouldn't it be something if a man who shoots dogs should one day turn blind and then would, in turn, have to depend on a seeing-eye Dog. What a twist of fate that would be."

Printing Press

Whiskers—Mutineer and Printer


A Dog's Life Is No Bed of Roses

    "Can't you bark in italics?—Why always use capitals?—try italics—would be real talent if you could"—NOW I ASK YOU—I am a dog, my name is "Whiskers" I am a part of this paper, I have to listen to talk like the above, BUT I am writing this Editorial to lete you readers in on what a dog has to put up with, living with an "Old Goat" like my Master—why the Master?—he thinks he is. He stumbles and blunders around. I have seen him with his giant-size fly swatter hit tack heads and black spots and count them as dead flys.
    He lets you folks think all his gags about "Sin," "Colonel Have-a-shot" and myself are of his making—in a way they are—he locks us up in the gag room and won't let us out till we each have a gag for the next edition—that's why some are not so funny—"they are forced gags"—"tell it or stay locked up," gags—He is not as nice as he sounds in the paper, he puts a heavy rubber band around "Colonel Have-a-shot's beak when he caw's too loud. He opened all the Christmas packages, some with "Sin's," the "Colonel's" and my names on them.
    If some of you people want to start a screwball paper like this one we might sign a contract with you and get out of this old adobe dump. We don't want to work on a weekly or a monthly paper, four times a year is enough, but we—and I talk for the Burro and Tortoise, as well, we want to try TV. I think if you promise enough flys in the contract the horn toad would come along too. Gee wouldn't "Raffles" the Pack-Rat have fun in a TV studio?
    We do, all of us, think we would be great on TV and we are fed up with talk about that old Station Wagon, you would think it was somebody, I know that more that 9 months ago the "Master," so called, and the Station Wagon went from here over the sand dunes to the Desert Magazine 8 miles and lost the radiator cap, and I know for sure they have been looking for it all these months and can't find it, they are both too old to be much good, and they don't even know how to use their noses.
    So if any of you readers are interested in a crew of Desert Harlequins come and talk with me, the brain of this show, "Whiskers" the dog. Come some day when "THE MASTER" is not here&8212;and don't what ever you do, talk to that Damn CAT.

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My Dog Whiskers

From His Quarterly Column

    I have courtmartialed "Whiskers" my dog and Dry Camp Blackie. My cat Sin, my Old Crow and the Pack Rats are above suspicion, and the Burro is up in the hills. (The Secessionist Flag is at half mast) and there ain't no wind and it's 127 in the shade, and there ain't no shade.
    I caught them redhanded, Blackie has been teaching "Whiskers" to turn somersaults, lay down and roll over, set up on his hind feet and such like. All this I thought O.K. as it gave them something to do this hot weather, staying inside the thick cool walls of Old Adobe Fort Oliver like they do.
    Then Blackie took to going out nights and taking Whiskers with him One night I had occasion to go to the local beer hall (I was thirsty) and I caught them in action—smooth as silk was their setup—I stood against the wall to watch. Blackie sat back in a corner. Whiskers would rush to the door and shake hands with all the newcomers. Then Blackie wold get up, walk to the center of the barroom lay a coin on Whiskers' nose, and he'd toss it high in the air and catch it in his mouth and pretend to swallow it. Then the other folks would place more coins on his nose. But you could bet your sweet life he didn't swallow them—he stuck them in one side of his lip and when he got a lip full of money, he'd dash over to Blackie and Blackie makin' like he was asleep with one hand down would take the money our out Whiskers' mouth and Whiskers would start the act all over again.
    I did not know the Military thing to do to them, the jail dungeon here at the Old Fort has a good lock, but I use it as a wine cellar and Blackie would like that. So we had a long conference and Blackie came up with an idea of appeasement—the idea was that every other night I would take Blackie's place, (great stuff appeasement).
    I hope Blackie don't get the idea of making a pick-pocket out of Sin the cat—but then—no, no—not yet—let's see how you people are about sending in your $100 renewals first.

My Dog Whiskers
The best dog I ever worked for


    Your Editor wrote a swank Hotel in El Centro, asking if my dog "Whiskers" would be permitted to share a room with me on my stay as a guest . . . . I received this answer:

    "I've been in the hotel business over 30 years. Never yet have I called the police to elect a disorderly dog during the small hours of the night. Never yet has a dog set the bed clothes afire from smoking a cigarette.
    "I've never found a hotel towel or blanket in a dog's suitcase, nor whisky rings on the bureau top from a dog's bottle. Sure, the dog's welcome.
    "P.S.—If he'll vouch for you, come along, too."
    Just wait till "Whiskers" gets to calling room service for a rabbit to chase up and down the halls.

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My Dog Whiskers
The best dog I ever worked for


    My dog Whiskers is all mixed up. He don't think he's a dog. I don't know just how to tell him that he's only a dog—(the best dog in the world)—but some morning when he wakes me I'll sure tell him. I don't like his choice of early radio programs, I wish I had never shown him how to dial that radio.
    I dont want to hurt his feelings. Guess I will wait—Those programs might get better. Gee, I hope they do.
    Good thing that there's a Mountain Range between this desert and that new fangled Television.

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The Old Trapper Sleeps

    Life has sure changed her at Old Fort Oliver. I used to jump out of bed as soon as I awoke in the morning. Now as I open my eyes I see "Sin" my cat on the foot of the bed. Then as I think of the simple but genuine pleasure I did have in geting up, I lay back thinking as how "Sin" is now in charge of that department. Yes, I don't even set the mouse traps any more.

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    Whiskers has been picketed for the last two months, "Sin" my cat is the ringleader. (Sin is the only female here at the Fort.) She has a way, she won over "Colonel Have-a-shot" my Old Crow with her sharp tongue, and "Hopalong Pushidy" my old desert tortoise—they claim "Whiskers" gets the best spot on the Editorial page and gets more space than they do, acting just like people they are.
>     To keep peace in the family Whiskers' story has bee blue penciled this packet, he and I are sorry.

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    Too hot to go any place and not much to do, so for a month I have been trying to teach "Whiskers" my dog how to play checkers. He will make about two moves, but then he stops and lays down on the cool floor. As a last resort I shut him up by himself in the room with a double jump right in front of him, and told him it was his move. After considerable time had elapsed, I finally stooped and looked through the keyhole. No, you're wrong—all I saw was one of "Whiskers" brown eyes and he winked—and said Hot Dog.

In the Sunshine of the Pecos

Bewitched Sand

From J. Frank Dobie's CORONADO'S CHILDREN, by permission

    "My grandfather live in Pecos down there to be more than a hundred years old," said José Vaca. "When I was young before he die, I hear him say many things, but I was not careful then to listen. He knew Indians that lived here in this Pecos pueblo and he bought a piece of land from one of them. After he pay for the land, and the Indian he say: 'You have here now more wealth than is in the world elsewhere.'
    "'How?" ask my grandfather. 'Show me.'
    "Then the Indian take him and a burro to where was some sand in the creek. They put some sand in sacks and bring it on the burro, and they get twenty-five dollars worth of gold out of that one load of sand.
    "That night the Indian disappear, and the next day my grandfather he go with two burros and load both with the sand. He bring it up, and from it he do not get one thing. Nothing, I tell you. That old Indian is gone, but he has his eyes on the sand. Maybe he was 'un brujo' (a wizard). Maybe the sand was 'embrujada' (bewitched). I do not know. I know when the Indian is here the sand has gold. I know when the Indian is gone the gold is all gone too"

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Out Again In Again

    Papa Kangaroo went for a walk with Mama Kangaroo and their baby. The baby kept jumping out of its mother's pouch, then back in again, out again, and in again. Papa Kangaroo finally became exasperated and said to his wife: "I can't stand these jackrabbit antics. I'm going to spank him."
    "It's not the poor dear's fault," Mama Kangaroo explained. "It's just that I've got the hiccoughs."

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    There is a dent in the front fender of my 1928 Ford Station Wagon (first in 24 years). "Whiskers" my dog is to blame, he went to sleep at an intersection and didn't tell me what to do.
    When Blackie and I do a little drinking "Whiskers" my dog is a "Scolding Mother" — but when we get together and don't drink we think of him as the "Old Professor." (Blackie says my dog is my conscience.)

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Doggie went up and sat by the Tree
Tree said "Doggie have one on me."
The Doggie just sat as quiet as a mouse
"No thanks, just had one on the house."
"Stewarts" Dogtown, U.S.A.
Over the hill from ol' Fort Oliver

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)

Knott's Ghost Town



Seldom Seen Slim

Seldom Seen Slim

    Tom G. Murray drove to Ballarat to see his friend Seldom Seen Slim. It so happened that Slim wasn't home but this sign on his shack greeted him.

You S.O.B. don't take
anything, I might be
Seldom Seen Slim

Sent to me by Tom
And by the way—You must see Tom G. Murray's
Big Death Valley Scotty Book of Photographs
For sale at all Western Book Stores.
Fine portrait of Slim in it.

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Man is the only animal with a jutting chin.

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My friends, Desert Magazine, have done it again: a gold medal at the State Fair.
I'm proud to say their presses turn out this paper, too.

Desert Roadrunner

From the End Stool

The real curse of drink, is having to pay for it. BUT poverty sure has kept me from being a drunkard.

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Never lose you ignorance—you can not replace it.

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"Hard work never killed anybody. But then again, resting is responsible for very few casualties."

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Rip Snortin'

    Has been readin' my mail—He says "Most of you people that write you Editor sure are lookin' through rose-colored glasses." He says you should take a look—at the desert through rose-colored eyeballs for a change.
    Rip walked into a bar in Indio, saw a desert rat lying on the floor, he pointed to him—said to the barkeeper—"Give some of the same."

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Did you ever notice the longer the bar the fewer the free drinks.

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Old Dry Wash Smith will be eighty-three years old in July.
    He says he'd be eighty-five, but he was in jail for two years in Carson City, Nevada.

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A man from the cellar always comes up smiling.

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.