Payson has been my home for 34 years. In days gone by, the good folks of Payson came together:
To keep the cows out of town; this is open range country. Raymond Cline worked with the Arizona attorney general to establish a town "fence line." Volunteers built the fence and rode it to repair breaks. These fence easements were granted to the Payson chamber of commerce.
I know I have a property deed that shows this easement.
To establish a museum. Bert Sprague Sr. and pioneer families shared their treasures at the "Old Time Country Music Festival." From this came the Northern Gila County Historical Society. In time, they acquired the old Payson Ranger Station and established a museum.
I know as a chamber board member and festival director I asked that 25 cents of each $1 ticket be saved for a dream a museum.
To keep a rodeo heritage alive. Mr. Rumsey sold land to the chamber of commerce as a home for the rodeo. The agreement required the chamber to sign the deed over to the town when it incorporated. Loggers cut and hauled timber to the Payson sawmill where it was cut to build grandstands, chutes and fences.
Rodeo volunteers do more than build rodeo grounds, produce rodeos and give scholarships. I know I saw the check that helped a handicapped person.
With that harmony and respect, the people of Payson also built a hospital, a library and churches; helped neighbors survive 7 feet of snow, forest fires and flood damage; grieved (together) when their young did not come home from war, and so much more.
I pray that people of goodwill can again come together with respect and harmony. It's the Payson way.
Vertielee Floyd, Star Valley