Cultural Exchange With Globe, Part 2

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Part II: Payson visits Globe

Last week in this column a contingent from Globe took a "virtual" bus tour of the Rim Country as part of a cultural exchange suggested by Gila County Recorder Linda Haught-Ortega.

The veteran official reasoned that all of this misunderstanding and animosity between the two communities could be significantly reduced or altogether eliminated if we would just take the time to visit one another and become familiar with our respective cultures.

While in the Rim Country, the Globonians toured such cultural highlights as the 87/260 intersection, the Payson campus of Gila Community College, the RH-2 (Randall-Haught) well in the brand new town of Diamond Star, Pete's Place, the Wal-Mart Cultural Supercenter, and Payson Town Hall. They also observed natives wearing the traditional green, yellow and white Payson Concrete headgear, were denied access to Chaparral Pines, and are currently believed to be lost somewhere on The Home Depot roundabout.

While we wait for an update on their roundabout whereabouts, here's how a bus tour of Globe by a group of Rimaroos might go:

BUS DRIVER/TOUR GUIDE: We'll be in Globe in less than an hour, but out the window on your left is Roosevelt Lake. If you watch carefully, you can see the water level actually going down before your very eyes to satiate the unmitigated thirst of Valley residents to the south.

You might want to take a brief nap now as we go through one of the ugliest stretches of dirt and dust you've ever seen.

[time passes]

Rise and shine, everybody, we are now entering Globe. The people you see on the streets do not actually have three eyes. They are simply wearing the traditional native headgear -- mining hats with a headlamp on them.

Besides mining, the primary occupation in Globe is jury duty. Trials are, of course, held in the traditional courthouse, but there are so many that they are also held in local strip malls like the ones we're passing, the high school gymnasium, and even on the street.

One of the social highlights of the year in Globe, in fact, is the Festival of Trials, an event where gaily decorated trials (you've heard of trial balloons) spill out into the streets while people snake dance in and around them while eating corn dogs -- which are, incidentally, the official town delicacy.

This penchant for trials here in Globe is why so many people from Payson are called to Globe for jury duty -- that and the fact that so many of us can read and write.

We are now passing through the Gila County complex -- home of rising taxes and gerrymandered districts. If you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of the money changers cackling softly as they count the latest property tax booty pirated primarily from northern Gila County.

But they say that it is through the arts that different peoples come together, and you will notice as we drive through Globe that one of the few cultural similarities between Globe and Payson is the great abundance of dollar stores in the two communities. In fact, it has been suggested that on this common meeting ground our two different worlds might find peace and harmony.

But before we get too harmonious, we are approaching the Globe campus of Gila Community College. This campus was actually carved out of an ancient Indian ruins, and it has been rumored that some of the dead Indians are still signed up for free classes and are being counted in the full-time student equivalent (FTSE) tally.

But the most popular class here at the Globe campus is called Gerrymandering 101. In this freshman course, Globidians are taught how to maintain political control of a county despite shrinking numbers and property values.

Globalenos take great pride in their ability to gerrymander districts, and they pass this skill down from generation to generation. In fact, Gerry Mander, for whom the term was named, was an early Globe mayor who decided he wanted to extend his dominion over the entire county. Even among his own people he came to be known as Greedy Gerry.

Next on the itinerary is a stop at Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park, where you can walk through a 700-year-old Salado pueblo and climb ladders to second story rooms. Since this may not be too exciting to Rimaroos whose world is full of prehistoric ruins, we recommend you wait in the bus and pass the time by repeating Besh-Ba-Gowah really fast.

And no visit to Globe would be complete without a stop at Chalo's for some of the best Mexican food this side of Mexico. In fact, this might be a good place to end our tour of Globe and sit a spell before heading back up north.

It sure beats getting stuck forever on a roundabout the way the Globacks who came to Payson are.

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