My name is Robin Raymer. I lived in Payson about 35 years ago. It was at that time, when I was about 9, that I was introduced by my father to a very old man who lived alone in a small house in town. On one of our visits he showed me a pair of pearl-handled pistols. He told us that when he was 18 years old he had met up and joined in with Poncho Villa, the famous Mexican bandit. He rode with him for six months and became a very good and trusted friend of Pancho's. When he left the group, Poncho gave him a parting gift: the pearl-handled guns. I have no reason to doubt his story. One thing that impressed me, even at that young age, was how he handled the wooden box the guns were in, he held it carefully, like a baby, as if it were his most treasured possession. I never forgot it.
I am now nearly 45 years old, and my curiosity has grown over time. I really would like to know if these guns were ever found, and if someone knows who this old man was. I know about where he lived. There was an old antique shop or surplus kind of place across from where he lived. Close by it was a small meat market/store. He lived on the same side of the street where a small western store was. Perhaps they are all gone now. This particular street was the same street on which they staged re-enactments of old gunfights, if my memory serves me right.
Anyway, I would like to know if these guns were ever found, and if the owners knew ‘the rest of the story.' I do hope one of your readers can fill in the blanks and perhaps shed some more light on this mystery that has been on my mind for a long time. This is just one of the many fond memories I have of living in Payson, a place I will never forget and for which I have always kept a special place in my heart.
Robin Raymer, www.robinraymer.com