It's a very rare event when one or two private citizens -- by virtue of their vision, commitment and drive -- can give birth to a landmark and a lasting legacy for their community.
Last Saturday, Payson dedicated such a landmark: the re-creation of the Zane Grey Cabin now open to the public in Green Valley Park. And, while a number of people and organizations contributed in ways large and small, it would never have happened without the vision, commitment and drive of Dick and Marilyn Wolfe.
It stands as a stunning achievement -- done entirely with private funding, along with many contributions of raw materials and skilled and unskilled labor -- inspired perhaps most importantly by an unrelenting dedication to precise accuracy coming from the Wolfes, contractor Bill Furman, Beth Counseller and others.
Just as a parent "gives away" their child in a marriage ceremony, so on Saturday Dick Wolfe handed over the ownership of the new Zane Grey cabin to the Northern Gila County Historical Society, no doubt with the same parental mixed feelings. However, it will always stand, in my mind, as Dick and Marilyn Wolfe's legacy to Payson.
It is a wonderful gift for all to enjoy and a way to step back almost a century in time -- not just for the people of Payson, but for all who value the history of the American West and the way in which Zane Grey captured it in his prose for millions of readers worldwide.
Don Crowley, Payson