Authors Add Color To Daily Life Of Rim Country



Legendary, bestselling author and Rim Country native, Marguerite Noble, will receive a few hours of admiration from her peers at a book signing event Saturday, July 22.

Writer Sarah Rebecca Kelly Phipps and a group of authors called the Star Valley Bookworms organized the grass-roots gala to showcase the area's homegrown talent.

"Authors will be on hand to sign books," Phipps said. "People will be able to talk to Marguerite."

Payson Mayor Bob Edwards, who'll also be in attendance, said the words and images of authors and artists such as Noble electrify the Rim Country's rugged personality.

"Noble is colorful and a person who has distinguished herself," Edwards said. "Payson is fortunate to have people like her. She adds a non-routine quality to our town."

Noble's novels -- "Filaree" and "Crossing Trails" -- chronicle the lives of pioneer women and anecdotes of life in early, rural Arizona.

Roger Noble, the author's son, said his mother receives invitations to literary engagements all the time, but this one is special.

"What's uplifting about it is that local people are putting it on," he said. "There aren't a lot of people from her generation. She's incredibly healthy. A lot of it, too, is attitude. As long as somebody has the will, I think they go a long way."

Phipps, the organizer of the event, is also an author. She lives in a trailer park in Star Valley with her husband, two cats and a pair of Lhasa Apso puppies, Mugsy and Ashley. She also baby sits Bailey, her daughter's black poodle.

An animal lover and stray rescuer, Phipps has composed several books about her four-legged friends. One of her favorites, "Pam's House Cats," details the love between owner and feline.

When she isn't writing about animals, she writes about the human condition.

In her book, "Gabriel," published by Aachanon Publishing of Payson in 2006, Phipps finds truth and inspiration among the racism, poverty and scarcity of Texan farm life.

"We were the generation that grew up during Steinbeck's ‘Grapes of Wrath,'" she said. "We know about fieldwork and how they exploited the workers."

Phipps experienced manual labor firsthand. Although born in Oklahoma, Phipps' family roamed the United States in search of work among crops and cotton fields.

Phipps came to the Rim Country in the late 1960s, but moved to the Valley and back to Payson years later.


Marguerite Noble

In 1979, she met Noble at an Arizona Authors Association during a book signing of "Filaree."

"I knew exactly what filaree was," Phipps said. "It grows up here and it was used to save the lives of livestock. I called her after I read the book."

Over the years, Phipps said she and Noble shared experiences. She was heartbroken when "Gabriel" failed to materialize into a screenplay -- the same misfortune that befell Nobel's "Filaree."

"I trashed every single page of ‘Gabriel' because it caused me so much pain," Phipps said. That was in the early 1980s.

Twenty years later, Phipps found a copy of ‘Gabriel,' reworked the manuscript and had it published.

Phipps' other novel, "Persian Apples," is in the publishing process.

The event begins at 8 a.m. July 22 in front of Star Valley Laundry and Shaggy Dogs grooming shop in Star Valley. Noble, the guest of honor, is expected at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact Phipps at (928) 472-7991.

Featured authors

Marguerite Noble, "Filaree"

Guadalupe Sandoval, "Laughter and Tears"

Sarah Rebecca Kelly Phipps, "Gabriel"

Leilah Bretler, "Staying Healthy the Natural Way"

Gina Bartlett, "God, Are You Laughing Yet?"

Michael, "Wildflowers"

Paul Schulz, "Poems From Grandpa"

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