Prolonging, Promoting The Past


Payson People

The life of Babe Haught is the stuff legends are made of.

His daughter, Myrtle Haught Branstetter, and granddaughter Jerry Sanders think so anyway.

Branstetter wrote "Pioneer Hunters of the Rim" more than three decades ago, chronicling Haught's life as an early Rim Country settler and friendship with famous author Zane Grey.

"It's the story of my grandfather and how he came to the Rim Country and how he met Zane Grey there," Sanders said.

"He sold Zane Grey three acres and built his cabin. He was also Zane Grey's hunting guide in Arizona."

Branstetter passed away nearly 20 years ago and in an effort to honor her mother's book and preserve the history of the Rim Country, Sanders had the book re-published.

"I didn't want the history to get lost," she said. "So many old-timers who have written books pass away. We're losing a lot of history that way."

She is devoted to promoting the book and hopes it will renew a sense of pride for Rim Country residents.

"I love the Rim Country," she said.

Sanders took part in Heritage Day last weekend--one of the 125th activities. She signed copies of her mother's book there, along with five other authors.

"I had 3,000 copies printed," she said. "Mama wanted to re-publish it but then she was ill. I had thought about re-publishing it for a while."

Sanders said she carries copies of the book with her wherever she goes and generally receives good feedback from anyone who reads it.

"Most everyone who's read it (is) very interested in it," she said.

The book is available at Aunt Becky's restaurant in Punkin Center, Git A Rope Trading Company, the Zane Grey Museum and several antique shops in Payson. The book sells for $10.

Name: Jerry Sanders

Hometown: Payson

Occupation: Cook at Aunt Becky's in Punkin Center

When did you move to Payson and what brought you here? I was born and raised here.

What's the biggest risk you've taken recently? Taking my 2-year-old great-grandchild in.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? To be honest.

What are three things you want people to know about you? I love the Rim Country, our heritage and my family.

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? A wife and mother -- there wasn't much else to do in Payson at that time.


Book: Arizona history books

Movie: "Open Range"

Song: Elvis' gospel music

Food: Mexican

Sport to watch: Rodeo

Vacation spot: Camping in the mountains.

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