Excited About The Future, Sobered About Leaving P-S

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One of the fears I had when accepting this gig of writing a weekly column, was what happens when I have nothing to write about.

I keep a file of upcoming events throughout the week fed by your e-mails to me. This week there was nary an e-mail.

Thus I have to think out loud about what’s on my mind. Right now what is on my mind is an impending move from Strawberry. I am excited for the future, but also sobered by what I am leaving.

When moving from a community is on my agenda, I cannot help but think about what I like about living here — and what I won’t miss. This is a good exercise even when a move is not planned.

I like the quiet during the week. I like the way the sun splashes through the tall trees on bright, sunny mornings. I like neighbors who stop by on their walks and chat a bit.

I like watching Annie, the Beagle, make her rounds through Strawberry, joyously and effortlessly running along. I like watching the squirrels chase each other up and down the trees.

I like how people here care for each other, with a plethora of community events to fund assorted needs. I like a library that sells me books for a pittance that I can return for them to sell again, completely eliminating overdue book charges. The list goes on and on. What do you like?

The list of what I will not miss is much shorter. In fact, it is not worth sharing.

Gila County Choppers

A week or so ago, as I drove north on Highway 87, I noticed building activity at the building site just north of the Strawberry Lodge. This past week I got on my bike to check things out.

Indeed, some of the rumors were true. Gila County Choppers, now on Ralls Drive, will be the motorcycle shop there. Accessible from rear, it will be above the brewery and restaurant.

Also on the upper deck will be a canopy covered area to enjoy a cold one and a bite to eat, gazing at a magnificent view of the Rim.

Many bikers and cyclists make regular use of beautiful and fun to ride Highway 87. In fact, it is one of the top rides in the country.

We could have angst over that but I choose to give thanks that they are welcomed to stop by our restaurants and stores — and they do, as the parking lots attest on weekends.

No firm completion date is available, but it will be welcome to see this long delayed venture come to completion.

Strawberry Market lives again

The “Open” sign shines a brilliant red light through the front window. Slowly the shelves are being stocked.

This is a welcome addition to our mountain hamlet, just as the Pine Market is welcome in our sister burg a scant three miles down the road. With the price of gas bouncing around like a jumping bean-filled ping pong ball out in the Arizona sun, stopping by to pick up a couple of items just a few minutes down the road is a delightful resource.

Upcoming events

These are the ones I am awaiting more information. So here is a shout-out to the Strawberry Elite and the Riff Raff Club. Tell us more about the August Steak Fry and the Riff Raff Rifle Raffle.

The next couple of weeks

The weekend of Aug. 6-7 brings us the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race benefiting our fuel reduction efforts, a craft fair and a health clinic.

Get out and have some fun by supporting these efforts. The following weekend, the Strawberry Patchers take center stage with their third annual Beautiful Quilt Auction at the Pine Cultural Hall at 2:30 p.m.

New columnist needed

I am hoping that those who are interested in taking the reins of this column are making contact with Tom Brossart at the Payson Roundup.

I am anxious to introduce that fortunate individual to you; fortunate because this has been a hoot and I’ve met some truly wonderful people.

Meanwhile, how about each of you sending a missive to my e-mail this week? spcolumnist@yahoo.com.

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