Rim Country Spring Is Coming On Fast


The Payson bald eagle has quite a fan following that comes out to Green Valley Park to get photos.

The Payson bald eagle has quite a fan following that comes out to Green Valley Park to get photos. |

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It must be getting close to spring again here in the Rim Country.

The willow trees in Green Valley Park are just starting to sprout their new leaves, the Canada geese have left for their summer homes and the wind is whipping just like it does come every March.

But one thing that hasn’t changed quite yet at our park is the presence of our seasonal visitor — the American Bald Eagle. He (or she) is still nesting behind the condominiums on the south side of the lake, fishing three to four times a day for trout in the lakes and putting on a magnificent aerial display for the many patrons of the park.

This year, more so than most others, the eagle seems more relaxed around us human observers. When he tires from circling of the lake, he perches atop the willow tree on the southwest bank. There, he seems to bask in the attention of passersby — as they gather to snap pictures of his majestic profile.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see our national bird up close and personal, you may want to join the “in” crowd and come on down to Green Valley Park for an hour or two. Be sure to bring your camera, and get a shot of the eagle as he soars, swoops and splashes into the water for his prey.

This week’s music trivia question is — Can you name the group that recorded the 1965 Grammy Hall of Fame song “The ‘In’ Crowd?”

Lead by a Chicago-born R&B-jazz pianist, this group scored 20 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart from 1964 to 1976, including the singles Wade In The Water, A Hard Day’s Night and Hang On Sloopy.

Was the recording artist of “The ‘In’ Crowd” A) Booker T And The MG’s; B) The Ramsey Lewis Trio; C) The Dave Brubeck Quartet; or D) The Eagles?

If you are the fifth caller this week and have the right answer, you’ll win two complimentary tickets to the Payson High School spring musical “All Shook Up,” inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, which will be presented April 12, 13 and 14 (two tickets will be awarded as our music trivia prize each of the next four weeks — to help support our hard-working high school thespians).

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: What phrase correctly completes the first line in the Monkees hit Last Train To Clarksville? Was it? A) I miss you more than you know; B) I can’t wait to see you again; C) and I’ll meet you at the station, or D) but don’t bring your mother with you?

The correct answer was “C” - “and I’ll meet you at the station.” You may remember singing along:

“Take the last train to Clarksville

And I’ll meet you at the station.

You can be here by 4:30

’Cause I’ve made your reservation.

Don’t be slow,

Oh no, no, no; oh no, no, no.”

Congratulations to this past week’s first-time music trivia winner, Lee Acciacca, who won two prizes — two tickets to tonight’s “The Water Coolers” concert in the high school auditorium, sponsored by the Tonto Community Concert Association, and a CD of The Monkees greatest hits.

A little about Lee. He was born in Bay City, Mich. (from which the 1970s group The Bay City Rollers adopted its name) and grew up in Detroit. He met his wife, Pam, in the mid-1960s at the Ski Lodge, a local dance hall, where that evening Question Mark & The Mysterians were piping out their soon to be number one hit “96 Tears.” The Acciaccas have now been married 44 years, have a son and daughter and five beautiful granddaughters.

After high school and following an 18-month Navy stint in the Aleutian Islands, Lee and Pam moved back to Michigan, where he began a 30-year career with AT&T. His job would take his family to Tucson, San Francisco, Atlanta and Phoenix before Lee retired in 2005 and relocated to Payson. Lee said, “We had driven through Payson many times and just loved the area. We are really happy to be here.”

Lee enjoys hiking, fishing, cruising around town in his sports car and playing on the Payson Cougars softball team. He and Pam are members of Mountain Bible Church.

When he’s in the mood for music, Lee likes to listen to Rockabilly, mid-1960s “Oldies but Goodies” and Classic Country music. His three favorite artists are the 4 Seasons, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.

Lastly, my wife Ann returned from her three-week visit to her native Philippines this past Monday night — so you may not see me dining at SubWay so often anymore.

Have a great week!

DJ Craig

(928) 468-1482

Find me on the Web at: www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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