Free Fishing And A Community Picnic Saturday

Pat Perkins, fly fishing in Tonto Creek, caught a small trout, but released it back to the stream.

Pat Perkins, fly fishing in Tonto Creek, caught a small trout, but released it back to the stream. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Christopher Creek restaurant owner, Tony Sotomayor, had contracted a clear cut on five acres at McInturf Springs, north of the Young International Airport. There was a gang of six or eight cutting small junipers and loading trucks. Susan was there to help, as was Eddie. Pressure was on to complete the contract before fire restrictions. Back in the Creek, Dean Shields, who with husband, Bob, managed the Christopher Creek Lodge for the Ashbys, was working on preliminary plans for a craft show later in the summer. The Mountain Meadow road crew was putting the finishing touches on the new bridges on Highway 260 between the Creek and the top of the Rim. Olive was peeling hardboiled eggs and running her crew at Creekside. The highway still came through town, Red Armistead still had gasoline at the station, and his wife, Jo, was busy with the market. It was a normal spring, other than being quite warm and very dry. Business was good in Rim Country as the heat in the Valley was building to what would become a record month, temperature-wise.

Well, a lot of things were about to change before the end of the month.

Free fishing day

Arizona Game and Fish is touting a statewide free fishing day, tomorrow, June 8.

Remember, tomorrow, Saturday is also the Community Potluck Picnic at 1 p.m. down Columbine across from the homestead meadow on Milburns’ place.

Beat the birds

In an attempt to triumph over the birds that get the cherries every year, a different approach is in order. After a reminder from Pam Milhon, this time the cherries will be picked well before they are ripe and put in paper bags to ripen. But, we can’t pick cherries until that robin gets off the nest.

Meet, greet and best wishes

Best wishes go to Mimi for a speedy recovery. Best wishes also to Bobby and Christa on their “project.”

Bo and Karen Ficula along with Amy, 10, and Alex, 13, now have a cabin down Columbine a ways. We all welcome them to our Creek family.

Karen Thornton’s granddaughter, Ashley, is to be wed in the afternoon. If the timing is right, we won’t have to miss the duck race!

Share the miracle

Josh Olsson, grew up out on Colcord, along with his brothers and sister. They are all a hard-workin’ bunch who enjoy their hunting and fishing.

Josh had suffered near life-ending injuries in an accident in Montana, about seven or eight weeks ago. The initial prognosis was not good, giving him only a 50-50 chance of recovery.

Subsequent news of his progress from the severe brain trauma had been slow coming, however, a conversation with his dad, Jim, just recently, painted quite a heart-warming picture.

Only two weeks out of the trauma unit and in the rehabilitation facility, Jim and the brothers were working with Josh to re-learn the most basic of abilities, such as speech or brushing teeth and buttoning shirts. It was then Jim and the fellas came up with a new concept of rehab. They received permission from the staff to take Josh fishing! After two hours out on their first trip he re-learned fish line wasn’t rope and the fly rod and reel was not a boat.

The rehab staff was shocked at Josh’s progress after his first outing and encouraged more of these “rehab sessions.”

They began fishing the Rock and Flint Creeks each afternoon, stretching the length of the outings to five hours, ultimately.

Well, Jim reports, the fly-fishing was great and resulted in miraculous strides in Josh’s recovery, again, to the amazement of the rehab staff and doctors. His relieved dad says, in less than two months since the injury, Josh could be standing there with us having a conversation and other than a peculiar choice of words now and then, one would not know what Josh had come back from.

Back in the day

Back in the day ... nearly 25 years ago, one of our favorite characters was a fella by the name of Minor Stephens, who spent his summers in his motor home at the Wheeler Inn here in the Creek. Minor was a retired sheriff’s captain out of Pinal County, who was involved in the shootout and capture of the Tyson gang back in the 1970s. Minor had a deep, booming voice and loved to tell stories of some of his adventures.

Laurie was a heavy equipment operator on the road crew, who lived in Clipper and Doris’ mobile home park. She hailed from Minnesota and had a heavy accent. She was also the dangerous sort.

That was also the year my 13-year-old nephew, Kevin Britain, spent a summer in the Creek washing dishes and hanging out. There will be more about Minor, Kevin, Red and other players as we review the events of June 1990 ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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