Retirement Looms For Longtime Visitor


Christopher Creek was always the end of the line on Tuesdays. He had four stops here in town… Jo’s Market, Christopher Creek Bar, Woody’s and finally Creekside. He had already stopped at Pete’s Place, the Spur, Radio City, Tony’s Diamond Point, Charlie and Myra’s in Tonto Village (before it was called the Double D), and the Cowboy Bar at Kohl’s. Sunflower store, Gisela, Rye Bar, Elsie’s Pioneer, Winchester, Ox Bow, Eddie Walker’s place and Swiss Village were among his stops the day before, on his way from the Valley. The year was 1975. Before long he was involved with Payson Rodeo and the Black Velvet steak fry. Candy Hart was one of his Black Velvet girls.

In the Creek, he is known as Skip Liquor, partly because few could remember that his last name is Nagelhout and partly because you couldn’t pronounce it right. He always came up with good stuff for the golf tournaments and banners for special occasions. Now, reminiscing, he has a little trouble remembering some of the places that have come and gone or changed names and wishes he had kept his route journal from his first day. Well, after 38 years of sales here in Rim Country, mostly for Alliance Beverage, you can give him a break.

Show up, be dependable and just be a nice guy was what he learned, early on, about selling product. Hey, and have a little drink with your customer once in a while. That was in the old days. Now, it’s a cup of coffee. Skip stopped by Tuesday. It was his last stop of the day. Sometime in June it may be his last stop, period. Skip Liquor is retiring.

Heber and Blanche White, the Strahans, Sam and Jodel, Kay and Ray Hay, Jim Countys and Sandy Breedin, Bill Wynn, Bill Hahn, Tony and Janie Sotomayor, Stan and Marlys Szczepanski, Randy and Brenda Slapniki, the Mystrom Family, and Gary and Cindi Werlinger. That is a short list of owners of The Landmark since 1975.

Dee and Jim White introduced daughter Kim and brother, Jim Prichard from Sharps Chapel, Tenn., while dining on the Creek at The Landmark last Saturday evening. Dee and Jim have lived in Tonto Estates since before the big flood (no, not the Biblical one). Lynda St. John stopped by their table and an a cappella rendition of “You Are My Sunshine,” in full harmony, ensued.

Weekend visitors included Joe McNally and Brittany Bach. Joe is a nephew of the Ray Larsens and has been coming to the Creek since he was baby. Brittany and Joe are in the market for a wedding venue. They came from the Valley to help Tiffany and Beau Kaufman celebrate their first wedding anniversary, and celebrate they did! Tiff and Beau were wed shortly after winning $50 grand on a scratch ticket!

Linda had her campfire going down on Columbine and Sandy Kalmar is back. Bobby and Crista Collins, from down on Coffee Lane, stopped by and Rosemary and Dave Elston spent the weekend with Mimi. Caught a glimpse of the Minters from CCMHP, too. “Kid” Corley and his mom, Nancy, were here as well. John and Ria Moll, neighbors just down Columbine, were busy with the Beeline Car Show. John’s entry was his blue 1967 Firebird 400 ragtop.

In less than 20 years after closing of the sawmills in Payson and Heber, the government has announced a massive forest thinning and a new sawmill in Winslow. Go figure.

Good neighbors drive slow enough down a dirt road so as no one will notice their dust!

Upcoming events

May 4 – Chili Cook-off

May 18 – Eagles Golf Tourney-Overgaard

May 25 – Firebelles’ “Arts, Crafts & Brats”

Back in the day… there was this fella from the Creek who had a dream of a second career teaching history at Payson High School. He was never able to fulfill this ambition. He passed away shortly after completion of his degree requirements at ASU.

“Ain’t life a pure wonderment” was his credo and for the next 10 years that was the theme of the Rusty Cooper Memorial Golf Tournament. It became a May tradition to trek up to Pine Meadows golf course to play. Three hard-working gals, Candy Hart, Karen Thornton and Patti Boeschiling, were the backbone of the event. Power Webb and Patti’s husband Larry were also quite involved. Oh, and by the way, in 10 years this little memorial tourney raised in excess of $55,000 for Payson High School student scholarships… and that’s another week in the Creek.


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