The 2014 monsoon season has not produced as much rain as we need to assure that the tall ponderosa pines will survive another hundred years or more. Tonto Village has seen rain enough times and in enough amounts to alleviate the necessity to water as often as we did in May and June. Our garden is looking OK, but if we had more rain it would look better. The produce is coming off piecemeal, a few at a time. Bill is watering the garden twice a day when the sun is really hot. I am looking forward to canning a lot of tomatoes and squash hopefully in the next few weeks.
Our hummingbirds have come back, they kind of disappeared for about a month and then reappeared a few weeks ago, with a hearty appetite for nectar. Now there are two Rufus hummers that continually battle for dominance over the feeders. They are defeating their purpose though, since they are fighting each other, the other hummers have a chance to feed. Last week, a woodpecker decided to try out the nectar and one of the Rufus charged right over there and stopped in midair with wings fluttering. He finally left, knowing that that woodpecker was bigger than he was.
Hellsgate Fire Department
The Rodeo Parade is on Saturday, Aug. 16, and will be traveling east along Main Street in Payson. Hellsgate Fire Department will be in the parade and a few of the firefighters will be riding in ladder truck #21.
Hellsgate welcomes back firefighter/engineer John Ceja to the C shift at station #21 in Star Valley. We’re glad you’re back!
A retirement party and roast has been planned for Hellsgate’s former fire chief, Gary Hatch.
The party will be held at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino on Sept. 13. Social hour will be from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. followed by a prime rib dinner. The cost is $30 per person.
Please RSVP by Sept. 3 at (928) 474-3835.
Make checks payable to Hellsgate Fire Department, 80 S. Walters Lane, Payson, AZ.
A four-man crew from Hellsgate has been sent to Northern California to assist those firefighters in the huge wildland forest fire. The firefighters are Bob Evanson, Jeffrey Yunkens, David Carlen and Elias Sekandari. We pray for their safe return.
Future events for Hellsgate
In observance of National Fire Prevention Week, there will be an open house at fire station #21 in Star Valley on Oct. 9. There will be demonstrations, T-shirt sales, etc.
I just learned that John Matus passed away last week. John has been a resident of Christopher Creek for many years and was co-owner of the Creekside Restaurant before he and his wife Olive retired.
Prayers and condolences to the Matus family for their loss.
There are quite a few this week who will be adding candles and having parties to celebrate another year.
I need to start with July 31, Harry Weldon of Tonto Village III had his big day. Harry is a Hellsgate firefighter and also works at Home Depot. I sure hope you had a great day, Harry, sorry I missed it.
On Aug. 11, Cris Lecher of Star Valley and a former Hellsgate firefighter, had his big day. Another Hellsgate firefighter, Trina Stock of Tonto Village II, adds another candle on Aug. 14 Sandy Kalmar of Christopher Creek and a Dominos Diva shares her birthday with Trina. On Aug. 15, Randy Slapnicka of Tonto Creek Road and co-owner of Tonto Rancho Catch-a-Trout, will celebrate his big day. Phon Sutton of Bear Flat adds another candle to his birthday cake on Aug. 17, along with Brenda Wilcox of Payson. Last, but not least, Joan Phippeny, formerly of Diamond Point Summer Homes, adds another year on Aug. 18. Happy birthday to all of you.
On Aug. 15, Tonto Village III residents Eric and Maurine Kirchhoefer will be married 39 years. Happy anniversary to you both.
This past Saturday evening the Double D Bar and Restaurant was rocking with live music played by Landon Shill for Buck Shill and Paul from Thompson Draw. They were celebrating their birthdays. Happy birthday to Buck and Paul. Sorry about the last name, I never caught it.
See you at the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo on Friday and Saturday at the Payson Event Center. Ya hoo!!!! Ride 'em cowboy!