Christopher Creek summer residents Leo and Mary Wennings, Mark Alvin, Terry Short and his wife, and Ron and Rhonda Louches, were all here this past weekend enjoying our April weather. The only problem ... it’s just mid-January. Monday, as this is written, the temperature was supposed to be 64, right here in the Creek. Next 10 days are going to be about the same. Now, the ground is still wet and the trees are healthy, but the carpet of needles and the dry grasses will invite fires later down the line. But, that’s the way Mother Nature intended it.
Leo and Mary were dining with two other couples on the porch up at Creekside, while back in the bar Marshall Trimble was holding court. He and his wife were among the bunch including Dean and Genny, Chuck, Big Hammer, a couple from Colcord and me. Of course, the conversation got around to the transaction. Creekside was acquired by Jason Harris and his group this week past. Mr. Harris has the Christopher Creek Lodge and the Grey Hackle Lodge, as well. Congratulations to Jason and his people and we wish you a great season.
Among the celebrants last Saturday were Olive Matus, Karen Elerick, Sam and Bob Conklin, Sonni and Junior, BLJ and Kathy, Larry and JJ, Rick and Marty, along with Duane and Judy. The occasion was the 60th anniversary of the wedding of Charles and Willene Byrnes. The festivities were down at the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin. After lunch and picture taking, the gang headed back north and got as far as Jake’s Corner. It was a beautiful day and they hung around out on the patio just enjoying. We would love to have a picture of Olive pitching horseshoes. On the way out of Jake’s, Olive was heard asking, “Where are we stopping next?”
From time to time, we learn a bit more about our readership. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge one or two. One such person, for example, is Keith Mead’s mother, who lives now in Payson. Though we have yet to meet Melba, we want to say “hello” to her and thank you for following this column. We did meet Rhonda Mead’s dad, Stan, a new Creek resident and a new reader. Another is the starting center for the 1964 Washington, Iowa high school football team ... the Demons. Terry Haifley was right next to me in the trenches way back then. Now, he and his wife Delia reside in Casa Grande. Thanks to the Haifleys and everybody for checking in from week to week.
We understand Mimi is on the mend and we are looking forward to her return to the Creek come spring. Steve and Carol are down on lower Columbine and keep tabs on Mimi. The other day Steve shared with me his photo of a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Didn’t know we had any around here.
Randy sure did a nice job on the steel gate, complete with bugling elk silhouettes for Terry Short’s new place.
Next Wednesday, long about 1 p.m., Creekside Restaurant will host the 56th Hashknife Pony Express Ride as they pass through Christopher Creek on the Loop. The handoff is made right in front of Creekside. The re-enactment starts each year in Holbrook and ends up in Scottsdale where the Hashknife boys join the Parada del Sol parade. Now, come early and plan on lunch at Creekside so you can meet all the riders. Posters, bandannas and all the Hashknife souvenirs are available in the lobby. See ya there!
It was just five years ago, there was a handoff of the mail bag and just as the rider had that mail bag dallied off it was time to tip his hat as he passed by Columbine Road. For more than 30 years, the tall girl in the black cowboy hat made her home in Christopher Creek. Every year over that time, she was at the Pony Express ride in her self-described role as social director. Her job was to see that each rider autographed a number of posters and to hobnob with the trail boss and those riders she had come to know over the years.
Only this particular year, she wasn’t going to be able to go up to see the Hashknife boys. You see, she was in a fight for her life ... a fight she wasn’t going to win. From the second story bedroom where she was staying, she could watch the rider doff his hat as he rode by. That is if she had not been too weak to get to the window. One of the gals, either Patti or Karen, watched from that window and let Candice Anne know. She gave up her battle just a couple days later. She was a good friend and a friend to most everyone around. Miss ya, Candy ... she was one helluva gal ... and that’s another week in the Creek!