Jerry Garcia sang it best: “What a long, strange, trip it’s been.” Amen.
Mavis Denofsky pestered me for months. It was my own fault. We grouches are like that.
Confession: Sometimes I need prodding. Don’t get me wrong — I love to shoot. It’s like breathing; can’t hold it in for too long. Still, sometimes I get stuck to my chair. But, then, when the editor suggests it might be a good idea to get to the lake and capture that mist before it’s gone, one moves.
You’ve probably noticed the brightly painted, Arizona-themed elk down on Main Street, just past McLane.
The Payson Senior Circle took a break from its usual Lunch and Learn format with a Dutch oven cooking demonstration and reward at Rumsey Park. John Swenson, Marie Lyles and James Feezor got together and prepared a meal in several Dutch ovens.
Local artist Heather O’Berg launched an Art in the Park program recently (June 3 to 7), at Green Valley Park.
I set out to get a quick shot of Rim Country Middle School Resource Officer Michael Hansen impressing students with his bullet-proof vest and air of authority — but these days you never know what you’ll find when you actually get inside a classroom.
I’m a certified curmudgeon, one of those grouchy people you cross the street to avoid. But somehow my editor keeps sending me off on articles that are supposed to melt my heart. Ha, good luck with that.
Library squeezes cake decorating event into Art-rageous week
Katie Sanchez, children’s activities coordinator at the Payson Public Library, and Monica Vaughn, cake decorator par excellence, waited patiently, as children slowly trickled in to the all-purpose room at the south end of the building, Thursday, Feb. 21.
Photographer on the trail of the Hashknife Pony Express finds a buckskin time machine
Lots of people dream of the Old West, but have to settle for movies and daydreams.
BMW, The Picture Lab and Reel Men rode into town in a caravan of vehicles, equipment and people. They parked on the ‘set’ and spent most of the day filming inside the Beeline Cafe.
This year’s Halloween scene at Main Street’s Trunk or Treat and the Oxbow Saloon’s haunted house featured parents with children, excited teenagers, and even grandparents in costume.
Halloween morning’s first phone call was from the Beeline Cafe on Highway 87 — better known as the Beeline Highway.
What’s Halloween without a few exploding pumpkins?
Never assume today will be another yesterday; you know, the same thing will happen today that took place yesterday.Never assume today will be another yesterday; you know, the same thing will happen today that took place yesterday.
The Payson Longhorns and the Camp Verde Cowboys locked horns early and tortured each other all night long with their back and forth battle, trying to outscore the other and close the game.
Back in the day, after purchasing a homemade acoustic guitar from a local rock ’n’ roll talent, I raced home to begin practicing so I could turn into a famous person.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church recently helped the Time Out Shelter of Payson and Payson Helping Payson, both of which are charitable organizations assisting those in need in the Payson area.
Pat Johnson is not one to stand still for long.
One thing is obvious about the 2012 Payson High School girls soccer team — they respect their coach, Amy Wilcox.
The Paper and Metal Scrappers Store, located in the Sawmill Crossing Shopping center, holds a group of different but dedicated scrappers hostage once a month on Saturday morning.
Wait, wait, until the light finds you
Photo journalists must look always for that elusive image, light and luck caught in the frozen click of a shutter before it vanishes like a shadow on a cloudy day.
The dunk tank was part of Payson Care Center’s fund-raising events to raise money for the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 22 at Green Valley Park. When Christy VanderMolen, Payson Care Center Health Care Services Liaison, took department heads to task to raise funds, they eagerly jumped at the opportunity.
On July 17, thanks to John Stanton, the manager of Rim Country Chamber of Commerce, I was introduced me a young lady from Germany. Nothing out of the ordinary there.
Fund-raiser for domestic violence shelters gives a prisoner’s-eye view of county’s new jail facilities
Everyone else was already on some assignment or other, so the burden of touring the Gila County Jail, fell to me. Whoo-hoo. Suck it up and do the job. We assembled in Payson, a motley assortment of reporters, photographers and people who actually paid to spend a night in jail with the money going to benefit the Time Out domestic violence shelter in Payson.
Backhoe operator turned artist makes any surface explode with color
Kratos, the popular video-game hero of “God of War,” and Kratos, the not-so-well-known Payson spray paint artist, share obvious similarities: bald heads, bearded chins, scars of battle, and colorful tattoos. Oh yeah — and a rollicking, over-the-top creative energy. A character in a game, however, cannot match Kratos Lira’s inner strength, a drive to create, and the skill to transform a bare surface into a spray-painted marvel of design.
Backhoe operator turned artist explodes with color on any surface
Kratos, the popular video-game hero of “God of War,” and Kratos, the not-so-well-known Payson spray paint artist, share obvious similarities: bald heads, bearded chins, scars of battle, and colorful tattoos. Oh yeah — and a rollicking, over-the-top creative energy. A character in a game, however, cannot match Kratos Lira’s inner strength, a drive to create, and the skill to transform a bare surface into a spray-painted marvel of design. Kratos’ current project is helping bring life to a wall with a mural and a salute to the many generations of veterans. You can see it on Highway 87, going south just past the Twin Pines shopping area. Lira, a construction worker, worked a backhoe with precision and skill for 20 some odd years. Originally from San Diego, Lira and his family gravitated to Arizona so his daughter could attend the University of Arizona. Eventually, they found their way to Payson and have recently purchased a home.
Some people find their passion early in life. Lucky people also find the outlet for their passion, whether writing prose, flying planes or working at a library, organizing, formatting and involving young people in reading programs. Katie Sanchez’s intense involvement with the programs sponsored by the Payson Public Library shines through when leading parents and children or teens in activities. A creative writing class for teens, the Reading Corner, a scrapbooking experience, all contain some element of Katie’s commitment.
Group meets second Thursday of each month
Walking into a breast cancer support group with my camera bag over the shoulder, I felt like a pair of combat boots among ballet slippers, little realizing I was about to get a lesson in living. Ilona Swenson had talked me into covering the session, hoping an article would help get the word out that this group of cancer survivors was eager to help women cope with a life-threatening trauma that affects about one in eight women — which works out to maybe 1,200 residents of Rim Country. I had braced myself for the story, expecting to emerge frightened and depressed.
Biologist and teacher turned artist discovers that with oils, as with life, sometimes you have to listen to the painting
Most people figure artists live in some alternate world — cutting an ear off to impress a girlfriend and living lives of outrageous strangeness. Perhaps we embrace that stereotype so we can ignore the artist that lurks in our own hearts. But then along comes a painter like Tina Crabdree. Suddenly, you have to rethink your assumptions about artists — and maybe even yourself. If you look at her dense, moody oil paintings now, you’d assume she has painted all her life. Instead, her path includes incarnations as a wildlife biologist, science teacher, alternative school founder, full-time mother — and even a stint in the insurance business. All of that proved perfect preparation, as it turns out, for life as an artist.
Singer’s passion reveals secret to music’s allure
For many, music has always set the rhythms of life — a touchstone of memory — the wedding, the breakup, the first rush into love. Early in my introduction to this drink of life in rhyme, I wanted to become a musician. So I found a guy who lived near us who had a homemade guitar for sale. I bought it with visions of becoming famous, writing fantastic songs and having girls fall all over me. Sure.
Appraiser turned musician riffs on oft-delayed dream
Bob Smolenski understands about life and dreams — and patience. That’s because like many other Rim Country residents, he worked his whole life, pursued three different careers and always put practicalities over passion — until he discovered his art.
Bob Smolenski completed three careers before finding his true calling in Rim Country
Bob Smolenski understands about life and dreams — and patience. That’s because like many other Rim Country residents, he worked his whole life, pursued three different careers and always put practicalities over passion — until he discovered his art. Now, the appraiser, broker and insurance salesman has returned to his first love — music.
Randy and Karen Wood build dreams — mostly those involving wood. Their motto sums it up nicely: “If you can dream it, we can build it.” On one recent afternoon, Randy was at his desk in a custom-built, travel trailer showroom in Payson, working on a drawing of kitchen cabinets for a new project and Karen was inviting people to tour their display. The trailer had a Murphy bed, a desk, new cabinets everywhere and a partially bare wall to show what the interior looked like before the conversion. Randy chatted about his work and how they came to convert this travel trailer into a showroom.
Being a photographer has hidden perks. Oh, not what you are thinking.
Some people wear many different faces, or to phrase it in another way, they wear many different hats, according to the task at hand.
From the past to the present and into the future
I like adventurous assignments. Every assignment is an adventure, some, more than others. Going to a place you’ve always wanted to go but never had the time or opportunity for, is an especially wonderful activity when it becomes real. The Roosevelt Dam Centennial filled the bill.
Sometimes one can imagine a parking lot in Payson as being the flat top area of a mesa. Some riders are grouped around a fire.
Fascination with trains took engineer on long ride
Bob Dylan wrote a song, titled; “It takes a lot to laugh, but it takes a train to cry.” I pondered that for some time, before I understood what he meant.
Goughnour crafts custom fishing rods
When I was a kid, fishing seemed like the cool thing to do. Like other kids, I dreamed of catching “the big one.”
Jim Goughnour handcrafts fishing poles that obey the commands of the handler
When I was a kid, fishing seemed like the cool thing to do. Like other kids, I dreamed of catching “the big one.”
Back in the day, way back before cell phones, CDs and DVDs, my boys appeared in just about every school play and holiday pageant our small-town elementary school could muster.
The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. Writing stories is no exception. I say, just write.
As I entered the building, kids were moving chairs, running up and down aisles, singing, doing short dance routines and raising a small ruckus in a cacophony of sound.
Or how to be many and still be one
As I pull into the Talent Factory, the sweet sounds of jazz float from the multi-purpose studio. It’s the Starlighters — Mike Steelman on keyboard, Howard Brown on guitar, Colleen Brown’s lilting vocals and Roscoe Dabney III, pacing the flow of the music on drums.
Rim country Middle School recently had a literacy event in the school library that put books iin the hands of kids and raised funds for the schools.
I originally met Bob Gleason at a First Friday, August, I believe. He was at the Down the Street Gallery, on the porch, weaving a basket. I rushed past him on the way in and didn’t take much notice. As usual, my mind was fixed on getting this photo or that photo and seeing who was in and who wasn’t.
John Hancock is soft spoken, and slight of stature, but he draws, builds and flies model planes as if they were real.
In the wind-swept skies of Payson
It’s amazing sometimes, how apparently random incidents work favorably toward a goal or need. Know what I mean?
Every young lady is a princess
Twenty-two princess-dressed girls aged 4-7 recently had a party at the Payson Public Library; with iced tea and snacks, games, a Fashion Runway Show, a princess bag race, story time and an abundance of pictures taken by parents and grandparents.