Late, fast-melting snow no deterrent

Saige Bennett, 11, was the best of 10 in the Kentucky Derby hat contest at the Landmark May 7.

Christopher Creek held its last social event of winter last Saturday. This same event is oft touted as the kickoff of the summer social calendar, but it snowed early that morning!

There wasn’t a lot of snow, but enough to paint the rooftops white along with the tops of fence posts and a frosting on the leaves and tall grass. It melted off rather quickly and the temps rose into the 50s. What a great day for a chili cook-off!

Folks with their chili and assorted condiments began filtering in around noon and soon there were 14 slow cookers plugged in along the front wall of the Landmark. The 15th entry was in a Dutch oven that didn’t require electricity and may well have saved that electric circuit from blowing!

The crowd then trickled in and before long the place was packed.

The 15 chili entries set a record and according to the winning prize payouts the attendance was recording-setting as well.

Throughout the afternoon the emcee annoyed those in attendance beginning each of a half-dozen announcements by mimicking the trumpet call to the post. We will let you guess who that was.

The other new event director was Karen Thornton and together we found out what a job it is keeping track of entries, tasters, scoring, posting and all that goes along with a cook-off, Derby hat contest and a Kentucky Derby. Dennis and Kelly O’Neil had run the event for the first four years before their move to Oregon.

Speaking of the Ladies Kentucky Derby hat contest, we again had a record number of entries and new contestants. The job of picking the finalists for the best hat fell to a trio of unbiased judges who performed a most difficult task.

It came down to the top three of Brandi Bennett, her daughter Saige and two-time former winner Lori from Ellison Creek. Saige was the winner, but was in a hat her mom made for her!

As for the winners in the cook-off, G-Dub, the defending champion, again took top prize with Mikie taking second and Scott and Marilyn came in third.

It was the Wednesday afternoon following lunch with the Wildflowers when we made our way up to Pine Meadows Country Club in Overgaard. The trip was to introduce Doc and Pepper to the course in preparation for next weekend’s Top of the Rim Eagles golf tournament.

We spoke with Pine Meadows owner, Diane, and staff members Kelli and Jessica. Diane mentioned they are looking forward to next week’s Eagles event to kick off their tournament season.

On my return from Payson on Tuesday, there was a very large pile of oak in my parking space. The limbs will provide a jump-start on next winter’s firewood stack.

It was easy to determine from whence this windfall originated. Much of the bark showed char from last winter’s fire down at LR’s former home. Bill Handy tractored the loads from the other end of town.

Then we notice that Pam and Mel also benefited with a pile of their own. Thanks again, Bill.

Out at Whispering Hope Ranch on Colcord Road preparations are underway for another full season of campers. These special kids have various challenges and come to Rim Country to interact with other kids and the numerous animal residents at the ranch.

Charlie Motley tells us of the need for help. He uses the term “wranglers” for the volunteers who come lend a hand with the chores. If you are looking for a worthwhile adventure in volunteering, the number to call is 928-478-0339.

The Wildflowers of Christopher Creek had lunch at Creekside last Wednesday and celebrated Olive’s 89th. Other birthday celebrants were Margo, Rhea and Sheila. There were 15 in attendance including newbie Rikie Aiken.

Back in August of 2014 it was mentioned that the social media group Tribute to Christopher Creek had reached a milestone of 250 members. A treasure trove of thousands of pictures defining life and history of the Creek reside on this site.

If you have not yet checked out this group, which was given birth five years ago by former resident Dean Shields, take a look. Brandi and Kelly Jensen from out at Colcord Cove are new members. You may be the 500th!

If my mouth dropped open as Pam and Mel drove by last week, it was because Mel was behind the wheel. After his recent health issue it was great to see his rapid recovery.

On the sign touting the entry named “Cowboy Chili” was a line of fine print at the bottom. It read,”Should you find the term Cowboy politically incorrect, just stay the hell out of my chili!!!” ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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