Spencer celebrates

Christopher Creek’s Spencer was treated to a parade by his neighbors for his 32nd birthday Sunday, May 3.

Christopher Creek rallied as a community last Sunday morning. When one of our local celebrities was faced with the reality of not having a birthday party because of confinement, residents organized a birthday parade.

Deb Minter put out the call on Saturday morning, hoping for a few Creekers to respond so Spencer would have some recognition on his birthday. Word spread and the excitement grew. After all, many of us had more than six weeks of pent up anxiety, waiting for something — anything resembling normalcy. So when, at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 3, 31 vehicles lined up near the fire station, it came as no surprise. Lead by a fire engine, the procession headed out with lights and sirens and horns blaring, across the creek and up Columbine Road. More than a few had decorations — balloons, streamers and signs. Spencer’s parents had decorated the fence with balloons and birthday crepe-paper ribbon. They stood at the gate as the parade went by, waving back and acknowledging all the greetings. Many parked just down the road and walked back to sing “Happy Birthday.” There was an impressive performance by a Tesla X, featuring lights blinking, winged doors flapping, and mirrors waving all choreographed to music. Missing were the hugs. Spencer is a hugger. The one hug he got came from the neighbor’s dog! The crowd, all who maintained social distancing, soon dissipated. Spencer’s 32nd birthday will be long remembered as the day Christopher Creek rose to the occasion and gave him a parade.

We continue to receive stories of how we found the Creek. Sal and Cathe Mestas fell in love with Christopher Creek in 1977. Their Phoenix neighbors, Orly and Lucille Stires, who had a 40-foot trailer in the lower section of Creekside Trailer Park, invited them up for the weekend. Shortly thereafter, they bought a 19-foot trailer, with a large, screened-in porch, in the upper section, where the Creekside cabins now stand. Two years later they upgraded to a 26-foot trailer parked close to John Matus’ dad and mom. During this time they became good friends with Loren and Rose DeRosier, Bill and Margot Holmes, Paul and Marge Beckman, and many other wonderful people.

In 1980, most of the spaces were cleared out to make way for the cabins. But Sal and Cathe remained there until 1987 when they bought their cabin on Apple Lane.

Much has changed over those 40-plus years. People have moved and many have passed on. The beauty, peace, friendship, and sense of community are what make Christopher Creek a special place, and that will never change.

Blake Bottle shared this: “Rented cabins at Grey Hackles when I was in college in the 1980s. In 2005, we were going to look at cabins at Bison Ranch — stopped to look at a place further down Columbine and found ours for sale by owner. Once we saw it and met our neighbor Rod across the street we were sold!”

Then Dee Dee Spickler writes, “So ... I met this guy named Blake Bottle and well here I am — right across the street from our favorite human. When I was a little girl my mamaw and granddad lived in Strawberry and we would drive all over the place exploring everything. We also would go to Sunrise ski resort since I was 3 yrs old. We would stop here in the Creek every time! For candy at the market. Then in the early 2000’s me and some of my girlfriends came up here and stayed in the Christopher Creek lodge and we flat drank up the old Landmark! We danced with the old stovepipe and even on the pool tables. I often wonder if any of y’all were in there that weekend. We left that weekend, made it to almost Payson, and there were seven 7-week old puppies in the middle of the road. These golden retrievers had been abandoned. We rescued them all, took them back to the Valley, and we each kept one! Never forgot our beautiful trip to The Creek!”

Note — Blake and Dee Dee put on the Tesla X show.

A couple of weeks back, Sheila Marcum was thinking about when it would appropriate to put on a Firebelles breakfast. An anonymous local gentleman got wind of that and donated $500 if she would wait until it is all over. Well played, Sir.

Last week, a couple of young fellas, Jason Estrada, 12, and Justin Swindler, 13, faced my team with Jason’s granddad, Scott Tice, in two games of bocce ball on the lawn of C-Canyon RV park. They lost both games.

Our restaurants are both still serving food to go and we look forward to full service very soon!

Next week we will share this space with a story from Don Farmer ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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