Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy, Happy New Year!

So, it's New Year's Eve...

One is supposed to take stock of the year past (bah! humbug!) ...

...look at the road ahead (oops!)

...and wish everyone the very best for the coming 12 months!

I'll drink to the last sentiment-- otherwise, I'm taking Garrison Keillor's advice that New Year's Eve is a holiday only for those under 25. It's been a long, long time since I did New Year's Eve. However, I can pull myself sufficiently together to wish for a


Oh, my! I just visited the dotter's blog, where she has posted a video of OmegaDad and the OmegaDotter doing the disco on New Year's Eve. Worth it for the cartwheel alone.

Daily Photos From Around the World: Since 2009 is the year that everyone is expected to pinch pennies, what better way to save a buck and still see the world than picking a collection of cities from, oh, Asia or Africa or Europe or the South Seas to visit daily. Quite easily done, thanks to those hundreds of Daily Photos from Wherever. You can dance a czardas in Szentes (Hungary) ... mosey down to Montevideo (Uruguay) ... or you can go home again to the OC (Calif.), to pick a handful of destinations. To get a master list, click on over to Around the World, a service compiled by Gerald England, he of the Hyde Daily Photo, which I visit periodically, along with Helen's Albuquerque Daily Photo -- and now our very own Prescott Daily Photo, started just recently. I'd visit many more -- but take a look at my current blog roll! There's this little matter of time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the outback 1: Hillside

Hillside is a tiny hamlet in southwestern Yavpai county located on the Date Creek road which starts at the Bagdad Road near Yava. The road continues on to Congress, although it is dirt. Don't let the county warning sign deter you. They have those waivers on all the county dirt roads. As you travel, remember that 80 years ago this was the best north/south road across our state, according to William Peck, who has contributed a number of articles on this area of the county to the Sharlot Hall Museum archives. (This must mean that it is the same road taken by my Phoenix grandparents when they drove to their new warm-weather home from the Dakotas in 19-aught-16.)

Hillside has been around a while, as the 1885 date on the old store indicates. But... the highway sign on the Yava-Bagdad road said "Hillside store now open." No, it was not the Saturday that dotter and I showed up. As I recall, another Prescott blogger passed that way recently and also found the store closed. Not that Hillside and environs add up to a real market, but a general store is always an important meeting place out in the far countryside. (I wonder if any reader might know whether the store is ever open these days.)

In addition to the store, there is a church...

...and a school/school district with 28 students when last counted.

It's a two-bus school district serving ranches, miners, and locals in a not too ancient set of buildings built in Hillside sometime in the 1940s after the old schoolhouse in Yava, 4 miles up the pike, burned down. With 21 qualified voters in Yava and an equal number in Hillside, where to locate the school, then serving 11 students, was a contentious issue, according to one of Peck's articles. (That, by the way, was why this blog was not written last night -- I was quite caught up in his memoirs and my writing time ran out!)

Population? Data for Arizona from the 2000 census, though listing places with as few as 150 people, didn't bother to include Hillside. Be that as it may, Hillside has been around for a good many years. After all, it is located on an important branch of the Santa Fe, now the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, that runs between Phoenix and the mainline across northern Arizona.

About the Santa Fe, Peck wrote in 2002, watch for a train along the east side of the road. This is a working railroad and a dozen mile long trains a day wind through our mountains. As recently as three years ago, our sleepy little burg was the origin of a trainload of ore a day. Thousands of cattle have taken their last trip to the slaughterhouse from our former stockyard.

It was hard to figure out just what of the railroad siding structures were still in business and which abandoned. If we had been lucky, a train might have passed our way while my camera was out, but it wasn't to be.

I think I can hazard a guess that this was the conveyor belt that moved copper ore from trucks onto railroad cars, whence it was shipped to a refinery in the eastern part of the state. When we first moved into Arizona in the aught-80s, a drive on the many-curved Bagdad road on any weekday meant competing for the right of way with the speeding Dickey trucks that hustled ore between the big mine and the Hillside loading docks.

Abandoned or not? Hard to tell.

This building (above) appeared to still be in use; don't know about the lower.

One missing Hillside picture is the bigger mobile park; the one shot that didn't work is the house high up on the hilltop. Fortunately, The Prescott Chronicle has a good image in a recent post. If you want to follow up on any of the Hillside articles at the archives, pop the word "hillside" into the search window and take it from there.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Art on casino hill

It was at the library that I first saw this bronze miniature, wondering, at the time, just where the large scale sculpture was located. I should have guessed -- it is at the entrance to the Prescott Resort and Casino, owned by the local Yavapai Indian tribe.

In the real world, the miniature gives one a much better picture of the piece than is possible on the ground, where the the lighting is absolutely dreadful. I had to really use the magic of PhotoShop to bring out the detail below; the original shot consisted of a dark object.

The companion bronze is in the lobby -- a far better place to catch an image of the basketry lesson.

Quite new in the lobby is an installation of objects from Yavapai life -- plants, baskets, bowls -- all rendered in glass by artist Jim Antonius.

Titled Emergence, the work represents a genesis story of the Yavapai, according to a description in the Courier. The shields above are based upon designs by Viola Jimulla, late chieftess of the tribe and a master weaver. As for the sun below, I don't recall exactly where it was located vis a vis the Antonius work; however, it is a cool piece. (Besides, I always like to include any suns that are hanging around just for my dotter up in darkest Alaska.)

It was hard not to notice the art deco lighting fixtures throughout the lobby area. Each was finished off with a huge quartz crystal, probably like those PrescottStyle found over in the Copper Basin recently.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snap-Snap a quirky thrift shop

One of the regular bloggers about Prescott life is Sadira of Foolsewoode; in everyday life, she is prop. of Snap-Snap, a very cool resale shop on Montezuma next to Radio shack. I should have posted about this shop a long time ago, but time passes and one's photos sometimes go out of date.

I mean ... look at that faux leopard cape and matching hat that would do Marlene Dietrich proud. Had I posted earlier, that cape would not have been in the window. If I weren't married to my backpack, I'd have snapped up the outfit even as I walked in the door. (When I was much younger, I owned two black woolen capes -- one long, the other mid length. Elegant items for a bit of a weirdo; besides, they kept the Windy City's gales at bay. Beat a coat all hollow).

Snap-Snap isn't just about the clothes and accessories. It has its own quirky style -- note the lava lamp above.

Yes, well worn blue jeans are a must -- but how about that bright R.E.D. paisley skirt?

Or the splendid Mandarin style top amongst the vintage clothing on sale.

To really experience the shop, it's quite necessary to lift up your eyes to what's on the walls above the clothing racks. Bumperstickers (above). Old ethnic dolls (below).

Frames highlighting featured goods. Not to mention a stylish mail box and a man's formal outfit -- or is it strictly for the maitre d'?

Scooby Do is featured in the men's wear room. As I recall, there was at least one Cat in the Hat painted on the opposite wall, as well as this Suessian character (below).

And I truly wondern just how Sadira came into these vintage goodies. Anybody besides me old enough to recall Buster Brown, the shoes for kids sold in stores which fitted them using an fluoroscope -- a practice which was, of course, dropped like a hot potato around the end of the 30s or perhaps right after the Enola Gay launched the atomic age and radiation fear. (I just discovered that BB is still around, quite to my surprise.) Another of her fine trademark collectibles is the Pillsbury doughboy (below).

As you can imagine, it would have been easy to spend the rest of the day taking more pictures -- but the dotter wanted her afternoon in the sun at the Santa Maria. While we're speaking of thrift shops, did I mention that there's now a Goodwill store in town out Iron Springs. I promise that I'll scope it out soon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Critters for Christmas!

Some months ago, I bought myself a big horned toad over at Watters -- and two weeks later, proceeded to break off one of his horns. How wonderful this morning to open my door to a neighbor who handed me the replacement horned toad above, complete to Christmas ribbon. This lizard has lived in a house with cats, which probably explains Max cat's interest.

But that's not my only Christmas critter. On the day before the 25th, my mailman stopped by with a package from Alaska. The SIL had sent yummy Alaskan fish/seafood spreads, all packaged up in a gorgeous box with a Haida raven. The box now sits next last year's salmon box, which was chock full of smoked salmon when it entered my house.

Oh, yes -- there is yet another critter report. While the dotter was visiting, she heard a bit of commotion on the back porch and looked out, to find a raccoon investigating the wood pile. That's where my reputed chipmunk lives. Raccoon made good time making himself scarce.
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