Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Comic Con Phoenix 2012: The Booths

Along with all the interesting people who were there, we saw lots of booths with the most unusual horror/science fiction themed items.  Here are some we saw:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Comic Con Phoenix 2012: The People

The Crowd
Sharon and I decided to attend Comic Con in downtown Phoenix this past weekend.  We wore our zombie housewives bowling shirts hoping someone would want to talk about our book (and they did).  I think we had the most fun watching all the people in their costumes.  Many seem to become the character they were portraying and loved the attention.  They did an amazing job so I wanted the people who where there to have their own post along with the celebrities.  I have a couple more posts on the event to follow.  Here are some of the ones we saw:

Ghost Hunters International's Paul Bradford and Scott Tepperman

This person admitted smiling under the mask while I was taking the picture. Too bad I couldn't see it.

The hulk and other action heroes.
(I am not up on my action heroes)

White Power Ranger

Can you say Star Wars anyone?

Ghostbusters with the evil painting.


Looking for Bigfoot at the convention.  Can I interest you in a Wookie?

The Original hulk, Lou Ferrigino

Casper Van Dien (people kept getting in the way)

Eureka's Colin Ferguson

Wil Wheaton

Levar Burton

Brent Spiner

Jack Sparrow (actually it was Jacquelyn Sparrow)

Freddie and Jason hanging out.


The celebrities kept moving and I don't take good people pictures.
I prefer abandoned places.
More to come.....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ascent of the Outlaws

As much as the mining towns attracted the good people, families, and businessmen, they also enticed the bad individuals as well. With the many miners willing to spend their hard earned money on whiskey and women; the saloons and brothels quickly grew in numbers. These places brought in the bandits, gamblers, soiled doves, and other greedy bastards. The battles between the lawmen and outlaws became as famous as the people themselves. Many of the known and lesser known outlaws enjoyed terrorizing the innocent and weaker people. They were eventually caught and dealt with. Most of them ended up dead and buried somewhere in the southwest desert.

(An exert from my book, "Dead and Buried in the Southwest Desert")

Saturday, May 26, 2012

San Xavier Mission

Founded in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, the San Xavier Mission can be found around 10 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona.  This huge white building on the San Xavier Indian Reservation was named after an innovator and Christian missionary.  Because natural springs used to be in the area, the mission was often called the “place where the water appears”.

The original building was only two miles away from the present day structure.  In 1770, it was attack by Apache and destroyed.  They started the construction on the present building in 1783 and finish by 1797.  The massive structure is a Moorish inspired design, adobe, with large wood-carved doors to greet you at the entrance.  Inside, you will be amazed by the many statues and mural paintings.  You feel like you have been transported back in time as you walk around the mission.  The place has often been referred to as “the white dove of the desert”.

The church retains its original purpose of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners.  Today, it still serves the Native community.  I haven’t seen the place since I was little, but it is on my list of places to revisit in Arizona.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A History Quickie: Earthquake Shakes Tucson

In 1887, Tucson was rocked by an earthquake.  The center of the quake was about 200 miles southeast of Tucson near Bavispe, Mexico.  Since it occurred 13 years before the Richter scale was presented to the world, they roughly guessed it as a 7.2.  The only structure damaged by the quake was at San Xavier.  One of the adobe walls crumbled down.  A huge plume of dust was seen cascading over the old Santa Catalinas mountain range.  The Tombstone Epitaph noted that in the Dragoon Mountains a volcano has erupted right after the earthquake. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Standin’ on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona

“Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,
And such a fine sight to see,
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford,
Slowin’ down to take a look at me”

The town of Winslow will live on because of the 1972 song, “Take it Easy”, performed by the Eagles.  The song is about an unhappy singer with woman troubles. 

Winslow is in the heart of Navajo County where around 10,000 people call it home.  There are two gentlemen the city could have been named after.  Edward F. Winslow who was the president of St. Louis and San Francisco was one of the men, and Tom Winslow who was a prospector and lived in the area.  In 1930, the Harvey House (the La Posada Hotel) opened its doors and was designed by Mary Colter.  In 1957, the hotel shut down and the building was used by the Santa Fe Railroad for offices.  Winslow was one of the stops along U.S. Route 66, but fell on hard times when Interstate 40 was built in the 1970’s.

When “Take it Easy” came out in 1972 there were renewed interests in the city.  A mural was painted on a side of a building near the corner and depicted the famous line.  On October 18, 2004, the building with the mural was overtaken by fire and almost completely destroyed.  They were able to save the painting and keep it preserved.  After the city of Winslow bought the land where the building once stood, they made a park, with a statue and the mural was back on display.  To keep the Eagles song alive, the city added a billboard along Interstate 40 with the words, “Winslow, Arizona says ‘Take it easy’”.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bizarre: The Grand Canyon Gum Tree

My friend Mike took a trip to the Grand Canyon with some friends.  They decided to stop near the south rim visitor center. While hiking on a hidden path and climbing down near the canyon, they saw this tree with a bizarre amount of discarded chewing gum stuck to the trunk.  I just don't know what to think of this.

Pictures courtesy of Mike Brieaddy

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pearl Hart: Bandit Queen

I did a post about this interesting Wild West outlaw two years ago and decided to post it again for those of you who missed it the first time around.  She is also featured in my book, "Dead and Buried in the Southwest Desert", coming out in spring of 2013.

Pearl’s life is a bit of a mystery with little known documents to back up the many stories. This is what I found on this interesting lady. In 1871, Pearl Hart began life as Pearl Taylor in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. Her father was a civil engineer and move the family to Ohio in 1878 where later at the age of 17 Pearl married Frank Holt. Frank was an alcoholic gambler with an ill temper who abused her on many occasions. It was told she left him several times throughout the marriage, but kept coming back hoping things would change. There was some speculation that they had two kids who lived with her Mother after the two split for good. Unfortunately this wasn’t the last time the duo met up. It was in 1892 while Pearl was working in Phoenix, she ran into Frank once more. He persuaded her to move to Tucson with him where the beatings continued again until he enlisted in the military. Pearl never saw him again, but became very lonely, and suffered from depression.

Sometime in the late 1890’s while living in Arizona, Pearl heard that her mother was gravely ill and she needed to come home. Desperate for money, she hooked up with a no-good miner using a rumored alias, Joe Boot. In May of 1899, the two of them decided to rob the Globe to Florence stagecoach near the settlement of Troy and Kane Spring Canyon. Pearl cut her hair, dressed in man’s clothing, and was armed with a .38 revolver. Boot held a gun on the victims while Pearl stole two firearms and money. They gave each passenger a dollar for food, and took the drivers gun while fleeing south towards Benson. They were captured near the north side of Benson and charged with armed robbery.

While serving time in a Tucson jail, the petite five foot tall women felt affection for an inmate trusty named, Ed Hogan, who was a petty thief. Hogan aided in her escape on October 12, 1898, but she was recaptured two weeks later in New Mexico. She was sent to the Yuma Territorial Prison to serve out her time. In December of 1902, she was pardoned by Governor Alexander Brodie and released.

Her later life is mysterious, with one claim of her living a private life with her husband of 50 years, George Calvin “Cal” Bywater. According to her headstone, she died on December 30, 1955. She is buried next to her husband in the Pinal Cemetery which is located near Globe, Arizona. Although some details of her life are uncertain and often inconsistent, Pearl is acknowledged as the only known female stagecoach robber in Arizona’s history earning her the nicknames of “Bandit Queen” or “Lady Bandit”.