Desert Messenger

January 16, 2013

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January 16, 2013 Voices from The Past in Quartzsite, AZ Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler Mary and Vaun Allen ~ Migration Trailblazers ~ Back in 1961, in the little beauty shop I operated from my home having been licensed by the State of Arizona in 1937 as Beauty Culturist No. 807, I first met Mary Allen. I answered her knock at my door to find a smiling lady with beautiful white hair. She announced, "I hope I'm at the right place. My name is Mary Allen and I was told I could get my hair fixed over at Rosalie's place in the yellow house". "Well Mary", I told her, "you're at the right place and if you don't mind waiting a few minutes while I help my daughter Patty with the formal she is making to wear to the prom over at Salome High School, I'll be happy to fix your hair". From that first meeting I knew Mary and I would be great friends. She had a happy positive attitude, loved life and her family, and most importantly to me, she loved Quartzsite as much as I did. As I recall, her "appointment" lasted several hours. My family had always teased me about talking too much, but I had met my match in Mary. That afternoon I learned that two years earlier she and her husband Vaun had purchased an acre of land, sight unseen, from Bud Shoop. In 1960, Vaun retired from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton Washington and they soon set out to accomplish a lifelong dream of sailing around the world on a freighter before driving down to Quartzsite to check out their sight unseen acre where they planned to spend their winters. Mary helped Patty pin the hem in her two-tone pink chiffon formal with the promise that Patty would call her when her date came to take her to the prom. Mary wanted to see the finished dress and take a picture to send to her daughters Dorothy and Charlene, "See", she assured them, "they even have proms on the desert." Mary always made the light shine bright on everything. When Mary and Vaun "visited" their summer home in Bremerton, along with Milton and Verna Johnson who had introduced the Allen's to Quartzsite, the two couples became the best salespeople Bud Shoop ever had. Fellow retirees from Puget Sound like the Battersons, Bells, Gjertsens, Grenstads, Judds, Mailmans, Moes, McDonalds, and Owens who also purchased an acre from Bud and named the first street in the subdivision Washington Page 21 Boulevard. The next street was named Kitsap, after the home County of many from the Puget Sound area. Oregon and Idaho Streets were soon added as more newcomers flocked to Quartzsite to enjoy the sunshine, warmth, sunsets and "fun" as Mary always said. Mary was an expert in coming up with improvement projects for the town and even more accomplished at getting folks to rally around her ideas and make things happen. She didn't seek recognition, just help as she pushed from behind the scenes to get things done. Some of the folks who rallied behind Mary's projects were the McCauleys, Renns, Sigurdsons, and Fultons. Glen and Ruth Fulton were experienced community builders from Eastern Oregon where they maintained a 17,000-acre commercial cattle ranch and were very active in the Wasco County Grange. In 1959 they sold the ranch and came to spend the winter in Quartzsite. The Fulton's daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Ed Jarvis came for a visit and recognized a great business opportunity for the growing town and started a constructions business. In March of 1965, Mary came over to my place to get her usual hair "do". She was all excited about a meeting that Glen and Mary Fulton wanted to have over at the schoolhouse (that's old one that, in 1950, was the new one on Cowell Street and Moon Mountain Road). She left my "Over at Rosalee's Place" with a fresh "do" and a list of folks she planned to tell about the meeting at the schoolhouse. True to Mary's effort to always include everyone to come up with projects that would improve the Town she handed me a list of folks she wanted me to contact. On March 23rd, my husband Charles Oldham and I joined forty-two other Quartzsite folks to come up with a suggestions for a place for the many winter visitors to meet for a pot-luck, or play cards, watch a movie, work on arts and crafts, show off beautiful rocks collected from the desert, hold Sunday services, and etc. Glen told us how the Grange Building he had helped to establish in Central Oregon brought people together on issues of common good and kept people in touch with SEE MARY PAGE 22 IRONWOOD OUTPOST, LLC 225 North Central Quartzsite, AZ 85359-4750 Office: 928-927-8543 Fax: 928-550-7020 Conveniently located in the Horizon Community Bank parking lot ANNOUNCING NEW ENHANCED MAIL SERVICES COME SEE US This year we are introducing our new mail meter which will allow cer�fied le�ers and other mail to be processed through our office. Ironwood Outpost, LLC, is an established private mail box service and shipping company that offers secure, friendly, personalized service at compe��ve prices. In fact, one of our clients had this to say about our service; "...I am glad to say I found the answer, Ironwood Outpost Mail Service. These people are the most efficient and friendly of all the mail services that I have used in the past... Do yourself a favor and try Ironwood Outpost. You will love their service too." - Marvin, 2011. In addi�on to private mail boxes, we offer a range of other services so we can assist you with a variety of your needs • NOTARY There are two notaries on staff to service our walk-in customers. • UPS/FEDEX We ship UPS & FedEx, take Return Label packages and allow you to deliver to our address. • OFFICE SERVICES: Copies, fax (incoming amd outgoing), email retrieval, etc.

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