Desert Messenger

April 17, 2013

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April 17, 2013 ARBUCKLE'S FROM PAGE 14 beans for a fresh pot of coffee. Bill had promised his old friend Felipe Gonzales that on one of his delivery trips the two of them would go on a prospecting trip of their own. It was the custom in those days that during warm nights the locals would put buckets of water out on a porch bench so the evening breezes would cool the water during the night. The next morning when Felipe started filling their canteens and ollas (a large bulging red-clay wide mouthed pot with looped handles), all at once the water started sloshing over onto the bench. Felipe became excited and said, "Somewhere there's been a big earthquake". Bill helped Felipe fill their canteens and headed out to make Bill's deliveries and for them to prospect. When they got back that evening, they learned that San Francisco was burning and many people had lost their lives when a giant tremor with a magnitude of over eight on the Richter Scale struck on the San Andreas Fault at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906. Bill wrote about the earthquake in his journal and noted that he didn't want to haul water and grub for the rest of his life. He began to keep an ear out for work that paid better and where he wouldn't have to work such long, hard hours. In the spring of 1907, he had an offer to work near the booming Silverbell copper mine over in Pima County. From Quartzsite he took the stage to Ehrenberg where he boarded the steamboat 'Searchlight'. It had been announced that this was going to be the last steamboat on the Colorado River since work was about to begin on the Laguna Dam, 14-miles upriver from Yuma. The new dam would halt steamboat traffic into Port Yuma and on down to Port Isabel on the Gulf of California. In the early days of Arizona Territory, steamboat travel on the Colorado had been the principle source of transportation that brought the people and supplies needed to open and settle the Southwest. On this final trip of the 'Searchlight', from its deck Bill nostalgically watched as they steamed past the Pothole Placers, proven once to be one of the richest placers ever mined in the Southwest. Bill too had worked these tricky placers where gold was very rich at bedrock but, because the area was plagued with quicksand, it was impossible to dig the 15-feet or so all the way 17 to bedrock. Now it was planned that this deep bedrock sand would be used to mix with cement and gravel to build the dam. Later, during construction, night guards were placed on the dam to keep the workers from "prospecting" for gold nuggets. Seems that after the concrete was poured into the forms, the nuggets were exposed as the moonlight reflected off the gold. It had been projected that the dam would cost somewhere around six million dollars. When the dam was completed Bill declared, "The government left more gold in the concrete than it cost them to build that whole damn dam". At the end of its final journey, the 'Searchlight' gently steamed into Yuma at twilight. Bill told me, "It was like a mighty sunset as the last of the steamboats announced its final arrival. I went up to the top deck and sat there until the sky was totally dark, except for the stars". Bill said he was sad that the trip was over and that the now-silenced whistle of the 'Searchlight' and all the steamboats before it, could no longer blast-out their presence along the Colorado". He said he knew that one era had ended but that another even more promising one had just begun. And Bill was right, with each new generation and each new innovation we should embrace each new era with optimism. "Ah! There you are. You're beautiful!" ~ Rumi Recycle... adds up! it all Recycle your empty inket cartridges and used cell phones! NO TONERS, PLEASE DROP OFF LOCATIONS: • Horizon Community Bank • Quartzsite Library • Senior Center Sponsored by Proud • General Store Neighbors of Quartzsite • Business Chamber Don't trash our desert! Some believe that one small piece of trash won't matter, but those small pieces have added up to a giant problem. Pack it in, Pack it Out! To notify about trash on BLM lands, call BLM in Yuma: 928-317-3200. If you want to report an area where trash has accumulated on a freeway, you can call the ADOT complaint line at 602-712-7355. If you want to report an area where trash has accumulated illegally or has accumulated in your neighborhood, please contact your local resources: La Paz County General Information: 928-669-6115 Health Department: 928-669-1100. ����� | S������ �� D����� M�������� C&B LOCK & KEY Betty Crenshaw CML Owner 37 Years Experience 928-927-6589 MOBILE SERVICE ONLY DEADLINE IS WED. APRIL 24 RVs Autos Residential Commercial Email: Bonded - Insured BLM Approved for MAY 1ST issue of the Desert Messenger Phone: 928-916-4235 Serving Quartzsite and Surrounding Areas Quartzsite Radio KBUX 94.3 FM • Quartzsite's Favorite "CLASSIC HITS" • Local Information • Weather • 24 Hours Day / 7 Days Week! 928-927-5111 First locally-owned and operated music station in Quartzsite, Arizona. Proudly serving the communities of Quartzsite, Bouse, Brenda, Rainbow Acres, La Paz Valley and beyond, since 1988.

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