Desert Messenger

August 3, 2011

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A����� 3, 2011 Perspectives Quirky Quartzsite’s Contributed by Violet Kiss For this 1st article in a series, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking and interviewing many different owners of both well established older businesses here as well as the newer ones. Several owners have stated it is a very diffi cult time to speak at all with this ‘volatile’ political climate here in Quartzsite. Many feel, from their perspective, that if they say anything at all even positive things, they will be attacked by the people who are trying to destroy or at the very least keep people, snowbirds and vendors from coming here this winter by their very negative actions toward this wonderful town. Sadly, many business owners personally feel that business is either down from the “economy” (we do all understand that), down be- cause of the ‘line’ drawn between the “us and them” mentality (we do all understand that) and even if they do not want to be involved in the Quartzsite politics, many are being labeled as: (quote) “New Restaurant Does Not Need Business”, with inaccurate reporting. I will address this one later in this article. Although I had wished for this to be a nice, big “puff piece” for all businesses open at this time of year, it just couldn’t be, not now. In the future months, let’s hope this can change- it should for the sake of our town. Over the months I hope to interview many busi- nesses open now or in the winter season, older es- tablished families, and the newer ones starting out here in Quirky Quartzsite. Stories will come from the past, current ones and how some are intertwined, and others not. Some will be quirky, funny, histori- cal and some sad, but, hopefully, of interest. This idea came to me in honor of Mrs. Rosalee O. (Oldham) Wheeler, for giving life to the days and times of the older, quaint Quartzsite. With the un- fortunate passing of Mrs. Rosalee Wheeler, I want to thank her for her love and passion for Quartzsite. Her legacy will remain in our hearts, and through her books, “In the Shadows of Saguaros”. My husband and I adopted this quaint town 3 years ago when we moved in year-round instead of coming once in a while in the winters. We started as visitors. We are now part of the ‘tapestry’ called Quartzsite. I would like to continue what Mrs. Rosalee Wheeler started. First, I will quote some comments given to me by some owners that did allow me to publish their thoughts (by business name, alphabetical order): Tracy Phoenix, of American Custom Tire, Inc. (1300 W. Main St., established in 1973), told me how slow business was back in the early 1980’s when she came here from a larger city and newly married to Sid. Tracy home schooled back then and even held a real graduation for her 2 boys (now men). She remem- bers pushing her boys in a perambulator (older-style baby carriage) ‘down the road to the Tyson Wash’, which was a little road with a bend in it. This was still the early 1980’s. Tracy said, “…there was a big change in town when McDonalds and Pilot moved in (mid 1970’s). Our business steadily grew since then. We worked all night – 24 hours a day – to build this business”. She of course thanks the winter visitors for keep them busy during those months, the local townspeople for the entire year, but also states that ���.D����� M��������.��� their business has recently dropped 25% in sales due to the economy. Michelle Lukkasson, of The Eatery, Main Street Laundromat, and Sunsetters RV Park (205 E Main St), told me how their business started. They fi rst purchased Sunsetters RV Park in November 15, 2007. Settling in their new business, working hard, and talking and getting to know others gave them a sense of future growth here, Michelle and her husband, Jerry, purchased The Main Street Laundromat (with a hot dog stand in front) in May, 25, 2009. With that same dedication, Michelle and Jerry decided to cre- ate a restaurant to better serve the community. The Eatery started October 15, 2010. Michelle said, “The Eatery and Laundromat is a gathering place for ev- eryone year-round. Today, the Eatery has become the gathering place for the townspeople during the off-season as well.” I said I would address an inaccurate report about town ( blogs) on July 24, 2011 which states (verbatim): New Restaurant Does Not Need Business (24 Jul) “Ed Foster, Mayor of Quartzsite, reports that he encountered a man identifi ed only as “Stubby” at the Times Restaurant. Foster had just paid his check, walked outside, and was warned by the man not to return to the restaurant.” I decided to go to the source of where this occurred. Here is what happened at my interview with the owners, Carol and Stubby Callison. I have already spoken to other people who witnessed this. Carol and Stubby Callison, Callison Construction, Callison Real Estate, Times Three Family Restau- rant (all at 1265 W Main Street), started their fi rst two businesses way back, decades ago. As the econ- omy went bad in the last several years, especially in construction and real estate, Carol and Stubby felt and still do feel this is a great town and has poten- tial in its growth. This spring, they opened another business, the Times Three Family Restaurant. Ob- viously, they are still investing in this town of ours. Lately though, they are disenchanted with the nega- tive politics here and wanted to say a few things. I am going to put Carol and Stubby’s comments here: “To start off with we opened this last business to help the town and ourselves. We ‘ride the fence’ on GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Join your neighbors for a Fundraising Dessert Social at MAIN STREET EATERY Every Wednesday • 6-8pm 205 E. Main St. Quartzsite JUST DESSERTS! All Desserts $250 Charitable organizations: contact Michelle to fi nd out how this event can benefi t your cause 928-308-0011 OPEN for Dinners Thurs. Fri. Sat. 4-7 P��� 15 the politics here, at least we have tried to. Ed Foster (and the rest) was welcome to come in here. Foster came in here for 4 months, but he just couldn’t abide by our feelings, we just didn’t want any politics in here, even to the point some people will not partici- pate coming here because of what (Mayor) Ed Foster has done. Other people left when he ever walked in. He and a few others in his group had asked us if they could have meetings here, we said ‘no politics, no meetings’. The last straw was when Ed Foster was here for the last time when he turned around to the others and started talking very loud about the poli- tics in town and had his speakerphone on out loud as well. This was witnessed by many and many were offended. That was the last time we allowed (Mayor) Ed Foster in here. We really care about this town, that’s why we have three businesses here.” Mike Majia, owner of Taco Mio (130 E Main St) and Coffee Ern’s (1720 California, Parker) has been in business for a long time. My husband and I re- member visiting Quartzsite, in the winters, years ago renting at Frank’s Cactus Patch and waking up early in the morning (even if you didn’t want to wake up THAT early, smile) hearing Mike’s crowing Rooster during PowWow. I’m sure it was heard throughout the town. Do you remember that? Anyway, I just spoke to Mike. Yes, he admits to letting (Mayor) Ed Foster have meetings at Taco Mio. Mike said, “I would allow anyone to have meetings there. Busi- ness is way down due to the economy, and having meetings there is ‘revenue’ for me, every dollar counts.” He claims he has no political connections here and he does NOT choose sides. He is in busi- ness here in Quartzsite like every other business owner, to help the community and to make money. In closing, I hope everyone goes to all of the open establishments, no one should dictate where you go, and/or why. These are the people, the business owners, who have the courage to stay open during these tough economic times and during the much slower summer months. They are open, yes, to make money. But do they really? So let’s say the brave, yet caring, business owners stay open possibly mak-  SEE PERSPECTIVES ON PAGE 22 IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO AL’S YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO QUARTZSITE! Famous Gourmet Pizza Thursday Specials: $ 1 Tacos • $ (in house only) KARAOKE Thurs. Fri. Sat. 7pm Full Service Bar 10am-noon & 3:30pm-5:30pm $ $150 Daily Drink Specials Kitchen Open 10am-10pm HAPPY HOURS: 1 Draft 175 W. Main St. 928-927-5585 Serving Quartsite at Same Location for over 20 years! 150 Magaritas

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