The Power of the Train

On Saturday November 19 2016 The Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum held it’s SMM Model Railroad Dedication. More than an hour before the announced 9 am start time the crowds began to arrive. Excited kids dragging parents, parents dragging kids, locals and out of towners, they came eager to see the train.img_7737

You cannot beat the fantastic scenery. As you walk past John the Blacksmith hammering away on a horseshoe and head through the Apacheland Barn you see this amazing, huge, outdoor train set with the incredible Stamp Mill towering behind it, the majestic Superstition sitting in command of it all. Add in the history these buildings hold and it’s almost overwhelming.

The train is a gift to all of us from some of the nicest people roaming the planet. Just imagine for a minute, take your own money and years of your life buying, creating, setting up and maintaining a huge train set then, give it away to the museum, reset it up with hundreds of your hours of volunteered hard work, outside, in the desert, just for everyone else to enjoy for free?IMG_7741.JPG

Yes, that’s what they did.

The train set is huge and filled with fun detail that stays true to size and era minus a little fun here and there. The engine itself truly mesmerizes as it travels past you. I wanted to run after it like I was five-year-old boy and I am a forty-seven-year-old woman. At one point, I was so caught up in watching it I lost all sense and wanted to take the controller from the conductor’s hand so I could run the train!IMG_7707.JPG

Thankfully they know this is a common response and have made sure the controls won’t end up in untrained hands. But guess what? They will take volunteers and train them. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.IMG_7701.JPG

It rained last night and I woke up worried. The train needs an outdoor cover to protect it. The little towns and people and sets can’t possibly withstand too many seasons of our extreme weather. A great Thank You for this incredibly generous gift would be for all of us to now find a way to cover, shield and protect our train from getting destroyed by the brutal Arizona weather so it can continue delighting everyone for years to come.


…on empty

“I don’t where I’m running now, I’m just running on…running on empty….running blind…..running into the sun, but I’m running behind” (Jackson Browne)

I blink and three days have passed. We have lived in our little house on the hill in Gold Canyon now for 4 months. To date we have seen coyotes all around our property, javelinas, scorpions, one snake, one HUGE tarantula!IMG_1405Rabbits, lizards, squirrels, beyond huge ants and have had our car’s engine turned into some small creature’s home!IMG_5085If I am missing anything just scroll back a few posts.

Work is running on all cylinders. I’m smack in the middle of school photo season. Spent the last 2 amazingly busy days over at Mesa High photographing 3600 staff and students. (Probably the most fun group we have worked with yet… seriously, the teachers could use props for their pictures, lots of the kids looked their very coolest, not one problem with bad behavior and when their drum corps marched through getting everyone excited for the Friday night game, everything stopped so dancing could erupt! Great way to end 2 days of warp speed)

Today I’m off to the Superstition Museum to volunteer over in the General Store out in the old movie barn. Thankfully, inside the little store I can watch Elvis in Charro!

You’re like “thankfully”??

Elvis starred in Charro!  He didn’t sing in the movie but did sing the title song. The chapel in the movie survived the fire that destroyed Apacheland Movie Ranch.image It’s part of the museum and I need to be able to tell people about it accurately. So I say “thankfully” because I can do my “homework” while I am volunteering and not trying to watch Elvis during the start of football season!

This is the link to local magazine Superstition Living

The September 2016 issue featured a plug I wtore for the local public radio station The Wave!  That issue includes 3 of my photos as well.  Last month (August 2016 issue) they used my “A Need to Prune” article.IMG_5792.JPG

Now this magazine is small and conservative. I was not sure if they planned on doing anything, oh, say “creepy” for Halloween… (if you have been playing along with me for any length of time you KNOW where this is going…) so I sent them my shortest story from my collection that I plan on unleashing on you in October.

SL needs 400 words or less. Though all of my short stories are under 1000 words, 400 is tight space to creep you out in. But I have one. It’s about a miner.IMG_5268.JPG

Rejected flat out! “I do not like this story.” I won’t bore you with the rest of the response.

My reaction? Do you remember in the cartoon The Grinch Stole Christmas? Do you remember the smile that came over his face?

I guess I just needed outside verification that my Hauntings for October are not for everyone…only the sexy people(SNP)

I am inspired by people who take things to the land of crazy. Best example I can give is the movie Human Centipede 2. Although Human Centipede and it’s concept was wonderful, the story for the sequel gives me that “Grinch smile”. It’s just so wrong on so many levels that I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end of it if I wasn’t so exhausted from the shock of what I had just watched for the last 2 hours!

I have 2 more weeks to finish up the collection and photos…but I’m ready.IMG_2298 (1).JPG Are you?

“…leave your body and soul at the door”(OB)