Our Little Community


YEAR 2007





Our little Community is feeling mighty fine this New Year. I for one have made a resolution to do more exercises, and was just going for my morning run when Bob Ascherin called to say he is bringing over an old newspaper article from the “Desert Journal” of Aug. 3, 1972 that he told me of a few weeks ago, which is about the Copper Mountain Lake earthquake; in response to a column I wrote last December. I lifted weights while I waited for him.
Bob, who turned 89 last November but looks 70, arrived with the article and I gave him the grand tour of my home. He told me a story how on Friday nights back in the seventies he dined on fish and chips at the Sunfair Inn which was operated by a mailman who lived in Yucca. On the wall was a sign “Dollars for Drops” a box with a slot underneath where one could donate money for the lake. Bob was a General Contractor back then, his painter, Glen Hall, also was a watchman at the lake, who was there when it drained all 60 million gallons and said it first sounded like elephants galloping in the water and then a loud gurgling noise. Bob has been hanging around our area since 62, moved out here in 65 from Lakewood Ca. and lives out yonder on Aberdeen Dr. After Bob departed I went for my morning run.
        The newspaper he brought me has many pictures of the Copper Lake after the earthquake and a short article. I hope to gather more information, take a trip out to the once dreamed of lake of Copper Mountain, take some pictures of what it looks like now, and write a column about it. I just wonder what our Community would have been like if the park and lakes dream were realized.

Some more mighty fine folks that I neglected to mention in my last column who passed on last year are: Bill Clement, and Rick Decker and his son Richard.

Thought for the week: It takes a heap of patience to be a good listener.

By Bob DeLoyd

Special Announcement: I have just received the sad news that longtime resident Delores Jefferson has recently passed on. All those who like to pay their respects may do so this Sunday 14 at Mountain Valley Memorial Park (760) 366-9210. The address is 60121 HWY 62 in Joshua Tree. Viewing will be from 9am to 1pm. Services will be 1pm to 2pm. There will be a lunch at the Joshua Tree Community Center from 2pm to 4pm. I will write more about Delores Jefferson in my next column. //bob

Yes we had some snow Friday morning!!! Our Desert has been very cold all week and the nights will continue to be below freezing through next Friday where it will be 32 degrees(Just Freezing).

Our little Community has been really windy of late with some gusts over 40 mph. I had tried a few times during the week to find Comet Mc Naught or C/2006 P1, which is low in the west southwest horizon at sunset and beneath and to the right of Venus, with my telescope. The sky was so very mottled with suspended dust from our high winds that I couldn’t find the comet.
The one good thing I can think of that happened this week is that the UHF TV transmitter that some of us folks rely on didn’t go off the air (except for channel 49) but continued broadcasting through the high gusts.
        I heard talk that there was a home burglarize just up the street from my house Monday night around 8 or so, and that there was shots fired when the criminals were surprised buy the homeowner. I also heard that one of the thieves was shot as they tried to run over the homeowner and may have later been apprehended at a hospital in Palm Springs. Sorry if I’m so vague, I did see the red lights of a patrol car flashing that night, this is all secondhand info from a good friend and may be already reported in this newspaper.

        Thought for the week: when you get knocked down hard, gather all your resources and lift yourself up.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is sad to hear that on January 11 Delores Jefferson had passed on. She was a past president of our association and helped run the USDA food distributions at Copper Mountain Mesa many years ago. Our board voted last week to have Delores’s name inscribed on our Honor Roll Plaque for service to the community.
It was a cold day with patches of snow in the shadows of trees as Ruth Tuttle and I arrived at Mountain Valley Memorial Park for Delores’s services in the chapel that was overflowing with family and friends who wished to pay their respects. Folks in wheelchairs, Mothers holding their babies, and well dressed children running around outside.
Inside Dr. John Hardison was officiating the services. Family got up to speak first: Delores’s son and daughter began. John saying that his Mom was his best friend and then conveyed his feelings to all without any additional words as his sister Terry recited a letter from their sister Judy who couldn’t be there and thanking all who came. Then Terry’s son Michael Clemence sung a song and did an excellent job at it. Michael’s big brother Paul spoke elegantly and to the point about his Grandmother, of her kindness and caring of folks who have fallen on hard times, and of her involvement in the Kid’s Club.
Then friends spoke: Susan Weston said that Delores took her under her wing and referred to her as her adoptive daughter and helped her through some bad times. Westly Furqueron talked about fighting the Water Board with Delores. And that she came to visit him in the hospital when she herself was sick. Freddy her neighbor said that he was really touched by Delores, that she had changed his life. Finally Dr. John Hardison who knew Delores since 1961 had some kind words to share.
After the services everyone went to the Joshua Tree Community Center, where Delores spent so much of her time, to have lunch prepared by her long time friend Rickey Tagle of Arturo’s Restaurant. When everyone was served Rickey stood in the middle of the room and started speaking about Delores when his cell phone rang, he answered it saying, “yes, yes, ok”, then telling all that it was Delores and that she said for everyone to have fun and thanks for coming.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has been really cold and windy for about the last three weeks. I’ve never seen it this cold, lasting this long, since I’ve moved here permanently in 1998. My neighbor Bob Stonebraker says the same thing and he’s been here for over thirty years. Almost all my plants are dead from the freeze. My Alavera plants that I blend in my breakfast drink are frozen and dead, my Palm Trees look wasted, and all the flowered plants took a dump. I guess come summer we’ll be complaining about the heat.

I helped a good friend install a motor in his vehicle last week and I’ve haven’t seen someone curse as much since I was in the service. It was like he was caught in his own fantasia where inanimate objects join forces and conspired against him. A wrench he was looking for would bury its self to the bottom of the tool chest, nuts would miraculously change their threads from metric to standard, the floor jack would suddenly drop, and dirt would defy gravity and fall sideways into his eyes! We finally got the motor bolted in despite the hostile legions of tools and other commonplace items fighting him.

Thought for the week: Did anyone think to ask the Iraqi people if they still want our help or not? Let them hold a vote. That’s the Democratic way and would clear up a whole lot of confusion. I for one would like to know.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community wants ya all to remember that we have Bingo every Tuesday night from 6pm. There ain’t a lot of folks attending anymore and we’d be mighty honored if ya all come on over to our community center, it’s a good way to meet yer neighbors and make friends. The folks who do attend are a fine and descent lot and if yer new to Bingo they’d be mighty please to show ya the ropes.

Birthdays for February are: Dennis McDermott, Stevie Villarreal, Pamela Waddey, Marcia McKinney, Stuart Watson, John Waddell, and Earl Wilbert.

Thought for the week: If you’re a procrastinator like me, you might want to try the 5 minute rule. The rule is simple: you get up from your couch and spend 5 minutes on a project you been letting slide. Chances are you’ll get involved spending additional time on the project; possibly finishing it.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is sad to learn that longtime resident Sharon Weaver had passed on last Sunday. She had been in poor health for some years and had been taken care of by family and friends. I enjoyed Sharon’s company and wit when I first came to these parts, but I journeyed a different path then she over six years ago. She was a great gal back then and would still call me from time to time with comments and advice for my column. Sharon loved her sons and will be sincerely missed.

Because of the freeze Ron Dehart picked up a bunch of avocados from San Diego where he was visiting. They had dropped from the trees without their stems and the folks there couldn’t sell them that way. Instead of just letting them lay on the ground to rot they let Ron fill up a truckload to bring up here and give away to us desert folks.

Lee and Marcie Hines stopped by my home with Hoss and Sandy Kuhn. Hoss is just out of the hospital after a 3 month stay and seems to be doing well. Sandy said it was his way of missing her birthday, wedding anniversary, and Christmas!

Thought for the week: With the passage of time, you’ll gather more yesterdays and have fewer tomorrows. So make full use of today!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is starting to warm up a bit; I saw two butterflies and a ladybug for the first time this year. Last Sunday it rained for about 20 minutes, the drops were big but spaced far apart leaving little trace that the rain had happened at all.

On Friday 9, a Police helicopter was circling the house where Officer Adrian Garcia was ambushed a few months earlier. There were at least five patrol cars that I could count pouring into the driveway and Officers running around the yard. I had my camera and was able to video and take some pictures from afar. This all happened about 4pm and I continued seeing patrol cars and their lights and activity at the house until after 9pm. I have no idea why the house was raided, just the fact that it was.

Our community had an auction last Sunday. Not too many folks showed up, but Chuck Cercu had the Bar-B-Q ablaze with hotdogs and buns, they were mighty good, and probably made more money off of them dogs then the auction. Took a bunch of pics of the folks scavenging and poking through the odds and ends of the donated goods. A lot of it ended up on Steve Tuttle’s truck to be taken to the dump.

Thought for the week: Calm waters prevail in the hearts of hurricanes too!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has a new head chef, his name is Chuck Cercu. Chuck has taken over the kitchen responsibilities from Bob Stonebraker who has been running it for many years and is all tuckered out. Chuck is thinking of having two breakfasts a month and would like to know what ya think, so you can tell him when ya come down to the “Famously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” on March 3, at the community center.

Is anyone missing a blind puppy? I was on my evening walk when I found a little puppy, about 4 months old, wandering through the desert. The puppy was skin and bones from lack of food and water, also the poor pup appears to be blind. My first thought was to walk away because I really don’t want a dog and I know my Cat wouldn’t either, but I couldn’t do that, and I let him follow me home. I had to make sounds so he could follow, he kept running into bushes. I fed him, gave him water, and Cat gave him a swipe on the nose to let him know whose the boss. After a few days of Puppy Chow and lots of loving the dog is much improved. I take him on short walks to give him some exercise and he keeps up by listening to my footsteps, but still bumps into a bush or two. So if you know whose puppy this is please give me a call and we will reunite puppy with owner. I just hope this isn’t a case of someone dumping a blind puppy in the desert to die, cause that would be very cruel and unlawful too.

Thought for the week: WWII (December 7, 1941 to August 14, 1945) 44 months. The Iraq War (March 18, 2003 to present) is now coming up to 48 months. Something to think about!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has been really windy with clouds blowing by but no rain. On Friday 23 and then again on Tuesday 27 the wind really blew, whipping up huge billows of dust and sand from the dry lake down on Sunfair and blowing it onto Lear Avenue and Highway 62 sandblasting vehicles and making for poor visibility. Mounds of dust were being lifted high into the sky, then floating over into the mountains of the National Park. It was a magnificent sight to see from afar, and that’s were I was taking pictures of it.

Blind puppy update: I haven’t gotten any replies to the article I wrote last week from anyone who has lost a blind puppy or of someone who knows somebody who had one and now doesn’t. The puppy is now doing very well, going on morning runs and evening walks with me. He has put on much weight since the skin and bones dog I found two weeks ago. Even fat cat is showing him some consideration by not swiping at him. I haven’t the resources to care for a blind dog and was hoping that someone would come forth and claim him. My friends and neighbors have been really kind and supportive. They have provided much help, advice, and puppy chow that I would like to thank them very much. If you know of someone who can help provide a proper, loving home for him please give me a call.

Birthdays for the month of March are: Andy "Joe" Lane, Seimi Shiba, and Harry Preciado.

Thought for the week: Exceptional people have exceptional experiences.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is starting to thaw out now that nice warm weather has arrived last Monday. This is a welcome change! This is why we live here! The freeze damage done earlier this year to plants was heartbreaking. I have two palm trees that may not come back. I was able to salvage and repot some Alavera plants which are coming along quite nicely.

On Saturday 10, there will be a GIANT YARD SALE at the Community Center’s Old Fire Station from Noon till dusk, everything must go to make room. Come on down and enjoy Chuck’s famous hotdogs while you rummage through the bargains galore!

I like to mention that surprisingly through all the high winds we been having the UHF transmitter has stayed on the air. I’d like to thank, again, whoever is in charge of the UHF transmission and tell them that they’re doing a great job and that the service has improved for the folks that depend on UHF for their TV reception! It wasn’t long ago that it would go off the air in a stiff breeze and we’d wait for days till somebody got around to repair it. One day last week, I think it was Friday 2, channel 47 had a kind of odd and strange freeze-frame picture of a man caught sitting at a desk with a yellow marker on it that was displayed most of the day. Well that didn’t bother me cause there wasn’t anything worth watching.

Thought for the week: Show respect for people’s beliefs even if they conflict with your own. Be positive!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has been having some warm starry skies and lately I have been taking my telescope out. I haven’t done so this year because of the cold and the wind. Last Monday night the Moon was hiding on the other side of the earth making for some very dark clear skies. I trained my scope on the constellation Cancer and the Beehive open cluster. Further to the east on the Ecliptic is Leo, a backwards question mark in the sky, where I found Saturn, tilted just enough to make a nice display of its rings.

Thought for the week: There is one reason why Biofuels won’t become widely used: Producers of Biofuels use our food to make it. Take corn for instance: We use corn to make Ethanol, but we also use it to feed livestock, chickens, and ourselves. I’d preferably feed the world’s hungry. There are other plants we could use but it takes much more energy to produce these into Ethanol. Ethanol maybe a temporary solution until batteries become much more efficient with longer mileage between charges, shorter charging times, and more economical. One concept electric car, the Tesla Roadster, gets 150 to 250 miles per charge with speeds over 130 mph and accelerating from zero to 60 mph in four seconds: so the technology is there. One thought I have is to build electric motors in the hubs of wheels eliminating the gas motor, transmission, and drive shaft, providing more room for batteries. You can use these Hub motors to retrofit gas cars. The infrastructure is already in place for electric powered vehicles and that’s where I believe the future is.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community Blind Dog Update: Last week I made arrangements with the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County to pickup Blind Dog. I talked to Volunteer Adele from the Rescue and I asked her many questions about her organization and was satisfied that he would get the best of medical care and adopted into a loving family. Adele would be driving out from Orange County and would meet me at WalMart. She will have driven 267 miles by the day’s end. Later that day I said farewell to my little Blind Dog, and it felt like I was losing a good friend.
The GSRO.ORG is a non-profit organization with around 125 volunteers. They hold events like cake bakeoffs. They also refill and sale toner cartages for printers, and accept donations. When they first get a dog they drop it off at the Vet, sometimes spending over a thousand dollars a dog. They post the dog’s picture on their website, then put the dog in a foster home (not in a cage) until it is adopted, which they have strict rules about.
When I went for my walk that evening I felt lonely because I didn’t have my little friend trailing behind me and made up my mind to call Adele and to tell her about my feelings and that I will be his safety net if no one adopts him.
A few days later Adele called to say that a couple will adopt Blind Dog after he gets all his shots and anything else he needs, even surgery for his vision. The couple’s old dog who was also blind and adopted had died a while ago. That is good news indeed and I will be standing by if things don’t work out.

Thought for the week: Why is it that UFOs, who try to remain concealed and stealthy, fly around with all their lights on?

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has heard that the Copper Mountain Mesa Association’s Board of Directors had decided that the meeting to be held on Saturday, April14th is going to be a "Finish Painting the Building". Volunteers are needed!

What I dislike more than most anything else is lowlifes dumping trash in our beautiful desert.
I was on my evening walk and found that somebody had dumped a pile of garbage by a vacant cabin on the corner of Borland Pass and Presswood. I did a fast search through it to see if I could find anything with an address when I call in to report it. As I picked up a bag of “Old Roy” dog food from the heap, a big gray long tailed rat leaped out landing on my shoe which made me jump back and drop the bag. I decided to just poke around the debris of kitchen trash, and construction rubble, with a piece of iron rod that was laying about. I found an old wooden box, the hinges were worn and wobbled, an empty cavity where a lock’s mechanism had previously been. The wood was stained dark brown and a little warped, bigger than a cigar box, more like a jewelry case, I’d say. Inside I found old handkerchiefs, pressed flowers in wax paper, clippings from some newspaper, a picture of a baby girl from the 40s, and a Wedding Certificate that was dated 1942; the Bride was 39 and the Groom was 55. I took the box home. I don’t believe that these folks did the dumping. I think that it was dumped by somebody doing a renovation of a cabin they had just acquired and threw out the wooden box full of someone’s forgotten memories, along with the garbage.

Thought for the week: When is too many not enough: Hugs!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community seems to be really dry lately. I’ve also noticed that there is not much green in the terrain and not much in the way of flowers that color our vistas around this time of year. It was very cold this last winter with little rainfall to quench the desert’s thirst. Are we in a weather cycle called La Nina? Where the ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific are cooler than normal and effect rainfall and temperatures: in our area it gets dryer than normal. Well one thing I do know for sure is that less vegetation means less rats eating the wires out of our vehicles

Birthdays this month are: Carol Lane, Patty Bradley, Mary Helen Tuttle, Marie Morrison, Bob Stonebraker, Bill Bonner, Ruth Malton, Roger Toomes, Brenda Zimmer, and Mac & Sayoko McDermott 26th Anniversary.

Thought for the week: Smile even when you know they’re scheming against you. It scares the hell out of them!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community, with its cloudless skies most days of the year, is really a nice place to collect and use solar energy. I get a lot of calls and emails from folks asking me about my solar system every time I have mentioned my home is solar powered. It may not be for everyone, but I decided to put this together for those folks who are interested.

My system consists of :
1) Four 64 Watt, one 55 Watt, and two 40 Watt solar panels.
2) Two controllers that regulates the amps to the batteries so that they don't over charge.
3) Two 6 volt golf cart, and one 12 volt deep cycle batteries.
5) 1250-Watts dc to ac Power Inverter. 6) One 2500 watt Honda generator (for those real cloudy days and washing clothes)

It powers all my lights, which are LED 12 vdc and draw about an amp, I run Compact Fluorescents when needed. The LED's give me enough light to navigate around the house and for reading. I also use them outside on a timer. I don't really have to turn off the LED lights but I do so by habit.
I have a small freezer that opens from the top to keep the cold air from flowing out. I put "blue ice" in the freezer, and a 12 computer volt fan inside to circulate the cold air. I run it 1.5 hours a day during winter and 3 to 4 hours during summer.
I use a laptop computer because it is more energy efficient. I also have a printer, scanner, and other computer stuff.
I replaced my old 19-inch tube type TV with an energy efficient 17-inch LCD TV.
My system works well for me and I can always add to it if my power requirements alter.

Thought for the week: Out of necessity comes change.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has finally received some much needed rain last Monday. It wasn’t a whole bunch, but enough to bring the grease woods to flower and sending the bees to buzz among them the next day. In contrast to the week before where winds were gusting upwards to 60 MPH causing minor damage in our area and sending my outhouse into the air, thank God I wasn’t in it.

I attended the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Hi Desert Star last Tuesday and met the nice folks who let me write my column for their newspaper. There was a really big crowd of interesting people that I got to jaw with. I took a number of pictures of the whole celebration and will post a few on my personal journal. Plenty of food and drink, with my friend Rickey Tagle dishing it out.

Thought for the week: Earthday is tomorrow! So lets make a list of what we can do individually to lessen our footprint that we leave on our planet. And do it.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community celebrated Earthday last Sunday, and since it was Earthday, I rode my bike over for a visit with Mike and Stevie Villarreal and to write a story and take some pictures of their new baby goats: Toby, Copper and Goat. The baby goats were fun to watch, them spending much time nursing, playing ball, and nibbling on my trouser leg. I spent around two hours there jawing and receiving the grand tour of their home. They have done a fantastic job landscaping the yard with fountains, bird feeders and ponds. They added a nice bay-view window made out of stone and old desert worn windows that are centered on a wood stove; looks like the entrance to an old mine shaft.

Thought for the week: If your boat is sinking, do you poke more holes in it to drain out the water? Seems to me that’s how Washington has been handling important environmental policies for decades.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has had its first taste of summer this week with the temps perched around 100 degrees for a few days. Now that we’ve had a reminder of just what to expect in the following months, it is a good time to get the swampcooler cleaned, install new pads, and breakout the fans.

One day on my morning jog I stopped by Borland Pass and south of Presswood where there’s some remodeling going on at an old rundown shack. They had 2 roll-offs sitting out front to store all the garbage that they're collecting off the property. I talked to the owner whose name is Al, and he told me that the house is going to be a rental. He has about 8 workers doing a new roof, stucco, and other odd jobs. I was hoping that he was going to move into it.

Birthdays for May: Bob Nelson, Tim Herrera, Jackie Johnston, C. Myer, Karen Van Noort, and Mary Moowea.

I want all our Seniors to know that there is a Senior Fair on the 17th down at the Yucca Community center 9am to 2pm you should call 800 510-2020 to RSVP for the free vittles they’d be serving.

Thought for the week: Since when has our country’s foreign policy been determined by public opinion polls? Its not very democratic and nobody has ever asked my opinion yet except when I vote!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is sad to learn that Harry Preciado has passed away. Harry lived in our area for many years with his wife Zoila. Going to bingo, watching boxing at Lee and Marcie Hines home, and you could always catch them at potluck sitting at the north-west end of the table. Zoila passed on in 2004 and Harry went away to live with his son Joe. Harry was a kind and quite soul until he had a few beers, then he would brighten up and tell us all about this fishing trip to Ensenada that he and Zoila went on, and other adventures, always asking Zoila for confirmation on key points and she would most always agree. We will all miss them both!
Here is an email from Harry's Son, Joe: “Thank you for your prompt reply and for passing the word regarding his passing. He was able to enjoy his grandchildren while living with us and was also a proud Great-Grandfather to a now 14 week baby girl. He made a considerable turn around health wise and was constantly walking around our block with the use of his walker. He was in much better health since he came to live with us. His three short years with us were spent to the fullest. Joe Preciado”

The winds have finally died down some that I took out the telescope on a nice and dark night this week. Checked out Venus which is the bright "Evening Star" in the western sky after sunset. It appears to be almost half lit right now; kind of like the phases of the Moon. Saturn is still in Leo and if the weather is kind to me, I will continue to spend part of my evenings outside gazing into the sky.

Thought for the week: The older I get the more I look like Albert Einstein and think like Donald Duck!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community just loves music, so when we heard that Joshua Tree was having the first annual Acoustic Guitar Festival last Friday, Ron Dehart and I journeyed on over. The only place to sit was on the ground, no problem, and we listened to some fantastic music put on by some very talented local artists (they weren't just playing cords) performing some of their own original stuff. Ron can't drive well in the dark so we left after a Very cute gal named Shari Elf sang "Home on the Range" which everyone sang to, I think, I know I did. On the way home Ron ran over a trashcan, so he wasn't kidding about his night driving.

Last Monday I took out the telescope and trained it on the seven stars of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) Dubhe, Merak, Phecda, Megrez, Alioth, Mizar, and Alkaid. Mizar was the first binary star that was discovered back in 1617. I noticed while I was searching the sky that Jupiter (rising in the east) Saturn (just west in Leo) and Venus (setting in the west) where all up. So now is a good time if you ever wanted to see where the plane of the Ecliptic (the apparent path that the Sun, planets, and the Zodiac travel), you can draw an imaginary line with your finger across the sky from Jupiter to Regulus in Leo (the bright star at the bottom of the question mark) then through Saturn, and down to Venus then on to the horizon.

Thought for the week: If you have to work hard at having fun you’re entirely missing the whole point!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community knows summer is just around the bend and my Fat Cat is also feeling the change in the weather, shedding his fur all over the place. It gets into everything: food, clothes, floor, and my bed, everywhere. Pulled some hair out of my oatmeal this morning! I try to brush him out but he doesn’t like that and ends up hacking up hair balls, very disgusting! Poor cat!

Bob Ascherin called to say he needs the “Desert Journal” of 1972 about the Copper Mountain Lake earthquake that he lent me last January for a story I’m writing. After I hung up with Bob, I franticly hunted around through the many papers I have stashed on shelves and in cardboard boxes. Finally found it and made copies and delivered it on Tuesday. Got the grand tour of his home and found he is an avid collector of model trains that he has accumulated over the years. His Father’s engineer’s hat from long ago sits on a shelf by his collection.

I found there’s a “Blue Moon” coming Thursday 31. I will have to update my website’s calendar to reflect that. The site where I get the phases of the moon uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which puts the full moon at 1:04 am on June 1, but PDT is 7 hours behind, that puts the full moon at 6:04 on May 31 making it a “Blue Moon” which is a second full Moon in a month for us here in the states (Europe will have their Blue Moon in June). Well it only happens once in a Blue Moon.

Thought for the week: It always helps to walk a way from a problem for a time and come back and tackle it after your brain sorts it out.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community was having a potluck last Saturday and I decided to mosey on over to our community center and take some pictures. Judith Bowman, Bob Seeley, Stuart Watson with his girlfriend Debbie and her Daughter, Mary Hodges, Rose Matox, Brenda Zimmer, Bob Stonebraker, and Beth Temiem were there. I guess the other folks who usually come went somewhere else for the three day weekend. Stonebraker brought his world famous chili beans, there was fried chicken, strawberry shortcake pie, sweet rolls, peas, and a fruit salad. All had a fine time!

Lee and Marcie Hines drove to Parsons Kansas, Marcie’s birthplace, and visited Marcie’s brother and family. Relatives came from all parts of the state to visit. Lee and Marcie stayed there for a week and had a very good time. Parsons is located in the southeast part of the state with a population of some twelve thousand folks. They then traveled to Rome Georgia to visit Lee’s daughter and family and were there for three days. They took over 120 pictures on the trip. Marcie says that the trip was well worth it as they drove in a very nice motor home that Bill and Jan Bonner loaned them. Braving rainstorms, floods, fires, twisters, and the stifling humidity of Texas on the way back, they’re glad to be home in good old Copper Mountain Mesa. And we’re glad to have them back!

Thought for the week: The way I handle getting older is: there are folks older than me and folks younger than me, and I will always be in between.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has heard from Scott Sorensen and his gal friend Anita that their buffalos Buffy and Sally each had babies last week. I used to care for their buffalo before they moved to Lancaster.

Cuckwalla2007Last Sunday Ron Dehart and I drove on over to the Chuckwalla Fest at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town. On the way we went through all the devastation that last July’s Sawtooth fire had caused: the hills stripped bare of all vegetation leaving charred Joshua trees and naked rocky vistas that were once lush with green life and folks homes. So sad that I decided not to take any pictures. We walked through the restaurant where we had our hands stamped leading outside that held two stages, one big and a smaller stage for individual performers. Hula GalJudy Van Ruggles picked a good banjo and belted out some great vocals. Steve and Darlene Lester played some very nice Bluegrass while these nice looking gals hula hooped. I was especially entranced with one hula hooper in tie-dye green dress and beads in her hair, reminded me of the 60’s. She hooped with little effort right in front of me, I felt right at home! Alice and Albert played on the small stage some original songs of theirs and they made it all worth it! (well them and the hula gal) The Chuckwalla fest use to be held at the Metaphysic Center in JT and I liked the wide openness of it all there better, but Pappy and Harriet’s has a distinct atmosphere all of it’s own and I had a mighty nice time.

Thought for the week: Imagine a Democracy where there aren’t any political parties and everyone was sovereign unto themselves. That way no group could control to the detriment of others.

By Bob DeLoyd

Big MorongoOur little Community has a triathlete living in our area: Mark Garko. He lives with his wife at the trailer park on Sunfair Road just after you hit the dirt road going north. He’s been doing triathlon training for ten years and lost 100 pounds in that period. I love to hear stories of folks who put forth great effort to overcome the obstacles in their lives. His brother is also a triathlete, and Mark’s inspiration to get fit, has done a total 36 thousand miles in the events he has participated in. Marks main complaint is there are no large pools in our area that have any decent hours that the public can use them. Mark works as a Mechanic at Leo’s Auto Repair and Smog in Morongo Valley and that’s where I met him when I took my truck down to get it smogged.
While I was in the waiting room, Leo’s three kids came home from school all dressed in their pajamas! Strange I thought, but their Mother explained that it was “Pajama Day” at the Elementary School they attend. They also have “Suit and Tie Day” and “Tee-shirt Day”. All nice kids, but me being a bachelor and not use to being around kids I decided to visit “Big Morongo Canyon Preserve” that’s just down the road. What a fantastic, peaceful, and wonderful place to visit. I walked along the “Marsh Trail” taking many pictures of all the bountiful trees and flowering plants. When I got back all the work was completed on my truck. I paid my bill and told Leo that he has a fine Family.

Thought for the week: Don't fret about other folks and their problems, just be happy they’re not yours!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community needs to get rid of a lot of items from our thrift shop that is taking up space in the old Fire Department next to the Community Center. The Thrift Shop is open during our First Saturday Breakfasts, Bingo on Tuesday nights before 6:30, and most anytime you drive by and see someone there.

I was outside with my telescope last Sunday on a Moonless night gazing at the stars which form the Tea Pot in Sagittarius where just above the spout and a little to the right is the center of our Galaxy about 26,000 light years away and I had an idea!
The Milky Way runs north to south in two bright bands with a dark band in the middle, The middle dark band is a disk made up of dust that hides the inner stars from us seen edge on, and the center resides in the dark bulge there. The two bright bands are the peripheral stars that lie on either side of the dark disk.
I used my imagination to picture myself on our planet way out on one of the spiral arms and mentally inversed the curvature of the Milky Way as we normally see it so it would be curved away from me and I saw our Galaxy in a way I never seen it before. It reminded me of pictures that I’ve observed of other galaxies seen edge on in astronomy books. Really cool!

Thought for the week: It’s time to stop watching TV with actors playing other people’s lives and get out there and live your own!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has a few projects in the works but I was told not to report on them just yet. I have received an email from some folks who saw a UFO but they want to remain anonymous. And there are some stories that been told that can’t be verified or just dang gossip that I won’t put here. So we are left with this:

Scott Sorensen, who owns the Buffalo that use to roam his property on Winters Road before he moved to Lancaster, says all three adult Buffalo are doing fine and the two male babies are up and running about. Talked to his gal friend Anita who told me about the young stray female cat that is in heat and driving everyone crazy and nobodies getting any sleep. They can’t let her outside in fear that the male cats that surround their home would get to her. They all wanted to know when I’ll be driving over for a visit. I told them the condition of my truck and that it would be a while (I’ll wait till they get the cat fixed).

I’ve been trying something new lately and that is running under the summer stars at night when it’s cooler. It’s really very pleasant and refreshing.

Thought for the week: In my own little world the center of the universe is my family and friends and not some void in space some 15 billion light years away!

By Bob DeLoyd

Sun DogThe picture to the left is what meteorologists call a Parhelia or "Sun Dog" which is formed by ice crystals in cirrus clouds refracted at a greater angle then 22 degree. I took this on the evening of the Fourth of July: Natures own "Fireworks"!

Our little Community had Potluck last Saturday and I drove to the community center to take some pictures. Not a whole lot of folks were there like I had hoped there would be: even less than last months Potluck. Just a few years ago we’d have forty to fifty hungry people show up to pig-out. I’m feeling kind of sad that it has been dwindling down to just a handful of folks from what it had used to be. Maybe it’s time that we start getting things together, forgive and forget past squabbles, and become a community again!

I am working on a column about UFO sightings in our area and it would be nice if anyone who has witnessed one and would like to share it contact me. I already have a few folks who have told me of their sightings and I thought it would be fun to write about them.

Birthdays for July: Dana Van Noort, Bob Beggs, and Karen & Dana Van Noort 14th Anniversary.

Thought for the week: I hate it when cars or motorcycles breakdown in bad spots: Like in the middle of the desert in front of a prison and because it's 117 degrees outside, yer insides are getting baked, and yer brain is like a tuna sandwich without the mayonnaise. You are trying to get a ride to the nearest town unaware that you are standing under a big sign that says "Federal Prison: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers". Everyone drives by, eyes straight ahead, bodies stiff as a mannequin. You get desperate and jump in front of a truck full of day laborers and get a ride to the nearest donut shop and drink down two large cokes and eat a donut or two! Yes I know how it can be when you break down in the desert.

By Bob DeLoyd

The Little Fox I saw!Our little Community was a nice and quiet place this Fourth of July. Because of the San Bernardino County off-road vehicle Ordinance there were no dirt bikes cutting up our property and roads. The deafening noise from their vehicles was gone and we were left with the peace and serenity of our beautiful desert and wildlife that we folks up here appreciate.
The off-road vehicle Ordinance is under attack by those who don’t appreciate our desert and think that it is their own personal playground, to do as they will and destroy the habitats of our critters and ride through our properties leaving them scarred for years!
The Board of Supervisors will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, July 24, in San Bernardino for removal of the trespass and staging provision that is being sponsored by an off-road riding organization! We as property owners and angry voters should write and call to let the Supervisors know how we feel. If we don’t these people will be thumbing their noses at you while doing donuts on your land! And believe me they will! That’s one reason we got the Ordinance in the first place. Learn more at orvwatch.com or if you’re lost for words just rip this column out and send it to the County Supervisors!

One day on my evening walk I saw a little fox in the middle of the trail and took some pics of him before he scurried away using the desert as camouflage. I haven’t seen a fox around here for years! Maybe they think it’s safe to come back now because the off-road vehicles are gone. On Tuesday we finally received some long needed rain! It’s been mighty hot lately and the rain was a nice change.

Thought for the week: Never stand in front of a fast moving train unless you have dismantled the tracks first.

UPDATE: We have learned that the ORV ordinance will not be considered by the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors on July 24th. The new date is now August 21st.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community’s Andy "Joe" Lane and his wife Carol would like to mention that there youngest son Scotty and April just had a baby girl on 7-11-07, her name is Brooke Lynn Lane. She weighs 8lbs 12oz and is 19 ½ inches long. Carol and Joe are so happy to have a grand baby close to home because their other three live way out in Vermont. Congratulations from our whole community!

Please come join us at our community center at 11am on August 11 for a very informative seminar on what you need to know about your “End Of Life Expenses”. Hosted by Wiefels Mortuaries of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. You must RSVP by August 10 with Gwen Pettry at 760 365-7514. There will be a Door Prize and refreshments!

Don’t forget that Potluck will be a next Saturday at 4pm. Bring some of your finest grub on down to share, then sit around, drink coffee, kickback and jaw for a while. I’ll bring my camera to take some nice pictures of all you hungry desert folks.

Thought for the week: Live in the moment and enjoy life’s wonders; be it a baby’s laugh, love, or even the flu: you might as well be happy and take pleasure in the journey. You exist in the moment anyways, you just haven’t realized it yet.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has a lot of humidity hanging heavy in our area lately. A week ago on Friday night I watched a sort of fog come rolling in from the south around 11pm and I knew that it would be around for a while. The clouds were drifting overhead, filling up the sky. Got a few sprinkles here and there. I had the telescope out that night and watched the crescent Moon set behind the mountains. As I was watching it set, a faraway jet with blinking navigation lights flew in front of the Moon’s dark disk, and when it got to the lit crescent I could see its silhouette with contrails against the Moon’s bright surface! Looked mighty cool! With the humidity rising recently it has been feeling like a steam room around here, it’ll zap the strength right out of you. I thought it best to just keep inside the house during the day with the fans on and try to stay cool until it passes.

Ron Dehart and I saw a Tornado at 1:55pm Tuesday July 24th on Copper Mountain Mesa. I took some pictures of it while we were parked on Winters Road at Coyote Valley looking Southwest and about a mile or so away. Lasted about 5 or more minutes then dissipated.

Birthdays for August are: Ruth Tuttle, Fred Frederiksen, Johnny Lopez, Sayoko McDermott, Joseph Evans, Frank McDermott, Lauren Villarreal, John Jefferson, Bob Seeley, and me.

Thought for the week: This is my 400th column that I have written for the High Desert Star! (you’d think I’d get better at it) Not that I’m going to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne or anything like that, but it is a milestone for me. When I started I didn’t even think I’d make it past ten. My college English Professor Sally Brown would have been shocked but happy that something got through my thick skull from her persistent teachings.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is a buzz with the story of a shooting in our neighborhood. Last Sunday night around 8pm, a woman allegedly shot a man in a house over near Lear Avenue on Jack Rabbit Trail. Police and paramedics were called. The paramedics tried their best but the man passed on at the house, and the woman was taken away by police. There are a lot of stories going around here about the people involved, but we’ll leave it like this for now.

Ron Dehart and I were on the way to town around 12:30pm on Friday 27th when we saw black smoke coming from a point about a mile northwest of the community center. We drove back there to see if we could help. When we arrived we saw a small truck on fire, stalled, in the middle of the road that runs along the Marine Base, with all its tires ablaze billowing black soot into the air. There were folks already mulling about with empty fire extinguishers and with little hope of putting it out. There was nothing we could do so we moseyed on and later saw a fire truck speeding down Winters Road on its journey to what was left of a burned out truck.

I went to potluck last Saturday and there were many more folks than the last time, I’d say around twenty or so. I took many pictures of everyone. Chris Jonas brought his famous macaroni salad (I took a little of what was leftover home with me). Marcie Hines made some great lasagna. Jan and Bill Bonner brought lemon cake, my favorite! Bob Seeley brought a vegetable plate with dip, and his Granddaughter who plays base in a band. Frank and Mary Poole were there along with their bunch. There were lots of mighty fine foods to eat and good folks to jaw with.

Thought for the week: Sometimes the ways you think things should work are very different from how they were intended to work, or how they actually do work.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community will be outside this Sunday night watching the “Great Perseids Meteor Shower” of 2007! What makes it great is that the Moon will be “new” and that means really dark skies. The meteors came from little specks of dust boiled off comet Swift-Tuttle’s tail that were first observed by the Chinese in 36 AD. They appear to streak down (Look to the northeast after 9pm) from the constellation Perseus to hit Earth’s atmosphere at 132,000 mph creating some magnificent bright trails across the heavens. The meteors will increase as the night grows older.

The “Famously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” last week had fed around thirty five hungry folks and some new families that have moved into our neighborhood, says Marcie Hines who now runs the kitchen. So remember if you want a good breakfast that will stick to yer ribs all day long , come on down to our community center on the first Saturday of the month at 8:30-11AM.

Thought for the week: Went for a run one evening up a hill by my house under a Moonless starry sky. Makes you really feel vibrant and alive. I noticed some new lights in our area illuminating the night and washing out the stars. City folks bringing the city out here. You’d think folks would move out here to our desert to enjoy the dark skies, the quietness and serenity, and get away from all that city crap, but they bring it all with them! Burning precious petroleum to turn night into day and spoil it for folks like you and me who take pleasure in the simple rural life that we live. When I got back from my run, I took out the telescope to gaze at the stars of the Milky Way. What a wonderful life I live!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is gearing up for the USDA food distribution that will be this Monday the 20th, and for Potluck next Saturday! Everyone is welcome to come on down to potluck. Don’t forget to bring something to share.

Late one night I had a Sun Spider crawl over me! Yikes! I couldn’t find it at first and I laid back down to go to sleep and there it was, a big fat female on the wall by my pillow. I had an Astronomy magazine (September’s Issue) rolled up and used it to smash it really good. Bug juice sprayed all over my pillow and wall. I think I will bug bomb this place next week.
Was working on my column for the newspaper when Andrew Nevsky came by with a Garter Snake in a bucket and we set it free under my trailer in the back of my property. I told him of the Sun Spider episode and it sent chills through his body (he hates spiders) and said that he killed one last night too.

Started my watch of the northeastern night skies last Sunday for the meteor shower with my Fat Cat curled up next to me while I scan the skies and saw many meteors zipping across the sky. There were a few big ones that glowed green as they disintegrated above me. Stayed up till 3am and saw more meteors then I have ever seen on one night.

Thought for the week: Believing and knowing are two different concepts. One is based in hearsay and the other is built on reality.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has heard that Bob Stonebraker (Stoney) has quit managing Bingo after five years. Stoney used to call for many years before he took over management of Bingo. Stoney says that he just got plumb tuckered out. So let us all give Stoney a big hand for a job well done!

Early on August 28th there will be a total Lunar Eclipse, that’s where the Earth casts its shadow on the surface of the Moon when it comes between the Moon and the Sun. So if you’re up late on the 27th, have plenty of coffee, can stay awake till totality on the 28th at 2:52am and watch until it ends at 4:22am, you’ll see the Moon turn a blood red.

Another late nighter will be the 2007 Aurigid Meteor Shower that peaks 4:36 a.m. on September 1st (look northeast, just to the left of the Pleiades). The debris was left by Comet Kiess, a long period comet that is believed to have made its last journey to our neighborhood around the time Mark Antony, Roman politician and Cleopatra's lover, was born: 83 BC. Long period comets make their way into our solar system after thousands of years on their slow orbit about our Sun, and their showers are hard to predict, so it may or may not happen. Their meteors are much older then short period comets like the Perseids, more robust and multicolored when they burn. If it happens there should be many colorful meteors streaking across the sky. You may want to catch this one because the next Aurigid Meteor Shower is 70 years from now.

Birthdays for September: Randell Herrera, Mike Villarreal, Donna Myers, Kimberly Herrera, Marcie Hines, and Ed Drzal.

Thought for the week: The more I learn the more aware I am of what little I seem to know.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community had a very pleasant potluck last Saturday; with many hungry folks showing up to overfill their plates from a huge table stocked full with a large assortment of delectable food items. I took many a picture of folks stuffing their faces to excess. I myself ate way too much food and didn’t have to eat for the rest of that day.

Don’t miss our Famously Fine First Saturday Breakfast: Starts at 8:30 and runs till 11am this Saturday.

I stayed up really late last Monday night to see the Lunar Eclipse that started happening around 2am, went to totality at 2:52 and stayed a blood red till 4:22. As it began to darken it seemed to turn the color turquoise which was then followed by the red. Just before it hit totality the wind came up, I could hear my neighbor’s horse whinny and dogs barking, where there was silence before. Sent chills up and down my spine. For the next 90 minutes the Moon looked like a red corpuscle hanging in the sky and the stars and the constellations came out that were previously hidden from its glare. I stayed out there till 5am with my telescope wondering what our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors thought when the Moon was “swallowed up”. Would the elders send someone out to sit and watch the skies every night to warn the tribe of this phenomenon? Would this then be the beginnings of Astronomy?

Thought for the week: knowledge is an abstraction.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community had forty hungry folks show up to our “Famously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” last Saturday, according to Lee Hines and Brenda Zimmer. Brenda said that she and Patrick Whalen worked mighty hard to serve all them folks, who enjoyed a big plate of pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon, biscuits and gravy, and a big steaming cup of coffee.

All I can say about the weather on Copper Mountain Mesa lately is three words: hot, muggy, and miserable. It looks like we may have a cooling off period a few days from now (I hope with a little rain added in).

I went into my front yard around 2am last Saturday morning to watch the Aurigid Meteor Shower. I didn’t see a meteor until 3:40 when a bright one zipped across the sky. I was sitting with my radio tuned to an oldie but goody station and had my Fat Cat by my side. The waning Gibbous Moon was sitting behind my right shoulder as I faced to the northeast so the Moon’s glare would be mostly behind me. I saw a few nice bright reddish orange and deep blue meteors come streaking overhead (much brighter, but fewer than the Perseids) building up to a climax by 4:30 then dropping down to none. At around 4:50 I was just about to go inside when I thought I saw another one start to flash, it faded and then it flashed again. It turned out to be a satellite, or some space debris with a rotation period of about ten seconds tumbling in its north to south orbit around our planet. I followed it till I lost it in the Moon’s glare. Then I went to bed! I am so lucky (I don’t think I’d be around for the next Aurigid Shower, supposedly seventy years from now) that the clouds cleared and I was able to watch this shower with all its colorful meteors!

Thought for the week: The sun shines, the earth spins, and life will go on; regardless of what our political affiliations are.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community mourns with the rest of America for the lives lost on this sixth anniversary of September 11. What makes me really mad is that we haven't caught the architect of this horrendous crime and that he is still making threats against our country six years later! You should be really mad about that too!

I've been watering all the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in the yard that hasn't had any water for a while because of the drought. You usually don't have to water them because they are native to this area. I have a big one in the front yard that I water every other day and it grew to over twenty feet high. I've heard, but don't know if it's true, that the drought is so bad around these parts that the rabbits are eating the creosote bush.The creosote bush also has medicinal uses when ground down and brewed as a tea! They may also be one of the "Oldest living organisms on earth", some 12,000 years old! Besides all that, I like the way they smell after a good rain.

Last weekend I took out the telescope, tuned my radio to that oldies but goodies station, and sat back for a night of stargazing. Saw one mighty bright meteor come zooming across the sky from West to East, disintegrating high up in our atmosphere in a turquoise streak. I was searching for the Dumbbell Nebula, 1360 light years away, in the Vulpecula constellation. A Planetary Nebula is the visible material that has blown off a star much, like our Sun, towards the end of its life. It took me a while to find it because it's so faint for the little telescope I am using. Astronomers of long ago thought Planetary Nebula were where solar systems are being formed. I would have thought the same if I was observing them back in those early days of astronomy. Nice dark skies where I live!

Thought for the week: There may soon come a day when we finally realize that burning fossil fuels into the Earth's atmosphere wasn't such a bright idea after all!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has been feeling mighty fine with all the cooler weather we been having lately. Looks to me like we have finally broken out of the heat of summer and come upon the pleasant climate of fall! Come winter we’ll be complaining about how cold it is, and with the heat of the summer just some forgotten memory.

Had a few Lenticular Clouds hanging about most of Friday last week. They look like flying saucers invading Copper Mountain Mesa! These kinds of clouds form on the leeward side of mountains where the high altitude airflows are moist and stable. The ones I observed stayed in about the same area and lasted all through the day.

Every Tuesday night there is Bingo being played over at the community center. Mighty fine folks showing up at 6pm trying to win the big bucks. If you never played Bingo before, there is always someone helpful there who will be happy to show you the ropes.

We will be having our potluck next Saturday at 4pm and we start eating pretty much after that. So come on down and bring a friend for some good grub and fine company. Don’t forget to bring a dish of food to share with the rest of the folks who come.

Thought for the week: Life is wonderful if you know how to live it. And sometimes a little unexpected happiness helps!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community is having a sidewalk sale during the ”Famously Fantastically Fine First Saturday Breakfast” that starts at 8am and the sale will go on till everything is sold! So come on down and sort through the treasures at the sale and then come inside for some great home cooking!

On Friday 21 I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my roof! Wow! And it lasted over an hour! I thought I heard all the desert plants that have gone so long without a drop of water, sucking it all up! A neighbor called to ask me what this wet stuff was falling from the sky. He also told me that the electric power has been going off and on in the area caused by lightning somewhere.

Last Monday around 2:30pm I heard sirens going pass my house, but I was so involved in what I was doing that I gave it no thought until Dale Knoll from Landers called to say that the Fire Department was responding to a car fire in my area and found two burnt bodies in a vehicle by an abandoned cabin. Between shootings, plane crashes, and burning vehicles, it seems to be getting more and more like the old Wild West out here.

Birthdays for October: Larry Catron, Colleen Schweitzer, and Scott Lane.

Thought for the week: Happiness is all around us; Sometimes in a smile, a greeting, or a good deed that goes overlooked. We just need to awaken and become aware!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community lost a longtime resident, neighbor and friend Beth Terrien. Services were held on Tuesday October 2 at the Mountain Valley Memorial Park in Joshua Tree where many of Beth’s family and friends attended. So many in fact that the little chapel was full and some folks had to stand outside. I got to meet some of her family and chat with them. All talked about what a fine cook she was, her good nature, her love for animals, and always making the best out of bad situations.
I remember she would yell out “Hey good looking!” whenever I’d walk passed her at Bingo. The first time I was surprised and a little embarrassed, but her big smile put me right at ease.
After Beth’s Services we all went over to the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center and held a potluck memorial in memory of Beth. I think there were over seventy five folks that showed up. There haven’t been that many folks at our Community Center for years! I saw folks from our area who came by to pay their respects who I haven’t seen for a longtime. Marcie Hines, who runs the kitchen, was afraid there wasn’t going to be enough food to go around, but folks just kept bringing in pans of fried and barbecued chicken, casseroles, salads of many kinds, pies, cakes, cookies, that Steve Tuttle and I had to move in another table to hold all the food. I can truthfully say that no one who was there went hungry and most ate way too much: I know I did. We gave Beth a great sendoff Copper Mountain Mesa style! Beth would have liked that.

Thought for the week: Life is too short to take it too seriously, so lighten up and yell out “Hey good looking!” to someone.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community always has stray critters roaming around, and late on Wednesday 03 a dog came pawing at my front door: at first I thought it was my Fat Cat trying to get in. It was one of them Pug dogs, the kind with a flat face. My friend who was there with me said she would take the dog home with her until I could check around the neighborhood to see if someone is missing one.
The next day I left a note on my neighbor’s gate asking him if he is missing a dog. I remembered that he had a flat-faced dog of some kind when I visited him once. Later I found my neighbor’s number (would have saved me the walk) and called him. He told me that he isn’t missing a dog, and that his dog is a Bulldog. Well I was close! So if anyone is missing a young Pug dog please give me a call and we’ll get your pooch back to you.
Later I went for my evening walk and took that note off my neighbor’s gate. I went the long way around going over by the Marine Base. As I was cutting through my neighbor Joyce Ware’s property I heard a honk from a car. Joyce was sitting in her car on the driveway by her house. I moseyed on over and sat on the ground and yakked with her, catching up on some lost time. Her car was full of groceries. Joyce is in her late seventies and has a hard time walking; she uses a walker now, so I helped her carry them into her home. We haven’t called each other in a long while so when I left I told her to call me if she ever needs anything. I told her that I remembered her number and recited it to her. She came right back and recited mine to me. Joyce is a mighty fine lady and still has her wit!

Thought for the week: Sometimes it feels that we are traveling in all directions going nowhere.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community has been really windy lately; when I was on my nightly bike ride going down the steep hill by my house I had to peddle my bike! Never had that happen before. It is a shame that it’s blowing so hard because the night sky was so crisp and full of brilliant shining stars and I couldn’t take my telescope out. It even blew down my front gate! I’ve heard my neighbors complain of having slight damage done to their property. And one neighbor couldn’t hang his clothes out to dry because they’d all end up in Arizona!

All this weekend will be a good time to watch for the Orionid Meteor Shower which will peak before Sunday morning when the earth passes through tiny grains of debris left over from Halley’s Comet. You should see around twenty to sixty meteors an hour as the night grows older coming from the radiant situated in the constellation of Orion, “The Hunter” from Greek mythology, on the eastern horizon.

Don’t forget that potluck will be next Saturday at 4pm. Our theme for this potluck is scary costumes, or just come as yourself; that may be scary enough. So come on down, bring some grub to share with the desert folk, and put the scare on some of your neighbors!

Thought for the week: When everything goes wrong. When good intentions go bad. When it seems that the earth will end in the next hour or so. It’s time to gather your thoughts, adjust your attitude to the positive, and eat some cookies!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community doesn’t want you to miss our Famously Fine First Saturday Breakfast next Saturday! We got pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, toast, and coffee to drink till its coming out yer ears! So come on down, the eating starts at 8:30am.

Jerry Turnbough came by one day with some pictures he had taken with a Polaroid camera: one of a ghost and one of Jerry with a halo over his head. The ghost picture looks to me like an old lady with a hunched back holding a cane in her right hand and I found it more believable than Jerry having a halo! Then we got to jawing about hot sauce. Jerry said that the hottest hot sauce is Dave’s Insanity Sauce. It was “band from the National Fiery Foods Show for being too hot”! We went online to YouTube.com and watched folks (mostly college kids) as they stuck a spoonful of the stuff into their mouths. At first they seem fine but just a little flustered, then it really starts to take a hold of them, their eyes watered up and then a few moments later they are running around waving their hands and pouring water down their mouths. They usually end up puking their guts out. One kid in a college dorm did at least four spoonfuls and we both wondered if he survived! Jerry and I had some great laughs watching them poor unfortunate kids suffer! On the bottle there is this warning: “Use this product one drop at a time. Keep away from eyes, children and pets. Not for people with heart or respiratory problems.” Now that’s scary!

Birthdays for the month of November: Bill Stonebraker, Joel Levy, and Jan Bonner.

Thought for the week: When in doubt always be nice.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little Community had a fantastic potluck where around twenty desert folks showed up to feast on the vittles that they all brought. There were barbecued ribs, Stoney’s chili, layered Enchilada Bake, pecan pie, fruit salad, watermelon, and somebody made some brownies that were to die for! I think I ate to many sweets because I had a sugar rush the rest of the evening.

The comet 17P/Holmes has literally exploded onto the scene at 2nd-magnitude in the constellation Perseus. The far-off comet expanded to the size of Jupiter by unknown reasons and is visible to the unaided eye. You can see this little puffball by facing northeast, looking up for Cassiopeia (the sideways M in the sky) then going down and to the right from the bottom star of the M about 15 degrees (hold out your fist at arms length with thumb and little finger extended) to Perseus. (Click on the Sky Map to the left for a better view) Good comet hunting!

Thick clouds of smoke from the fires had formed over our area a week ago causing smog like haze all through the day. Our little community looked like Los Angeles did in the late sixties! The air was so heavy in particulates that I had to clean off my solar panels because of the layer of ash and crud on them were blocking any sunlight that came through the “smoke” cloud.

Thought for the week: Some folks are like oil tankers: big and slow. But when they commit to making a turn there is no stopping them and best not to be in their way.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community will be having its CMMCA Annual Meeting today, Saturday, at 2 P.M. This is where we elect new board members for those old board members whose terms are ending. If you’d like to run for office or just want to vote you must be a member. There will be refreshments I’ve been told to entice you to come on down. Like always please check all weapons: chains, knives, and brass knuckles, at the front door.

Stopped over to visit Joan who lives two miles west of me by Giant Rock Road. Joan gave me a tour of her aviary where she cares for sick and injured birds that have some kind of damage that prevents them from flying. She has many cages of these birds inside and outside her home. Joan is about 4’11” and makes her way without any effort through the low hanging trees and other structures around her house she has built to her liking, where as I kept banging my head on them. And then there are them chickens that keep getting underfoot, roaming about pecking at this and that without a care or even taking notice of me. Joan is a caring person who loves her birds. Her favorite one she calls Rusty who is 12 years old and has the run of the house. I gave Joan a big hug before I left.

When I was starting my nightly bike ride last Sunday I saw a few meteors streak across the sky out of Cassiopeia. The heavens were clear so when I got back from riding I took out the telescope and did some stargazing. Comet17p/Holmes, the big puffball, was still there, and I swear I could see stars shining through its cloud. Mars was there too but still low on the eastern horizon to get any decent view of it.

Thought for the week: A little bit here and a little bit there, a little today and a little tomorrow will usually get it done.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community had its General meeting where we elect members to the board. I thought I got there early at 1:45pm but they were already putting away the food. I did manage to get a couple of sandwiches and pilfer some cookies from the kitchen. There weren’t a whole lot of folks there but more than last year. I remember a few years ago when the community center was jam packed with folks, and now there is just a handful, and other folks there commented on this too. I was there to take pictures of the folks and vote for the new board. Since there was four seats to fill and only four folks running, there was a motion from the floor to approve them by a show of hands. They were all approved and then went into the “back room” to choose their officers: President Ray Foyil; Vice President Steve Tuttle; 2nd Vice President Brenda Zimmer; and Treasurer Maryhelen Tuttle. New board members are Annelies Thacker and Katherine Quinn. That’s all there was to it and I grabbed a few more sandwiches and cookies and headed on home.

The Leonid meteor shower will peak this Saturday evening, but it’s best seen after midnight Sunday morning. The radiant point is in the constellation Leo, the backward question mark, that will rise in the east after midnight. One of the greatest meteor showers of all times was the Great Leonid shower of November 13, 1833, it was estimated that one to two hundred thousand meteors an hour fell over Eastern North America. The comet which produces the Leonids is Tempel-Tuttle, discovered in 1865, that leaves behind fragments on its 33 year voyage through our solar system. Leonids can hit the earth’s atmosphere at 18.5 miles per second and you can expect around 10 to 20 meteors an hour.

Thought for the week: My friend Mike Long was on his cell phone talking to me. I asked him a question and he didn’t answer, so I asked if he’d heard me. “Sorry I was changing ears”, he says. I replied to him that I didn’t know he had an extra pair.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community hopes all you folks out there had a wonderful and satisfying Thanksgiving!

Last Saturday’s Leonid meteor shower that I wrote about in my last column was a non-event, dang, was almost 2am and I’d only seen but a few meteors and it was getting mighty cold. While waiting for the shower I was observing anything that caught my fancy with my telescope: I watched with a high powered eyepiece as the Moon in its first quarter set behind the mountains in the west. I love doing that because the atmosphere is thick and causes ripples on the Moon’s edges, and when it goes behind the mountains that are more than fifty miles away you can see the trees on the ridge as the Moon passes behind them. Cool! Comet 17p/Holmes has diffused and spread almost swallowing Mirfak the bright star in the constellation Perseus. Then I noticed a fuzzy thing by Sirius in the constellation Canis Major and veered the scope onto it, it was the open star cluster M41 that is about 2300 light years away and contains about one hundred young stars with ages between 180-250 million years. Checked out Mars but still can’t get much resolution on it. Then I went on over to the Orion Nebula for a quick look-see. Swerved the scope over to the constellation Cancer to observe M44 the Beehive Cluster that is 730 million years old has some 200 stars and is 577 light years away. I didn’t see much in the way of meteors but I did have a nice night!

Thought for the week: I’ve been contemplating some things lately. One of them is how much junk we accumulate in our lives which we become caretakers of. All this stuff sits in boxes stored on shelves and most likely never to be put to our good use again. This is why I’m going through all my “stuff”, sorting it into three piles: to keep; trash; and donate. So maybe we should really be saying “Live light and prosper”!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community had a wonderful Thanksgiving:
Picked up Ron Dehart and drove on over to the center in the “Gross Polluter” (my truck) and arrived at 2pm.. Steve and Maryhelen Tuttle were in the kitchen preparing the turkeys and other fare with some help from Brenda Zimmer, Judy Driver, and Ruth Tuttle. Steve was wearing a mask and gloves and he looked kind of strange and I jokingly wondered to Ron if the turkey was toxic, until we found out he had a bad cold. Maryhelen was in charge batting out orders, so we made ourselves scarce and I started taking pictures and killing time for the next hour until they got everything ready. Folks started arriving: Hoss and Sandy Kuhn; Brenda’s family: her Mom, sisters Debbie and Carol with her Son Scott’s family and a new baby; Ray and Ila Foyil; Bob Seeley with his family; and Ruth’s Brother from Apple Valley. It was time to eat and Ruth led everyone in saying grace and then we all dug in! Dang the food was mighty good; folks liked my sweet potatoes too! Maryhelen made some great killer biscuits that she was mighty proud of, but I couldn’t eat too much because I had to be at Bob Stonebraker’s for dinner at 4pm. We made small talk and touched base with folks who we haven’t seen in a while, but it was approaching 3:30 our predetermined time to depart and we were looking for a way to leave gracefully when Earl Wilbert and his family arrived. I took some pictures of them, and while everyone else was greeting Earl, Ron and I slipped out the back way. I had a great time and wished I could have stayed longer with these fine folks.
Then I was off to Stoney’s to have turkey dinner (I called it having seconds) with his family: Judy, Denny, and their grandson Dustin. I got stuffed on another fine meal and do not wish to see another turkey till next year, but alas I had another commitment for “turkey” dinner on Saturday, and a potluck to attend on that day too!

Thought for the week: Being humble is having the notion that everybody has the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community late one night, or should I say early one morning on the last day of November, at 3:58am I heard start a noise on my roof. It grew louder and louder until it all combined into a heavy pounding. It was rain! We haven’t had a good rain out here for many months, hell maybe a year or more. It seems that rain always bypasses our little area, but gives surrounding locations a good soaking. When I awoke in the morning it was still raining and didn’t stop till around 6:30pm. Then it started up again around 9pm and continued till 2am Saturday morning. There were a few spots throughout the day where it just sprinkled, but it was mostly a moderate continuous shower with some heavy periods thrown in. Then the next day we had high winds out of the West at 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 50. The rain was great but we could do without the high winds! This is really fantastic for our area because all the plant life has been drying up and it had saddened me to see only brown on my evening walks. Last September we had a little sprinkle that lasted for twenty minutes and I hoped it would be enough for the plants to last till a good downpour. It has been so dry here that we didn’t have any of the usual bugs in the spring and summer months, which I didn’t miss too much, and there hasn’t been any critters, they must be hiding in their holes, because of the lack of bugs. Anyways this is a much-welcomed downpour for our little community (bugs and critters included)!

Thought for the week: Being arrogant is having the notion that nobody could ever have the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community’s Copperettes Annual Christmas Basket is a wonderful project that benefits our less fortunate Mesa neighbors who may need a little joy this coming holiday. If you live in our area and would like a Christmas Basket please call Mary Helen Tuttle at 366-2648 between 5 and 8 P.M. All calls handled discreetly.

Hoss Kuhn held a birthday party for his wife Sandy over at Lee and Marcie Hines home. We all ate some mighty good enchiladas that Marcie cooked, and a cake too! As Sandy opened presents we all sang Happy Birthday.

Every year Mike and Stevie Villarreal invite friends and neighbors to their home for turkey that has been broiled in a big pot of peanut oil. I’ve always heard that it is the best way to cook a turkey but have never had tasted it myself. Mike explained that it cooks for about an hour and a half, and the secret for a good tasting turkey is to cook it at 350 degrees so the oil doesn’t get into the turkey. Well the turkey was ready and we all went and got our food buffet style and sat down to eat in the big new but uncompleted room that Mike is working on. I was invited back next year and you can be sure I’ll be there.

Thought for the week: I was hoping to come up with something to do with the future and how it is a vast and empty unknown that we have the power to shape for the better if we tried, but I still don’t know how to phrase it correctly. There is so much good that goes on in this world of ours that never gets reported, and the Network News makes it all seem like the world may end tomorrow, but hey we’re all still here!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community is sad to inform you that longtime resident, and neighbor, Juanita Marx (born 1924) had passed away on Monday, the 10th of December after many months in a convalescent hospital. Juanita was a big bingo enthusiast; when she won she'd stick her finger high in the air for all to see. We also used to see Juanita with her daughter Judith at the potlucks (they were an inseparable pair) always smiling and having a good time. Judith said that her Mom was a bright star that had left God's Earth. Juanita will be dearly missed by all of us.

I’ve been wanting to take out the telescope but the wind, clouds, and cold weather have been keeping me inside since my head-cold, but Thursday and early Friday morning on the 14th was the peak Geminids Meteor Shower and I just had to go outside for a bit to check them out. I saw four meteors streak across the sky in the first minute I was out there. It got better as the night wore on but I scurried inside where it was warm. I braved the cold again at 3am and saw some mighty nice meteors come shooting across the sky, there were many! I saw one that was so wide and so long that it left behind a streak in the sky that took a minute to fade away. Very cool!

Now don’t you all fail to remember that Potluck is next Saturday! Juanita Marx will be remembered there. Bring your leftovers from Christmas; that’ll save you from eating all them ham or turkey sandwiches and casseroles for the next few weeks or so. We’ll be expecting you at 4pm!

Thought for the week: Reflect on this a little: If you drink and drive you are not only putting your own life at risk but other’s as well; life is precious! Have a happy and safe holiday!

By Bob DeLoyd

Our little community would like to thank all them folks who make our community a wonderful and interesting area to live: To Copper Mountain Mesa Board members for keeping the gears grinding and to contributors like Sandra Foyil and her brothers for greasing them with their generous donations every year in memory of their Grandpaw Tex; To the folks who help out with the USDA food distribution and to those who get their food there; To the hard workers who put on the “Fabulously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” and the individuals who dare to eat it (actually the food is quite good I heard); To those who manage bingo and to all them bingo players, win or lose, who keep coming back; To all them hermits that we rarely see; To our industrious arts and crafts community who create amazing things; And to the compassionate folks who care for all the injured critters out here in our locale. To each and every one of you who live in our little community we wish you well and a happy new year!

Thought for the week: A World without hope there is merely pity. A World without love there is simply sorrow. And a World without compassion there is only greed. I would not think that we would want to live in such a World. A new year, a new beginning!