The "Hermit" is My Friend . . .
Boise, IdahoDear Desert Folks:I have just received the October issue ofyour wonderful magazine and it was with a dis-tinct shock that I read the article about the"Hermit of Impassable Canyon." The "hermit"is no other than Earl Parot, who is a personalfriend of mine and whom I esteem very high-ly-Of course you have a nice story, but surelythe author was not acquainted with this won-derful man whom it was my pleasure to knowover 30 years.He is certainly a mild-mannered, honorable,fine fellow and I am proud to know him.Your magazine is very interesting and Ihope we will be able to contribute somethingthat will be of value to your publication, and ifthere is anything you have in mind that wemight furnish you, it will be a pleasure to haveyou call on us. With best wishes, I am,ALLEN C. MERRITT• • •
Those Highhat Calilornians . . .
Lovington, N. M.Dear Sirs:I am writing you for a little information.While it may be out of your line of business, Ihope you can tell me anyway. I am planningto spend a few months on the Arizona and Cal-ifornia deserts and as it has been 17 yearssince I was there and things happen so fastand in different ways, I would be pleased toknow if there is any restrictions in regards toentering California and if so, would like toknow what they are.ROGERS LYNCH
Mr. Lynch: In view of the restrictionsnow imposed at state boundaries not onlyby California but by a number of otherstates that is a very proper question. How-ever, I am glad to assure you that if youhave a certificate for your car. and bring noboll worms or other plant pests along withyou there will be no difficulty.
Mine was Too Rich . . .
Pasadena, CaliforniaDear Mr. Henderson:While I have been away on an extended tourthrough the northwest, I have been a constantreader of the Desert Magazine. I find it in mostall news stands everywhere.In the October issue on page 20, in an ar-ticle by G. Dale Hamilton entitled "Bonanza onTreasure Hill"—it is stated that silver ore atHamilton, Nevada, yielded $27,000 to the ton.I visited this old "ghost" town late in Au-gust and heard a lot of tales about it as usual.But I am wondering whether or not at that time,the price of silver was as high as $1,121/2 perounce. That is the price they must have gottenand it must have yielded 24,000 ounces tothe ton.Figure it
any way you like, andthen draw your own conclusions.A couple of years ago, there was a storycirculated around Bodie, that ore was discov-ered in an old shaft there, at the 800 foot levelthat assayed $3,000 to the pound, and manypeople repeated the yarn, and many believed it.I have always been more or less a skeptic inregard to these old tales of long ago, and maybeI am "all wet" but still—I wonder? There isthe Peg Leg, the Lost Dutchman, Weepah anda host of others all in the same vein, that makeme reach for the salt shaker. Skeptically yours,ROY CARSONP.S.—I am not looking for lost mines, but Iget a kick out of reading about them in Desert(the best magazine in the West). So-what?
Birthday Greetings . . .
Dear Randall:El Centro, California
. . .
A jo, ArizonaDear Desert Magazine:I wish you would tell the whole wide worldhow to pronounce the name of this town. Thetenderfeet insist on calling us "Ah-jo"—j as injolly. Sounds like the monkey man in a side-show.There isn't a prettier place name in theSouthwest than Ajo when it is given the cor-rect Spanish pronunciation—Ah-ho.The Ajo members of your Desert Magazineclan will be forever grateful for a little helpthrough your very readable columns.BILL VESTAL
At Lead Pipe Springs . . .
Los Angeles, CaliforniaDear Sir:Enclosed please find a picture of a tamebird that came into our camp over the Laborday weekend. At that time the Los Angeleslapidary society had a field trip near LeadPipe springs, in the desert east of Randsburg.On our arrival to camp Saturday morning,we noticed this unusually tame bird runningabout. It seemed utterly fearless and just keptout of arm's reach. Bread crumbs were offeredit, but it was not interested. However, it soonshowed us what kind of food it liked, when itfollowed the erratic flight of a grasshopper,caught it and crept into the bushes to eat it.Several men in the party caught grasshoppers,which the bird took from their hands. It alsostopped hunting food itself and hung aroundfor the men to provide the insects.When a person left camp, the bird wouldfollow him, expecting a handout, and wouldbe flying and running and keeping almost un-der the feet, until it was convinced no grass-hoppers were forthcoming. Then it would flyback to camp.It stayed around all day but at evening itjoined three birds that chanced to be flying by.We thought that was the last of the bird, butearly next morning we found it perched on thecot of one of our members, waiting for itsbreakfast.As I happened to get more grasshoppers forthe bird than some of the others, it made mycamp its headquarters and followed me everytime I left the spot. This picture was taken ofthe bird eating a grasshopper from my hand. Ifound by holding the grasshopper firmly, thebird would fly to my hand and pick the insectuntil it was consumed. This was done several
and limited only by the lack of grass-hoppers.I am not sure of the identity of the bird, buthazard the guess it was a Dwarf Cow Bird. Itwas about the size of a black bird, plumagewas a drab brown with white edges around thefeathers. The breast was full, with beak straightand strong and eyes black. None of us heard itmake any cry.When we broke camp Labor day, it was stillthere. Perhaps some of your readers could cor-rectly identify the bird from this rather meagerdescription and possibly someone might comein contact with it, in the vicinity of Lead Pipesprings where we were looking for blue agatenodules.The bird event was one of the highlights ofour trip, and all enjoyed its friendly visit.CHARLES G. SCHWEITZERWhen I picked up the October issue of Des-ert Magazine and I saw that it contained theindex to Volume IV, I realized then that youhave completed your fourth year of publication.Congratulations upon what you haveachieved and congratulations to you upon at-taining an ideal which I know you had inyour mind for many years. The Desert Maga-zine has become a wonderful publication un-der your leadership. May you have many times4 times 4 times 4 years of continued success.ROBERT HAYS
Thanks, Bob, but the ideal isn't aituinedyet. —R.H.
• • •
Jitterbug for Rockhounds
. . .
Denver, ColoradoDear Mr. Henderson:Private David E. Smith's letter in the Augustissue of Desert Magazine reminds me that thereis a general agreement in this part of the coun-try that the new army car, known around theposts as the Jeep or Jitterbug, is really idealfor rock hunting, in the mountains as well asthe desert. I believe that if mineral collectorsrealize this, the government will have littletrouble in disposing of what are left of themwhen the wars are over. Each mineral clubshould own one to be rented to members whoare making trips off the improved highways.Desert Magazine might remind its readers aboutthis when the time comes.RICHARD M. PEARLSecretaryColorado Mineral Society
"Maze was Always There" . . .
San Bernardino, CaliforniaDear Mr. Henderson:After reading the very good letter of Fred-erick C. Butler in the October number of TheDesert Magazine in which he comments on the"Mystic Maze" south of Needles, I would likewith your permission, to say a few words my-self on that subject.To begin with, one man's guess as to its ori-gen is as good as another's for nobody knows.Until the first rough auto road was builtacross the hills from Needles to the Santa Fe To-pock bridge the maze was to all intents un-known. (That road connected with the rail-road bridge, which was planked over to allowpassage of automobiles.)Then the maze, close to the highway, beganto attract attention. Some years ago a Los An-geles magazine expressed the belief that rail-road engineers in the search for beds of gravelneeded in the bridge construction were respon-sible for the maze.Now, as I very well remember, preliminarywork on that bridge began in 1888. Mark the
R. J. Halsey came to Needles with the rail-road in 1883. In 1886, while traveling on foottowards Needles from the Black Metal mineof Pete McGuire down the river, he came uponthe maze but thought nothing of it, for, intruth, it is not at all impressive.Years later, after it had been formally "dis-covered," Halsey, Wm. Hutt and the writerwent down to look at it. "Shucks," said BobHalsey, "I saw that in 1886 and forgot allabout it."Subsequently the three of us, individuallyand collectively, questioned many old Indiansabout it and invariably the answer was: "Wedon't know who made it. It was always there."
CHARLES BATTYETHE DESERT MAGAZINE