Wednesday, May 4, 2011

(43-281) Only In Arizona...

I had to go and look at more yearbooks today, but I needed to trek out to Mesa to do it.  Now if yer not from round these parts, I can tell you that from my house (dependin on where you're going to in Mesa)  it can take 45 minutes to an hour to get there; when there's not traffic.  As all of the highways in my area are totally under construction at this time; I knew that it was more than likely that I'd have myself a bit of a wait; and since I was already nervous about travelling somewhere that I'm unfamiliar with, I  asked my friend Kailene to take a lil road trip with me.

Arizona just seems to be one of those places, where you stay round what you know.  Everything is conveniently located, so there's not a whole lotta reason to venture out of your little town; unless you have something specific to do in another.  With this being said, I can tell you that in the 14 years that I've lived in Arizona, I've probably been to Mesa ten times max, and each time for a specific purpose like visiting the Scrapbooks etc. store, going to Ruffler's Roost (the ribbon store,) or going to the Scrapbook Convention.  Clearly, Mesa is a scrapbooking mecca.  But I digress.  My visit to Mesa today had nothing at all to do with scrapbooking.  It was entirely about yearbooking; and I was so glad that my friend Kailene came along with me, since I was definitely chartering through unknown territory and I always enjoy spending time with her.

I had carefully mapped out directions from my house to the Mesa school district office (did I forget to mention that I don't own a GPS,) and from there to another high school, should time allow.  Kailene and I reviewed nine yearbooks during my appointment, and over two hours later we were on our way to our next stop.  As we were driving down the road, a sign for an event hall caught our attention.  The name of the catering hall was "Salt and Pepper."  Yes, Salt and Pepper Event Hall to be exact.  Kailene and I laughed and laughed about this, because we were picturing a wedding invitation and what it might say, "Please join us for the blessed union of jack and Jill on may 4, 2011 at the salt and Pepper Event hall."  Need I say more?  Hmm, yes, I 'd better.  Dear owners of the Salt and Pepper Event Hall, if you happen to be reading this, I apologize for making fun of your perfectly good name.  I'm sure that you arrange world class events  and you chose this name for some reason that's near and dear to you.  I wish you nothing but continued success.

Moving right along... As we continued on our journey, we passed several lil unsanitary lookin motels.  But none made an impression on us as much as this one:
That's right folks.  You read that correctly.  It says Buckhorn Baths Motel.  Stop the presses!  I've seen it all now.  Where else would one want to go after having their nuptial celebration at Salt and Pepper but to Buckhorn baths, Hot mineral spa and wildlife museum?  That's right, I said wildlife museum.  Now sadly I can't apologize to the owner of this fine establishment, Alice Sliger, and have it mean anything; because she passed away last year at the uncommon age of 103.  Now you may ask yourself how I've come to know this, and I'll tell ya.  I did my research.  YES, research.  I found out that "The Buckhorn was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, and in 2007 the Arizona Preservation Foundation included the property on the Arizona’s Most Endangered Historic Places list.

The baths were instrumental in Mesa getting its first spring training team, which was the beginning of the Cactus League. Some of baseball’s greatest players soothed their injuries in the baths during the Buckhorn’s heyday. Sliger amassed a large collection of photos and other memorabilia from running the Buckhorn since the 1930s."
The property is also important because it is the quintessential example of early roadside lodges.  Alice’s husband Ted was a part-time taxidermist who amassed more than 400 preserved animals, which were on display on the site."  Only in Arizona I tell ya.  Well maybe not...                                                                        
Till next time...

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