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Hank and the Beanstalk

Once upon a time, in a place called Arizona, there lived a poor widow who had a son named Hank.

They were very poor, for her husband had mortgaged their ranch to invest in tech stocks, and then he died–or so the story was told. The widow and her boy were down to their last half-acre. Hank was big for his age, but too flakey to hold a job.

They had sold their furniture to buy food. Now they had only one possession of any value, a cross-eyed Guernsey milk cow named Nelda. Every day, Hank’s mother sent him to …

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Don't Just Look at the Flowers — LEARN Them

I’ve lived in Wickenburg since December 1996. I clearly remember the last El Niño winter we had in Wickenburg. We’d been living in our house for less than a month when the rain started coming and didn’t really let up much. (Sound familiar?) We discovered all kinds of leaks in our house that year — it was new and that season “rain tested” it for us — and had them all patched up.

Then spring came and the desert started sprouting flowers. I had my first real introduction to desert wildflowers that year and, in an effort to identify them, …

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Meet the Real Mogollon Monster

It pains me to take issue with a newspaperman, because I know how it feels to have readers jump on you.

One reader complains that the newspaper is too liberal, and the next claims that the paper is too conservative, and the third reader wants you to correct an error made by some other writer.

But I have to quarrel with Clay Thompson. Clay is a columnist for The Arizona Republic, the daily newspaper where I labored for thirty-two years, seven months and nine days.

Clay wrote Friday of the Mogollon Monster, suggesting it is a fictitious creature, not to …

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