PRICE $1.00 — ONLY ONE LOUSY DOLLAR BILL
What the Desert Rats you met in packet one and two are thinking and doing today.
Captain Catnip Ashby sez he's decided that for his tombstone he will use an 800-pound meteorite which he says he saw fall in the desert 30-odd years ago. "It came hissing through the air, bright as a piece of the sun," the old timer declared, demonstrating with a whirling canteen much too near my head.
Liminatin Lem sez he dug a well in a dry wash at his mine near Surprise Well, lined it with rock and was proud of the job, when alonje come one of those freak desert outbursts and now he has to climb a ladder sixteen feet high to draw water from his chimney-like well.
Old Whiffletree sez: "In 1850 the Wells-Fargo Express used to ship a million dollars in gold East most every day, 2,000 miles by stage coach. Highwaymen didn't get much either. He sez we ought to put some of them old stage drivers on them city bank automobiles what is so bulletproof and shiny.
Jake Topper Desert Rat sez: a hen at his shack wanted to set, so lacking hen fruit he put some Desert Tortoise eggs under her.
The hen remained faithful to her job until the tortoise were hatched. But hasn't been seen since.
Page 2 - DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK - Packet Three
This paper is not entered as 2nd class mail. It's a first class newspaper.
Packet Three of Pouch One
Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 paged one.
P. O. Box 6
1000 Palms, California 92276
4 Times a Year.
ON THE NEWS STANDS $1.00 A COPY
But sometimes they don't have them.
ONE YEAR BY MAIL — 4 COPIES $5.00.
Darned if I am going to the trouble of mailing it for nothing.
10 Years . . . . . . . .$50.00 100 Years. . . . . . . $500.00 Something to think about!
Published at Fort Oliver 1000 Palms, California HARRY OLIVER OWNER PUBLISHER EDITOR AUTHOR ARTIST and DISTRIBUTOR
PICTURES ARE BY THE AUTHOR, MANY OF THEM ARE WOODCUTS - I did all but the spelling.
Most of this material, pictures and writing is copyrighted.
Permission to reprint from this newspaper is granted providing you mention the Editor, who is the publisher, once every inch of printed matter and the name of the paper every 1 1/2 inch and end by telling the world they can get a copy by sending a dollar to me the Desert Trader at 1000 Palms, California.
Anyone forgetting to do this might find a sidewinder in his bed.
This issue No. 1200 printed - don't worry, I can use them for wrapping paper.
You will find this paper better than others for wrapping - It's Tough.
And the only newspaper in America you can open in the wind.
For such a small paper I give you a generous amount of typographical errors.
A newspaper is no better than the paper it's printed on.
Packet Three - DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK - Page 3
PETRIFIED PETEEditor's Note— This is the yarn that John Hilton in Desert Magazine (August 1946), proved could be true (that is, most of it), John and Randall Henderson gave me the title of the Champion Liar of the Colorado Desert in the edition, of which I am very proud.
But John's story is worth reading. If you don't get Desert Magazine, go to your public library and read it. John is the fines writer in all the Deserts and Desert Magazine is the desert dwellers bible.
The day after Liminatin' Lem's shack burned down Petrified Pete was sayin' that most folks knows 'dobe is the desert buildin' material, and if you ain't got sense enough to use it, so's to have a fire-proof house, you ought to get burned out.
Now that sounds right funny comin' from Pete, who lives at the imber line and after bein' burned out of log cabins twice went and built hiself a third one.
"In your case," says I, "you must like fires."
"No sir" says Pete, thumpin' his peg leg like he does when he wants to be emphatic. "I'm dead agin 'em. But I ain't most folks." Then he clumps over to the stove and pulls the chair around
Now to me that don't make sense, but I can see he's nearly bustin' with a yarn, and only wants a little fine-pannin' to bring it out.
The mail wans't due in for a spell so I figures there's plenty of time to get the story out of him before any more customers blow in.
I started to burn a few words under him, like you do greasewood to start an ornery burro.
"And if there ever comes a fire at night you'll be in a bad way," says I, thinkin' to myself about his peg leg standin' in the corner, but not darin' to let on. And thinkin' of that reminded me that the last time he come into the store he was kinda draggin' that leg, like he was breakin' in a new one.
"Believe it or not, this time, logs or no logs, I got a fireproof cabin" says Pete. "And it's by an act of Providence I got it."
He hitched his torusers like he always does when he's finally settlin' for a story, so I pulled out the stool from under the counter and set alonside the cash register. And here's Pets's act of Provicence tale:
He was workin' a six-month shift in his tunnel on the side of Mt. Cateye last fall and the season was about closin' in on him when he noticed his peg leg is gettin' heavy. He thinks it's water soaked 'cause it's wetter'n a spring wash in the shaft, but careful observation shows him that runnin' along the grain, parts of the leg is turned to stone.
It don't take long 'fore the whole thing's hard as flint, like it's been layin' underground for a century or two. Knowin' that the water up to Cateye was pretty near straight silica, he figures it's [sic] petrifyin' power must be something well over a hundred per cent and is responsible for the damage done to his leg.
Seems pretty hard to believe, but there was the evidence. Why, he'd worn himself thin draggin' around that fossil limb of his. He made a new peg leg, settin' the petrified one over the fireplace, hopin' someone would come along so's he could tell 'em about it.
He got to wonderin' why such high-powered silica water couldn't be put to some practical use, and hit on the idea of fire-proofin' things. Why not have a stone house 'stead of a cabin that could burn again? There she sat, just below the tunnel — it was right easy to shoot the water through a hollow log to spray the place night and day; Well he rigged things up and had the silica rainin' about three months and can see it's bitin' in all right when one day the forest ranger comes along. He's the first person Pete's seen since the discovery, and natural-like, Pete brags about it. Of course, the ranger thinks he's crazy, but don't object none, because he figures the placve is about fire-proof anyway with a waterfall hittin' it twenty-four hours a day.
The ranger stays for dinner, looks at the leg, says it's a good job an' musta taken a long time to chisel, and suggests Pete give it to me to go along with them historical relics I got down at the store.
Then Pete gets up from the table to fetch some of the home-brewed dill pickles he keeps for company and the ranger smiles, because he's had some before. Not forseein' things, Pete hands the jar to him to help himself, and right there the ranger started to believe Pete's story, for at the first bite he busted three teeth.
Pete says he's got a barrel of them green pickles petrifyin' and when they're done he's goin' to ship them to China and sell'em for jade.
POCO LOCO LOCALS
This summer Harry Marrell of Rancho Vaquero, got so mad at the heat he turned his thermometer's face to the wall.
Lynn Lewis, of Indian Wells, has an Indian pot that is 3,026 years old. Twenty-six years ago Fred Harvey, and expert on those things, claimed it was 3,000 years old.
Paul Wilhelm of 1000 Palms, a colossal palm seed planter, also finds time to unearth the mysteries of the Indians of 1000 Palms Canyon. Rumor has it that he has recently unearthed a complete set of petrified Indian smoke signals.
Ted Hutchinson, the plant wizard of Rancho Mirage, has done the impossible, raising desert holly and smoke trees from seed in cans. After visiting him seven times, I believe it!
"Desert Steve Ragsdale" says, "even the woodpecker owes it's [sic] success to the fact that he uses his head."
From the sophisticated editor, Phat [sic] Graettinger of the Palm Springs swank press, The Desert Sun, comes the unexpected: how to get those pesky, invisible cactus stickers out of your hide. Slap on some adhesive plaster, then jerk it off quick — takes the stickers with it!
C. Roy Hunter, "Father Neptune" of Salton Sea boasts that there is a widow at his Royal Date Gardens who can make a sale providing the tourist slows down to 60 miles an hour, or gets a few inches over the white line. — (She sure sells a lot of these Desert Rat Scrap Books.)
YUMA IS AN INTERESTING TOWN
The drunkard was in a friendly mood, self-confident, and happy. I have always liked to talk to the drunkard. There was never a trace of anything disagreeable except the rank smell of cheap whiskey.
"Why do you drink?" I asked. "Why do you drink so much and so often?"
"I drink because when I drink I am not self-conscious; without drink I am bashful, timid, afraid and unhappy. Drink seems to give color, romance and excitement in those I meet, seems to give me brilliant words and thoughts so that I can match wits with all. Of course it don't, but when I am drinking I think it does." "But," I asked, "hasn't drinking robbed you of much?"
"Yes, more than you think" the drunkard answered. "Oh, why talk about it, buy me a drink and let's talk about the old West like we did last time I saw you — of Calamity Jane, Cattle Kate, Lola Montez of those old time western gals."
We talked; it was hours later that the drunkard told me how drink had taken two children and had wrecked her three marriages, "but," she said, as I left her with a full glass in her hand, "We're Westerners ain't we, we can take it, can't we; we keep our chin up, don't we; here's to you old timer."
"So many people in keeping their — chin up — raise it to just a convenient drinking angle."
Dry Camp Blackie is fed up with radios! The screaming comedians get his goat; says he listened to a preacher last Sunday that was almost as bad. He was talking like he thought God was a hundred and fifty miles away.
DESERT ROUGH CUTS
Page 4 - THE ESCUTCHEON OF FORT OLIVER - THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO THE WORLD'S GREATEST OPTIMIST THE DESERT PROSPECTOR - Packet No. 2
Winter 1946-47 - DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK - Page 5
STARTLING FACTS ABOUT DATES
EASTThe date is sacred to all Mohammedans, for one reason, it was with the date Eve tempted Adam. The date is the oldest fruit known to man. The Queen of Sheba's dates were the same as yours today — one press agent has (proven?) that Cleopatra did eat 2 pounds of dates a day. It is the staple of life to the Arab, and for centuries grown only in the Oasis of the East. Some offshoots had to be taken out of Arabia at night just a few hours ahead of a civil war. But we got'em, as you can see.
WESTThe Desert Rat, the prospecting gold hunting, Desert Rat; has never objected to the planting of dates here in the Desert of the Salton Sink. Few have laid down their picks to go into Date growing and here's the reason why.— A date worker climbs each tree 75 times a year — it takes about eight years to bring a date palm into bearing and costs about $4000. per acre— Manya Desert Rat has discovered that a couple pounds of dates is a fine addition to his chuck pack. My burro likes'em and spits out the seeds.
HUNDRED OF DATE GROWERS TO TELL YOU MORE
All text was lovingly hand-entered (no OCR scans) by RIC CARTER who stakes a claim to the copyright for the layout and markup, but not to the contents, which remain the property of the heirs and estate of Harry Oliver, wherever they may be. Hopefully all the original typos were preserved and not too many new ones were introduced, but y'know how it goes...