As I Remember, Chapter 37

This entry is part 37 of 39 in the series Ted Bio

CHAPTER 37

Yuma Arizona

      It is the first day of march and I am in my trailer. It is nine o’clock in the morning and the sun is shining and it is about seventy degrees and it will be in the upper eighties before the day is over. I am in a nice trailer court, just off Avenue C. Sunny Acres, it is called. It is a real nice place. The fee for parking my trailer is one hundred dollars a month, plus the utilities.

      I have been here in Yuma this winter since the first of October. I come down from Tombstone where I spent most of the summer. When I arrived here, it was still quite hot and not many of the winter visitors had arrived. There is about 50,000 of them. Anyhow, I kept busy. I had plans. Here is what I did.

      As you know, for years, I have been writing stories, novels. Most of them are over two hundred pages, such as this one. Usually about 70,000 words. I guess all of you know that I only went as far as the eight grade in school and what I have learned since then, I did it all by myself. I was sixty five before I wrote my first story and did that one on a tape recorder while I was alone in Nicaragua. Later I copied it off in long hand and turned it over to a typist. This is the one I named, THEY ALWAYS SMILE. And part of it is a true story. The reason I give it this name, is because… There in the city of Managua, the women out number the men, at least ten to one. And some of them are beauties. If you see one you like, give her a big smile. If she returns the smile, this means she is yours.. And THEY ALWAYS SMILE.

Anyhow, that was my first novel.

      I did not intend or try to get the thing published. I knew I was a long ways from being a finished product. But I would keep trying. The next story I wrote, was, I WANT MY CUT. (Or, A Piece of the Pie.) Although this story is fiction, it is based upon these facts. There was a story going around, that there was a lot of raw gold for sale, in or around Boise. Brother Dell and myself made several tries at locating the stuff. We never found what we were looking for, but Dell did find a lot of gold in another area. On this, he managed to come up with his (cut) which was quite a bundle.

      I kept trying to locate this gold, but always ended up with nothing. I hated to see all my efforts go to waste, so I wrote the story in the manner that I thought was somewhere near the truth. Anyhow, I think it makes an interesting story. Read it.

      I think the next one I wrote, was JUST A LITTLE BIT CRAZY. I was still writing in long hand and would hire a typist to put them in print. Although they didn’t know any more about writing than I did, at least it could be read.

      This story, JUST A LITTLE BIT CRAZY, Is pure fiction. But there is still a lot of truth in the thing. Such as… Most every location back in those days, had a DEAD HORSE GULCH. In fact, just southwest of the Dewey Orchards, was a big one, back when I was young, for miles around, everyone dragged their dead and worthless critters up there for the Coyotes and Badgers to feed on. The place I describe in the story, is much like this place. Also, in many other areas, were the same sort of burial ground for dead animals.

      Also in the story, the girl is so beautiful. There used to be a family that lived in our neighborhood, that was very much like the people I write about in the story. They were a cruddy bunch, but they sure had one beautiful daughter. No one could quite figure out how she could be one of them. Anyhow, I think it makes an interesting story. Even if she is, JUST A LITTLE BIT CRAZY…

      I think the next story I wrote, is…WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER. In between trips to Central America, I would spend a lot of time at Al Monte California. I worked for a company called Glacier Manufacturing Co. They built all kinds of refrigeration, such as: beer coolers, A&W root beer equipment, etc. Some times I would take off and come home to Emmett. I liked to come back there and spend some time with Mother and Bob and I also had a lot of friends around there.

      One time when I come home to visit, I went out to see a couple of dear friends, Barett and Gertrude Dick. I let them read the stories I had finished. They really liked them. Then Gertrude asked me. “Ted, why don’t you write a story about Emmett.” “Not much around here.” I told her. Then she said, “Write about your trip up here and use your imagination a bit, and I am sure you will come up with something.” About a week later, I handed her the story. It was in long hand, but she sure got a kick out of the story.

      I guess it was not long after this, that I got my first typewriter. Yes, I use the Hunt & Peck system. Never had as much as one lesson, but I am sure it is a lot better than my handwriting.

      I guess the next story I wrote was, THE JUDGE OF QUILILI, I called it. I wrote it as a first person story. I pecked it out after I had returned from a long stay in Nicaragua. I wrote about the people there and the places where I spent most of my time. I added a bit of fiction and come up with quite a yarn. This winter, I rewrote the story and changed it to a regular second party yarn. Also changed the name to BEYOND THE BEND IN THE RIVER. That was one of my projects for this winter. Now, I think it is quite a yarn. Read it.

      Las summer while I was over at Tombstone, I had a lot of time on my hands. I wondered if I should write another story. Then I dug out the suitcases under my bed and began reading the yarns I had written many years ago. Some of them dating back almost twenty years. In fact so many years ago, that some of them were really interesting. I wondered if I had really written all this. I guess over this period of time, I had managed to learn a bit about writing. I could find lots of errors that need attention. So at Tombstone last summer, I decided to go over all my yarns and rewrite a lot of the pages.

      I was a long ways from finished when I come to Yuma last fall. Oct. 1. But I had made up my mind that I would go over all these yarns and make a new photo copy of each of them. Boy did I take on a job. All through Oct. and Dec, I worked on the manuscripts. I am sure I put in at least eight hours a day on this project, plus a lot of dollars getting a photo copy of each. Along about Christmas, I was about finished. I was real proud of all my stories and was going to try and get an agent to see if some of them could be sold to a publisher. At least it would be worth a try. Then I got sick.

      Maybe I had sat too long at my typewriter too many days. I felt sick to my stomach and I was all bloated up like a poisoned pup. I was really sick on my birthday, January, 5. I was 75. And do you know something? There has been a lot of water under the bridge! All during January and up to the middle of February, I was in and out of the hospital many times. Lots of x-rays. I took piles of pills and was on a strict diet. Then I began to feel better. There was no cancer. Nothing that will kill me in a hurry. But for the rest of my days, I will be on a strict diet. If I behave, I have many years to go. At least the Doc says so.

      And another thing. Like most people my age, I am sure getting absent minded. Forgetful. But I guess this goes along with old age. And I guess I shouldn’t kick. It’s been a long time since I have been to see a doctor. I mean before this time. Now that I am feeling better, I began to make plans for the summer. I will probably end up over in Tombstone, or in that area. The altitude is much higher there, about 4,000 ft. A lot cooler in the summer. Probably I will head that way about the first of April.

      Now back to my stories. A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB. Was the next one I wrote. It is a yarn about a young fellow that attempts to make a come back, after he finds himself at the bottom of the ladder. He fights his way back with the help of a dear friend and a lovely girl. They are successful and they go in search of the Lost Dutchman gold mine, which is in the Superstition Mountains, located just out of Apache Junction Arizona. Lots of drama and suspense in this one. I wrote this story as I moved my trailer south for the winter. Finished it at Apache Junction, where the story ends. I even painted a picture of the mountain in oil. It is hanging on the wall beside me.

      I have spent several summers in the city of Prescott Arizona. The mile high city, they call it. It is nice there in the summer. That is one place where they celebrate every red letter day on the calendar. Lots of big art shows, where I have sold many of my paintings. Also, they have an old time auto show. Real old timers and a big parade. Several years ago a bunch of old timers like myself, gathered around an old 1910 Model T Ford that looked like new. And it had been the first car to come to that fair city. A guy from California had brought it there for the show. All the old timers, like myself, walked around the thing and kicked all the tires and spun the crank. (Many years ago, I had owned one just like it.)

      A few of the old guys remembered the old car and her first owner. A blacksmith by the name of Andy Anderson. They had been quite well known many years ago. The old timers patted the old car, grinned and remarked. “If this old girl could only talk, what a story she could tell.” This gave me an idea. I would be the voice. I would tell her story. Some of it would be true, the rest fiction. So I wrote the yarn, THE TIN LIZZY. This story brings back a lot of memories to the old timers. Of course the young people of today are in for a lot of surprises. It is an interesting story. A treasure of memories.

      A few years ago here in Yuma, I wrote the story, THE LOVE POTION. This novel is about an old geezer about like myself, returns to the States after spending many years in Nicaragua. The old man has brought back from that country, seed bulbs that when taken with drink or food, does strange things to people of whatever happens to partake. To human beings, it is like drinking from the fountain of youth. It is really a LOVE POTION. Women in Central America, feed it to their men. Never will they wander astray. Also it has a great affect on the women themselves. This man has a whole hot house and more of the stuff and is going to make millions. Then he discovers he is dying of Cancer. He calls his two boys home. They are twins that he hasn’t seen for years and turns the project over to them, then dies. Yes, there is such a product in that country. I know. I was there. Even reading the story helps.

      Several years ago, I wrote another yarn, which I called GO WITH THE WILD WIND. I guess you know that I have always been somewhat of an inventor. Also a good mechanic, machinist, welder and all around handy man. I have built power plants that get their energy from the wind, the water and the sun. Nothing big, but something to use when there is nothing else available. I have never been interested in atomic power. Some day, it will blow everything to hell.

Big companies, cooperatives, countries, dictators, gangs and even churches try and corner the market on everything. Get a monopoly on whatever they have for sale and make everyone pay through the nose. Brainwash the public, that their way is the only way. Put the fear of God in them, then they will pay through the nose. Anyhow, that is the conclusion I have come to. For instance, the oil companies. The human race got by for a long time before they changed our method of living. I know, I was there. There is a limited supply of gas and oil, so these greedy, money hungry varmints went all out to corner the market. Also, make everyone believe that this is the only way. Yes, they did away with the wind. One of the greatest powers on this earth. Man had just began to harness a bit of this huge friendly, free, source of energy. When the oil magnets took over. This, they could control and monopolize. Which they did.

      About five or six years ago, I was living in Prescott Arizona. (I spent six or seven summers there.) This was about the time that the oil companies created the big shortage. Brain washed most everyone into thinking that the oil supply was running out. Here, is one old man that didn’t swallow their line of BS What did I do? I got busy. I went back about fifty years in my thinking. Back to the days when I built a wind generator that supplied all the power we could use and it was free. I got busy and designed a power plant that could easily be the beginning of a design that could supply all the power that man will ever need. I made a bunch of drawings of the thing and took them to a lawyer that I had become aquatinted with. I wondered if the thing could be patented. He took them to a Patent Attorney in Phoenix. Also to some engineers in that city. Here is what they come up with; “To build a working model, make drawings for a patent, and all the other things that were necessary, would cost quite a pile of dough.” This I did not have, neither did my friend. I had let him read several of my stories. He thought they were great. He come up with this suggestion. “Write a book about the darn thing. Tell how to build it, also make it an interesting novel. This won’t cost a lot of dough and it could make you plenty. At least give it a try.” So, I got busy. I wrote the story and give it the name, GO WITH THE WILD WIND. Later, I changed it to THE SANCTUARY. The lawyer read the story and thought it was great. So, the next winter when I got settled in Yuma, I sent the thing to a publisher in New York. One of the big ones. All winter long, I waited for an answer. None come. Nothing. I finally sent them telegrams and nasty letters. Finally, I got an answer. They had not received the manuscript. I went to the post office and raised hell. Finally, they found the thing. The publisher had built a new building and had a new address. The manuscript had not been forwarded. It was returned to me. Oh well, there were more publishers, I would try again. And I did. This time I would send it to a publisher in California, I decided. Listed in the Writer’s Market was one that looked good. I sent them my only good copy. Along with a letter, of which I have the copy right here in front of me. It is as follows;

ALCHEMY BOOKS

681 Market St. #775

San Francisco, CA.

The date on the letter is April 28, 1982. They must have really loved the thing. They still have it and refuse to return my copy. I have written them letters, called them on the phone and give them hell. The only thing I can figure out is, they are trying to steal it and it’s contents. I guess I should sue the hell out of the ……

      Anyhow, I have had a very sad affair with a couple of publishers. Oh yes, this winter, I rewrote it and gave it another name. THE SANCTUARY. In this novel, I have the inventor of all this wind power hook up with a group of millionaires who are building a sanctuary far back in the mountains of Arizona. One hundred of them form the club and each put up the sum of one million dollars to build an underground shelter. Also, a huge library that will hold all the good things in life. Including wind machines. They are convinced, that soon, atomic bombs will come raining down. The Valley of Hope, the place is called. They hope to survive. Of course the Mafia tries to get in on this deal. But are turned down. They get a real gang war going. It’s an interesting yarn. I have enough action in this one that I don’t let the bombs and missiles come raining down. But look out for the next one. I call it WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER? It was last summer over at Tombstone, that I dug out the old carbon copy of the story that I sent to San Francisco. It wasn’t much. But I went to work on the thing and come up with another copy that is about as good as I can do. Then I decided that I would write the one I call, WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER? This is a separate novel, but could easily be called, part two of THE SANCTUARY. It takes place at the same location and I use a lot of the same characters. When the bombs start dropping, everyone heads for shelter. This old world is really a mad house. Then, life underground, it leaves a lot to be desired. I think it is a good story.

      Among my piles of literature, is several short stories. Also there is one of them that I might rewrite it and make a full length novel out of it. I call it, DIAMONDS IN HELL. There is one thing more I would like to mention. Several years ago, I decided to write, or at least create, a TV show. Something to make people laugh. Something true to life. Something that would interest most everyone. I guess everyone has marriage problems. Couples argue and fight over the damnedest things. Or nothing at all. So I create a couple, just retired, that have fought and argued all through their married life. They believe they have all the answers and can solve most any matrimonial problem. Now to subsidize their income, in sunny Los Angeles, they hang a sign by the doorway. MARRIAGE CONSULTANTS. Plus their name. They run ads in all the papers such as, DON’T LET YOU MARRIAGE GO TO PIECES… CALL FOR APPOINTMENT. There is lots of material here. People fight over the damnedest things. I wrote three half hour shows and for damn sure, it don’t have a lot of squealing tires, or cars going up in flames. Not even a bunch of killings. Wouldn’t that be something? Yes, I went through them this winter and had photo copies made. I really think a show like this would be a big hit and might even stop some of the family brawls. And it would be easy to write, plus a small regular cast. Husband and wife, plus their teenage daughter, who is the receptionist. Surely there is a way to get this one to the producers. For damn sure, it is a lot better than what they got now and it won’t need that horrible laugh machine they turn on after someone says something that is supposed to be funny.

      Well, I don’t know if this is very interesting to you my dear kids, but at least it is something. At least once a year I will send you a few pages. So bye bye for now and much love to you and our families.

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