You Might be a Redneck If…

You live in Chino Valley, Arizona!

Beautiful clouds

Recently Chino Valley, where I now live, was named “#1 Redneck City in Arizona.” I have to laugh. First of all, by population it’s a town (about 11,000), not a city. One of the criteria for ranking is number of high school graduates, which they said was the least in the state.

A story in the Courier Times newspaper debunked that statistic, quoting Assistant Superintendent Cindy Daniels, Chino Valley Unified School District, “We actually have one of the highest graduation rates in the state, 92 percent (Class of 2016), and have been recognized at both the state and national levels for this accomplishment.”

Another criterion was number of bars (ranked high). However, when my husband and I moved here almost five years ago, we remarked that it was a good sign there seemed to be more churches than bars in town.

It’s funny, how the perception of a rural community can be so skewed. I’d just been talking to a new neighbor who said her son (from Prescott) told her not to even look for property in Chino Valley, because first he’d have to knock two of her front teeth out and buy her a trailer. (We live in an extremely nice subdivision with beautiful homes and well-kept acreages.)

100_0182When we lived in Mount Vernon, Washington, the small town of Sedro-Woolley was about the same distance as Chino is from Prescott, and that was its reputation as well. Birthed from the lumber industry in the 1800s, it still sits in the middle of farming country. Even “worse” was anything “upriver” from there, as if it were the backwoods of Appalachia.

I’ve always been the “hick from the sticks.” I grew up on a ranch in isolated, rural eastern Montana, 35 miles from the nearest town (and only one in the county) which had a population of about 300. The nearest “city” was at least 100 miles away. I attended a one-room country school which boasted four students when I started first grade, and I didn’t have any girls my own age around until I went to high school (where I lived in a dorm during the week). So, I was a bit socially backward for part of my life.

SeekingAmericanDream_1.5x2When my mother emigrated from Germany after WWII, she was considered “different” and therefore “suspect.” Fitting in, for her, was difficult and she fought that prejudice all her life.

My newest novel, Seeking the American Dream, is based on my mother’s life and the kind of life I had as a “redneck.”

I guess you never quite escape your roots!

Published in: on August 11, 2017 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

A Moving Experience

When I moved from Montana to Washington state 17 years ago and then made a second move from one town to the next within nine months, I said “NEVER AGAIN.” Well, as the sage once said, “Never say never.”

We’ve just completed our second move in three months, first from Mount Vernon WA to Prescott AZ, where we rented a cute but small cottage while we waited for our renters’ lease to be up on the house we already owned in Chino Valley. That day finally arrived and then we ended up waiting two weeks for our belongings to be delivered! (Lots of time for painting and doing minor repairs.) Apparently there had been some miscommunication with the movers, as we had understood our things would be stored in Phoenix and we just needed to give them 2-3 days notice. Not true. It was stored in Seattle, they had to wait for a truck to be available (about a week), then they made several deliveries along the way (another week). We were not happy.

Front view 2

But at long last, everything arrived last Wednesday and we’ve been busily shuffling boxes around so we can make room to unpack, finding places for everything, then rearranging…you all know how that goes!

I am so happy to be here! Our house is nice, very comfortable, and feels like home already. I wake up to sunshine with a big smile on my face, and go out to drink my morning coffee on the patio. No SAD for me this winter!

Happy retirement to us!

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Finding ‘Prescott Blue’

Over Memorial weekend, my DH and I visited our future retirement home near Prescott, AZ (pronounced like Press-kit). When my sister-in-law was there with us a year ago, we coined the color “Prescott Blue,” which is like no other sky–often not a cloud to be seen, just clear, vivid blue. While Phoenix was 90 degrees, Prescott was 60-70, with a cool breeze. And, they boast 300 days of sunshine, while we in the Pacific Northwest have 300 days of clouds.

We ate lunch one day at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon, on “Whiskey Row” in old-town Prescott. Opened in 1877, it is the oldest frontier saloon in Arizona, and has hosted such famous people as Wyatt and Virgil Earp and Doc Holiday. On July 14th, 1900, The Palace was destroyed by the Whiskey Row fire. The ornately carved 1880’s Brunswick Bar, which is still in use, was carried to safety across the street to the plaza by patrons, and the saloon was rebuilt for $50,000 within the next year. The movie “Junior Bonner” starring Steve McQueen was filmed there in 1971 as was a scene from “Billy Jack” and “Wanda Nevada.”

Prescott Courthouse and park hosted a juried art fair through the weekend. Arizona is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary of statehood this year.

Prescott-area terrain. It’s not just flat sandy desert, but is at 5,400 feet at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains and has a population of 40,000. Chino Valley is a small rural town 16 miles north of Prescott and that is where we will be relocating upon retirement.

Our Chino Valley neighborhood.

%d bloggers like this: