Friday, July 31, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #235, July 31, 2015

Our little Community was under water during recent torrential rains. In all the 23 years I’ve lived out here on Copper Mountain Mesa, I have never seen storms like those moving through during the last week of July. One in particular turned our land into a flood plain; our driveway into a raging river. At one point, water started coming in through the back gate, turning the porch into a torrent of mud and water. The damage would have been a lot worse if one of our foster sons, Matt, hadn’t been there. He dug trenches, rerouting the raging rivers away from the porch, garage and main house. With thunder and lightning directly overhead, gale force winds, hailstones and torrential rain: it was an awesome performance by Mother Nature and even though a tad scary, it was also a very energizing and euphoric experience. Once the rain stopped, our other foster son, Cody, braved the flowing washes and mud bogs, to drive his wife Margaret and their two sons over to see us and make sure we were alright. Cody obviously enjoyed the hair-raising adventure immensely: his wife and children, however: not so much. The three of them looked quite pale-faced; eyes large with fright. Cody grew up on the Mesa and knows these roads intimately, having ridden every road on his dirtbike over the years; so he was able to pick a safe route on the desert dirt roads. Later, we heard others had not been so fortunate; becoming stuck and stranded. One man buried his full-size truck up to the frame, while the drainage pipes on Coyote Valley road were completely exposed by a chasm created by the rushing waters! Flashfloods are always dangerous and I’m relieved we survived this one: it was a doozy!

This is a video of a previous flash flood illustrating how bad it can get.

 Our Community Association Board meeting is happening this Saturday August 8, from 10am. You are most welcome to join us. Next Saturday, August 15, from 7:30pm, we are showing “Highway Dragnet” for our “Movie under the Stars” evening; starring: Richard Conte, Joan Bennett and Wanda Hendrix; directed by Nathan Juran. Stay well!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Panorama Heights Cloudscape

Yesterday saw big storms and beautiful clouds.

This picture was taken by writer Chris Clarke.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #234, July 24, 2015

Our little Community looked more like the Sahara Desert than Copper Mountain Mesa, when all those winds were blowing through here. Phaw! The sand and dust relentlessly encroached upon our Neighborhood and visibility was down to about 100 yards just before dusk. The next days everyone was talking about the “Haboobs”. Is this an Americanization of the word “Habu”? (A Mediterranean term describing the phenomenon of turbulent, gusting winds whipping up sand and dust; driving this wall relentlessly forward, covering everything in a carpet of grit.) When I posted this question on Facebook, I received some deliciously naughty comments!

A sandstorm, or habu, building.
Anyhooo, our 3rd Saturday of the month “Movie under the Stars” evening went on, regardless of all the winds, sand and rains! “The Beast with a Million Eyes” was shown indoors, but some of us just stayed outside, under the gazebo; in the smokers section, gently partying, enjoying a lovely chinwag!
Our most splendiferously delicious Brekkie is happenin’ this Saturday, August 1st, from 8-11am. We’ve enjoyed tremendous turnouts lately, with well over 70 people of all ages and persuasions joining us for a jolly good Breakfast! Can’t wait to see You!

Discovered I received an ‘A’ in that History class I took during Summer Semester at Copper Mountain College: Yay! I am excited about the Fall semester and encourage you to sign up for classes: we are still accepting Fall registrations. How about an Art class? The Ceramics class has a brand new kiln and there’s Graphic Design; Digital Photography; what’s your passion? Hope to see you on campus: we’ll say “Helllooo!”

Hopefully all this ghastly detoured traffic through our quaint Desert towns will be over by then. Highway 62 suffered extensive damage during the Rains and our roads are getting hammered by this extra-heavy traffic.

Our Tuesday Night Bingo Party is on August 4th, from 6pm: we had a good crowd last month: hope to see you all again! Our monthly Board meeting falls on August 8th, from 10am: you are welcome to join in the fun! Our 2nd Tuesday PTSD meeting is on August 11th from 6pm. Stay well!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #233, July 16, 2015

Our little Community gathered for an excellent Board meeting on Saturday morning July 11th. We were running the meetings with one board member short for the last few months; ever since Kathy Quinn moved back to San Diego to take care of her Mum. We have a full board once again, however, thanks to David King, who lives on the Mesa and is proving to be a wonderful Neighbor. He is extremely bright and tech-savvy: another awesome addition to our beloved Community.

Speaking of which, Ken and Teresa Sitz attended the meeting too. It was lovely to see them; they have been working their warm and intelligent magic on the Mesa for well over a year now and we are so lucky and grateful to have them as Neighbors.

We had a brilliant PTSD meeting on the second Tuesday of July and I was truly touched by the trust and honesty displayed by all of us. This is my favorite group therapy meeting, ever and we have a new facilitator: Matt from Pacific Clinics. Really a super-sensitive, kind man; we are very fortunate indeed that he’s willing to drive all the way out here to the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center, just for us Neighbors. Thank you, Matt and see you on August 11th.

Here’s a heads up for the Events coming up at the Community Center, 65-336 Winters Road, in Far North Joshua Tree. Our “Movie under the Stars” night is always on the third Saturday of the Summer months, which is on the 15th in August,  (July’s movie is “The Beast with a Million Eyes”). Our monthly Community Potluck Buffet takes place on the last Saturday of every month, while our First Saturday Breakfast is on August 1st: we had a great turnout on July 4th: looking forward to seeing you all again. Bingo Party is on Tuesday August 4th and fyi, Mary Koval and her daughter Chris are staying on the Mesa a little longer and will continue to be part of the Events at the Community Center through the Summer months. Stay well!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Movie Night Under the Stars

Enjoy a date with The Beast with a Million Eyes!

Continuing with our series of desert-themed movies filmed in the Mojave, or other deserts, we humbly suggest you...

Schedule a date with the BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES!

1955, 75 minutes. Filmed in Indio.

An isolated family running a date farm in the middle of the California desert faces up to their discontents when confronted by an alien invader.

Stars: Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer (Five Easy Pieces), and Dona Cole. Dick Sargent (Bewitched!) plays a deputy.

Director: David Kramarsky, Roger Corman (uncredited)

The movie is preceded by Kip's eminently charming and funny vintage cartoons and advertisements.

Saturday, July 18, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
65336 Winters Rd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

DONATIONS: Adults: $3.00 Children: 75¢
Everyone is welcome.

Bring a chair for outdoor viewing if weather permits, otherwise we’ll set up in the Center.

Delicious snacks available for a modest donation.
Make a meal of Ken's Xtreme Muscle hot dogs with grilled onions, jalapenos and sriracha mayo available accompanied by Susie's fab barbecue beans.

All proceeds keep the doors open at the
Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #232

[ Note: This column will not appear in the Hi-Desert Star.]

Our little Community Column almost didn’t make it into the newspapers this week. I woke up at four-thirty this morning and realised I had forgotten to write my 350-word piece, which is published in at least 3 local newspapers every week. I am supposed to meet my deadline of noon on Fridays. How could I possibly forget and miss my deadline? Leaving all my loyal and devoted readers columnless for this week, is a serious dropping the ball situation, right? Well, see, that’s the problem. Our deadline was changed a number of weeks ago and from what I see and hear, all your “Neighborhood News” Columnists are upset about it. Used to be, our deadline was Thursdays at noon and our Columns would be published in that Saturday’s newspaper. Now, we submit our columns by noon on Fridays, but they’re not published until the following week’s newspapers. So either I’m bringing you really “old hat” news, or I’m simply waffling trying to fill up my column.

Like our July 4th Community Breakfast last Saturday. As we are no longer reaching our readers in a timely fashion about upcoming events, we resorted to creating a Facebook Event to remind our Neighbors. Actually that worked really well, as we had the pleasure of serving 73 Neighbors an utterly delicious Breakfast. But still...we really missed a few regulars, who had obviously forgotten about the Breakfast, because it wasn’t in the paper that morning and had barely been mentioned the week before. I was tempted to mention the Breakfast in a prediction sort of way for the July 11th newspaper. You know: “A fabulous fourth of July Brekkie was enjoyed by all…”, but then I said to my friend Teresa Sitz who does the Joshua Tree column: “What if I report on the wonderful brekkie and there’s an earthquake that day and the Center collapses and there are no survivors? Everyone would know I was lying!”

Anyhooo; there it is. You missed our Bingo party on July 7th and you will miss our exciting board meeting, which is happening today, as I write this, but you won’t hear about it in the paper for another two weeks. Phaw; stay well!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

4th of JULY 1st Saturday Breakfast!

Breakfast is from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. - $5.00!!!

IT'S HOT - Let US cook for YOU!
Start the month off right with a hearty breakfast and a little local color. This all-volunteer monthly event is lovingly created by long-time (and short-time) locals cooking and serving a good homemade breakfast for just $5.00! 

The Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center was started in 1981 and is one of the only Community Centers funded completely by the community it serves. Your breakfast helps the Center doors stay open and the services to the community flowing.

Bring a friend, bring several. CMMC First Saturday Pancake Breakfast is the hippest and happenest place in North Joshua Tree. We're OUT there!

We also have the coolest, thriftiest thrift store in the Basin.

AND, we'll have the Edward Abbey issue of the Desert Oracle for sale with proceeds going to the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center.

Hi-Desert Star Column #230

Our little Community is in the second week of the “Lake Fire”; which has been spewing its smoke and ashes on us since June 17. At first, it looked like the fire would avoid us and be quickly contained, but at this time, it is raging and there’s no end in sight. Pioneer Town, Burns Canyon and Rimrock were under evacuation, as were the ranches along Pipes Canyon road. A friend of us lost all his chickens to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, before evacuating to Yucca Valley Community Center.

We were on standby for horse rescue during the first weekend of the fire, but Yucca Valley Equestrian Center stepped up to help large animals and livestock, while the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter housed dogs, cats and other smaller animals. It’s been extremely stressful for all of us, on so many levels; the most basic of which was difficulty breathing! And the heat: OMG! I sincerely hope that by the time you read this column, the fire will be out and we can begin the recuperation process.
The Lake Fire and a Meteor, captured by local, Frank Joseph Smith. Posted with permission.
The summer semester is underway at Copper Mountain College. I have been taking a U.S. History class. It’s seriously kicking my butt, cramming 18 weeks of classes and homework into 18 days! It is a fascinating class, and we have been studying the events leading up to the American Revolution. I definitely identify with American History and wanting Independence from the English. I was born in Kenya, on the East coast of Africa; a colony formerly known as British East Africa. The Kenyans won their Independence on December 12, 1963, after a bloody struggle against the British: known as the Mau Mau Uprising. I was just 8 years old, but I clearly remember the jubilation and rejoicing the moment Independence was won and a republic was born.

In my mid-twenties, I came to California as an immigrant, exactly thirty-three years ago. Now my American-born son Erick is a United States Citizen and I hope to be given some healthy American Grandchildren; who closely resemble their African-European-American Grandmother! 

Happy Birthday, America: stay well!

Many thanks, Robert Deloyd

Robert Deloyd managed the website for the Copper Mountain Mesa for many, many year and his work is still online at

Today we want to thank Bob for all the hard work he put in supporting the firefighters at the Lake Fire. Bob and his fellow CERT members gave necessary and needed support and Bob kept us all informed about the fire's status. Thanks, Bob!

Read more about Bob and buy his desert books:

Bob is the man at the end of this line.