Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #239

Our little Community will gather for the monthly First Saturday Breakfast on September 5th, from 8-11am. Our all-volunteer team works hard to give you the most delicious Breakfast and we are proud to serve you. Teresa Sitz is cashier and her lovely smile welcomes our guests at the front door. Each guest receives their own order form and circles their Breakfast choices, which servers Patrick Whalen and I collect and hand in to the Kitchen crew. Steve Tuttle mans the grill and prepares the bacon, sausage, hashbrowns and pancakes. Kip Fjeld and Ken Sitz alternate as Egg Chef and Kitchen Wench; while Jay Babcock keeps busy filling the biscuits and gravy orders. Steve’s sister Carrie busses the tables, while his wife Mary Helen does the dishes and helps us serve the food. We have become a good team and work very hard to please our guests. Hope to see your little face!

I had the pleasure and privilege of taking care of my 91-year young friend, Annette recently; so that her regular caregiver could take a week off. I give her a massage every week anyway, but it was lovely to spend the extra time with Annette. The most splendid experience of our week was a visit to Morongo Valley’s Covington Park. I got to drive her 30 year old Mercury Grand Marquis station wagon, “Mabel”, which was a super treat. We parked in the dense shade of  the Cottonwood trees and Annette got her drawing pad and pen, preparing to sketch the gnarled skeleton of the tree stump in front of her. I strolled along the “Marsh Trail” which was wonderfully shady and cool. I thoroughly enjoyed a meditational moment, sitting quietly on a bench, listening to trickling water and rustling in the trees; as birds flitted all around me. When I returned to the car, Annette was just finishing her sketch, which was really good and captured the shading and texture of the dead tree perfectly.

As summer swelters on, do you a favor and visit Covington Park; you’ll be glad you did. Stay well!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Movie Night Under the Stars | Hot Rods to Hell

Saturday, September 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center
65336 Winters Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Continuing with our series of desert-themed movies filmed in the Mojave, or other nearby deserts, we humbly invite you to bring a date and watch...

HOT RODS TO HELL, 1967, 92 minutes

The Phillips - Tom, his wife Peg, and their two children, teenager Tina and pre-teen Jamie - end up moving from their Boston home and buying a motel in Mayville in the California desert. Tom would be physically able to do the work required running a motel, and the dry heat is good for his back. But as they approach Mayville, they encounter a bunch of reckless hot rodders named Duke, Ernie and Gloria. Since Tom scolds them about their reckless behavior, they decide to make the Phillips' lives miserable by terrorizing them using their souped up vehicle.

STARSDana Andrews, Jeanne Crain, Mimsy Farmer, and introducing Mickey Rooney, Jr.

John Brahm (Lots and LOTS of early television)

LOCATIONSLake Los Angeles and Antelope Valley, CA

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.
Ken's famous bacon-wrapped hotdogs and Mary Helen's famous home-baked delectables!

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

USDA Food Distribution, 9/21, 9-11 a.m.; Potluck, 9/26, 4 p.m.; First Saturday Breakfast, 10/3, 8-11 a.m.; First Tuesday Bingo, 10/6, 6-9 p.m.; PTSD Group, 10/13, 6-9 p.m.; Board Meeting, 10/10, 10 a.m.

The Thrift Store is open during these events.

First Saturday Pancake Breakfast of LOVE!!!!!

Waiter Patrick Whalen plants one of top of Ken Sitz.
(BTW, it's not just old people, lots of young hippsterish peoples, too!)
Saturday, September 5 from 8:00am - 11:00am
Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center
65336 Winters Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

INVITE SOMEONE who's never been. <3

Start the month off right with a hearty breakfast and a lot of 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!

We have outdoor seating, so bring your vices and your dogs as long as you agree to bring your dirty dishes back to the kitchen. ?

The Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center was started in 1981 and is one of the only privately funded Community Centers in the area. 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 happeningest place in North Joshua Tree. We're OUT there!

Look! There's Michelle, and Karen, and Gloria, Aaron and Kelly, Ruth and Michael and Ken!

The THRIFT STORE will be open. Bring a bag for a cheap treasure hunt.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #238

Our little Community continues to be challenged after the massive floods we had in late July. Even though men worked diligently grading and re-grading the roads, many Neighbors are still having to negotiate deep sand and rough road conditions, in order to get off the Mesa and head into town. Our main roads, like Winters, Coyote Valley, Lear, Cady, Friendship and Olsen still have rough spots and sand pits. Our less-travelled roads leading up to small groups of cabins, remain challenging and that’s putting it mildly! More of us have been stuck in mud or sand lately than I’ve experienced in all my days in the Desert. We carried plywood and shovels in the back of the truck for weeks and several times, we were glad we did! Our house, garage and porch were severely flooded during the rains and we’ve been letting the Desert air dry us out. Soon, we shall attack the fine layer of silt covering everything and get to work on the clean-up. Sadly, I lost another layer of boxes containing my “Kenya Cowgirl” books: this happens every few years when a jolly good gully-whumper rages through via my garage!

Water pools on the Copper Mountain Mesa before flash flooding begins.
 The Desert loved all the downpours and the landscape changed drastically thanks to the heavy rains. Many of the familiar gullies and rock piles were washed out: we had to forge a new path for daily walks with our dog Abigail the Schnitzen Schnoodle! Many shrubs and bushes are flowering profusely and all the plants look so happy. I’m seeing coyote melons sprouting hither and thither as well as desert lawns on much of our local land. Scorpions are rampant; we’re finding them in and out of the house and the flies are just ghastly! Everyone is saying we are in an “El Nino” year and if this turns out to be true, hold on to your hats people: we can expect some rains this winter!

A small wash starts to form during a heavy rain.
Our Community Potluck Buffet is happening this Saturday, August 29th from 4pm, at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters road. We’d love to see you; stay well!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #237, August 15, 2015

Our little Community was sweltering recently, so it was a delightful turn of events when an opportunity presented itself to visit Ocean Beach, San Diego, where our son Erick lives with his lovely lady Courtney. It all came about when Matt - who lived with us as a teenager and is staying with us for a minute   - said it was one of his dearest wishes to visit the San Diego Zoo. Erick agreed that this was something we had to bring about and it soon became apparent that we would have to seize the moment, what with the Fall semester at Copper Mountain College starting on August 17th! So, we booked a room in Ocean Beach, rented an economy car from Hertz in Yucca Valley and drove off early Wednesday morning.

Abigail, our beloved golden Desert pup, accompanied us on her first trip anywhere, ever! She was so good, it was truly amazing and the Ocean Villa Hotel was right on the Dog Beach! We went walkies with all our new canine friends; chased each other around grinning hugely and even went swimming in the warm Pacific shallows!

Matt, who had never been in the Ocean before, waded out full of confidence, big smile: diving right  into the waves without a second thought. We got to have a lovely, long visit with Erick and Courtney; enjoying dinner and beers outside in the doggie run with Abigail and all her friends: it was utterly splendid!

At 8:30 the next morning, Erick picked Matt up and the two of them headed for the San Diego Zoo! Jim, Abigail and I enjoyed some more walkies on the Beach; all happy and warm, wading around: absolute bliss!

I am always glad to get home to the Mesa: back to the quiet and solitude. The house was cool and comfortable; thanks to our careful watering and mulching before we left, the garden was fine. Now that we know our golden Desert Dog morphs into a perfect beach babe pup, I’m hoping we’ll visit all our kids and grand kids more often; stay well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Movies in the Desert | Highway Dragnet

Continuing with our series of desert-themed movies filmed in the Mojave, or other nearby deserts, we humbly invite  you to bring a date and watch...

HIGHWAY DRAGNET, 1954, 70 minutes

“Wrongly accused of killing a bar-girl he was seen with earlier, a Korean War vet flees from the police in the company of a woman photographer and her young female model.” –

Stars: Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix

Director: Nathan Juran

Locations: The Salton Sea, Apple Valley Inn, Las Vegas and Riverside County, CA.

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center  
65336 Winters Rd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

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. 

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

USDA Food Distribution, 8/17, 9-11 a.m.;  Potluck, 8/22, 4 p.m.; 
First Tuesday Bingo, 9/1, 6-9 p.m.; First Saturday Breakfast, 9/5, 8-11 a.m.;
PTSD Group, 9/8, 6-9 p.m.; Board Meeting, 9/12, 10 a.m.

The Thrift Store is open during these events.

Roads, after the storm

The road, after flash flooding in this wash
These two pictures are of Saturn Street in the Copper Mountain Mesa area of Joshua Tree after the storm on July 29. There was flash flooding in this wash and it dug through the road bed, lowering that portion of the road by a foot or more and filling it with sand.

Flood damage on Saturn Street
Water flooded down this road undercutting the road sides, and depositing about 8 inches of sand. You can see, on the right, where the undercarriage of a car has "ironed out" a ridge of sand. After the major roads were graded and dragged, the county began work on the interior roads. By the following week this road was plowed and there are now high berms of sand on the road sides. The roads have not been restored to their previous condition, but the chance of getting stuck in the sand has been greatly reduced.

If your road becomes impassable, call John Bradshaw at San Bernardino County Special Districts, at 909-387-5940.

Please be sure to keep extra water, food, candles or flashlights, a radio, and other emergency supplies on hand, and keep tabs on your neighbors.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #236, August 7, 2015

Our little Community enjoyed a splendid turnout for August’s First Saturday Breakfast. Seventy-eight Neighbors braved the storm-damaged roads, to enjoy a mouth-wateringly, delicious Brekkie. Unfortunately, Neighbor Charles Lange got stuck in the wash on Coyote Valley, but he was soon rescued by Wonder Valley Neighbor, Bob Tellefsen, who towed him out in no time. I was given the morning off, as I just underwent eye surgery for cataract removal and a new lens implant. I joined the smokers on the gazebo (even though I quit cigarettes years ago) and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast outside in the rainwashed Desert breeze. Billy Myers shared a 12-pack of brewskis and a jolly good chinwag was had by all!

The next morning we took off for The Palms Bar and Restaurant, way down Amboy road, for breakfast. We hardly made it out of our immediate Neighborhood, as Winters road, east of Coyote Valley was horrendously damaged. We had to negotiate a deep, wide, unbelievably soft sandpit for about two miles, before we finally reached higher ground and better roads. Jim kept the pedal to the metal, as we swayed, shimmied, jolted and jarred our way through the (quick)sand in our little 2-wheel drive 1996 Chevy truck. Breakfast, lovingly prepared by our most beautiful and talented Laura Sibley, tasted even better than usual! Accompanied by her brother James Sibley’s awesome Bloody Marys: rarely has Brekkie tasted better!

The sand displaced from this wash filled a dip in Saturn Street, making it impassable. 
Saturday, August 15th, Neighbors gather again, to enjoy our “Movie under the Stars” evening at the Community Center. “Dragnet Highway” will be showing and of course it’s a wonderful excuse to catch up with friends and celebrate yet another Neighborly get-together. Check out “Copper Mountain Mesa Community” on Facebook for further details: see you around sunset.
Our USDA Food giveaway is on Monday, August 17th from 8:30am and don’t forget our Community Potluck Buffet on Saturday, August 29th, from 4pm.

Back to the grindstone on Monday August 17th (and the end of all this oh-so-fun summer partying!) as Fall 2015 Semester at Copper Mountain College begins. Two more semesters ‘til I graduate: stay well!