Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Oatman, Arizona

Instead of going straight on Highway 40 Ruth wanted to stop off at an old town called Oatman, Arizona. Oatman is an old western town of wooden store fronts, donkeys, and outlaws . . . bank robbers that is. In fact, we witnessed a bank robbery.

But before I tell you that story and before we reached the town, we had to travel Route 66. It's not the high speed highway that 40 is for sure. These were some wiry roads with barbed lookouts that dropped hundreds of feet below. And there ain't no guardrails there neither. Ruth
was driving but I was just hanging on to the door frame, for I was the one closest to the cliff's edge. (I was ridin' shotgun.)

As the wheels skidded around the corners I witnessed rocks tumble down the cliffs. I saw rusted and abandoned cars below of previously unsuccessful travelers and imagined we were going to be the next ones.

We finally made it into the town. We found a hitching post for our 210 horse wagon, smacked the dust from our hats against our Levis, and went a lookin' for a watering hole.

It was a quiet afternoon and we were minding our own business just eating our dogs and fries and sippin' sodas, when all of a sudden some guy with a couple of six shooters walks down Main street. He and his buddy slipped into the local town bank and come out with a sack of money.

Well, they would have gotten off scott free ('cause we weren't gunna say nothin') if it hadn't of been for another black vested fella fixin' to steal the sack from the first robbers. Well, as you can imagine there was a shootout at high noon and two were left layin' on the ground.

When the smoke cleared the fellas got up and went around gathering real money from the rest of us for a local charity. So one way or another they made off with some cash.

After the shootout we talked to one of the local gold prospectors who had a $5,000 gold nugget hung around his neck and carried another $1,400 of gold in his pocket. I'll tell ya, with robbers as prevalent as we saw in this town, a fella like that is liable to get himself killed.

We drove another 2 hours before we reached Ruth's brother's place in Helendale, California. But not before enjoying sweeping vistas of mesas (flat topped mountains) and roadside cacti.

But, other than that, not much has really happened.

A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun. - Don Henley

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