Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
I was there when Mr. Terry was murdered at the K-T Mine. His partner, Howard Sadler, had come back from town and found him, so he came to our house to call the sheriff's office.
Mr. Terry was a special man - very kind and always so thoughtful. He had picked up a couple of hitchhikers near Craig and told them if they would work for him a couple weeks at the mine, he would buy them tickets home to Idaho. They seemed eager and pleased with the proposition, and they repaid him by hitting him over the head with a sofa leg.
They stole his car and headed west. Stupid is as Stupid does, and when a patrolman pulled them over for a non-working tail light near Salt Lake City, one of the kids jumped out of the car and started yelling, "We did it!"
Then there was a time when some roughnecks decided that people in Browns Park were an easy mark. They shot out power lines, shot at people, and harassed folks on several occasions. Browns Park gals driving home from town were chased and nearly run off the highway. Once, another gal and I couldn't get across the swinging bridge because a truck full of guys were blocking the road as they sneered, laughed and pointed at us.
Finally, the other gal said she'd had about enough of them, so she got a rifle out of her truck and the last we saw of those guys was a big dust cloud rolling over the hilltop. Our house was robbed, our dogs were beaten, with holes shot in the walls and so a meeting was held! We women all got lessons in how to defend ourselves in such attacks. We all carried guns. We were given instructions to shoot at anyone who didn't belong in the park.
I looked out the window one day and saw a couple of people that appeared to be sneaking up a hill across the highway, so I stepped out in the front yard, got behind a tree and plunked a couple shots below their feet. Talk about scramble - they couldn't get out of there fast enough. Thanks to the sheriff's office, some of the thugs were caught and for whatever reason, were never seen in Browns Park again.
So things got back to a nice slow dull roar.
We moved out of Browns Park but I left my heart there so in 1985 when Deb and Ann Ducy at Greystone offered me some property they were selling, I took them up on it.
The Bower Place had a great apple orchard, and every time I tried to get apples out of there to make pies, one of the deputies would come along and threaten me with jail time if he couldn't have a slice of pie. He usually ended up eating more than one piece, and then I would have to tell him that because he ate my whole pie, I'd have to go back over there and get more apples.
Over on the Smelter Place, there were some apricot trees that had the best apricots I've ever eaten There also was a fabulous asparagus patch back behind the old house. In the spring, it was always a race to get over there and get the asparagus picked before anyone else did. Sometimes on your way in, people were coming out smiling and waving.
Back in those days, all the local folks gave other locals unwritten permission to go on their property whenever they wanted to go. They didn't worry about their neighbors messing with things they shouldn't. In fact, neighbors took care of neighbors and watched out for things that didn't seem quite right. If a fence needed to be fixed, it got fixed. If a gate was down, it got put back up. There was never any mention of money owed or "I did that for you, so you need to do this for me."
Many times, the good deeds weren't even mentioned, but everyone knew they were much appreciated. Outsiders were a different story, however. And times change.
In my next column, you will learn more about how times change.