WESTERN AS THE PRICE . . . . TWO-BITS &mdash (25c).
EDITOR'S 75th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
From Mark Twain to Jack Smith
WESTERN HUMOR, like Western Gold is where you find it — and this book is the best place to look.
[image: outhouse on mesa] "DON'T WORRY — IT'S ONLY A CONVERSATION PIECE."
The Elegent Simplicy Of Our Desert
Most Of My Stuff Is Too Good To Be True. 2
Packet 4 of Pouch 10
This paper is not entered as second class mail. It's a first class newspaper.
[image: black cowboy hat] His... TRADE MARK
Published at Fort Oliver
THOUSAND PALMS, CALIFORNIA
Four Times a Year
ON THE NEWS STANDS NOW
I just had to do it
But sometimes they don't have them.
MAILING PRICE $1.00 A YEAR
This offer expires when I do
Asbestos editions will be forwarded in case you don't make it.
Talent, like the gout, sometimes skips two generations.
Some of the people who call me a drunk ain't nothin' outstanding themselves.
I find when I tell lies, folks don't care just so's I'm sincere.
The Thunderbird was buzzing the other day with the story of a slaphappy hostess at a cocktail party who collared a bewildered author to tell him, "I read your book as a magazine serial, I read it in book form, and as a condensation, and now Iv'e [sic] seen it in the movies and on television. Frankly, Mr. Ingold, just what the hell are you trying to say?"
EDITORIALFUN AS A DESERT EDITOR
In April of 1946 I printed the first of this paper. The format was the same as it is tody. [sic] It was tagged Camp Edition— Saddle bag size. I printed ten thousand. I wanted to see if they would sell. The price was one thin dime.
I told of my plan in my first editorial.
After years of writing of the Desert, I present this Desert Scrap Book with its strange facts, desert oddities, and bits of humor, that you may enlarge on them, until they take their place as Desert Folklore.
You will find Legends, and Tall Tales will brow like dust devils with your te-telling, so when they call on you at the camp fire, make your story tall and give it a home in your own Desert Valley.
That's the reason of this little newspaper, or one of the reasons, the other is that I never had a newspaper of my own before and I think it will be a lot of fun.
Also I told of my policy. I would concoct an all-desert project with paper, of Folklore and Humor . . . even the Ads (if I ever got any) would be desert.
Edition number two I was not so sure about and only printed 5,000. But they sold — in fact not long ago one copy sold for $7.50. If you have a copy of Packet Two of Pouch 1, I could sell it for you. I sent all other copies to the New Desert Museum of Death Valley — without it. (IF you have one send it to them).
It was with this copy that I started that line . . . "Onlhy Newspaper you can open in the wind."
Other lines became a part of the format, "Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one. (Not a Texas Boast)"— "THIS offer expires when I do," etc.
As the years went by I had fun, my Old Adobe Fort became well-known, my numerous trademarks such as the Old Station Wagon (1928), My Black Hat, My Dog Whiskers, My Cats, Sin and Satan, my old Crow (Col. Have-A-Shot), the Pack Rat Raffles, and the 39 Desert Rat Characters I gave birth to in the last 20 years became well-known to you readers.
A few years ago I did a column for the 5-acre Home Steaders, in the Riverside Enterprise, I looked for a new boom.
Today I am glad to say that the active Retired Folks are coming from all points of the globe, right here to our Desert, just to read my paper and find contentment.
"Boy" what prosperous days are ahead for your Editor.
The Editor wants you to know this is the FORTIETH EDITION of this paper, and he had FUN putting all of them together — and hopes you had fun reading each of them..
Los Angeles Times
BY ED AINSWORTH
Restoration of An Antique
Sentiment still does exist.
I know a man who can testify positively to this. He is Harry Oliver of Thousand Palms, one a famous artist and technician in the films but for many years a resident of the desert near Palm Springs. He lives there from choice and puts out a unique "five-page" newspaper, "The Desert Rat Scrapbook," every once in a while, averaging four times a year.
His most treasured possession has been a 1928 Ford station wagon. But, for some reason, it was getting a little worn and shabby.
This condition brought about project restoration, Sponsored by Barner Hinkle of Thunderbird, a lot of enthusiastic kids, and the people of Palm Springs.
A complet new set of chrome, new wheels and tires, engine renovation and general spit-and-polish were provided. The kids scraped and varnished the wooden body, and new signs were painted on the station wagon.
Harry drove the refurbished and splendiferous creation right to the door of the swank art tea given last Sunday at the desert gallery at Desert Magazine in Palm Desert in honor of Ted Degrazia and Ross Santee. It was the hit of the day, next to the artists.
I wish Oliver Wendell Holmes, Masterpiece, "The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay," weren't such a long fable in poetry — As I like to think my 33 years with "My Old Dream Wagon" was somewhat the same story. "The One-Hoss Shay" is told in 3 big pages and this little paper must have things shorter than short.
So I can only thank the many friends who put "My Old Dream Wagon" together again on the eve of my 75th birthday.
You see if you 're not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once,—
All at once, and nothing first,—
Just as bubbles do when they burst.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
I won't say the railroads are in trouble — but what do you want to bet, come 1980, this country'll have 8,000,000 stations wagons and no stations!
If Both Sides Make You Laugh, You Are Broad-Minded 3
"Saint Frijole" rids Mexico of Arthritis
Says Raymond Carlson, Editor, ARIZONA HIGHWAYS
Cooking in the Sun: We sing a tribute for the lowly bean this month. We have never seen among our many Mexican friends, whose diet accents beans, that malady known as arthritis. The bean has strength, flavor, and is wonderfully palatable. Cook it right, ma'am, and you are cooking like all git-out. Here's how you can cook wonderful, gorgeous beans: For four: one pound pintos, no soaking overnight. Merely wash beans and then put them in boiling water (they get black if you put them in cold water). When beans have come to boil again, add ½ lb. chopped bacon and one onion. After one hour of boiling again, add one can solid packed tomatoes, and also pinch cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper. If water boils down do not add cold water but boiling water. After three hours your beans are done. Serve with salad and the blessings of your buests are yours.
New Mexico Magazine & Editor George Fitzpatrick
CHILI, SI! TEXAS, NO! Bill HB200 submitted to the New Mexico legislature directs that every person of the state eat at least one Mexican-style meal, using chili con carne and beans cooked in Rio Grande water. Those not complying "shall be forthwith taken and branded with a lone star on their 'como se llama and deported to Texas."
At a recent gathering of Famed Doctors in Fort Worth, Texas, it was agreed by common consent that they endorse quantities (under the skin) of both Whiskey and Pepper Hot Mexican-Style food . . . For those who must face the possibility of Fallout.
Then too there is the story of the Cow at White Sands, New Mexico, who, after eating grass off her little pasture for 17 years, developed skin cancer.I GUESS A LITTLE PATCH OF CHILI PEPPERS WOULD HAVE SAVED HER.
My old-time friend, Captain Gibson of Palm Springs and Death Valley, has just handed me a membership card to the (International) Chili Appreciation Society.
Also this little story from The Dallas Morning News by Frank X. Tolbert.
THANK GOD FOR THAT CHILI!
Sondra, who is 16, worked at night in a small cafe up in the Panhandle of Texas. At about 11 o'clock one night after the last customer had gone, she was closing up. One of her final duties was to put a huge metal container of steaming hot Chili in the walk-in freezer.
After Sondra entered, the door slammed behind her. Evidently a sneak thief had come in the cafe and this villian dropped a long knife-sharpener through the hasp-lock on the freezer. Then he took $30 from the cash register, turned out all lights and went away, leaving Sondra to spend the night in her sub-zero cell.
Sondra's shoes were frozen to the floor. She would certainly have frozen to death if she hadn' embraced the container of Chili until all the heat left it.
Said her Mother: "So let's all Thank God for that Hot, Hot Chili!
I don't blame our Indians for being discouraged. They are the only ones to be conquered by the United States and not come out ahead.
Andy Hervey, longtime film studio publicist, is taking a job with the Wickenburg (Ariz.) Chamber of Commerce. He says, "A town that has a dry river named the Hassayampa running through it and a sign, 'No fishing from bridge,' has got to be going places.
OLD FORT OLIVER
This Story by Jack Smith of the Los Angeles "Times" shows that smart Newsmen can always find a "Pocket Full of Miracles" — At Old Fort Oliver.
PALM SPRINGS— Harry Oliver, the old desert rat, was listening to the World Series on his radio, when we dropped by to see if he had an new lies.
Oliver lives out in the desert in a "100-year-old" adobe fort he built about 20 years ago. He calls it Ft. Oliver. The yard is full of rusty old antiques, including Oliver's 17-year-old dog Whiskers.
Oliver said Whiskers is getting deaf. Oliver bought him a hearing aid. Whiskers swallowed the works. He thought it was a peanut.
"He keeps hearing his old stomach rumbling and thinks it's thunder," Oliver said. "He goes in the house to get out of the rain."
Besides Whiskers Oliver has two bobtail cats, Dot and Comma. "They're supposed to help me punctuate," Oliver said. Oliver is the Editor and the entire staff of Harry Oliver's Desert Rat Scrap Book.
It is printed four times a year on a big piece of paper folded four times. It has two slogans: "Price two bits" and "Only newspaper you can open in the wind."
The Scrapbook is full of philosophy, wit and facts. A mosquito has 22 teeth; bees tases with their knees. These are facts from the Scrapbook. Dry Camp Blackie would rather have a cat than a TV set. This is philosophy.
We met Dry Camp Blackie. He said hello. He was sitting in the shade outside Ft. Oliver with Whiskers. Blackie sat there all the time we were there and was sitting when we left.
Harry loves and protects all desert creatures. He has a talking crow and used to have a tortoise named Hopalong Pushadee. He died.
Oliver says the buzzards come back to Ft. Oliver every year like the swallows come back to Capistrano.
Oliver has a Ford station wagon which he says he has driven for 33 years without denting a fender or running over a horned toad. He is the inventor of the mule swearing contest where a man gets a prize for cussing out a mule the best, and the lazy dog contest for the laziest dog. The dog and his owner each get a prize.
Oliver has fought for years to save the burros. He also invented thde burro flapjack contest for prospectors and burros. The prospectors have to pack their burros, race 100 yds., unpack, build a fire and cook a flapjack. The first prospector who gets his burro to eat a flapjack gets a prize. I believe the burro does, too.
Oliver talks to his crow and used to talk to Hopalong. He is trying to teach Whiskers to bark in italics. Oliver knows desert weather. Last August he predicted August was going to be as hot as July was all through September. It was. He says in the desert a 6-inch rain means the drops were 6 inches apart.
Oliver is 74-5/12 years young. "After you pass 70 you count your age like children," he says. "You put in the quarters and halves." His hair and beard are white but he's as tough as an old wagon wheel. He says the future is getting here quicker than it used to, though.
Oliver is like old Sky-Eye Jones, who is Oliver's flying saucer expert. Sky-Eye is 90. He has discovered that every time he lives through March he lives through the whole year, so far.
Oliver says he owes his jokes to his memory and his facts to his imagination. But so what? His paper only costs two-bits.
My year with Pancho Villa
Park named for Mexican Bandit Dedicated on 50th Anniversary of New Mexico's Statehood
With my sharp nose in the wind, I read of New Mexico's plan to create "The Pancho Villa State Park. 34 acres at Columbus N.M." as a tourist attraction.
I was as hot as a Cow-Boy's Pistol on 4th of July. I was Art Director of M.G.M's Great Picture, "Viva Villa," designing and building the sets in Mexico and Hollywood. I also have had 40 years experience building with adobe.
I got a letter off to George Fitzpatrick, Editor of New Mexico Magazinre, then to E.R. Smith, Superintendent of State Parks — but no soap — but I tried, didn't I?
This gives me a chance to let you know how great this picture is. Produced 30 years ago, and still galloping across the Motion Picture and TV screens of the World.
It was in 1932 that a dozen of us from Hollywood circle Mexico City looking for suitable locations to film "Vivi [sic] Villa." Howard Hawks, Ben Hecht, Charles G. Clark and others. Many miles on horseback through pulque fields, where today they have great highways. But it was a horseback picture — one of the greatest.
[image: HO in sombrero] Your Editor 30 years ago in good old Mexico
How to stage a fast-moving Revolution
Leo Carillo . . . the last time I was to talk to him, (Down in Borrego, it was when we were together at the dedication of "The Peg Leg Smith Monument"). Leo told me that M.G.M.'s European offices rent their copies of Viva Villa" to all the countries of the world. They rent the film when the people of a country get "REVOLUTION HUNGRY."
For 30 years these lessons in HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF have been available.
"VIVA LA REVOLUTION"
Wallace Beery Thrills Picture-goers with His Performance in "Viva Villa" at Preview
Wallace Beery never had a roll [sic] that will make picture theatre-goers remember his work in long after he is gone as he does in "Viva Villa," his latest M-G-M super production, produced by David O. Selznick, that was so excellently directed by Jack Conway. Aside from the star you can mark up credits for six players that help in great measure to hold interest created by the star. These are Leo Carillo, Henry B. Walthal, Stuart Erwin, Fay Wray, George E. Stone and Joseph Schildkraut. Others who will command attention are Donald Cook, Katherine De Mille, Phillip Cooper, David Durand, Francis X. Bushman, Jr., George Regas, Frank Paglia, Adrain [sic] Rosley, Pedro Regas, Henry Armetta and many others weho have small but good parts. The battle scenes and the mass gatherings of the various factions and the bandit raids are gems as far as building dramatic interest are concerned. The photography work of James Wong Howe and Charles G. Clarke are worthy of special attention, as is the art work of Harry Oliver, Herbert Stothart musical score, recording by Douglas Shearer and editing by Robert J. Kern. In closing let us give great credit to Ben HEcht for the screen play, suggested by the book by Edgcomb Pinchon and O.B. Stade.
IT'S NEWS TO ME
This page is dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist - the DESERT PROSPECTOR PAGE 4
Harry Oliver's DESERT RAT SCRAP BOOK
Quips and Clips
By KERWIN HOOVER
AND THE EDITORS OF TIME & LIFE
Harry Oliver: We are gathering material for "The LIFE Treasury of American Folklore."
SIMPLE LIFE IN DESERT CASTLES 5
This story comes from the North bank of the combined White Water and Tahquitz Rivers, at Palm Springs.
A doctor recalls the husband and wife who went to a psychiatrist. "We've been married more than twenty years," explained the husband, "and lately, she's been acting queer."
"In what way?" asked the medico.
"She keeps goats in the living room. They smell terrible."
"Why don't you open the doors and the windows?" suggested the psychiatrist.
"What? And let all my pigeons fly away?"
"No, No," said the Centipede crossing her legs, "A hundred times no!"
While filing the above item from The Tonopah Times-Bonanza, it occurred to me that it just might hook-up with the story below, from a much earlier edition of the same newspaper:
The inmate of the Nevada State Prison at Carson City who invented the Zipper got the idea from study of his pet Centipedes.
A favorite habit of the pack rat, one that would justify a chuckle if the animal was human, is that of carrying the redoubtable joints of the porcupine-like cholla cactus into farm house privies, where very often they are stored in a corner, on the seat or on the floor!
Fellow bought a mouse-trap for his cellar. When he went to set it, he found that he had forgotten to buy cheese. So he cut a piece of cheeze from a magazine and place this in the trap. Surprisingly enough this worked. When he went down next morning he found in the trap — a picture of a mouse.
CATS AND DOGS GET COMPANY
NEW YORK (AP) — Americans, who always have liked pets, are veering to the unusual — chamaleons, iguanas, baby alligators, horned toads, hamsters — says Wyman L. Hammond, head of pet operations for the F.W. Woolworth Co.
Hammond said the chain sold 100,000 chamaleons, 750,000 turtles, 500,000 birds and four mission fish during 1961.