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Smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one (Not a Texas Boast)
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This paper is not entered as 2nd class mail. It's a first class newspaper.
Published at Fort Oliver
1000 Palms, California
Four Times a Year
ON THE NEWS STANDS 10¢ A COPY
But sometimes they don't have them.
ONE YEAR BY MAIL — 4 COPIES 50¢
Darned if I am going to the trouble of mailing it for nothing.
10 Years ................... $5.00
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in case you don't make it.
H A R R Y O L I V E R
Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
"Age seldom improves with whiskey"
—A. L. Morgragne
Happiness doesn't make you forgive your enemies, it makes you forget you have any.
More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much.
—P. T. Barnum
We like your record of Tall Tales and have played it a lot, Our bird (Bridget) listens, too. She doesn't talk yet but she will soon be a bird "Desert Rat" — cuss words and all!
Alene Anderson, Alameda, Calif.
YOU AIN'T DEAD YET
Take your medicine — small dose, a smile — big dose, a laugh — now go to sleep with someone else's thoughts on your mind. You will find a hundred such in this little paper, (I pick them nice and short.)
This is not a get well note, — It's a, "YOU ARE WELL" command.
OTHER FELLOWS HAVE PROBLEMS
A RUNNIN' SHOT
A sheepherder decided to commit suicide. He went to a nearby mine and asked the watchman for the loan of a shotgun and a box of shells. He explained to the miner that he wanted to commit suicide.
"I can understand you want to commit suicide," said the latter, "and you are welcome to the gun and shells. But why do you need a whole box of shells?"
"I have been all through this before," replied the sheepherder, "with no luck. I am so gun shy I never get anything but a running shot at myself."
Mountain climbers rope themselves together because there is safety in numbers — also it keeps the sensible ones from going home.
"It's been rumored around town that you and your husband aren't getting along too well?"
"Nonsense. We did have some words, and I shot him. But that's as far as it went.
The Old Plank Road
Dear Harry Oliver, Don Quixote, Sir Galahad, Defender of the Desert, and Esteemed Friend:
Some of us old and New Timers are Concerned lest the old Plank Road between Yuma and Holtville Disappear from the Sands of the Earth, and be No More. Shouldn't steps be taken to Preserve a short bit of it for Old Time sake? Any Suggestions?
Those chisels were sure rusty
Thanks Vollie Tripp, your suggestion spurred me to get out my rusty chisels and whack out a wood-cut, — I will give it all I can, — Imperial Valley Folks have always been alert and proud of their historic past, and I think would see fit to mark, protect and show preterite concern in such a plan.
By S. OMAR BAKER
Inhabitant of dogs and rabbits,
The flea has enviable habits.
He wants no TV, builds no dams,
Nor gets tied up in traffic jams.
No tax return (with carbon copy)
Keeps him from feeling always hoppy.
He writes no books, nor does he read'em,
To bolster his belief in fleadom!
Some people never smile; they only grin.
A smile to the nurse - - - softens your pillow.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
A MIRACLE: An event described by those to whom it was told by men who did no see it.
What if marriage licences expired each year like car licences?
My Dog Whiskers
The Best Dog I Ever Worked For
THE COLD NOSE CAPER
I reprint this yarn because JOHN NORMAN choose it as the lead 'caper' on my record of 16 such. "You know, it sounds better, than it reads." —See ad on page 4.
Awakened by Whiskers' thrusting a cold nose in my ear, I listened. There was someone opening the window of the Desert Rat editorial room up front. I got out of bed, and with my old 45 about 3 feet ahead of me and "Whiskers" 3 feet behind me, I went quietly through the press room, snapped on the light, and found a skinny little fellow going through the drawers of my desk. As I bellowed, "Hands Up!" Whiskers went for his legs. The unsuccessful burglar surrendered promptly, and stood patiently while I went through his pockets. I found $16.00; just think, and I did think, and it made me as mad as if I had jumping cactus in by beard — that buzzard would steal from a starving editor of a 5 page Desert Rat newspaper when he had $16.00 in his pockets!
Whiskers and I let him keep one dollar and pushed him out the window. We think it'd be a good idea to leave that front window open!
One of the best uses of originality is to say common things in an uncommon way 3
Old Holladay is up and around again, March didn't get him this year, he almost passed-out in early April but the chickens saved him, you see his old woman had a hen that couldn't wait for spring to warm up and was a setting on some eggs, and blowing out steam in that cold chicken-house.
His old woman got fed up trying to keep a fire going for Old Holladay and see that, that hen kept on her nest. So she got the idea of packing the eggs around her bed-ridden husband.
Old Holladay says, he is the mother, but after three days the hen found her way into the house to help, the old timer didn't break an egg, says he wanted to live until he could give-birth to them chicks and that gave him something to live for.
I wish you could have seen him, his beard full of chicks — he let the hen scratch and take his babies for walks — but they sleep under his beard — Says, in the tone of a sputtering jealous mother that the little ones are smarter than that "Old Hen" — says, it took himn two weeks to teach her to roost the right way around on the foot of the bed.
Hi Harry: A miner up here was sinking a shaft, he was down 80 feet and no muck on the top. A walker yelled down "where's the much Mike?"
"I put it back in the timbers," was the answer. —Bob Ray, Placerville
Then there's the one about the moron who thought steel wool was the fleece from a hydraulic ram.
Indians used to broadcast messages by holding a wet blanket over the fire. Now we've got television and get to see the wet blanket in person.
—The American Eagle
DO NOT DISTURB
My desert tortoise is hibernating. I think of him down in his hole, sleeping away the winter, free of all care. I think how I too would like to hibernate, pass the winter in comfort, parking the weary vertebra, unpushed for a spell.
Some folks get close to hibernating.
Like this, by Wm. Aspenwall Bradley, "The Knittingest Woman"
(A stranger in the Kentucky mountains) commented to a mountain woman on her skill in knitting as she walked along the rough mountain roads or climbed the steep trails.
"Oh, that's nothing!" the woman explained. "Now ther's Aunt Mandy. She's the KNITTINGEST woman ever I saw. She takes yer yarn to bed with her every night, and ever' now and then she throws out a sock!"
I sure would like to write this paper that way, half hibernated in a king-size bed, and just flip out a sheet of copy, every once in a while, for some one to take to the printer. It would have to be a king-size bed with big soft pillows, — not the lousy army-cot I sleep on today, — (the cats keep falling out of it) — but, hell, the idea is no good, if we had a bigger bed there would just be more cats, twisting my legs and bending my vertebra.—
People Change - - Not Animals
Who taught the parrot his "Welcome"? Who taught the raven in a drought to throw pebbles into a hollow tree where she espied water, that the water might rise so as she might come to it? Who taught the bee to sail through such a vast sea of air, and to find the way from a flower in a field to her hive? Who taught the ant to bite every grain of corn that she burieth in her hill, lest it should take root and grow?
This Editor and his family of animals wishes to thank you for these meaningful lines,— fresh as the day you penned them. Thanks Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
TALL BUT SHORT
This, "The Desert's Most Quoted Paper," is put together by an Editor with a fine new pair of three-dollar shears and the help of his many readers who mail him choice bits of humor from their part of this Great Southwest.
ABE LINCOLN'S DRY WIT
Good Old American Humor
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. He was our 16th President, and many think him our greatest. Certainly no other President has been so widely quoted.
Lincoln told stories by the dozen, by the hundred. No one ever saw him at a loss for an appropriate story, and his bottomless supply astonished professional humorists. Often the stories were anecdotes set in his native Midwest. During the War Between the States, a famous writer was in the White House when a vastly self-important man hurried in. Union forces, he announced, had just captured 12,000 of General Lee's finest. Victories over General Lee were news indeed, and it surprised the visitor that Lincoln showed so little excitement.
"Oh, pay no attention to him," Lincoln said cheerfully, when the courier had left. "He's the biggest lian in Washington. He reminds me of an old fisherman I used to know who got such a reputation for stretching the truth that he bought a pair of scales and insisted on weighing every fish in the presence of witnesses. One day a baby was born next door and the doctor borrowed the fisherman's scales. The baby weighed forty-seven pounds."
In speaking of a legal adversary who always boomed in a loud voice, Abraham Lincoln once made the following comparison:
"Back in the days when I performed my part as a keel-boating, I made the acquaintance of a trifling little steamboat which used to bustle and puff and wheeze about the Sangamon River. It had a fivefoot boiler and a sevenfoot whistle, and every time it whistled, it stopped."
A fanatical temperence advocate called on Lincoln to protest against the reported whisky drinking of General Grant. After listening to his harangue, Lincoln said:
"Find out the brand of whisky General Grant uses. I would like to furnish the same brand to my other generals."
A delegation, calling on President Lincoln to give him advice, was headed by a clerical gentlemen who quoted at length from the Scriptures to prove his points. At last Mr. Lincoln silenced him by remarking:
"Well, gentlemen, it is not oftenthat one is favored with a delegation direct from the Almighty!"
As the 1864, election approached, someone told President Lincoln that the only thing that could defeat him for re-election would be Grant's capture of Richmond, followed by Grant's nomination and acceptance.
"Well," replied Mr. Lincoln,"I feel very much like the man who said he didn't want to die, particularly, but if he had got to die, that was precisely the disease he would like to die of."
Someone asked Lincoln once whether he did not find the ceremonies of the Presidency irksome.
"Yes, sometimes," said Lincoln. "In fact, I feel sometimes like a man who was ridden out of town on a rail, and said, 'If it wasn't for the honor of the thing, I'd rather walk!'"
There is much talk of the whiskey Death Valley Scotty drank. Scotty has gone, we may never have another Scotty; but fortunately there seems to be lots of whiskey.
A man, getting his first peek through the Palomar telescope exclaimed, "God!" A professor turned to him and said, "Prety good telescope isn't it?"
—J.O. Jewett, Fairfield
This is from the Prescott Courier and, tho short, is to the point. "Shootin' Sally," who decorates the front page of the Prescott daily, claims that no real lady will straighten a man's tie when his wife is with him.
Comes the justly celebrated "Foxtail Johnson," sage of the Arizona Farmer, who opines: "I disremember just when this drought started, but I do know that tin cans throwed out by the road seven years ago ain't got a speck of rust on'em yet."
THE WIT OF UTAH
Salt Lake City's worst at his BEST
Not since that humorous genius 'Artemus Ward' visited Salt Lake City, way back in 1857, when he asked a distinguished churchman during a religious ritual, "If he ever had the measels, and if so, how many?"
. . . Not since then, has Salt Lake City known the explosive humorous whip-snapping that today Rolfe Peterson gives them.
I quote some of the best from his book.
"THE WORST OF ROLFE PETERSON"
☆ ☆ ☆
Civilization is the process of removing natural instincts and replacing them with worse ones.
☆ ☆ ☆
It's an ill wind that shows no pretty kneecaps.
☆ ☆ ☆
When you come to the end of a perfect day, don't believe it. Nothing is perfect.
☆ ☆ ☆
Behind every successful man there's a woman. Sometimes several.
☆ ☆ ☆
People who live in glass houses shouldn't do much of anything.
☆ ☆ ☆
When you think you're going down for the third time — just remember, you may have counted wrong.
☆ ☆ ☆
Don't examine happiness too closely. It seldom makes sense.
☆ ☆ ☆
Build a better mousetrap and maybe you'll catch better mice.
☆ ☆ ☆
When pople tell you you're a failure, that your dreams will never come true, that your ideas are worthless, don't listen. They may be right.
☆ ☆ ☆
If you wake up in the morning listless, groggy, and down-in-the-mouth, just remember that you're ahead of the game if you wake up at all.
In Salt Lake City you can get "Rolfe's" Book at 'By's Magazine Shop, 32 West Second South . . . Also 'By's Shop is the place to get your copy of this paper.
I have not been to Salt Lake City since they sent me up there to show some of our Salton Sea—Sea Gulls, the way home. The Great Salt Lake is bigger than Salton Sea and our Gulls got lost.
I am (they say) the defender of all desert creatures, but herding a lot of Sea Gulls is not 100 percent a desert defenders obligation, especially with that detour to Catalina Island they insisted on including . . . Fortunately Saint Patrick had no flying snakes on his big Irish roundup.
I had to have this much nonsense for Rolfe to sit on.
Did you ever notice there is more bad ideas that will work than there is good ones.
I do know one thing for sure, you ain't dead till you admit it.
If you want to know if your brain is flabby feel of your legs.
The relative values of health and wealth depend upon which you have the most of.
Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.
We're in a nice class — the world's creatures which live longest are whales, elephants, tortoises, and human beings.
We humans better not get too cocky about the part we play in this universe of ours. This world is really dominated by insects. It's estimated that there are more than five million insects in the air above each square mile. The total weight of the world's insect population is greater that that of all the other land animals combined or all the people who inhabit the earth.
WE'RE SURE OUTNUMBERED
The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.
Replacing the old-fashioned grandmother who toiled at the spinning wheel is the modern version who puts her chips on the Red or Double 00 after her hand became calloused from pulling the handle of the slot machine.
Your editor got himself a new radio and now has strangers in the house. After two weeks, I am using the same soap and drinking coffee I been drinking ten years. My dog 'Whiskers' says he plans to stay with IDEAL Dog Food . . . . Makes me think of a fellow I know who wanted to quit smoking so he got some very lousy tobacco and so found he did not smoke so much.
Those new people that came with that new radio can't scare us, good is good.
OLD RIP SNORTIN
The trouble with being in a parade is life seems so dull and colorless afterward.
He says, "In Palm Springs you can see more Ten-Gallon hats on Five-Gallon heads than any place in the world. Eastern million-aires come out here and want to look like Cow-boys. Rip Says, "Gee, they don't even look like million-aires," — but he allows, their thousand dollar horses look like a million.
Old Rip Snorting has put his mind to science — knowing the need that we all must help our nation forge agead of the Russian's.
Today he handed in this well worked out bit of scientific knowledge — Says He—
"A pint can't hold a quart — if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it."
Signed—Prof, Rip Snorting-SAP.
STOP THE PRESSES! NEWS FLASH! Palm Springs elects most colorful oldtimer as Mayor. Frank Bogert to be new Mayor. Many see progress and a bright future with Frank at the helm . . . colorful, safe and sane, wholesome Frank will be good for all the southwest. Only trouble is he looks like a U. S. Senator, but things have a way of happening in the desert. —The Editor.
POWER OF POSITIVE BALOGNA PACKET
This Page is Dedicated to the World's Greatest Optimist THE DESERT PROSPECTOR 4
DESERT RAT Scrap Book
ROMANTIC DESERT TRADE RATS
From S.F. "Scoop" Garside heirapparant of the pioneer newspaper publishing family of good old Goldfield and Tonopah days in Nevada.
A trade rat is a curious animal. It derives its name from the fact that it was never known to steal anything without leaving something in its place. Why it does this has never been explained. Some have called an honest thief, but the fact that the article left is usually a pebble, a piece of sagebrush or a stick, hardly seems to entitle him to this distinction. That a trade rat has no sense of values has been shown by instances where the article left in exchange was a chunk of rich gold "float" that led to the discovery of a valuable mine.
There is one authentic instance of where one of these night marauders was the principle factor in a very pretty romance. It was several decades ago that a certain mining engineer, whose name today is a familiar one in Pacific coast mining circles, was camping at the eastern edge of Death Valley. During the night a trade rat invaded his tent and carried away his pocket knife, leaving in exchange a small gold locket. When the young engineer opened the locket it was to gaze upon the face of a smiling young girl about 15 or 16 years of age. Inside of the case were the initials A. K. Having a streak of sentiment in his makeup, the engineer took the locket to a jeweler and had it attached to his watch chain.
About five years later this engineer made a trip to the coast to make a report on a mining property to a San Francisco banker. Sitting in the office of the banker making his report he was suddenly interrupted by that gentlemen.
"Where did you get that?" demanded the banker, pointing to the locket dangling from the young man's watch chain. "Let me have a look at it, please."
The engineer unsnapped the chain from his watch and handed it over.
"As I thought," exclaimed the banker. "It's my daughter's locket, where did you find it?"
In the exchange of stories that followed, it was revealed that the your lady had lost the locket while making a trip through the Death Valley country with a party of tourists. The banker invited the young man to call. A few months later there was a wedding at "the little church around the corner." The engineer still carries the locket at a watch charm. "I'm rather fond of trade rats," he often tells his friends.
Reading your article on the Old West reminded me of a story told by Dr. R. L. Forbes, of the University of Arizona, when he addressed the Arizona Cattleman's Association last year.
One of the local character of the Old West, Uncle Bob Leatherwood, got in an argument about religion with a bunch of men, and bet $20 that no one present could recite the Lord's Prayer.
A cowboy instantly matched Uncle Bob's twenty, and recited:
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep."
"You win," declared Uncle Bob. "I didn't think you knew it."
Thanks John Norman
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
We should believe only in deeds. Words go for nothing everywhere. - - -
Joy, temperence, and repose, slam the door on the doctor's nose.
He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.
Memory, wit, fancy, acuteness, cannot grow young again in old age; but the heart can. —Richter
It might be well if more of us adopted the philosophy of the man with this formula for a long life: When I walk, I walk slow; when I sit, I sit loose; when I worry, I sleep.
My old friend "Feather-In-The-Wind" sat with me in silence, observing some lizards on a big rock, said, he to me that they "Talk" to one another. "Oh, well", the old Indian added thoughtfully, "Maybe lizards don't exactly talk, but they sure as hell know what they say."
"What do you say we have some beer? I asked. So then we drank a silent toast to the lizards.
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Short sentences drawn from long experiences.
Character is what you are in the dark.
Life is not to live, but to be well.
Dyspepsia is the remorse of a guilty stomach.
Figures won't lie, but liars will figure.
It never occurs to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
Very often the quiet feller has said all he knows.
Gossip has been well defined as putting two and two together, and making it five.
Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up. —Voltaire
Individuality is either the mark of genius or the reverse. Mediocrity finds safety in standardization.
If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll have you. —Don Marquis
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. —Swift
When you yawn, you might as well know that you're usually suffering from one of these: boredom, hunger, fatique or poor ventilation. - - -
But science hasn't yet discovered why yawns are contagious.
Doesn't the time ever come, in the life of a conscientious person, when he can become satisfied with himself as he then is, quit trying for improvement, and begin capitalizing and profiting on what he has become? Does he, all through the entire three-score-ten-and-plus years, have to try to be better and better? Can't he relax some time? Doesn't the time ever arrive when he can quit sowing and begin reaping?
NANNY GOAT ADOPTS LITTER OF PUPPIES
NEWBERG, Ore.— Throwing convention to the wind, a nanny goat owned by J. Moser has adopted a litter of motherless kittens. The goat took over her job seriously and no stranger or animals are allowed near her foster brood.
It was painful, but Merill Crockett of the Village Pharmacy told me how to get rid of cactus spines. You just stretch a wide band of adhesive tape over the affected part and give a yank. The spines come out. Only difficulty was that where I was hit they didn't make tape wide enough.
—Palm Springs Desert Sun, R. F. Grettinger
Buffalo Bill's Bill-Board Indians
THE LAST MAN TO FIGHT BUFFALO BILL
As told to his Grandson 'Stephen Ballenger'
By Harry Oliver
Yes, Stevey, your Grandpop had many a fight with Buffalo Bill and his whole Wild West out-fit, Indians and all. Many is the time I messed 'em' all up, covered 'em' up. Rubbed them out. I fought him when he had Pawnee Bill with him too.
It was back in 1906, I was 18 years old and I was a champion bill-poster with Ringling Bros. Circus, I was non Number-two car, (R. R. Car) we would be set-out on a side-track each morning, a livery driver with a crack team and a light wagon would be waiting, he would know the country route I was to cover.
You see, Stevey, Number-one car would post the bills for our show 'Ringling Bros' Circus, Two or three weeks ahead of our crew, then the other teams like 'Sells Floto', Hagenbeck & Wallace Millers 101 Show or Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, would cover up our billboards and we of Number-two car would be called back to paste our posters over theirs.
Many a time I have slapped a Hippopotamus right smack dab on the Indians attacking the Deadwood Stage Coach. I also remember how the first four sheets of the Giraffe poster always made his head reach out for Annie Oakley's glass balls.
Then we would get out of town not knowing what state we would wake-up in, and go through it all over again where ever they had covered our show bills.
In those days Ringling Bros. wintered in Baraboo, Wisconsin and had not taken over The Barnum & Bailey outfit yet. Yes, I am glad I saw the Old West. What we old time bill-boarders did with a ten foot brush on a windy day would not be believed by the ladder-carrying paper-hangers of today, (they stay home on windy days.)
Grandpop, how do you know you were a champion billposter?, asks Stephen.
I will tell you how it is, Steve, you see that was 52 years ago and all champions get to know their excellence, merit, virtue, value, and worth, by setting right here in the desert sun and having lots of time to remember.
You see when you are being a champion, just being one, takes all your time.
Champions always remember big.
1906 - was California's year of startling, unforseen, history-making events, - - - The San Francisco Quake, - - - The Birth of The Salton Sea, - - - and Death Valley Scotty's mad record-breaking trip across The Continent, little wonder your skinny (then 18 years old and in the Show Business) Grand'pop, thought it an exciting State, "The Back-ground of the Spectacular" - - - which it has been to him all of these 52 years since his arrival.
"Grand'pop do you write all these yarns just to tell about yourself?" —Ask's Stephen.
"No Stevy, - - It is just the proper time to do a lot of plugging, - - - your Grand'pop wants to sell a million copies of his 'Record of Desert Tall Tales.'"
"Grand'pop I hope you have not pressed a million records."
"Not yet Stevy, but if folks will only buy them, your Grand'pop has enough 'grooves' for a hundred million."
TWO DAMNS AND A HELL
I am damned — my Record has 14 Desert Tall Tales in its 45 minutes playing time.
Two Damns and a Hell sneaked into it as we made it but fortunately they are in the last story and the last 4 minutes of the play, so it need not be played if you are up on your 'DAMN' toes. You can turn it off and children will not hear then — but make sure you do not trip as you run to turn off the record — as you might (in your confusion) use the words yourself, or maybe some that are worse.
As to me I am going to quit reading Mark Twain, Kipling, Robert Service and other delinquents, I don't want to be delinquent at 70.
And you pick up your feet. —Harry Oliver
THE MAIL POUCH
Sir, Desert Knight.
We received your record from Mr. John Norman and have played it again and again, parts of it we could understand, we decided to probe it. A local editor requested the presence of an American, (a chap from Florida, U.S.A.) he did help us somewhat, but thinks we should look for a fellow from Arizona or Texas to translate the "Desert Rat" words so we can get their full meaning.
We do know a 'Burro' is a Donkey, and that your dog is smarter than you.
Henry Lewis Bell Lasseter
29 Elgin Street
New South Wales
"Hear Harry Oliver on Record"
If Death Valley Scotty or Dick Wick Hall had made this record it would be priceless - - -
If Harry were dead — he's 70, give him time — (he got out a book in 1952 with is Obituary and Epitath in it) — and says, he straddles the white-line when he drives his jeep,— says, he don't like the Jeep — for 29 years he drove a '28' Ford Station Wagon and never had a dent in the fenders.
Well the record is something like all this talk.
I don't want him to stop making records — he wants me to get a record from each Desert State — S. Omar Barker of New Mexico — Bert Fireman of Arizona — Rolfe Peterson of Utah — Lucius Beebe of Nevada and J. Frank Dobie of Texas.
Says if I do, it would sell more of his. The old showman is probably right — but today I have his record for sale — 45 minutes of true Desert Folklore — $4.98 — send check or money order to—
P.O. Box 1304
PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.
CALICO GHOST TOWN
13 Miles East of Barstow
Calico in the 1880's was the largest silver mining Camp in the southwest. Almost obliterated by time, it is now being restored by Knott's Berry Farm. An ideal outing for the rockhound, and camping groups.
Gasoline and Oil
Open the Year 'Round
THE BIGGEST LITTLE PAPER
Born with built-in binoculars — Sees everything larger than life size — The master exaggeratorin a field of over-statement, Who? not me, Roland Butler, publicity director of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus.
Butler says, "It is hard to publicize the greatest show on earth." He says, when you say GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH — why, that's it, can't embellish it, can't say, Greater than Great, — Says, you might as well try to blow up a sunrise.
I say, this is the smallest newspaper in the world and the only 5 page one, and whats-more I can be as little as I wish. I can make it disappear pass out of sight or existence, vanish. But I like to say you can open it and read it in the wind, you may have to pick out lesser winds, if your congressman lets his foot go to sleep when that postage bill comes up again.
With out appearing to try I am going to make big news, by making this paper smaller, the accent to be on my own enjoyment.
Not smaller in format, just fewer to be printed — say about 12000. As I see it and as near as I can tell about 3000 collectors have all 32 copies printed to date. The Death Valley packet, Mirage packet, Peg Leg packet the Pack Rat packet and the Burro packet sell at from $2.50 to $3.00 a copy. (I do not have these rare copies).
As I see it, all my old wholesale dealers will get their usual amount, taking care of those that keep up their collection from these eleven year-old sellers. I will make no effort to get new subscriptions.
You see I do all this for fun, the selling is not fun and as you can see with postage and printing going up in cost, something HAS GOT TO GIVE.
"THE ENEMY", that Mailman if he keeps fetching those dam one-dollar bills, — I stand to lose my Old Age Pension, — I don't want to lose it, — it's a sportsmanlike game, as I see it, Uncle Sam bet me 70 years ago that I would not be here today, — and I have won, so-far, and I don't think it is cheating when I snap my safety-belt to a bar stool.
Bright thoughts this editor might never have known if he didn't read the words of all from Aesop — of 550-BC to Bennett Cerf of today.
But you must thank my cat "Funny Face" for their brevity. — You see my cat is nervous and has a friendly way of pushing her face smack into my face about the time I try to jot down more than a hree-line quote.
Tickled by my cats whiskers, I can't help but think of the great part the "Office Cat" has played in helping the scribblers these two thousand years.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.
— G. Bernard Shaw
Into the closed mouth the fly does not get. Philippine proverb.
To believe in the heroic makes heroes.
Try to make at least one person laught every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brigtened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.
The man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder at our desert, is but a pair of spectacles behind which there is no eye.
Years do not make sages: they only make old men.
As we grow old we become both more foolish and more wise.
A healthy old fellow, who is not a fool, is the happiest creature living.
While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot feel old, no matter what his years may be.
There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.
If a little knowledge is dangerous where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
He that sips of many arts, drinks of none.
Some will never learn anything because they understand everything too soon.
Sign on a truck driven by a bug exterminator: A killer drives this truck.
Man is an animal that makes bargains; no other animal does this, — one dog does not change a bone.
Man is an animal that cooks his victuals.
My memory is the thing I forget with.
He is great who can do what he wishes: he is wise who wishes to do what he can.
A pipe doesn't taste good until you are 36.
What a feller makes up is sometimes better than what really is. —H. O.
You folks reproach me for talking about myself, but it is the subject I treat best.
The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.
John Norman says it's my earthy quality that makes some of my stuff passable, — but he's nuts, — in the desert we've got nothing but sand, — well maybe if you dig deep enough here, you come to some earth, — but who wants to dig.
International strategy: How can the Russians figure what we are going to do when we obviously don't know ourselves?
You ain't dead until you admit it.
Your Editor says the nastiest things in the nicest way.
Joe. E. Lewis says he's switched from Scotch to gin-and-carrot juice. "I get just as tight," admits Joe. "But I see better."
Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. —Sir Francis Bacon
Scotch & Dry Wit "Save it or bust" is Scotty's way of life, But this week it is being said of him that he often sits out under the big greasewood bush in his yard to save the shade on his porch.
Maybe Scotty is getting these mixed-up bits, to me just to kid me, he told me yesterday that when he wears his kilts, he always wears his 'thick-brogue' under them in case he sits on a 'thistle.'
Desert better than Sea-Side
Scotty likes our Desert, says when he lived at La Jolla it was bothersome, an octopus fell in love with his bagpipe.
So far no desert creature is following him on his midnight bagpipe playing jaunts—
Scotty is handsome and agreeable, we have 17 fine looking Widow's hereabouts.
Read next packet for reports on the warm spring nights just ahead.
Annual Pictorial Issue
If you want to see the real beauty of this fabulous Desert.
Life in an oasis of 1,300 Swimming Pools . . .
America's most scenic Desert Resort . . .
with the colorful Old West ever present in the background.
Loaded with 4-color pages.
Send $1.15 for a copy of this Annual post paid to:
The Villager Publishing Co.
174 North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California
P.S.— Also in this Pictorial there is a 4-page story by Greenfield Lawrel. "King of the Desert Rats" is the title, and it's about ME, yes, about your 5-page editor of this paper, (Picture in color and all), ME at my Best, with my sober shoes on.
We Desert Folks don't always have much on our minds, but about half of us have whiskers on our chins, rangin' from Maltese to Tobacco-juice roan, and bein' folks that talk only about what we know and see, we've gone over this whisker business a number of times. Here's the result of the last combin': Whiskers is worn most by high-brows and low-brows, extremes both ways. They seem to come with thinkers; the low-brow tells you what he thinks while the high-brow deals out somebody else's thoughts. As to the beards themselves we can't see there's much difference. We come to this conclusion last fall when Gopher Joe was pilotin' round that high-powered archeologist who come all the way out here from Washington to look for Indian beads, cause both their beards looked like they came out of the same litter.
Written about the time safety-razors were invented, 30 years before the Russians ? ? ? gave us the Electric-Razor.
The above paragraph is from my story "Whiskers and Christmas" from my book "Desert Rough Cuts, A hay-wire history of The Borego Desert," Published in 1937.
I print it again because so many have seen my picture of late and write to ask why I wear a beard, asking if I have a weak chin?
This causes me to tell what I know about whiskers and why people wear them, "as to me." I started to write as "The Old Desert Rat" 35 years ago and thought the whiskers would help me to look the part. Today at 70 I could do without them. But I have 'BECOME ACUSTOMED TO MY FACE' and it also saves a lot of shaving.
Many wear beards because of weak chins, but many more to cover double chins, this is by far the most successful use for them, but as most double chins are on short people and short people cannot wear beards without looking like Russian Spies or the 7 Dwarfs — they just have to "whistle as they work," and are not so eager to become "Eager Beavers"!
All text was hand-entered (no OCR scans) by Ric Carter (all of Harry's misspellings retained). Dick Oakes did the layout, markup and graphics reproduction, but not the contents, which remain the property of Bill Powers and his heirs.