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by Betty Wallin

Tom Church and I decided to sell TipTop houses. There were some sample houses in Nevada. The agent that contacted us was rather strange. Managing the house sales was a side business. His main occupation was making crocheted tassels for the chorus girls in Las Vegas shows. I don’t know if he custom fitted them, but didn’t doubt it. We drove up and looked at the houses, then stopped in Tecopa for dinner on the way back. During dinner, a terrific windstorm came up and we drove across the street to a heavy cluster of tamarisk to get our vehicles out of the wind for the night. It looked like the trees grew metal babies as the area was filled with cars whose drivers obviously had the same idea. Where to go?

I had the bright idea to drive down to Afton Canyon campground along the Mojave River. The wind and blowing sand were blinding but at least the wind was blowing from behind us. We made it down to the campground about midnight. It was empty, a gentle breeze was blowing and it was beautiful and quiet. I chose to sleep in the back of my truck with Buster (the club mascot). Tom put his sleeping bag on top of a picnic table, then we crashed, so tired.

Not long after I went to sleep, I woke up with a start at the sound of a siren, and a truck going in circles all over the campground with red and blue flashing lights. After about five minutes of this frightening display, the truck stopped by our vehicles. The sheriff got out and explained that they had been chasing a murderer from Las Vegas and he stopped on the Freeway, jumped out, and ran down the dirt road toward the campground. He asked, “Have you seen him?” Of course we hadn’t. The sheriff then said in a confident tone, “Well, let us know if you do as we are sure he is around here somewhere.” Leaving us with that cheerful thought they drove away.

Too tired to pick up and drive anywhere else, we decided to take our chances. Buster and I retired back in the truck and Tom stayed in his sleeping bag on the table. At first I could not hear a soda can shifting in the breeze, but Buster could and would growl at it. Sure it was the murderer, I was on full alert, but nothing happened. After about the third time, I heard the noise and realized that if it was the murderer he had shrunk into the size of a soda can and donned an aluminum suit labeled 7-UP. By morning, Tom said he did not fare much better. The breeze would lift the sleeping bag up off his back a little and he was sure the murderer was lfting it off his neck and looking down at him.

We did not linger that morning and promptly got ready to drive home. No sign of another human being which made our leaving much more pleasant. It’s amazing how scared a person can be who has such courage tackling obstacles with a 4x4 in the company of the Desert Explorers and bright sunshine.

PS We never sold any houses.

In Memory of

  • Tom White 
  • Gene Olsen
  • Walt Wheelock
  • Tom Church
  • Bob Martin
  • Bill Ott - passed July 10, 2004
  • Bill "Shortfuse" Mann -Passed August 2006
  • Dwight Stroud - passed January 19, 2007
  • Lorene Crawford - Passed August 2009
  • Alan Romspert - Passed August 19, 2009
  • Don Putnam - November 5, 1916 to August 14, 2012
  • Jim Proffitt - March 21, 1941 to September 1, 2012
  • Reda Anderson - passed October 25, 2012
  • Rick Cords - May 1944 to February 1, 2014
  • "Sir" Bob Rodemeyer - December 1950 to November 11, 2014
  • John Fulton - July 5, 1937 to February 15, 2015
  • Marilyn Martin - November 19, 1929 -  June 20, 2015
  • John Page - passed September 8, 2015
  • Gary Preston - passed February 24, 2016
  • Ted Kalil - passed in 2016
  • Jerry Etchison - passed in December 2016
  • Jerry Harada - passed on August 6, 2017
  • Gene Stoops - passed on Sept 2, 2017
  • Graham "Coop" Cooper - March 31,1944 to November 22, 2017
  • Charles Hughes - passed on May 19,2018
  • Nan Healy Savage - passed on July 9, 2018
  • Maybelle Lipking - August 2,1925 to August 9, 2018
  • Dick Taylor 
  • Bob Bolin - passed in November 2019
  • Neal Johns - January 19, 1931 to December 27, 2019

" Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again..." 

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