>
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Frank at
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Frank Shortt
shafra@sbcglobal.net
2013 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
The Cabin on the Rim
        Nestled among the pines of Payson, in the state of Arizona, rests a cabin that witnessed the writing of many American frontier stories of renown. These stories resound from the log walls, now covered with weather boarding painted in a clean whitewash. This cabin, restored by skillful hands was the home of one of America’s most talented writers of western fiction. This writer was Zane Grey, author, fisherman, adventurer, and American icon.
        Divers characters tumbled from his pen as he sat in his old Windsor Chair with a lap desk creating entertainment for many a cabin bound citizen or anyone who cared to pursue the old west for a spell. If those cabin walls could talk they’d tell tales of laughter, joyous gatherings after all day hunts, and stories told to Zane Grey by long time residents of Arizona. There’d be stories of the feuds settled only by bloodshed, love gained by young and hardy men who proved their worth by prospering in a land where money was scarce and the only means of barter was from pelts, farm produce, or cattle.
        Two of the men who accompanied Mr. Grey on many of his hunting expeditions were Babe Haught and his faithful cook, George. These men not only shared stories with him, but watched as stories were created by the very actions of this great outdoorsman. The resounding echoes of his hounds chasing game across the Tonto Rim country can still be heard today as one reads the stories of capturing lions with ropes and treeing and killing large black bears. These were tales told by many men who have long ago ceased to exist.
        His guns, rusty and worn, hang on the wall of the cabin. No longer will they be used to procure the game followed many a rugged mile through thickets that normally only the game themselves could plough through. His Windsor Chair, tumble down and gathering dust, sits alone reminding one of the hours spent there by the creator of such characters of renown as Nevada, Slinger Dunn, Destry, etc. His old chaps, cracking, the rosettes peeling off hang on the wooden peg, prepared for that purpose, but never to see use again as a protection against briars and buck-brush of the Arizona thickets.
        The cabin, twice burned, now a museum of all the artifacts that could be accumulated of this famous and much emulated writer, will stand as a reminder of times gone, when men were men and women were women. A time when our great frontier was being carved out by men who left all that was dear to face the unknown dangers of a new and challenging land. The ghosts of all the thoughts of Zane Grey will haunt these walls until the last novel he wrote is thrown into the rubbish or committed to the fire.