December 29, 2010 - My Town



I'm sure most of you are aware that I spend my winters in the small town of Bouse, Arizona. It's a tiny town, with about 600 permanent residents, a number that easily doubles with the influx of "snowbirds" in the winter months.

Bouse has no real claim to fame, other than being the home of Camp Bouse, a military training area for a short period during WWII. In the early 1900s, it was a railroad town serving the nearby mining town of Swansea. That mine shut down for good around 1937. The freight train still comes through the middle of town, usually around 4:15 in the morning, and gives four loud blasts of the whistle at the one and only crossing in town. Having lived with that for the past ten years, I seldom even hear it any more.



The tiny desert town of Bouse, AZ


Standing near the intersection and looking north up AZ Highway 72, which is our "Main Street" (Main Street actually runs east and west, and has no businesses on it other than the museum).

Here we're looking south from the intersection. That's it, folks. That's our downtown!

The A&C Mercantile, in the above photo, was the PX and Post Office for the military for a while during WWII. It was named A&C, because when it was built, the owner didn't know if it was legally in California or the Arizona Territory, so he played safe and named it after both Arizona and California. It's one of two small grocery/convenience stores in town.


The General Store is the other shopping spot in town. As with the A&C, everything is over priced, and just visited for emergency items. I made the mistake of purchasing a head of lettuce here one day, and it not only cost $2.75, I got just enough edible parts for one salad, and the rest of it went into the garbage. One more reason to grow my own!


Our local auto repair shop does quadruple duty as a feed store, propane supplier and egg farm. Most of the cars sitting out front have been there for years, but when the proprietor has the time, he does a good honest repair job for a reasonable price. He visits more than he repairs, but most of us have nothing better to do anyway.


We have two restaurants in town. The Coachman serves pretty good food at a decent price. Last week the Travel Channel had a TV crew there, filming an episode for I know not what....I'll have to keep my eyes open for a listing. Nick "The Greek" runs the place, and he's quite the colorful character. He talks a lot, but I can't understand half of what he says!


We don't go into the Country Kitchen any more, after a bad experience with both food and service a few years ago. Some people must like it, as it's still there.

You'll not find many "stick built" houses in Bouse. Most of the residences are either recreational vehicles or mobile homes. I'd say most of the mobile homes, like ours, are older models. Most have been well maintained, but there is always that one person in every town who manages to be the town slum, all on his own. I'm glad the person lives way on the other side of town. I don't know why the county can't condemn the place and bulldoze it down.....




It's unbelievable to me that someone could live like this in Bouse! There is a county code enforcer. I don't know what he does for a living ;-)



We do have a pretty school. We also have a new fire station, a small but nice library, a community center and a little museum.


This is one of the five bars in town, but I want you to notice the tower in the background. People were sitting in the bar one day, when they heard a loud noise. They said it sounded like a watermelon breaking against the pavement. It was actually some guys head hitting the ground after he'd climbed to the tower and jumped to his death.
Ouch! Have you ever noticed, the bars in small towns almost always outnumber all the rest of the retail establishments combined?


At least we have gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.









15 comments:

  1. Excellent! I would have loved to have had this information when we were there a few days ago... but I'm still very glad you posted it. We'll be back! However, it won't be this year... as we're going home to Washington.

    I'm looking forward our return trip to Bouse.

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  2. Thanks for the tour Granny. Love the sunset and sunrise.

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  3. I was thinking how that is true (about bars and package stores)- we wouldn't want anyone to get thirsty now would we? ;)

    That is more rural than I have ever been, no wonder you make special trips to go shopping!

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  4. What an interesting post thanks for sharing all this. Great photos but I haver to admit to loving the last two most. Diane

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  5. I'll root for good weather for you.

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  6. Thanks for the tour! Yeah, I would say that definitely grow your own lettuce. That sounded super pricey.

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  7. Very cool! That's one thing we learned about moving to Winder which honestly is right outside of a major metropolitan area of Atlanta, but there are more small-slum bars here than anywhere I can remember seeing. Most have signs outside that have typos. It drives me nuts.

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  8. Very nice tour. Sunset and sunrise are gorgeous.

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  9. Granny, I'm loving that house on the other side of town. That's my kind of palace!

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  10. Yea, those sunsets and sunrises are worth it!.. WOW! I try and try to get a good picture of sunsets here but there's always a powerline or cell phone tower or something that is in the picture too.

    To Ribbit :) ~My old home town was the same way. Once I actually got out of my car and corrected a typo on a sign. That drives me batty! lol

    ~Wendy

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  11. Oh, Heidi, I'm sorry to hear you will be leaving now! We just "met". I do have a few interesting places around here that are easily accessible, even by van. I'll see if I can find some photos, and blog about them for you....for next year.

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    Liisa, they're even prettier in person. I need to find a photo I took several years ago, where it looked like the sky was full of commas.

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    Kelly, when the Wal-mart opened up in Parker last year, 25 miles away, it was a happy day. Before that, we had to drive 50 miles to CA, or 70 miles to Lake Havasu just to buy a pair of shoes or jeans.

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    Diane, the sunsets and desert trips were why we moved here! Unfortunately, we're no longer doing the desert trips, and sunsets can only keep me satisfied for a short time.

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    Ha! Daphne...you are feeling my pain, aren't you?

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    Meems, too bad we can't grow carrots in 60 days! I had some horrid, tasteless ones from the grocery store last night.

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    Ribbit, one of my favorite signs down here says "Private Property No Trepsing". I've never trepsed in my life, and I'm not about to start now. Then there was the "Bewae Rattlesnakes Iside" spray painted on a building at an old mining site. I understood that one just fine, LOL!

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    Thank you, Sarada.

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    TIG, I would expect nothing less of you ;-)

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    Wendy, I've removed power lines from more than one digital photo! These two weren't bad, so I left them in.

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  12. Greetings from rainy Southern California. I love your photos! :-)

    May God bless you and your family in 2011 ~Ron

    And always remember: Smiles don't have to be saved for a rainy day. It's good to waste them :-)

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  13. Greetings right back at you, Old Geezer! Will you please quit sending all your rain over here to Arizona? LOL! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, and bless you and yours in 2011.

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  14. One set of my grandparents used to live in Quartsite Arizona. It looked much the same!

    Happy New Year to you and Mr. Granny!

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  15. Kitsap, Quartzsite is just 25 miles SE of us. It's much larger...it has a dollar store, LOL!

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