Train to El Tovar, II Too! (Don’t) Stop this Train…

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I’m just now planning a trip for tomorrow on a train to the Grand Canyon. Tonight is with Lace and Jay. Tomorrow  by 9:00 am, I’ll be in the middle of a shootout at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. How exciting….

Of course, this makes me remember another trip in these parts…another shootout that hadn’t yet happened….

A few thoughts and old photographs about that trip first…
Then, we arrived driving through Hoover Dam after a few days in Las Vegas. Yes, we took our Grade school kidlets to Las Vegas before we took them to Disneyland! Did not matter, they loved it, architecturally the same trip and none of us really gamble….Or at least I did not then. Life has many risks and it is so much better if one takes them…It was Easter. He is Risen indeed!

My main memory of Hoover Dam was looking down over that precipice and thinking of Albert Brooks meltdown in the scene from Lost in  America the morning after Julie Hagerty has gambled away their ‘Nest Egg.’  Jim Carrey in Cable Guy, too… “Kill the babysitter!” Thank you, Hollywood, for taking us on our first and sometimes only travels.

Here  are the Easter Day’s  highlights which began with our hike that started at 5:00 am. 


Hoover Dam Grand Canyon page from Jack Adams Webway


More El Tovar and Grand Canyon from Adams Family Webway.


I show the two photogs to document and remember two things:

  1. Yes, as I’ve said before… often it’s as if the mother taking the pictures never existed. Even then, I had to cut and paste myself into my life! (did you notice…? In my family album, I had not yet bothered to cut and paste mom into the photo!)
  2. I’ve included the second picture of this ‘family scrapbook’ 3 reasons. a) these are really the only photos of me taken because the kind waiter asked, b) it gives a feel for El Tovar Hotel Dining Room (Easter Dinner), and c) “Dad” has a derriere fetish and thinks it’s funny to fondle at the most inappropriate photo ops, oops… So, I have kind of a weird look on my face…Whatever.

Trip II I’m embarking upon tomorrow will have a more leisurely visit to draw at beautiful El Tovar Lodge designed by Charles Whittlesey. I’ll keep you posted…Trails to Rails…

(Don’t) Stop this Train…

Louie Louie where are you?

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Louie Green Apples

Louie Louie where are you?

Louie Louie ‘loved you, too.

Even though we never met

Louie so much more than pet

Louie Louie oh so agile

Never knew you were so fragile.

You were there for steph and jack

Oh so bad they want you back.

Only new diverts from pain

Never knew how much the gain

Louie Louie steph and Jack

Louie with Steph Pappas

Yes, In memory you are back.

Switch the love ne-ver forget

Even if there is some debt…

With the sadness of the past

Thoughts of Louie always last

( sing’in)

Louie loo-ai… oh, yeeea, uh huh, yeeah…

( bumph-buh,


buuumph…bumph bumph)

Louie did die, ooh yea,

yea yea yeeah,

oooh oh aaaah yee-ah..

Louie did live,

given’ given’ did give

Bumph bumph ba-da dah.

Oooh, yea, yea,

oh oh…

yeea yea…

Jewel, Rose’s most Famous Relative.

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Have I told you about your Aunt Jewel, the singer and songwriter?”

Rose: “No…but don’t you mean that she’s my niece?”

Paula: “Well, I guess, maybe. But I’ve never worried much about all that cousins, twice removed, ex-etc. type of thing with ‘kin.'”

But, I want to tell you the story. She IS proo-ba-bly your most famous relative.”


Paula: “Once upon a time the heroine, Paula… ”

Rose (interrupting): “I’m the heroine, I’m Prairie Pug! Well, I’m the current and most important descendant from the original Prairie Pug, Jade Snow Wong Graves.”

Paula: “Well, okay. Let’s just skip the ego and say Paula got married and one of the first wedding gifts the young couple received was the promise of a pug puppy still to come.”

Rose: “Who promised this to you?”

Paula: “T., Mona and Layne Hier. T. Hier worked on the Adams Ranch, the Maple Hill ranch that worked in tandem with the family’s XIT Ranch in western Kansas. He had been an employee for many many years of his adult life, and continued to work for and with Raymond Adams until his passing.”

Rose: “So…I’m not getting the connection…”

Paula: “Well…Mona Hier’s nephew was Ty Murray, the famous rodeo star. That is, this is my memory.”

Rose: “Memory! Whaddaya mean, meeemory!! Facts here, you are a historian! And, carry on…I’m still not picking up on the connection.”

Paula: “My best fact checker is a bit ‘out of pocket’ in terms of having that dialogue. Let’s move on…So! Ty Murray and Jewel used to be married. Well, that’s about it, that’s how you are related to Jewel.”

Rose: “I’m still not getting it…”

Paula: “Don’t you see…Jewel’s ex-husband’s Aunt (and son) GAVE them that dog! His name was Winston, named for the cigarettes, aka Prairie Pug II.

It’s almost like you were in their wedding! In fact, here’s the picture!”

Rose: “Well…this seems like kind of a tall Tale to me!”

And, it seems to go around in circles a bit, just like mine. It’s a curly tail. Ha ha!”

Paula: “Oh, Rose, you are such a card and a bard…maybe this should have been a poem. But, I always circle back and return, don’t I?

Rose: “To what is that?”

Paula: “Pugs, of course. The Pug. You, of course, Dearest.”