I really enjoy looking through my collection of writings by others. I consider them treasures because some were written by those who are not with us anymore.
One is a booklet of poems written by Ben Headley Patten who I remember as living just to the north of Mammoth, Arizona. The back cover of his booklet states that he was born on a ranch in the Powder River country of Montana in 1924; that he had worked with cattle and horses ever since; that he has also tried his hand at saddle making, black- jack dealing, and deputy sheriffing; and since the 1950’s he has ranched in southern Arizona, mostly around the small towns of Oracle and Mammoth.
Also in my collection is the 22 typed pages that is titled EARLY PIONEERS OF THE SAN PEDRO RIVER VALLEY, which was by Albert C. Bittick Jr. On the front page of the copy that was given to my husband, Cliff Wood, and me were the written words, “For an old Pioneer Family Friend Clifford Wood from Al Bittick.” Also, several letters were sent to us with attached poems that were written by Al Bittick. He was quite a musician, and he stated he played for a lot of dances with Roy McClure, Jones Ragsdale, Forrest Dollar, and others; also, they played at most all the school houses in the country, Dudleyville, the Oaks in Oracle, Aravaipa school house, Mammoth, Sombrero Butte, etc., and he played mostly with Roy McClure who was the best fiddler he ever played with.
Also included in my collection is the memoirs of Caldonia “Callie” Ann Brandenburg, wife of early Aravaipa Creek settler James W. Brandenburg, and the memoirs of their daughter Annie Elizabeth Forbach. Copies of these memoirs were given to me by Annie’s son, Alvin Forbach, when in his eighties, and they are so very interesting. I did mention them in two earlier Georgie Digs articles that were published in the Copper Basin News in 2010, but I may soon add a few things that Annie Forbach had mentioned in her memoirs about Mammoth, Arizona.