I include here a couple of stories I had been told about the early days when my husband’s Wood family lived along Aravaipa Creek, and which I failed to add to my book A CREEKSIDE STORY- FROM BUCKBOARD DAYS TO ECOTOURISM.
One story concerned the Laman family who lived on the Winkelman Flats by the Gila River, and who the Wood family were friends to. Mr. Laman, who was called “Toll” Laman, was the boss of the road crew that worked the road between Winkelman and El Capitan, and besides pick and shovel work, a scraper that was pulled by two mules was used.
Most of the Aravaipa Creek residents in those early years did lots of farming, and had lots of produce to sell. There was one time when the older Wood son, Leslie, was with Joe Buzan, the son of the Woods’ upstream neighbors, as they were hauling fruit to Globe in Joe’s Model T pickup when some part of the truck’s steering broke when they were not far above the turnoff to Christmas and the shipping corrals that were then there. The truck ran into a wash and overturned, and both Leslie and Joe were knocked out. Leslie was awakened from the pain in his leg that was caused by the hot water from the truck’s radiator, and when Leslie saw Joe lying there he thought Joe was dead.. They weren’t hurt too badly, but had to walk all the way to Winkelman to get help.
I felt so privileged to be able to go through the record book that my husband’s mother, Frankie Belle Wood, had kept. It really showed that the family’s livelihood depended on what farm produce they could sell, also the cattle, and after buying Angora goats in 1923, they had the goats mohair to sell. It was really interesting to read who the people were who bought produce from them. Some were who came to their Aravaipa Creek home, but much went to businesses in various towns. That meant lots of traveling, and they bought a 1937 Chevy pickup in 1937, the year the Aravaipa Creek road above the creek was finished.