Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
Return To VC & An Afternoon At Bodie @2002
I've never seen it fail; a little guy is always the one with the biggest horse, and the most luggage.
The dust was still hanging in the air as we came to a halt in the smoky atmosphere of Ridgecrest, at Rufus T's residence, and Griz, comes half dragging this huge piece of luggage toward me asking if he can transfer the load from Smoky's wagon to mine. I watched with a measure of interest as the springs began to settle on my old buggy with the repeated number of articles the little character brought from the depths of Smoky's rig. The switch was made necessary due to the fact that Rufus, Smoky, Artimus, and Cotton Ball, were all about to take a rented vehicle to Virginia City. Well, my old buggy was up to the task and I breathed a sigh of relief as we moved out upon 395 and struck a long lope for the high country.
"Could I prevail upon your good nature to stop at a printers long enough for me to print up some posters." Griz inquired through half closed eyes. He hadn't gotten much sleep the night before he said, and was a bit droopy eyed. I reckoned it would be alright I replied, and suggested we might find one in Bishop. But we had planned to eat a bite in Bishop, so I talked him into waiting till we got to Carson City. We whipped up along the trails in the high country and both nearly wept at all the blackened mountainsides along 395's winding pathway. Our conversation helped pass the time, we settled all that nonsense about evolution and was devouring a good deal of creationism when we arrived in Carson. Stopping at a vehicle parts store, Griz enquired within as to the location of a print shop. The boys in there told him exactly where one was. So we proceeded onward across the old capital city and made a left on Highway 50.
"Would you mind much if we stopped at the Bank Of America?" Griz asked. I whisked into a position near a teller and Griz proceeded to punch the buttons on it without it yielding much greenback. Then he tried another. But those computerized machines read his character I think and refused to give him anything. He went inside and worked his promiscuous persona on some poor girl and came away with a bit of $$$$ ~ which he spent most of at our next stop at Kinko's Print Shop. After an hour and thirty minutes he fabricated a very proper poster proclaiming his proposed appearance at Gold Hill this evening, and the Silver Queen the following night. It was a brilliant piece of work abundant with information about his presentation and revealing his kinship with my hero Mark Twain.
Well, upon our arrival in Virginia City, we needed to unload my buggy lest I would have no place to lay my weary head that night. So Griz and I struggled up the stairs of the Silver Queen Hotel with his one big suitcase. I swear, that little guy must have spent weeks packing that thing because never before had so little weighed so much carried by so few.
One of the outstanding events in old Virginia City, to me, is watching and listening to the little lady piano player, Squeak Steele. I was lucky enough to be at the Bucket Of Blood the following morning when she walked in carrying a parasol, a handbag, a cuspidor and a handful of tapes and CDs. I chatted with her for a short time and then settled back to listen to this talented lady lay down some old time music that always tickles my fancy. She soon had a fairly good crowd at her feet and we all sang and listened to her for the duration of her stay.
Then I joined my fellow skinners out on the street to evaluate the degree of incline exhibited by each of the old structures. Rufus T, allowed the Bucket Of Blood, leaned about five degrees to the north while Deadeye opined it was only about two. I looked at Rufus who was himself listing two degrees and then at Deadeye who listed a little less, divided the error of their judgement and concluded that the old edifice struck about a three degree slant to the north. We all agreed that a 3.5 quake would wipe out a lot of history. 1876 was a long time ago and these old structures have little modern reinforcement.
Bodie, is indeed a ghost town. In the late evenings the wind grieves around these old frame structures and when that sound comes to rest on the senses of mankind, it conjures up images of the old town's yesteryears. There was gold beneath the surrounding hills and all who came here were here because of it. The lives of each who struggled here were entwined in the veins of gold running beneath the earth. They suffered the cold winters, the heat of summer and the lack of communication with the outside. They created their own gentility and enforced the rules with whatever means necessary at the moment. All the tales you've ever heard about Bodie, are true. The Mojave Muleskinners, came for a few hours to lend once again with their dress and leather, an encore for the benefit of the tourists and for themselves. The Rangers whose hard work and diligence have helped to safeguard the remains of the grand old town, and whose benevolence allowed us to walk among these survivors of yesterday, seemed to enjoy our presence. So did the tourists.
Meanwhile, the Skinners burned several rolls of Eastman's best film in an attempt to capture something worthwhile for themselves and for our lady who staff's the website. I examined my ankles and figure they'll heal in awhile. I was stepped on a few times while trying to secure a photo. The back of my head is yet tender where Rufus T hit me with a double jack for stepping in front of his lenses. Purgatory was stepped on (in?) in an unmentionable area while posing for action pix. But I really think we all enjoyed the event pretty well.
Go to Virginia City without the train being there. . . . . . . . I doubt it.
~ Weakeyes Cody