#15 The Northern Camp-site Located Seven Miles North of Ash fork,
I was camped in Ludwig, in the White Elephant quarry, until G.B. could bring the pink trailer north from the Sun Valley Pink quarry, and I was pondering how to use the day. G.B. was busy with special order customers — the Cotters who were ranchers from Texas. They were building a large stone house on their cattle ranch, and they had come to Ash Fork to order the finishing touches, white schist for the floor to ceiling fireplace and sandstone for their mantle and hearth.
I felt hot and discomforted. Ludwig was messy, his coat was badly matted, and I was grimy from camping. I decided to clean, so I hauled everything out of the van; my blankets, pillows and the narrow sheet of plywood that served as my bed, the cooler, canteens and clothes. After unloading almost everything I was too tired and hot to continue, so I decided to finish it all in the cool of evening.
For a change of pace, I settled myself on the shady side of Ludwig and called London over to be groomed. As I pulled the brush through his soft fur, removing burrs, goat-heads, grass, seeds and twigs, I thought, G.B.’s busy for the day, no one’s working in the quarry. It’s a perfect opportunity to dye my hair.
I lined up the hair dye, shampoo, conditioner and jugs of sun warmed water. When it came to ablutions in the quarry, I was a well practiced expert from the years of camping I had done. I donned an old dye stained shirt (which suggested I had previously cut my throat whilst wearing it) took a deep breath, undid my hair and slathered it with red dye. After waiting the required time, I leaned over and rinsed out the dye by pouring the jugs of sun warmed water through my hair, until it ran clear.
I squeezed out the excess water, straightened up, pulled my hair back from my face and saw the Western States Stone company pick up quietly rolling to a stop in front of me. G.B. was grinning with mischievous pleasure, and to my horror beside him were the smiling faces of the special order customers from Texas.
Omar, a tall impressive Texan, wearing a big Stetson hat, western styled clothes and fine, custom made cowboy boots, climbed out of the pick-up. He was followed by his wife Cleo, who was tall, beautiful, slim and chic.
“Charle, y’all guess who these people are?” G.B. asked with glowing enthusiasm.
Before I could reply, Cleo hurried over to me saying, “Oh y’all’re G.B.’s Canadian painter lady. It’s so nice to meet y’all. G.B. just talks an’ talks ‘bout y’all.”
Omar slowly ambled over to me, stuck out his hand to shake mine and said, “G.B. shore is proud a’ y’all.”
While we all stood talking, “y’alls” flew ‘round and ‘round our heads.
That evening we all met in Williams, twenty miles east of Ash Fork. G.B. had suggested dinner at Rod’s Steak House and Omar concurred by stating, “The only steaks worth eatin’ — this side a’ Texas!”
By nightfall we four had started a devoted friendship that could be interrupted only by God.