A bird in the truck

Years ago in Anza, I had the opportunity to go dove hunting with some friends of mine in a canyon east of town. Of course, this same canyon is now inaccessible to anyone that doesn’t walk on tip-toes and has all the necessary permits paid for. (But that’s another story.) Anyway, the three of us […]

Full blown American

In the early days of Anza lived a man we will call Howard Dale. Now Howard was an old rancher when I ran into him as a kid. He dressed in Levi pants and shirt, cowboy boots, and western straw hat. Howard had been in Anza nearly since its conception. He owned a vast and […]

Cactus pinned

It always amazes me that just when you think you’ve heard it all someone tells you something unheard of. I guess that’s where the expression unheard of came from in the first place.   Recently, I was talking to a very nice couple about the new water system that we were about to install at their […]

All that’s important

  Years ago in Anza, there came upon the community a tremendous forest fire. Regardless of how the fire started, before all was said and done it burned over 5,000 acres. When something like a fire of this magnitude happens in Anza (or most other small communities) every one bands together to help in any […]

Helping a friend?

In the old days in Anza, I received a frantic call from the sister of a friend of mine. “Mallard, you have to talk to Mike, something is wrong with him.” When I asked her “what?” she told me that he had begun drinking and lost his job. Also that he refused to go look […]


Years ago (or as people now say “back in the day”) in Anza there was a population of about 100 people. Every one raised their own livestock such as chickens, pigs and cattle and long into the fall season they butchered their live stock and put the meat in the freezer to bring the family […]

Standing in a rainbow

Many years ago in Anza, California the weather was much different than it is now (or at least it seemed to be). I remember one winter in particular when the temperature dropped to 8 degrees and stayed there for two weeks straight. There were a lot of jokes going around that a certain place that […]

Hole in one

In the olden days in Anza there was a famous (or infamous) liquor bar in the middle of town. It must be understood that in these early days the local gendarmes weren’t very local. In fact, it took the police several hours to show up when they even bothered. Anza was, more or less, on […]

A mallard in the bush

A mallard in the bush

My brother and I were out hunting in the brush of southern California’s high desert country. He was in the lead while I followed behind a few steps. We were traveling through heavy brush, some of it 10 to 15 feet tall, with heavy limbs. I could see that we were coming into a clearing […]

A donkey feed

  In my early days in Anza I became involved somewhat in animal husbandry, raising chickens, cattle, hogs and the like and as a result became known for being able to “nut a hog” and as being fairly proficient at the art of animal skinning.   This brings me to the tale of Hornsby Wilson. The reader […]