Thursday, January 11, 2018



My nephew Miles came bearing gifts: A pre-Columbian mask and figurine, and a miniature kabuki mask that Emily had soon installed in places of honor at Hacienda Hogan.

He had come to visit, get some valuable mentoring (he's an aspiring writer), and come with us on another expedition in search of used books in Arizona.

A broken-winged Archangel St. Michael stood guard in front of the Motel 6 in Payson. A billboard across the street indicated that he was collaborating with Smokey the Bear.

Unfortunately, most of the town's bookstores that Emily had found on Google were no longer extant, but we did find an antique place with a lot of expensive tomes on the Wild West. And out in the parking lot, was a cowboy mural . . .

An Apache dancer . . .

And a giant, domesticated ant.

We did find interesting and cheap books in thrift stores.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Pinon Cafe. They had what I first thought were bigfoots painted in their windows. They were actually the local version of bigfoot, the Mogollon Monster.

I recommend the Huevos Benedictos: Eggs Benedict with chorizo, smothered in green chili sauce, served with country potatoes. A good, Arizona breakfast!

After getting lost (we do that a lot), we had lunch at Gabriela's in Camp Verde, where there's a shrine to Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Mexican beer.

Back in Phoenix, Miles was in Nirvana over the bookstores, and what he found. His eclectic reading habits and taste for literature will help on the road to becoming a professional writer.

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