Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Treasure in Death Valley

 Norm: Located in an oasis in the north end of Death Valley lies " Scotty's Castle."
 But Scotty did not own the castle. It was built by, and owned by an insurance tycoon named Albert Johnson. Albert was lured to Death Valley by Scotty,  a con man  who claimed to have a gold mine that needed investers.
Scotty was soon exposed as a fraud but Albert and wife Bessie discovered other riches during their years in Death Valley. Starting construction in 1922, Albert built this technology advanced dream home that provided him and his wife with luxury, beauty, tranquility as well as a desert climate that brough him relief of health ailments.
 After nine years of construction, a survey discovered he built his home on land that he did not own. He had been scamed once again and he faced a government stop work order. By then the money was running out anyway.
 A life long friendship developed with the charasmatic con-man and story teller, Death Valley Scotty.
" We have been partners for a long time. Scotty has a great  appetite for money, and I like to feed it.
He has always repaid me - in laughs." A. Johnson
 The castle was furnished in antique furniture from Spain. Any who have been in our home will recognize this chair as nearly identical to the antique funiture that I purchased in Malaga Spain some fourty years ago. Our funiture was claimed to be well over 100 years old at that time.
Our tour guide described this chest to be over 400 years old. Looks almost identical in style to our hutches although this example is somewhat less elaborate.
 Scotty's Castle is owned, maintained and protected by the National Park Service. A must see should you find yourself in these parts, but should you run into the ghost of Scotty, hang on to your wallet, to this day he is still looking for investers in his non-existant gold mine.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A California Trip and a Birthday Surprise

 Heather: March first was my brother's 70th birthday and Norm and I decided we would take a road trip to vist Charlie and his family. Kristin and I cooked up a surprise for Charlie Friday evening. Charlie and Kristin work in the Oakland Temple on Friday nights, so we decided that we would arrange a surprise for Charlie as he served that night. The surprise worked beautifuly thanks to everyone in the Temple being in on the secret. It was a beautiful evening that gave me great joy.
 Sunday march third we were privliaged to see Jonathan bless baby Benjamin. It was a treat for us to be with family for that special occassion. Jonathan gave a a beautiful blessing to baby Benjamin. This is Jonathan sweet family, Emily holding Benjamin with Anna and Maddy.
 On our way home we drove through the mountains covered with beautiful orange, blue, and white wild flowers. The green  hills were dotted with granite bolders.
I am so glad that we took the road less traveled! The drive was absolutly stunning!