May 16, 2022

Sedona Proverbs

Do not judge a king by his crown or a peasant by his boots, but avoid those who wear both a belt and suspenders. Anything is possible for those who think it so and happen to be filthy rich. Those who wrestle with their conscience find the fight fixed. He who lives in a house of straw should not light too many prayer candles and avoid ear coning. He who knows not where he is will still refuse directions. You never know what you can accomplish until your spouse forces you to do it. He that is sure he knows…

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The First 100 Days . . . by Will Durst

As extraordinary as it sounds, Donald J. Trump is now the 45th President of the United States. Which is mind- boggling. Like making John Goodman the cover model for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Kim Kardashian- appointed chief scientist at the Atomic Energy Lab. Colin Kaepernick in charge of WikiLeaks. The liberals’ last best hopes were dashed on Inauguration Day when the Mango Mussolini put his hand on the Bible and didn’t burst into flames. The preacher said the rain that started to fall as DJT took the oath was a good omen in the Bible. Yeah, tell that…

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Santa of Sedona’s Traits

He arrives in a reindeer-drawn UFO. His suit is the color of red rock dust. He never refers to a list. He uses a crystal ball to determine what Sedona kids want. Instead oh Ho, Ho, Ho, he chants Ommm, Ommm, Ommm. There’s a funny smell coming from his pipe. His beard is twisted into braids. Rudolph’s nose is teal. Hires temporary helpers from roadsides to expedite gift delivery. Sports a Kokopelli tattoo on his left forearm. Only delivers fruitcakes to the people who have been naughty. Stores extra gifts in Chimney Rock. Has mullet haircut under his red cap….

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Transplants . . . by Brendon Marks

In the days before GPS systems in cars and smartphones with Google maps, I was putting gas in my car in McGuireville and another car pulled up on the opposite side of the pump. The driver didn’t need gas, just directions. He said, “We just came from Sedona, can you tell me how to get to Cottonwood?” I really didn’t want to stop pumping gas because I was afraid the price would go up before I finished, but I took a chance. I said, “Sure, are you coming back this way?” He said, “Why?” I said, “Well, I was going…

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Top 10 Comedic Stories of 2016, by Will Durst

It’s the month of December and all over the nation children dance while grandparents twitch with anticipation. Which, admittedly, isn’t that out of the ordinary. During this festive season rife with traditions, none is more hallowed than that magical moment when the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the year are unveiled. Truly this is the most wonderful time of the year. Please be advised that the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2016 are not in any way, shape or form to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2016. No. No. No. They are as…

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The Way It Used to Be

Easy is getting harder every day. –Iris Dement Shopping frenzy like some great storm is blowing across the land, generating time-consuming lines of ill-behaved citizens, lords and ladies, poets and divines pawing the fresh black asphalt in front of mammoth box stores; vast resource-sucking monoliths peddling products that didn’t exist a few decades ago and likely will end up in refuse cans before the spring melt or hopefully at Sedona Recycles. “It’s not like the good old days,” a grizzled actor murmured into his Jack on the rocks once upon a time in a notorious Hollywood saloon. “And they never…

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Christmas 2012!

Christmas this year fetched up on the shores of Doodlebug Island in much the same fashion as in previous years with the exception of the increase of baking, neighboring, and gift giving that threatened to swamp past records for their intensity and thoroughness. It almost had an Aztec “end of the world” quality to it because activity rose to a peak about the twenty-second following a solid month of preparation, which nearly eclipsed Thanksgiving altogether. The twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and Christmas Day itself were anticlimactic with Islanders hunkering down at home like so many hibernating bears, content in the belief they’d…

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Arizona and Vine

My writings on the Arizona wine scene have focused on the wineries in the northern reaches of the state so far. This is the Sedona edition after all, and they’re just down the road. But, I would be remiss in promoting Arizona wines if I didn’t branch out and discuss the other regions of the state involved in the grape business. I’d like to introduce to you to a gentleman that is the perfect bridge to bring together every region of the Arizona wine industry, from the vineyards down south, to the wineries up north, and the retail shops in between. His…

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Letter to the Chimney Man

Dear Santa, Let me be blunt. Do you actually exist? This querulous query draws me, a humble divorcee, into angry arguments with some of my quasi-academic friends—not to mention all my X’s in Texas. It’s like this. Over flagons of easy-on-the-pocket sherry in the faculty lounge, academics insist on insisting that what seems real is actually unreal and what appears to be unreal is really as real as yellow violets on April days. Therefore, they say, it doesn’t matter whether I believe in you or not, since what IS just IS. So let me get straight to the point. It is my…

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A Visit to Fiddler’s Green

Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed. –Mel Brooks As 2013 nears, nothing is really new, local gurus predict. For one thing, according Madame Blavatsky in Cornville, the world will end (again?) soon. Too, beliefs have become facts— e.g., climate change is caused by a liberal press, and if all the environmentalists would just fade away, then the Old Guard could retake control and start bulldozing the Verde River to accommodate floating timeshares. Next, they’d rip out roundabouts and return the “Y,” and a certain retiring senator would come to town to give a lecture…

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Santa’s Xtreme Makeover!

SEDONA, AZ. “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” “The Apprentice,” “The Bachelor,” “Wife Swapping,” “Fear Factor,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Survivor,” “Trading Spaces” and “Extreme Makeover” are a few of the television shows replacing sitcoms as America’s prime-time viewing choices. Capitalizing on the popularity of the sometimes racy, mostly inane shows and the viewing public’s obvious need for entertainment at par with bobbing for fugu, Santa Claus, the real one, not one of the department store imitators, has decided to shoot a reality show in the once rustic, tranquil Sedona, Arizona. “Sedona, a city recently jolted by the onslaught of progress, is…

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Happy Holidays–It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds

By the time your ink stained hands have riffled through this month’s Excentric, searching madly for my monthly column, I will be squatting Asian style on a white sand beach somewhere off the coast of Thailand, with only my fears of a tidal wave separating me from tropical nirvana. Yes, for those who have followed my sordid escapades over the last decade or more, you know that when the holidays hit, I split. Pukapuka, Sri Lanka, Cocoa Island, Ihuro and my present paradise, the Similan Islands off southern Thailand, have become my vacation home as I do my very best…

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Big Wines Need a Big Dog

I’m going to delve back into the developing local wine scene and introduce you to another of Northern Arizona’s young wineries. The locale in question is known for making big red wines from big red Zinfandel grapes. That, and a really big dog. Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery  is located at 1565 Page Springs Road just south of Sedona on the outskirts of the town of Cornville, just across the road from the fish hatchery. It’s the labor of passion for owner/winemaker Rod Snapp. Of course, he’ll give all the credit for any success to his partner and better half,…

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Rumor That Took Off Like A Rocket

When I started the rumor that I was being considered for the Pulitzer Prize in literature, I was just having what I thought was a little innocent fun. But like most rumors this one took off like a rocket aimed at the moon, and before I could quell the whole matter, I found myself being feted from one end of our little island kingdom to the other. People were equally divided between congratulating me on a personal accomplishment, and congratulating themselves for living in a place soon to be made famous. I tell you, if I had the capacity for…

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Local Guy to Buy Hostess

Pictured above are Hostess Twinkies, whose ingredients include calcium sulfate, a food-grade equivalent of plaster of Paris. Like many other popular sweet snacks, Twinkies are made with vegetable shortening, but also add animal shortening, as well. For health nuts, Twinkies do offer soy flour, soy lecithin, soy protein isolate, ferrous sulfate, riboflavin and water. In fact, the Twinkies recipe consists of 37 ingredients. With a shelf-life of twenty years, Twinkies were the food of choice for survivalists. The tasty nosh’s possible demise comes as a relief to modern day bunker builders planning for the New World Order takeover on December…

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Victoria’s Secret Revealed!

Pictured above is a group of Sedona cattle lining up for feeding. A special blend of organic grains help produce some of the cleanest methane in the free world. The popularity of the feed is evidenced by the column of cattle waiting patiently to be served. Due to the potential financial benefits of the program, cattle barons are hurriedly herding their livestock to Sedona. Now, truly every part of the bovine can turn a profit–from its milk to its hide to its meat to its hooves, and now to its gas–making it, by far, the most cost-effective animal on earth. SEDONA,…

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Who Was He Anyway?

An atheist is someone who has no invisible means of support. Buchan, 1875 Don’t look now but a hullabaloo is roiling the waters from Bangor, Maine to the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon. What it’s about is that Jesus may be on his way back. An Ohio lady reported that the face of Jesus appeared when she was cooking Polish dumplings for Easter dinner. First she froze it, and then she sold it. There’s the problem, because no one knows what to expect: A fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist predicting the rapture, or the carpenter who taught love, tolerance, charity and humility. Fortunately,…

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Rhône, Rhône on the Range

When professionals in the wine industry discuss wine styles and the character of a given wine, they often refer back to the classic regions of the old world, since those styles define many of the classic wine grape varieties. Most new regions look to classic wine areas when regarding what soil types and climate patterns their vineyard sites match, and how that pairs with vineyard practices from similar established regions. Growers often make key decisions such as which grapes to plant based off the similarity of their sites to established regions in Europe. Many eventually establish their own signature styles…

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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night . . .

It has been said that one of the great financiers of the early 20th century liquidated his portfolio shortly after he discovered his chauffeur had dabbled in the market—and shortly before the great crash of 1929. I don’t know if the story is true or not. Nor do I care. But I certainly get the point—when the amateurs take the field, it’s time to sell your season tickets. The question now rattling about my head is, “Will I heed the old nabob’s advice in light of what I see coming across my desk, or will I hang on to the…

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Good Looks Are Everything

The whole world is science fiction. – Ray Bradbury Before Homer took to the sea to write, and very, very long before Brad Pitt acted to recreate the Trojan War, the club-bearing Theseus ventured boldly into the Cretan labyrinth to slay the ferocious Minotaur, who was half-bull, half-man. What was the Minotaur’s crime you have every right to ask? It wasn’t prisoner abuse. History informs that the creature’s specialty was dining on ugly little urchins, not favored by the gods with beauty. Were this larger-than-life-creature to be among us today, it would find itself in the immortal words of raconteur William…

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