Posts Tagged With: Murphys Hotel


Adware is so ominous, it boggles the brain. After a couple of free hours on my computer, the ads were back, taking over, interfering with everything I tried to do on my computer. The company I paid, put in another half day. It gave me an evening of productive use of my computer. Then, back it came. Frustration is just a word. I wanted to pitch this computer in the garbage and I could feel steam coming out of my ears. A hell week.

It was no better this morning, as I left for an appointment with my tax man. I chose flooring at Lowes for the new house before returning home.  I changed default browsers just now and I’m finally putting words on this page. Temporarily, anyway.

Not that I have anything of great import to convey, but it has been a trusty habit to communicate via these pages, and sort of journal what happens around me.

Sometimes it is misfortune that gathers families together. My cousin Bob Moore was in town with his inlaws who live in Murphys, after we had met two days earlier at a funeral for his nephew, my kid’s cousin, Barry Moore, only 48 years young.

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Brother Bill and cousin, Bob Moore at the end of the table on a beautiful sunny, Sunday morning.  His Mother-in-law Marilyn, daughter Leslie, and across from them,  my grandson Stewart and daughter-in-law Laurie. We like to meet for brunch at the Magnolia Cafe.

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This is my breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, beans, tomatos and turkey chorizo.

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At the other end of the gathering, Leslie’s brother Brian and my son Ken. As we age we think it unfortunate that the only time we get family together is funerals and weddings.

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Magnolia is a local hangout on the hiway, but I discovered this particular Sunday that the tourists have discovered it too. They tend to stay downtown, but I saw New York license plates and plenty of cars with skis on top. I complain but I shouldn’t. I know what it is like to try and make a go of a business in  a small town like Murphys.

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Then, on March 21st, I went downtown to check out Murphys Irish Day. They have a parade and all types of food and drink from both locals and out-of-towners who bring their wares to tempt us all.

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Irish Day is now sponsored by the Community Club. They have permission from Cal-Trans to paint a couple of huge four leaf clovers on he street. It wasn’t always so. Jim Riggs, a local businessman and his buddy Bob Bliss,g four-leaf clover, and then have a whoop-de-do at his place of business with corned beef and whatever anyone wanted to share. One year, the Highway Patrol lay in wait and he was  arrested, but Judge Airola dismissed the case and let  him out with orders: “Do not paint the street again-this year.” After drinking a good bit of beer, the line was often pretty crooked, but we did have fun. Now, it’s a big shindig, pretty tidy and raises money for local causes.

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My favorite part of Irish Days used to be the parade.

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And having assisted in several of them in the past, I especially appreciate the horses. It was a struggle at times to afford the insurance to have horses in the parades, especially since some of the old cowhands, half tanked up, used to gallop at the end of the parade and then nose through the swinging doors of he Murphys Hotel and order a drink from their horse. Another arrest put a stop to that practice.

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The wild has gone out of the west in some respects but we do appreciate the tidy pooper-scooper who follows the horses and puts things right again.

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Now my favorite part of Irish Days is the food choices. Oh, my. Where else are you going o find Asian fusion barbecue chicken on a stick and bacon wrapped bratwurst in the same booth?

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And, Dogz On The Run. (Gotta feed the kids, too.)

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And, chocolate dipped goodies. Hey, why not. Ever since some guy decided to deep fry a twinkie dipped and fried treats abound.

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Now, let me tell you, I like ’em all. But, poor me, I’m having a bit of stomach trouble and couldn’t eat or drink anything at the street fair. I was bummed about that.

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No Ethnic group was left out.

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I couldn’t manage a green beer, but green lemonade?  It’s okay. But I passed.

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I did some people watching…

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A lot of people really get into the spirit of the day, and dress the part.

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This guy told me his wife did his tattoo. Neat, with cool  green shoes. St. Paddy woulda been proud if he was sober.

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I might go back for that free beer. I need a sign like that.

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Now this is something every good beer drinker needs for his kegger party. Yeah!

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The green wig reminded me of the purple one I bought for Mardi Gras, still in the Motor Home. I should have chosen green, then it would be good for two festivals.

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I looked into every booth. There were over 200 of them. These crystal pieces caught my eye because I have a friend who beads. They were quite nice, but I have enough jewelry that I already don’t wear.

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I liked this multi-media painting from the Bonsack Gallery because that is how I used to swing as a kid. High enough to turn upside down. Check out the band-aid on her knee.

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She and her husband are both locals. They have two galleries, one locally in Arnold. Her paintings tend to go right off the canvas.

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Well, I had a lot of fun. Saw a lot of fun costumes, people and some good music.

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For me, there is always something that triggers a past memory. I once had a friend, Lila Suiter, a Commander in the Navy who used to say, especially when she had one too many cocktails, “When I retire, I’m going to raise Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys.”  This miniature pony reminded me of Lila. Salud! Old friend.










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Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse. Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes.

I woke up this morning, late, with that  nursery rhyme playing through my head, instead of Brown Eyed Girl, or Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’, the loud, jumpin’  music from last night at Cactus Jacks. There is no accounting for the twists and turns of the brain.

It was my intention to stay home New Years Eve, but a neighbor, Jan,  insisted I go with her to the Murphys Hotel. We arrived at 9 p.m. Planned to stay a couple of hours. Myself, Jan and Cynthia got our picture taken by Cynthia’s boyfriend, Dave.

The Murphys Hotel is about 150 years old and has a reputation for being a cowboy bar. But, the cowboys have changed considerably, I noticed.

Jan, the storyteller, regaled Dave with old stories from the hotel’s checkered history.

There was no band, the dance floor is practically non-existent. We danced twice to canned music. The people made it fun, but we all decided to leave the hotel and walk down to Cactus Jacks. The dance floor there is bigger, the band was better and it was jammin’.

Cactus Jack sells shirts called Plan B.

Translation:  After you leave Cactus Jacks and go to the Murphys Hotel,  you’ll come crawling back to Jacks where all the fun is. It was  fun. They don’t have a liquor license, only wine and beer. The grizzly was good, dark and chewy.

People watching is half the game. It was a dance free for all, everybody dancing with everybody.  Nobody obnoxiously drunk.

Some friends, Lianne Smith and her new boy toy popped in. She and others went from party to party. Over the course of the evening, I met old friends, kids, who are no longer kids, who  went to high school with my no longer kids. Then, I met a guy who graduated from the same High School I did, only twenty years later than me.

Cactus Jack provided paper cups of champagne at midnight. And, I got kissed by a stranger.

Anything can happen. It’s a new year. 2012 is here.



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Good friends, Jose and Norma Tapia,  and my youngest daughter, Virginia, and her kids came up to the Mother Lode for a day to play. The weather was perfect, not hot, not cold, just coolish,  The kids played on the trampoline…

Owen, flying high.

Nearly three year old Abbie trying for that higher bounce.

Theo going for the extreme moves.

Anthony waits his shot at the ball in a game of driveway two-square. Whoever goes out steps aside for the next person in line. That way no one gets overly tired

Everyone wanted to take a walk and see where I heard the singing waters from a previous blog. The water is running, but without much thunder and  low enough to easily cross over the washes on rocks and branches. Its fun to almost get wet while throwing rocks into the culverts. The kids fed the neighbor horses and caught a frog,, which was promptly returned to its puddle.

Before dinner, the two youngest boys managed a wobbly, high structure with stacking blocks while we got the table ready. Before dessert, we caravaned  downtown Murphys to watch the Rail Jam, a new event sponsored by Bear Valley Ski Area,  and the Murphys Hotel.

Snow was brought in and piled from the second floor of the Murphys Hotel into an obstacle course for skiers and snowboarders. The amateur contestants were from eight years to fourteen years old. Down the two story ramp, over the first bridge,

a sharp right and down a slippery, round pipe,

and, a shoot to the finish over the “mail box”. Some of the older boys chose to finish on the edges of the blue barrier. Either way, a challenging, fun, competitive race with prizes.

Six year old Anthony confided, “I can do that,” as he watched the boarders. In the future, I’m sure he will. On this day, it was enough to play with hunks of dirty snow. But, dainty Abbie…
stuck close to dad and bravely ventured one leg over the rope barrier.

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The Mother Lode has an abundance of ghosts and spirits that reside or at least visit local hotels. Why hotels? Well, each has its own story. Columbia’s Fallon House, had a paranormal researcher use high tech instruments to see if they were haunted. His conclusion? “Yup, You’ve got ghosts.” Visitors and employees have reported ghosts in the Murphys Hotel, Jamestown’s National Hotel and Willow Hotel. Columbia’s City Hotel, Dorrington’s only hotel, Sonora’s Gunn House, and Groveland’s Hotel Charlotte. But, the most well known is the Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill. The ghost has been continually reported from the early gold mining days and people still get spooked in the old inn. None of the ghosts are dangerous, some hug men, others tuck you into your sheets or move things about. So, if you are looking, come on up and try one of the rooms. The employees know which rooms are most likely to experience a visit.

What gets my attention are stories from children who have no idea what sensationalism is all about. Like the 9 year old boy who told his mother, as they drove by a certain spot, on a street in their new neighborhood. “That’s where the car hit me!”   She ignored it the first time. Then, when he described being on his bike, and dying. She objected, but he was so chillingly serious she became intent on debunking and defusing his constant attention to that place. She talked to people in the neighborhood, and discovered newspaper articles about a boy who was killed in that exact manner, at that exact spot, many years earlier.

If I knew the mother? But I don’t. Still, I’ve heard a number of them and they give me pause. I have to ask myself, why would a mother put her reputation and that of her child at risk to ridicule? And what benefit does such a tale serve them? Unless it happens to me, I guess I’ll never know.

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