Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Day at PC


Still no arrests or further information about the fire other than this small paragraph that appeared in today’s section of the Dispatch police log.  image

There is progress on the clean up process as another rig was hauled out again today.  The first story I posted about the one man single handedly loading up the rig is even more amazing after watching today’s story.  This time there was a big flatbed truck and two wreckers with a crew of at least six men and it took them a lot longer than the one man working alone last time.  By looking at these pictures, I think the insurance company should have hired the first guy again.  I certainly wouldn’t want to follow this load down the freeway!  The load looks a little unsteady as it’s hanging way over the back end of the trailer.  As they say in the old west….”It’s not my problem.”  I wish them luck getting to their destination safely.


So what else is new here??  I suppose you’re tired of hearing about our absolutely beautiful April weather.  April and October are my very favorite months in Casa Grande.  Temps are just about perfect and still the nights cool down to the low 60s.  Perfect!  The swimming pool is a fantastic place to bask away the afternoons now that I am officially retired!  It’s awesome!!!  I “almost” feel guilty when I hear from our Canadian friends that they went home to 8 inches of fresh snow!

Here’s a copy of a little newsletter we received in our mailboxes last week.  Looks like we’re going to have another fun summer with plenty of activities to keep us occupied.  Thank you to the Activities Dept for the extra efforts!

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news 007 Stay tuned for further updates!

old lady with hat Here’s wishing you a GREAT day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cleaning up the mess

Don and I were out on some house watch errands this morning and thought we’d drive by the storage area to see if there was anything new…….and there was!

We arrived as a specially rigged semi was loading one of the destroyed RVs onto its bed.  It was a highly specialized rig where the bed tipped back and with the use of a heavy duty winch, the driver (working single handedly by the way) was able to pull the burned up mess onto his trailer. 

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Jack Thomason (from Colorado) was also there watching the process as it was his RV being towed (should say “carried”) away.  He said it was a 2005 Winnebago Vectra which obviously is now a total loss.  Jack told us the sad story of some of the personal items that were stored in the motor home at the time of the fire.  He had a set of jewelry making tools inherited from his brother along with some precious metals and some fine finished decorative pieces.  Jack had already packed up all his woodworking tools as they were getting ready to head back to Colorado within the week along with all of their winter clothing.  Jack’s wife, Jerri, is an avid quilter and had some beautiful quilts and finished goods packed for the trip back home. 

After sifting through the ashes with the fire marshal, they could tell that these items were still in the rig during the fire which rules out theft.  It sickens me even more to think that the vandals set the fire just for the thrill and malicious intent. 

I hadn’t realized the damage that was done to neighboring rigs before.  As we stood there, I looked around and could see the melted lens covers, ripples in the fiberglass, and singed parts on several rigs.


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Jack and Jerri will be working closely with their insurance agent and the fire marshal until their lives settle down again after such a traumatic event.

I took one final photo to send to Jack for his scrapbook as they were finishing the clean up process.

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The salvage driver secured the load with cables and tarps for the ride to an insurance inspection yard in Phoenix.

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Now there is just a pile of black ash and residue to clean up and two more rigs just like this one to go.

The incident is still under investigation.  Will keep you posted when we hear more detail.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dispatch Follow Up Story

Golly Gee… blog has made the newspapers!  How about that!  Today’s Casa Grande Dispatch had a bigger article about the fire and somehow they got wind of my blog and actually copied my story plus listed the blog site.  It will be interesting to watch my counter spin to see how many hits there are in the next few days.

I’m really glad they quoted the part about the wonderful response from the fire department.  Those folks really deserve credit for the incredible job they did in controlling the blaze and keeping it confined to such a small area considering the number of rigs that were parked close by. 

I didn’t print anything about the park model that was “destroyed” since I didn’t know for sure the extent of the damage.  From what I could see outside of the police tape was just some charred pieces of wood on the floor through an open door.  There was a new village home sitting out in the storage area and that’s the one that sustained some damage.  Can’t see anything on the outside so I doubt it was really “destroyed” as noted in the paper….but it truly does lead one to believe that the whole incident was caused by vandals/arsonists.  Here’s the full scoop from today’s paper. 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today’s Dispatch News

Well…’s all we read about in today’s issue of the Dispatch.  I believe they meant to say three motor homes and a trailer were destroyed.  The price tag sounds about right, however. 

fire We also received his half page notice in our mailboxes today.  Other than this, no other word is available.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Fire FollowUp

WOW!!  We had over 2000 hits on the blog in the last 24 hours as people are searching for more news about the fire.  My email has been inundated with folks asking questions… here’s my answer.

The fire is officially under investigation by the Fire Marshall.  The area is all blocked off with yellow police tape and no one is allowed access inside the tape.  A security firm has been hired and is on duty to make sure no one trespasses until the investigation is complete.  Until an official report is issued, there are no answers and no further information.  The Casa Grande Dispatch paper isn’t published on Mondays…so we have to wait until tomorrow’s edition to see if they have more info.

Three RVs and one travel trailer were totally destroyed.  The 3 RV owners were still here in the park but I doubt they want their names published here.  The travel trailer owner had left for the season but has been notified.

From what I can see, about 4 other nearby RVs have substantial damage.  It should be safe to say that whether they are repairable remains in question with their insurance companies.  Again, no one will know for a while yet.  I’ll post the Dispatch news as soon as it becomes available.

I did upload a better video that shows more detail.  Check it under yesterday’s photos.  You may get an error message, but try again a little later as the site is very busy lately.  Thanks again for writing.  All your encouraging comments keep me motivated!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Don was awakened by the sound of loud explosions about 2:45 am.  He turned on the police scanner and when he heard the “RVs on fire” call to 1110 N Henness, we got dressed and hopped in the golf cart with camera in hand.  There were huge flames lighting up the sky over the RV storage area as we approached.  At this time, we still don’t know how many units were involved as it wasn’t safe to get any closer.  You can bet we’ll be back over there as soon as the sun comes up so we get more photos.
It appears that at least 4 rigs were completely destroyed with fire damage to 3 or 4 more.
The Fire Department did a fantastic job of handling this fire.  They had the huge flames under control and completely out within the hour.  They did an awesome job!  Without their fast and highly professional response, there would have been a lot more damage.  Their lives were also at risk as they neared the flames due to the multiple propane tanks exploding and the volume of fuel that was in the RVs themselves.  We salute our Fire Department!!
Be sure to click on the links below these photos so you can see video of the actual fire.
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photo submitted by Skip Emerson

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

cHow many times have you driven past the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch on Highway 10 and wondered what there was to see there…but kept driving by without a stop???  We’ve done that many a time but today we made it a field trip to go with a group of friends and feed the wildlife.  WHAT FUN!!!!
A $5 per person entry fee includes a can of food pellets and a small container of nectar.  The pellets are fed to the ostriches….carefully…as the birds are eager for the treats and tend to grab quite aggressively.  It was fascinating to get up close and personal with these huge critters.  They can easily reach 6 feet tall in height.
ostrich farm 004ostrich farm 006Isn’t he a handsome devil with those big eyes and long lashes?? 
After spending time with the feathered guys, we hand fed the ever so gentle deer and donkeys.
ostrich farm 032To most of us, the greatest thrill was entering the bird compound and feeding the Lorakeets.  We each had a small container of nectar and were told to just hold it out and let the birds find us.  Find us they did!  The birds are absolutely beautiful, friendly, and fun.
ostrich farm 042We certainly managed to get some close up photos!
ostrich farm 043   ostrich farm 055ostrich farm 045  ostrich farm 062 ostrich farm 067 We made several trips back to the concession stand for more nectar and when that ran out, I guess even our earrings looked appetizing.  It was impossible not to smile as these beautiful birds graced us with their presence. 
I took photos of some of the information signs that I thought were interesting.  I hope you’re able to read all the interesting facts.
ostrich farm 073 ostrich farm 074 ostrich farm 071Of course there was a small souvenir stand as well.  You could buy beautifully hand painted eggs…or start from scratch with one of your own.  And yes….fresh eggs were also available for your breakfast table.  One ostrich egg is the equivalent of 24 chicken eggs.
ostrich farm 072  It was truly a fun event and I’m betting we go back again next season.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Hummer of a Story

Arden and June Griepp at Site 1281 are the proud caretakers of a mother hummingbird and her small infant.  Mom hummingbird built her nest on the Griepp’s string of decorative lights that surround their front patio.  There are a small percentage of people lucky enough to even see a hummer’s nest much less host one within arm’s distance to their front door.  The nest hangs right above the entry way to the Griepp’s front door so June and Arden were privileged to watch the building of the nest, incubation, and now feeding the youngster.  It is quite a thrill to watch the winged jewel in action.
Tuesday 026Tuesday 033  Congratulations, Arden and June! 

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


The earth truly rumbled this week during the Baja earthquake and we definitely felt it here in Casa Grande.  I was sitting on the patio soaking up the sun’s rays and reading a good book when it hit.  At first I wondered if I was getting sick or dizzy as it felt like I was floating in a boat.  Then Don came outside and said “did you feel that?  Earthquake!”  The neighbors started emerging outside as well.  Don Blair, across the street in his motor home, said he thought we were out there rocking his motor home (as we may have done before).  Others said they were awakened from a nap and couldn’t figure out what was happening.  We turned on CNN to get the news and find out where the epicenter occurred.  I’m convinced that I don’t ever want to be any closer than that!