“There were a lot of interviews and stories omitted from Home Sweet Jerome: Death and Rebirth of Arizona’s Richest Copper Mining City, which are included in this blog and many of others on this site. www.homesweetjerome.net
Barbara Henley: 1970
“For two summers, Guy [her husband way back then] and I camped out in Sycamore Canyon helping a friend dig out a gold mine that he had a claim on. We never did find gold, but we did have a lot of fun. We went back to California to retrieve a small inheritance of $1500 and decided to move to Mexico. We packed our stuff into a van and stopped in Jerome to see our friend Ed. He offered us three houses that he owned for $500 in Mexican town, just below the post office. We gave him the money, moved in, stuffed the holes in the walls with rags and used an oil drum to heat the house and cook on.”
Baehr: A Hippie Reincarnates Himself Twice
As you walk down Gulch Road, where citizens have now added speed bumps to slow cars and discourage traffic, you can still see a tiny shack, bramble and weed laden with a sign over the door: ‘Baehr the Painter.’ I always wondered about it and now I do.
Quote is not attributed because I can’t remember who commented: “Baehr was one of Jerome’s earliest hippies, long hair, denim dressed, came in to the Candy Kitchen for coffee barefoot and drank it as he squatted near the booths of the Candy Kitchen. He was one strange hippie in a town full of them. He disappeared from town in the sixties and a few years later I saw him at a wild New Year’s party. He walked in, hair cut short to half an inch and wearing a polyester suit. It was his new incarnation as a cop. He was hardly recognizable. Rumor now has it that he is a truck driver in Texas.”
It turns out this was a garage that was rehabilitated when Pat Jackson lived in the house above it and that the sign came from uptown. Here are the before and after photos.
Jane Moore just commented on this new blog (see comments below) for further illumination. The comments on these blogs are often as good as the stories.
Mimi Currier, 1970
Jerome looked like Dogpatch. Hardly anything painted. Lots of sagging wood. Lots of boarded up windows and torn up roofs.
The day we moved into our house in the Gulch, it rained and rained. The only ones who stayed dry were the cats who stayed on the bottom floor under the bed. The support posts were eaten by termites and the whole house sat on its doorposts. Nothing was painted. $25 per month plus fixing. We put up a new roof. We jacked it up and put on support posts. We couldn’t hook up the water because we didn’t have a septic. We hauled water from Hilde’s [Rippel Barber] or the nearby stream. We got three ‘burros,’ from John Dempsey who wanted to get rid of and they always got the first drink. We carted up an old outhouse that still had WPA labels on in the back of our ‘57 blue Chevy Air Force pickup that still had AIR POLICE written on the sides and roof. Little truck. Big outhouse.
Mimi lives in Jerome and is active on the Jerome Humane Society. Her husband Lew is serving on the Jerome Town Council
Scott Owens, Sculptor
I arrived in 1971 after graduating college with a degree in English. I thought I was on my way to get my master’s degree at a university in Oregon. On the way, I visited my friends Benny and Val and ended up living for a few months in a tiny garage in the Gulch. Jerome was a magical place and I couldn’t leave. A few months later I bought a house for $2000 and started carving pipes from pipestone.”
Scott is a fine arts sculptor, working primarily in marble in part of a warehouse he rents from Freeport McMoran.