Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wonder Valley Artist David Greene | Gallery 62

New work by David Greene will be featured at Gallery 62 starting Saturday, December 10th, at Gallery 62, 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree.

The opening reception is from 6 - 9 p.m. on December 10.

Come support our local artists and purchase one of his beautiful desert noir oil paintings.

Wonder Valley Holiday Potluck

Wonder Valley Residents and their Guests
are invited to attend our
Wonder Valley Community Holiday Potluck
form Noon - 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, 2016
at the Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Wonder Valley's own Bob and Bill will provide live music.

Santa will make an appearance so get your Xmas wishes in order.

Please bring a dish to share with the Community.
This is an alcohol- and drug-free event.

PS - We need volunteers to help with setup, cleanup, and decorations - so you artsy types, please volunteer!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Yoga classes with Lorelei Greene take place at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, on Thursdays from 8 to 9:15 a.m. Cost is $12 cash. You must be 18 or older and bring your own mat. Beginners are welcome. Call (760) 367-9880 for information.

We send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Carson Bevins who turns five this week. Happy birthday, Carson!

Darlene’s Commentary: I have only three things to say today because Karen hogged the words this time!
  1. Our community center has telephone service again!
  2. Thank you, Pat Rimmington, for donating a beautiful lighted Christmas tree and two gorgeous wreaths to the community center!
  3. Come one, come all to a Community Potluck on Saturday, December 10 from noon to 3 at our community center!  There will be live entertainment and an appearance by Santa Claus himself!

Karen’s Commentary: This week I’m wearing my Proud Grandma Hat. Colton Udall and Mark Samuels, owners of Ox Motorsports, invited my grandson Austin to join one of their two Pro Moto Unlimited class racing teams competing in the 49th Annual Baja 1000 Off-road Race in Baja California, Mexico. Needless to say, Austin accepted! This year would draw a total of 277 entries from 33 U.S. states and 18 countries. The race began with the motorcycles just after sunrise on my birthday, November 18, and the two Ox racing teams crossed the finish line in the wee hours of November 19 – finishing in FIRST and SECOND place! The first place team, headed up by Team Leader Colton Udall, ran the brutal 867-mile course in 18 hours and 12 minutes. The second place team, headed up by Team Leader Ray Dal Soglio and including grandson Austin, finished in 18 hours and 38 minutes. Since Ox Motorsports is located in Yucca Valley, and my grandson lives in Twentynine Palms and works for the Twentynine Palms Water District, this is a really big deal for our whole area, and an even bigger deal for our whole family. Austin, we’re SO proud of you!

The Wonder Valley Community Center is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coordinator Ric Figueroa is there to help with problems, answer questions or just chat. Stop in or call (760) 367-9880.

Handy Hint: Use WD-40 to clean the tracks in sliding windows or drawers to make them glide again. Spray on, then wipe off.

Thought for Today: The average amount spent by a guest for a one-day visit to Disneyland in 1955 was $2.37 – admission was $1, parking was 25 cents. Today the average is $196, 83 times the original price.

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Bullion Mountains under a cloudy sky

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Un-Painted Rock

The Mojave Desert Land Trust set up out past Deadman's Curve last Saturday to clean off Painted Rock and picked up all the trash. They also installed a new sign, which kind of makes Wonder Valley the gateway to the Mojave Trails National Monument.

Thanks, OBAMA!

The MDLT and their coterie of volunteers did an excellent job. We drove out today to take a closer look. They didn't get all the paint off the rocks - but what they did was incredibly impressive.

We wanted to get out before it was painted again. It looks great. I wished that I'd brought a bag so I could pick up broken glass. Next time.

Here's the sign with the valley behind it.

Many thanks to Mojave Desert Land Trust and all the volunteers!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Desert Trail Column, November 17, 2016

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting held last Saturday was informative and interesting. Pacific Clinics gave a presentation on “What is Mental Health?” Many people in the audience were surprised to learn of this Family Resource Center located in Twentynine Palms, and that they have weekly meetings for anger management, parenting, military support, vets assisting vets and teen mentoring. They are hoping to start group meetings here in Wonder Valley for post traumatic stress disorder. Call 760-367-3939 or 760-228-9657 for further information.

 On Monday, November 21, the He Provides Ministry will be at our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, at 9:30 a.m. to give out free clothing and household items to those who need them. This will be followed at 10:30 by the USDA Food Distribution.

Two days later, on Wednesday, November 23, the Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place at our community center at 11 a.m.

Since the birthstone for November is the topaz, and the flower is the chrysanthemum, we send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Karen Meyers and Sharon Fangmeyer who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

Also , we send out best wishes to Bill and Sherry Hague who celebrate their wedding anniversary this week.

Karen’s Commentary:
A big thank you to cousin Annie French for sending lots of coupons, stamps and cards.

Darlene’s Commentary:
These are the ten great truths spoken by little children.
  1. No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
  2. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
  3. If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back right away; they always catch the second person.
  4. Never ask your three-year-old brother to hold a tomato.
  5. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.

  6. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  7. Never hold a Dustbuster and a cat at the same time.
  8. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
  9. Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
  10. The best place to be when you’re sad is on Grandpa’s lap.
Mohammed Ali
and Malcolm X
The Wonder Valley Thrift Store, located on Godwin Road between Highway 62 and Amboy Road, is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 to noon. Stop in and look around. All proceeds from the thrift store go to the building fund of the Godwin Christian Fellowship Church.

Handy Hint: Lightly dampen a sponge and rub it across upholstery to easily lift pet hair from the surface.

Thought for Today: “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
– Muhammad Ali

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Pinto Mountains at dawn

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free for Thanksgiving

For Wonder Valley residents:

U.S.D.A. Food Distribution
November 21 starting at 10:30 a.m. The "He Provides Ministry" will give out free clothing and household items to those who need them starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road in Wonder Valley. Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

Salvation Army Food Distribution
November 23 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road in Wonder Valley. Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site.

The following organizations and businesses are providing free food and meals for those in need throughout the Morongo Basin.

The Way Station in Joshua Tree provides free raw turkeys and Thanksgiving dinner fixings for anyone in need on Nov. 22. The gates open at 8 a.m. You must be signed up between 10-10:30 a.m. The Way Station is located at 61722 Commercial Street in Joshua Tree. There will be an obligatory encouraging message.

John’s Place in Yucca Valley offers free Thanksgiving breakfast from 7 - 11 a.m. and free Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  on Nov. 24. John’s Place is located at 56249 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.

Andreas Char-Broiled Burgers in Twentynine Palms offers a free ham and egg breakfast from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Nov. 24. They are located at 73780 Twentynine Palms Highway in Twentynine Palms.

Food for Life offers a full Thanksgiving meal from 1 - 4 p.m. on Nov. 24 at the First Baptist Church, 6414 Split Rock Avenue in Twentynine Palms.

Many thanks to the businesses and organizations who reach out to those in need through the holidays.

Free tire collection in Joshua Tree on November 19

Don't litter our desert! Get rid of old tires at the Joshua Tree Tire Collection Amnesty Event on Saturday, November 19 from 8 a.m. to noon. Tires must be removed from the rims. The maximum size accepted is 12" width x 44.5" height.

Deliver tires to:

Morongo Basin Ambulance
6335 Park Boulevard
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mojave Desert Land Trust event

  1. Replace the "Heart of the Mojave" sign with new Mojave Trails National Monument Sign
  2. Clean graffiti from the painted rock, while also checking operating temperature of elephant snot graffiti remover.
  3. Pick up trash in the vicinity.

When: 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., or 2 p.m., November 19, 2016

Where: Sheephole Pass at the Painted Rock. Take Amboy Road out past the curve. Painted Rock is on the right.

Who: Mojave Desert Land Trust

Volunteers are welcome, or just stop by and say "hey!"

Wonder Valley Fire Department, circa 1970s

At the dedication of Fire Station 42 in Wonder Valley, circa 1970s
On July 25, 1987, Wonder Valley Fire Chief Jack McConaha tendered his resignation to San Bernardino Fire Chief Glenn Newman.

McConaha wrote,

It is with the deepest regret that I wish to resign my position as fire captain of the Wonder Valley Fire Stations 41 and 42. The following are the reasons for my resignation:

A. Lack of support and participation of the residents of Wonder Valley to their fire department.
Before I became fire chief in 1978, the residents and weekenders were all very involved and supportive of their fire department. Most of the original founders and supporters have now passed away, leaving the new residents who do not get involved in supporting or contributing to any of the activities needed to make Wonder Valley and vicinity a successful growing community.
To those few residents, in a population of around 2,500, who worked very hard to support the fire department, I express my deepest thanks.
Because of these ‘old timers’ (that I love so dearly!) I have hesitated to resign at an earlier date.

B. The fire department provides fire and rescue and public service to the community of Wonder Valley with just 12 firefighters. They respond seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to assist the residents, weekenders and travelers in Wonder Valley, Highway 62, Highway 66, Amboy Road and Interstate 40.

I have advertised and even begged for volunteer pay-call firefighters from the residents of Wonder Valley and Highway 62, but got none. These residents sit at home, watch TV and drink at the local bars, rather than assist their fire department.
It’s not right that my firefighters work five to six days a week at their regular jobs and also seven days a week, 24 hours a day, on call to respond with help for the residents, who in turn, do not want to support or participate as members of their fire department.

McConaha continued and then thanked everyone who made his years at the WVFD the “best and most rewarding years of his life.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As in 1987, so in 2016, almost 30 years later.

SOURCE: The Desert Trail, July 30, 1987

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Desert Trail Column, November 10, 2016

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting will take place on Saturday morning, November 12 at our community center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, at 10am. Community Healthcare Worker Ramona Arechiga and Pacific Clinics Program Coordinator Manuel Rincon will give a presentation titled “Let’s Talk About Mental Health.” French roast coffee and Cuban pastries from Porto’s will be served. For further information, call Teresa Sitz at 760-865-9550.

The Basinwide Municipal Advisory Council meeting will be held on Monday, November 14 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Wonder Valley issues and information will be presented by our MAC representative Teresa Sitz.

Darlene’s Commentary: My seven-year-old grandson Hunter asked if I had any picture books from when I was little that could be used in his Weed Show project. A couple days later, I was looking through my bookshelf, pulled out a book, and caused an “avalanche” of several books onto the floor. When the dust settled, I immediately spotted a very old book (1902) that was in the pile upside down and open, and I feared it had suffered some damage. When I picked it up and turned it over, it was open to a poem entitled “Picture Books in Winter” which was pretty much what Hunter had asked for! The book, “A Child’s Garden of Verses,” belonged to my mom and had been in our house forever. Now some might think this was just a coincidence, but I know just how much my mom loved books and just how much she loved the Weed Show, and I’m sure she would help in any way she could. Thanks, Mom. By the way, Hunter took home a 1st place ribbon, and his little brother Eli, who’s not quite three, took home a 2nd place ribbon! How’s that for Weed Show stars?

Karen’s Commentary: First, those little Christmas elves have brought their whispers up a few octaves now that it’s November, and they are getting more annoying every day! And second, I now have to live the next full year with a puffed-up quadruple-ribbon-toting Weed Show winner! Ted got first, second, third and honorable mention ribbons, PLUS a Judge’s Favorite Award! Oh, my. He is one happy camper.

 The Wonder Valley Book Program is like a little library, right inside our community center. Books, DVDs, audio books and videocassettes are all available to be checked out for a month at a time. And

Handy Hint: Round cookie tins make great storage containers for circular saw blades.

Thought for Today: Kites were used during the Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

The Sheep Hole Mountain, the white Calumets behind them,
and Old Woman Mountain behind them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wonder Valley Royalty

I visited my neighbor today and she let me copy the picture below. These were her neighbors - Mary and Bill Hood. Her brother cared for both of them over the course of their last years.

A little research on the Internet identifies them as:

Mary Violet Jessup, born 20 Mar 1901 in Valescure, Var, France. She died on 15 Feb 1990 in Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino, California, USA. She married Alexander William Fuller Acland Hood 6th Baronet of St Audries in 1925.

Alexander William Fuller Acland Hood, 6th Baronet of St Audries, born 5 Mar 1901. He died on 6 Feb 1991 in Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino, California, USA. He married Mary Violet Jessup in 1925.

Bill's great-grandfather was a Captain in the British Navy and a cousin to Admiral Hood. His great-grandfather served with Captain James Cook and also served during the first American Revolution.

Mary Hood was active with the Audubon Society and made painting trips to Yosemite each year to record the wild flowers.  The Naturalist Department at Yosemite published her illustrated book, 101 Wildflowers of Yosemite.

One of these two was a first cousin to the Queen of England, though I don't remember how.

The point is (if there is a point) that all kinds of people end up living in Wonder Valley. To type Wonder Valley as appealing to any particular kind or class of people is shortsighted and ignores the great diversity of people who choose to make this home.

Wonder Valley Artist David Greene

Wonder Valley artist David Greene will be showing new work in his Mojave Noir III series at Gallery 62 in Joshua Tree. The opening reception is Saturday, December 10. Gallery 62 is located at 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway.

San Bernardino Countywide Plan

Notice the first community workshop - when is it? "TONIGHT." Not exactly the minimum 3-day notice, and not an appropriate notice if you really want the public to participate.

My main complaint, though, is that not all communities are included in the Countywide Plan - and Wonder Valley is one of those omitted. Early on, when I realized we were not included, I contacted the people putting on these workshops. They had no intention of including us and declined when I asked if we could be included with the "homestead communities."

They said we could participate in the final meetings in Morongo Valley, which are noticed above. So, if you want your 3 minutes to speak up for Wonder Valley, go to the Covington Park Community Center next Thursday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m. and you'll have your chance to represent us.

For more information go to: http://countywideplan.com/

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tobacco Road? Boomtown?

Well, it looks like we've been discovered - again. A freelance writer, Maggie Downs, sold her story about Wonder Valley to the Real Estate section of Palm Springs magazine.

The article is titled, Tobacco Road Boomtown, which makes no sense, is none too flattering, and is a little exploitative. Reactions to the story have been mixed, especially with some of us who spoke to the reporter now regretting it.

Read it for yourself and leave a comment below.