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The speaker is a 59-year-old White woman with a high school education from Prescott, Arizona; she was recorded in 1967.



County: Yavapai
State: AZ

Commentary:
Originally settled by gold prospectors, Prescott was designated the capital of the Territory of Arizona in 1864. Mining (for zinc, copper, silver, lead, and gold) was historically a large part of the local economic base; it was later supplanted by cattle ranching. In this segment the speaker tells a story about her son???s first BB gun.
Inf: When my son was a little boy, about eight years old, he was very intrigued with guns, and after he had learned how to handle a gun, I thought by talking to him, I purchased him a very nice new BB gun. Bought him a good-sized box of copper BBs. Instructed him where and how he could and should shoot the gun, not near the house, so as to not injure anything. So he went out in the backyard, and he was shooting his little old BB gun happily at all the targets he could think of: sticks and bottles and so forth and so on.

My mother had chickens. And, uh, most of ???em were kept shut up, but one little old white runt that had never reached the size of the rest of the flock had sort of developed into _____???s pet. And she would follow him all around the yard, or anyone else that was working out in the yard, but especially she loved to follow the boy.

One day I noticed that she was getting sort of dumpy and droopy-looking. I said, ???Well, I think something???s ailing that ol??? hen. Whatcha been feeding her???? ???Nothing, Mother. Nothing that you didn???t tell me to.??? ???All right.??? So we watched her. She kept getting dumpier and kept leaning further forward until finally her crop just seemed to be touching the ground when she walked. I said, ???Well, I guess she???s a goner. I don???t know what she???s got. She???s sure got something.??? She did have something, all right. When she died, I was just so curious, I had to find out. So, I opened up, opened her up and took the crop out, and it was loaded with these little copper pellets from the BB gun, where the boy had shot them, they???d spent themselves and rolled around the yard. Chicken was fascinated by the shiny copper and she just gobbled up those pellets, thinking they were delicious. So, my son learned not to shoot the c-, BB gun anywheres near the chickens from then on.


The speaker is an 80-year-old White man with some schooling from Prescott, Arizona; he was recorded in 1967.



County: Yavapai
State: AZ

Commentary:
The Territory of Arizona was once part of the Wild West. Many outlaws passed through, running from the law or carrying out the robberies and scams for which they were known. In this segment the speaker references Thomas E. ???Black Jack??? Ketchum and the ???Smith boys.??? Black Jack Ketchum and his gang, composed largely of former ranch hands and cowboys, robbed trains and stagecoaches. The Soapy Smith gang took part in swindles throughout the West. Its leader, Jefferson Randolph Smith II, earned his nickname from his most famous scam, the ???Prize Package Soap Racket.??? In this con, customers were tricked into buying expensive bars of soap, believing the packages contained cash prizes.
Inf: But I was born and raised in this state, my people came to Arizona in seventy-eight, ten years before I was born. And, uh, they settl???

FW: What was it like then? [Inf: Huh?] What was it like then, in Arizona?

Inf: How???s that?

FW: What was it like in Arizona then?

Inf: Well, it was pretty wild in Arizona at that time, especially in the part of the country they settled in. They was right on that, uh, what they called the Outlaw Trail from Mexico to Canada, and, uh, it was, it was pretty rough and rugged in that country in those days. It, it was nothing to see a man killed. I seen nine men killed before I was nine years old.

And Dad, now uh, he was raised, he was in that country. He was a fearless man, I guess, as ever was in the country, and never killed a man in his life. Never had but very, never had but, uh, one or two fights. But he just was a guy that could get along. He???d get along with anybody. And he knew some of the worst outlaws there was in the country at that time.

Old Black Jack Ketchum and, uh, Smith boys and, uh, well, just those bank robbers and train robbers and murderers and that travels back and forth across that country and, well, Dad knew ???em all by first name and he never had no trouble with ???em. They never did, never did bother him. Never did demand anything from him. In fact, if they ever came along there and wanted accommodation, they was always willing to pay for it. ???Cause they always had plenty money, those fellows did, and, and they was always willing to pay for everything they got and, well, uh, Dad never did mix with ???em. He never did have any dealings with ???em of any kind.

One time a fellow, one of those fellows, came across there and he was riding and get off horse and, and he was really in a hurry to get away, and so Dad let him have a, let him take a horse, big black horse, beautiful horse. And, uh, told him, said, ???When you get through riding him, why, just turn him loose someplace and he???ll come back.??? So, uh, about a year and a half later, Dad had a brother over there in that, uh, um, Pinedale country, and he sent Dad word he had a horse of his over there, so he went over there and got him, and it was that black horse he???d let that fellow take. It come back, all right, but???

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