An Old Man Simply Walking

“Don’t push ‘Ole Betsy’ to the limit or she’ll blow!”

The older I get the easier I take it on my body.  Common sense dictates such. A veteran mechanic gave me advice years ago regarding things mechanical.

“Don’t push ‘Ole Betsy’ to the limit or she’ll blow!”

Just like the dangers of over revving a vintage car or truck engine, parts can fly apart in an aged human body as well.

For several years I rode bikes with an Alaskan friend.  Craig was a few years older but could waste me on endurance rides or climbing hills. We both entered a bicycle race up Arctic Valley Road to a popular Anchorage ski slope.

I took things easy maintaining a pace that didn’t kill me.  My friend burned to the top passing much younger riders along the way.  He took first in his age group and probably some others as well.  I was middle of the pack.  Craig was elated in his accomplishment and rightly so.  I was happy just to finish the race.

I see advertisements all the time about older people claiming to be as competitive in sports as they were at 21.  Generally these guys or gals are hawking some type of vitamin or health supplement.  I often wonder about such products.

When these athletes finally do explode from over exertion, we’ll never read or hear about it.  That type news doesn’t sell endurance elixirs. The company will find someone else to tout their product.

These performance boosters remind me of automotive gimmickry where oil additives are concerned. Certain companies manufacture fluids that claim to lengthen the life of an older engine along with increasing power. Suckers buy the stuff every day.

My goal is to live as long as I can and hopefully stay upright in doing so.  Most everyone tries for the same. While doing so I’d like to motor along without use of wheelchair or walker. I have no problem with canes.  To me canes are stately; very useful in fending off undesirables like thugs and Amway salesmen.

Because so many unknowns can unexpectedly happen during the golden years, my desire to continue walking without aid is much more difficult than it sounds.  I see seniors on a daily basis resorting to ‘help’ devices.  When I say help devices I mean wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Most of these folks had a simple slip or fall before having to use such.

If I continue to be blessed with good health, one thing you’ll never find me doing is entering athletic competition of any kind. I’ll let others vie for ribbons and trophies. At this point in life I have nothing to prove to anyone including myself.

I’ll be more than content in my golden years, if I’m able to stroll along a country road; an old man simply walking.

Craig Fitzgerald on left. Michael Hankins on right. Arctic Valley Hill Climb (1984).

What Better Justification?

She mentioned Arnold Schwarzenegger having one exactly like it.

Mike Nelson checking time on his diver’s watch.

Years ago on television there was a show called “Sea Hunt”. My brother and I watched it every week.  The series starred Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson; ex-Navy diver.  Mike was called upon to dive and rescue people in all kinds of dangerous predicaments. I could relate to him via name only.

In one episode Mike came to the aid of a pilot trapped underwater in his plane.  Thankfully the airman was saved before limited oxygen ran out.  In another show Mike’s skills were used to recover a nuclear warhead.  As a kid I was intrigued by the cool watch that Mike Nelson wore.  I wanted one.

About 2 years ago opportunity waltzed my direction.  I was watching QVC and they were premiering the Invicta line of watches.  QVC for those not in the know is a home shopping network.

A gorgeous lady on the show demonstrated a diver’s watch capable of surviving 300 meter depths.  That’s a whopping 1000 feet!  She mentioned Arnold Schwarzenegger having one exactly like it.

With their easy payment plan I could have my own by simply dialing a toll free number.  Because they had accidentally manufactured too many of the time pieces, QVC was discounting them for $99.00. Shipping was free.  Talk about a sweet deal. The lady said they were originally over a thousand bucks!

Visualizing that beautiful instrument on my wrist in all its manly glory, I quickly grabbed the phone and dialed.  It took a mere 7 days for the package to arrive via Fed-Ex.  The watch was fully protected in layers of Styrofoam. It was carefully embedded in its own custom-fit-plastic-box.  I couldn’t wait to strap it on.

The time piece felt a bit hefty on my left arm. It weighs close to a quarter pound.  That’s no problem for bigger guys.  I suppose small boned fellows might have a hard time supporting the beast.  When my wife saw it she laughed out loud. She wanted to how I could justify wearing such a gaudy monstrosity? If Mike Nelson was in the house he’d praise me instead of ridicule.

The first problem I found with the device, was that it wouldn’t allow my fingers to go all the way in my left jean pocket. I couldn’t retrieve coins or car keys. Not a huge problem. I shifted all such items to the right side.

My watch became a conversation piece especially in restaurants.  One server noticed it and asked if I dived.  What a silly question. Why would a fellow wear a diver’s watch if he didn’t?  Sheepishly I told her,


I should’ve remarked that I don’t dive but could.  That answer would satisfy the most inquisitive of minds.

Because my Invicta became a bit cumbersome for everyday use, I only take it out on special occasion.  Last week I wore it to a local burger joint.  The watch looked enormous in comparison to a junior cheeseburger.

Not many people will purposely dive to 100 feet let alone 1000.  It’s reassuring to know should I ever fall out of a boat and sink, my Invicta diver’s watch will survive. I doubt if a Timex or Casio would do the same.

What better justification for owning an Invicta could a person ask for? Would someone please tell that to my wife!

Invicta diver’s watch

Pet Peeves

What kind of sane person eats “Rice-a-Roni” as a treat?

Everyone has pet peeves.  I have a couple:

Have you ever noticed how some household products are misleading in name or advertised abilities?  My wife bought a spray can of “Scrubbing Bubbles”.  I decided to use it to clean a sink.  Spraying the foam on white porcelain finish, I watched as “Scrubbing Bubbles” did absolutely nothing.  It wasn’t until adding ‘elbow grease’ that the sink came clean.  I was the one doing the scrubbing.  The bubbles went along for a ride.

Another misrepresented product is “Handi Wipes”.  They’re handy all right as long as you can find them.  Last time I needed “Handi Wipes” they were nowhere in sight.  My wife had them hidden behind a box of soap.  I used “Brawny” paper towels instead and that’s only because my wife buys that brand.

“Joy” dish soap is another pet peeve.  I don’t know about you, but I find absolutely no joy in washing dishes.  Whoever named it “Joy” must’ve been on acid.

“Brawny” paper towels take the cake for erroneous labeling.  The manufacturer says to tear a sheet off and place it alongside a competing brand in an absorbency test.  I did exactly that using “Bounty”.  Both towels ended up soaked to the gills. What else would you expect?

Tell me there’s brawny in a paper towel and I’ll say you need your head examined.  The only thing brawny about “Brawny” is the picture of that rugged looking man on the wrapper.  I suppose that’s why so many women buy them. On the gossip side of things, I hear the “Brawny” model gets a pedicure each month. What does that tell you about his brawniness?

There’s absolutely nothing charming about “Charmin” toilet paper.

Did you know “Mrs. Butterworth’s” original brand syrup has zero butter inside?  There’s no real maple either.  What’s in a bottle of “Mrs. Butterworth’s” is a mystery.  Hopefully they at least put real high-fructose corn syrup in the mixture.

“Bac ‘n bits” contains zero bacon nor any kind of meat. What is that stuff? Maybe I don’t want to know!

“Jiffy” muffin mix takes at least 30 minutes from start to finish.  If that’s jiffy, then I’m ‘Johnny on the Spot’ with a walker.

I’ve never been a smoker.  I see nothing cool about “Kool” brand cigarettes.  Calling something “Kool” that smolders seems ludicrous.  That’s akin to saying ice is hot.  Git my drift?

“Quaker Instant Oatmeal” has dubious meaning.  Did Quaker actually look up the meaning of instant?  Someone has to make the stuff.

“Cheerios” is one of my least favorite cereal brands.  If my wife says we’re having “Cheerios” for breakfast, a Cheery O attitude will not be found.  Horses might love the stuff, but man does not live on oats alone!

“Sleepytime Tea”.  Tried it a couple of times and found I still couldn’t sleep.  The drink’s supposedly caffeine free.  Maybe someone at the factory is adding caffeine as a prank?  I’ve often wondered about decaffeinated coffee.  What’s to stop someone from switching grinds?

Products taking the grand prize are those labeled organic. Organic is nothing more than a grocery store buzz word. My wife and her sister are big fans on purchasing these items. How easy is it to plop an organic label on a can or box. It’s ink for crying out loud. Hand me a Magic Marker and I’ll mark it for you.

“Rice-a-Roni” advertises as being the San Francisco treat. Say what?  I could never understand why.  What kind of sane person eats “Rice-a-Roni” as a treat?  I love “Rice Krispy” treats but “Rice-a-Roni” is not in the same category.

I’ve raved to friends over the years about “Moon Pies”.  I have no complaints regarding this product.  The name alone says it all. That’s reason enough to buy a box!

The Tooth Fairy

I was chided after telling another parent my kids believed in such.

Water color of “The Tooth Fairy” by Eden.

I made an emergency trip to the dentist last week. A crown was loose and needed immediate repair.  My dentist glued the porcelain cap back on and the wisdom tooth was good to go.

That set me back a few bucks even with insurance. On the way home I thought back to those simplistic days of “The Tooth Fairy”. As kids, whenever my brother or I lost a tooth, we’d put it under our pillow before going to bed. Next morning the tooth would be gone with money replacing it.

I didn’t mind losing teeth back then. It paid dividends. These days doing so would leave holes in my gums. Thankfully I haven’t had any yanked.

I remember one occasion when I woke up to pennies and nickels under my pillow. The bloody tooth was still there wrapped in Kleenex. Evidently I’d started to wake and mom cut short her fairy gig. I tried cashing in again the next night to no avail.

Back in the day most of my fairy loot went towards candy and pop. I’m sure most dental hygienists would say that wasn’t smart use of the funds.

When my children were young they believed in “The Tooth Fairy”. It took finesse to slide change under their pillows without waking them.

I was chided after telling another parent my kids believed in such. This person thought it just horrible. She had 2 children and I suppose they were perfect.

I told her “The Tooth Fairy” shouldn’t be of much concern, nor should Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. The creatures this mother should worry about were The Drug Pusher, The Pedophile, and devilish ghouls working within the educational system instructing students there is no God.

I’m still acting as “The Tooth Fairy”. My dentist now receives all my fairy loot instead of the kids. When I departed his dental chair I left behind more than spare change. Others do the same on a daily basis.

One thing’s for sure. My dentist collects far more cash than that needed for candy and pop.

A brand new BMW in his parking spot is evidence of such!

Can You Raed This Now?

Any time I hear the word preposition I think of Preparation H.

I’ll be first to admit that I don’t recall all the rules for English composition. There was a time I could fill in the correct blank on what a preposition is, but I haven’t a clue anymore. Any time I hear the word preposition I think of Preparation H.

I recently composed a short story and utilized actual numbers instead of writing them out. I know the English rules pertaining to such. Numbers 1 – 9 should be spelled.

In my story I was talking about a grocery checkout stand so imagery was important. Have you ever seen nine spelled out above a cashier? Me neither. It’s always number 9. I flushed the English rule on numbers down the toilet on that composition. That wasn’t the only time.

Sometimes I use singular apostrophes instead of quotation marks on word identification. Generally it deals with stories where much dialogue is used. It’s just something I do. I’ve been pulled over by the grammar police many times for improper punctuation.

The way I see things, if a reeder can raed what I worte then I”m sucesful. If someone wants to correct my English go for it. They’ll probably have a field day. Here lately I’ve become an expert at leaving double periods..

Years ago I entered an old vehicle in a car show. A friend and I worked on the Plymouth nearly 24 hours straight, getting things ready for the big event. The paint wasn’t fully hardened.

I was happy just to get it on the showroom floor. Later that day a fellow walked up to me saying,

“I see a flaw.”

He pointed out a tiny piece of pinstripe coming loose by the door. I thanked him then quickly pushed it down with my finger. That’s when the thought struck me. Not one word of praise came from the guy on the rest of my car.

As time goes by and my eyes get weaker I suppose I’ll be making more grammatical errors. Hopefully I won’t let it bother me. I found where the great author Samuel Clemens made simple writing mistakes. Other well-known authors did the same.

I don’t put myself in the same shoes as Mark Twain, but it’s good to know I’m in good company where typos and literary glitches are concerned.

One of my favorite television commercials is the one where a nerdy looking guy wearing black-rim glasses keeps asking,

“Can you hear me now?”

I’d like to say back to him,

“Can you raed this now?”

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).

The Wrong Line

“What kind of person checks their own groceries?”

I’m one of those people never picking the right line.  If you’re like me you always choose the wrong one. Just this week in Wal-Mart, I had a choice of 14 cashiers to choose from. 

Walking down the aisle past each check stand, I analyzed the carts of other shoppers first.  The buggy holding the least amount of items would gain favor. Next on my decision list was visually scoping out the checkers.  I suppose that would be considered ‘checker profiling’ in some states.  Thankfully such a law doesn’t exist in Alabama, Alaska, or Arizona; yet.

My gut feeling when choosing a checker, is always go with the senior employee.  They seem to move customers through at a much faster pace than youngsters.  When I say senior I’m not talking seniority like in a labor union. I’m simply referring to workers 30 years and older.

Last but not least, the check stand number plays an important role in my decision.  If there’s a number 9 and its open, all other criteria for choosing a checkout line flies out the window.

On this particular day check stand 9 was open.  I pushed my cart in behind a twentyish woman with 2 children.  Another gal wheeled in at my heels.  The lead buggy was fairly full but that was okay.  With 9 being my lucky number, I knew it wouldn’t take long.

The checker was a fellow around my age.  His name was CIT or perhaps that was his nickname.  He wore one of those yellow smiley buttons partially blocking the tag.

CIT was moving items through at a fairly rapid pace.  His scanning was as good as it gets.  He did have trouble with produce but what checker doesn’t.  Coupons were another matter but no biggie.  It was bagging skills where the man lacked dexterity.

The fellow was all thumbs in that department.  He couldn’t get plastic bags to open, and when he did groceries wouldn’t go in.  The young mother tried to help, but with 2 struggling infants it was near impossible.

For what seemed like an eternity I stood and watched things unfold.  The poor fellow had sweat dripping down his brow onto tinted scanner glass.  A bit peeved, the woman behind me observed such and moved on.  She voiced her disgust loudly before leaving.

I wanted to follow suit. Fearing such an action might lead to hurt feelings, I stayed put remaining steadfast and calm.  All this was going on while lines on each side moved faster than a Mississippi freight train.  My feet were hurting.  The frozen fish in my buggy were slowly coming back to life.

I stood there 15 minutes before CIT finally took the gal’s money. The flustered employee then praised her for having patience.  CIT was completely frazzled and overwhelmed at this point.  With my stuff already on the conveyor another checker scurried over to help.  An assistant manager appeared as well.

CIT, having just bungled his assignment left in agony with the supervisor.  The new checker looked to be around 20. Kate apologized for my having to wait.  That’s when she told me the rest of the story,

“Poor Hal. It’s his first day of checkin’ solo!”

Kate went on to tell me CIT is an abbreviation for clerk or cashier in training.  Wal-Mart doesn’t like to spell it out, as folks will instantly avoid that employee.

I thanked Kate for her useful information. Before wheeling my buggy out the door, I glanced over at self-checkout. There was only 1 person using it. I thought to myself,

“What kind of person checks their own groceries? There’s far more entertainment standing in the wrong line!


“That word isn’t used anymore!”

The other day my wife was on the phone with our bank for at least 30 minutes. She needed tax information. During a break in conversation I asked how it was going.

“Same ole rigamaroo!”, Joleen quipped.

That’s the first time I’d heard the word in ages.

Rigamaroo crops up in numerous locations. State DMV offices are notorious for being infected with it. Hospital billing services are laden with the virus. I assume it’s a virus because it can be contagious.

Years ago Joleen was dealing with rigamaroo in regards to a credit card bill. There was a charge on there that didn’t belong to us. Getting nowhere with some obnoxious man on the phone, I took over. The rigamaroo only got worse. Getting mouthy at the fellow didn’t help.

Other places where rigamaroo hangs out are airports, courthouses, post offices, and especially ‘return counters’ at certain stores.

Why does rigamaroo exist? Scientists have never explained such. Perhaps a study needs to be done. The world would be a better place without it.

I suppose in Utopia there is no rigamaroo. How do you get to Utopia to begin with? I bet you’d run into extreme rigamaroo trying to get there!

I recently asked a friend if he used the term rigamaroo. Rod thought about it for several seconds before replying.

“That word isn’t used anymore!

I wasn’t sure what Rod meant until he completed his statement.

“It’s been replaced by expletive deleted.”

I personally don’t use Rod’s definition. Something about the taste of soap still lingers.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll have to watch for the umpteenth time, Forrest Gump.

There’s a highly creative scene in that movie where Forrest runs through a pile of it.

"That word isn't used anymore!"
Infamous scene from “Forrest Gump”.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Some things we see as problems in reality are not.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

That classic line has been preached by family and friends alike. It’s virtually impossible to define small stuff. Each person has a different perspective of such. There was a time I’d get upset if I found a hole in my shirt. Generally those catastrophes occurred while welding.

My wife goes into a tizzy discovering dust on furniture. She’ll immediately look for a dusting cloth and go to town removing the filth as she calls it. Heaven help should a neighbor stop by beforehand. Dust definitely classifies as small stuff to most guys.

“Come in and sit right down. Sorry about the dust!”

The most epic case of don’t sweat the small stuff has to be spilt milk. The classic term “Don’t cry over spilt milk!” goes way back. English writer James Howell was attributed to using it in 1659. I’d bet a dollar he didn’t like milk to begin with. Grammar police would be correct in saying spilled milk, yet James liked spilt better. So do I.

I’d venture to say folks living in Ethiopian villages and Appalachian shacks have a different perspective for gauging the severity of problems. A poor Appalachia miner likely wouldn’t be disturbed if pigeons dirtied the hood of his truck.  The average Ethiopian wouldn’t curse a broken shoestring if they even owned one. I know a man that’d find both worthy of crusty language.

I’ve tried to mentally place myself in the shoes of impoverished people. Going to bed at night wondering if there’d be food the next day is beyond my comprehension. I think of an instance when I dined at a favorite restaurant finding salad portions had shrunk. That ticked me off. It’s unlikely an Ethiopian villager or hungry Appalachian ever incurs that horrible dilemma.

It would be tough living in Appalachia or Ethiopia, and see sick and hungry children with no means to help them. For the majority of Americans excellent health care is available. Yes, there are some impoverished Americans in rural Kentucky and other locales without medical assistance. Ethiopian natives rely on doctors to visit their villages. Medical clinics are far and few between. That’s generally not the case for us.

Years ago I had a tiny roof leak. The drip-drip-drip drove me nuts. I was beside myself trying to fix it. A dripping roof to an Ethiopian or Appalachian is likely a trifle annoyance if even that. Merely having a roof over their heads is something they’re thankful for.

Can you imagine a poor Appalachian mom worrying about chipped polish on her fingernails? How about an Ethiopian father complaining of telemarketers waking him? I’m sure such dilemmas don’t exist in their world. For some people In America these things are considered significant problems.

I could go on and on with outlandish examples. It’s fair to say some things we see as problems are nothing more than mere annoyances. We make them bigger than they really are. Most if not all are nothing to lose sleep over.

Before closing I’ll to revert back to James Howell’s statement regarding spilt milk. Mr. Howell says not to cry over it. Evidently he was referring to people with sufficient means in purchasing the liquid.

I’d like to see him tell that to a poor Ethiopian or Appalachian mother. Spilt milk to them would not be small stuff. It’d be something worthy of tears!

Poverty struck Appalachian family.

Just Another Day in Bizarroville

“Where you headed in such a lack of hurry?”

Pulled over for doing 15 mph in a 45 mph zone, Officer Stedanko kindly asked the old man,

“Where you headed in such a lack of hurry?”

In a frantic voice the senior citizen slowly replied,

 “Parkview Regional. It’s not an emergency!”

Seeing that it wasn’t a life or death situation, the policeman with lights and siren going led him the rest of the way.

Next morning at dinner, the cop’s wife asked her husband if anything boring happened on his last shift. He thought about it for several minutes.

“No, just another day in Bizarroville.”


That would be a fitting testament to Don’s life and career!

Sculpture of Don Bolles in Clarendon Hotel lobby.

August 9, 1974. It’s business as usual throughout sunny Arizona. Not so in foggy and drizzly Washington D.C.

President Richard Nixon just announced his resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the United States.  A much publicized Watergate scandal brings him down.

“Tricky Dick” is caught with both hands in the cookie jar as they say. Vice-President Gerald Ford is quickly sworn in to take his place.

On the other side of the country, massive Caterpillar bulldozers and earth scrapers are belching thick black smoke. The faded yellow machines slowly and methodically chip away at an unnamed-stone-mountain approximately 10 miles south of Lake Havasu City. Sticks of dynamite are used to persuade some of the toughest boulders to conform.

Political unrest sweeping the country some 2400 miles away does not dissuade renowned Arizona developer, Max Dunlap, from pushing forward with his plan. The change in presidency is a mere distraction if even that. After hearing the news on his car radio Max shakes his head. A Republican himself, he mutters to a friend what everyone is saying,

“Nixon didn’t cover his tracks!”

Mr. Dunlap is creating yet another residential and business complex along the Colorado River. The mover & shaker has six such projects under his belt. Max is a successful builder from Phoenix. He and wife Barbara are socialites and bigtime players in the Phoenix horse racing arena. As a close knit family, Max & Barb frequent newly-created Lake Havasu City often with their seven children.

Max’s latest endeavor consists of chiseling a main access road up rugged terrain to the very top of his mountain. To do so, he relies on switchbacks to traverse the steep slopes. At the mountain’s peak, a huge water tank will eventually be set in place to supply modular trailer homes and businesses with ample supplies of the precious liquid.

Max Dunlap unnamed project. Milepost 166 – State Highway 95.

View from top of the hill is spectacular and unobstructed. Looking west, blue green waters of Lake Havasu tastefully blend in with the rugged Buckskin Mountains of California. The Whitsett Pumping Station is easily seen. Three large suction straws at the facility head up then disappear into the mountains.

At the bottom of the planned community, alongside busy Highway 95, a gas station, convenience store, and laundromat will be constructed. Plans are to tap into the constant flow of traffic traveling through the area, by building an RV park on the lake side of 95. Flocks of snowbirds converge on the picturesque ground in winter months, with Max Dunlap calculating that all his spaces will be filled.

An official name for the project is yet to be announced, but Max has one in mind. It will be unique like all the others. The legal description for this one-mile-square parcel of land is Rabinowitz Section.

Purchase price for the property is $500,000.00.  Max obtains funding from long-time Arizona businessman and politician Kemper Marley Sr. The gruff-talking Dunlap borrows another 1.5 million from Marley for grading and improvements. Marley and Dunlap are like father/son. They fully trust one another.

Years previous, Max built a similar complex a few miles north of Parker. It too sits on a mountain. In partnership with Phoenix investor Robert D. Flori, the two entrepreneurs created Lake Moovalya Keys near the Parker Dam. The project became a huge success aesthetically and financially.

Havasu Garden Estates in Lake Havasu City was also developed by Dunlap through his firm, Garden View Development. Things didn’t go as well there. Lot sales were initially slow at the start. Max Dunlap is definitely not the type of person to rest on his laurels. His fingers are much like “Tricky Dick’s”. They’re into everything.

On June 2, 1976 at 11:34 a.m., Max Dunlap’s lucrative world literally falls apart. That’s the day Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles’ car blew up. Dynamite strapped to the underneath of the 1976 Datsun 710 detonated, as Bolles slowly backed away from the Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix.

Don Bolles had been summoned to attend a meeting that never took place. It was a planned setup. The savvy newspaperman succumbed to major injuries 11 days later on June 13th. leaving behind a wife and seven children.

Bolles’ tragic story went global. Politicians from President Ford to Phoenix city councilmen vowed to find his killer. Investigative work by law enforcement began before the explosion dust settled. Several key names popped up over the following days and weeks. Max Anderson Dunlap was one of them.


I have to cut to the chase at this point. There’s a literary mountain of court documents on Don Bolles’ murder investigation. Page after page of records, hearings, witnesses, and testimony; enough to fill a year’s worth of Sunday newspapers.


Max Dunlap was eventually convicted for ordering the hit on Don Bolles. He was sentenced to die. A judge later changed Dunlap’s verdict to life imprisonment. Max died in prison July 21, 2009 at the age of 80. To his last breath, he maintained innocence of any wrongdoing.

There were several other players in this crime besides Dunlap. I’ll mention the top three:

In a plea bargain, John Adamson admitted to placing the dynamite under Bolles’ Datsun. During his testimony, it came out that John Adamson flew to Lake Havasu City 12 hours after the explosion. He stayed at Rodeway Inn with his wife.

Records show that Max Dunlap made several phone calls to the Rodeway Inn during this time. What was discussed on those calls changed each and every time Dunlap was questioned.

The information spilled by John Adamson was most damaging to Max. Because he agreed to talk, Adamson was sentenced to 20 years in prison instead of life. When John Adamson was released he disappeared from sight under the federal witness protection plan. A short time later he elected to forego such. Adamson died at an undisclosed location in 2002.

James Robison was convicted of helping John Adamson trigger the bomb. He was later acquitted. Robison eventually plead guilty on trying to have John Adamson killed. James Robison, like Max Dunlap, was upset that Adamson had squealed. He was sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to have Adamson rubbed out. Mr. Robison was released from prison in 1998. He relocated to California eventually dying there in 2013.

High profile Phoenix businessman Kemper Marley Sr. was looked at from all directions. Authorities could never find enough hard evidence to lock the guy up. He was a rich and powerful man. Hiring the best lawyers was no problem for Marley.

The reasoning behind Don Bolles’ death allegedly hinges on the reporter’s detailed investigative prowess. Over the years, Bolles uncovered many unscrupulous deeds related to people in high places. His investigative tenacity knocked some folks off their high horse. Because of such he quickly developed enemies.

It was thought by many that Don Bolles was hot on the trail of another case involving politicians and mobsters. This corruption supposedly went all the way to Washington. What valuable information Bolles had was sadly taken to the grave.

Next time you drive to Parker from Lake Havasu City, look to your left near Milepost 166. You’ll see the rock mountain that Max Dunlap lay claim to. It’s extensively chiseled and shaped from heavy equipment and explosives, with roadway and home sites clearly visible. Most people erroneously believe there was mining activity at this locale.

Yellow pin is labeled ‘Defunct Development’. A fitting title.


The mountain is permanently scarred like Don Bolles’ car. Dunlap’s project came to a grinding halt before he went to the slammer. Legal fees drained the man. Stress took a toll on him physically and mentally.

Snowbirds now use this vacated property in winter months to park their RV’s. Most are totally unaware of the tarnished history behind their squatter’s oasis.

Interestingly enough, Mohave County tax records show the land now belongs to the State of Arizona. Mohave County tax number is 101-44-001 for those wanting to check.

Perhaps someday another developer full of zest and determination will finish what Max Dunlap started. Part of the stipulation in the state selling this land, should be that Don Bolles name permanently be attached to it.

The small mountain could geographically be called Bolles Vista. That would be fitting testament to Don’s life and career. His name etched forever into ground formerly owned by one of the killers.

For the time being this large plot of real estate continues to sit battered and scarred, labeled by those in the know, as tainted ground.

* Some people still believe that Max Dunlap was innocent. Two different juries of his peers saw things different and that’s what counts. Max Dunlap went to prison, while Kemper Marley Sr. avoided steel bars. It was rumored that Marley was the kingpin behind Bolles’ murder, yet there was never enough evidence to prosecute him. Kemper Marley continued to do business as usual until he died in 1990.

An excellent book on the Don Bolles’ murder is available for online reading. It’s titled, “The Arizona Project” by Michael F. Wentland. I highly recommend reading Wentland’s story. If anything, do it for Don Bolles’ memory!

Max Anderson Dunlap