My sister Gena is here this week! With her she brought her adorable hubby Steve, the twinsies Allison and Emily, along with Michael who had gone home for a visit & is now back for the start of school at U.V.U. A visit by Aunt Gena is always eventful, full of laughter, long talks, card games, and contraband candy sneaked into the house by HERS-truly.
My mind is blank tonight as I try to think of a memory to share. I wanted to write that promised pioneer story but cannot find it in print anywhere in the family histories I have. I want to get the names and details correct so I will have to call my mother who has been traveling and get her to re-tell it to me!
It was Gena who came up with this idea for the memories are partially hers as well. I now present to you "The Monsters of Arizona".
Everyone who has been to Camp Geronimo for scout camp or Camp Lo Mia for girl's camp (both near Payson and Pine) has heard the legend of "Minnie Minnosa", or "The Hairy Lady". (shiver!) There are as many versions of her story as there are boys and girls who have told it. The story I heard goes like this...She lived on the Mogollon Rim of Arizona a looong time ago. One day she was away from home leaving her daughter Mona at the cabin alone. While she was gone the natives attacked and burned the cabin to the ground. Don't ask me where the husband and father was...he's not in the story! When Minnie returned from her errand she found her home destroyed and no sign of poor Mona. She went insane with grief and vowed to roam the Rim for eternity looking for Mona. She wanders the mountains at night wailing and crying Mona's name. She especially likes the Girl's Camp because she feels sure to find her there one day and will take her into her ice-cold arms and into the great beyond with her!!! (yikes)
At this point in the story telling a Jr. Counselor or Stake Camp Leader would ususally be heard outside of the cabin crying "Mo-n-aaaa...Mo-o-o-o-nnnnn-aaaa!" There would be scratching on the cabin walls and a well aimed flash light would reveal the hideous white face behind a mass of tangled hair! All of the first-year girls would then scream and some would cry. None of them would sleep that night!
There is also the story of the Mogollon Monster, a hideous beast, perhaps even a Bigfoot who feeds upon the Boy Scouts at Camp Geronimo over the ridge from Lo-Mia. The stories of scouts who had vanished, never to be seen again would curl any boy or girl's toes! The girls not only had to be worried about being mistaken for Mona but also had to be worried about the monster who might wander into the girl's camp by mistake. (Go Mogy! You eat the boys! Just don't come over here!). Oh, by the way, for you Non-Azironians (as my Dad would say) you pronounce Mogollon, Mo-gee-own, or as my Dad would also say, "Mog-o-log-on" just to make us crazy!
There are no known photos of Minnie or Old Mogy. If you google his name you get a lame-o picture of some guy in a Bigfoot suit! There are, however, plenty of testimonials from terrified young campers who have witnessed the horrors! How about you? Have you heard the legends? What's your version? For the Non-Zonies out there, do you have your own camp monster stories? Let me know!
Coming next week: The harrowing tales of home made monsters, designer monsters , if you will, created just for me and later my little sis as well! How I was terrorized by my own dear brothers with more Monsters of Arizona!!!!!