Our first trip to the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona came about after we braved the primitive Apache Trail and stayed at Judd’s Ranch for a weekend. When we told our friends, Ed and Pat Benedict, about our trip we were urged to travel a bit farther on our next vis- it and stay in Greer.
Ed (my neighbor at the Beatitudes now) and Pat were frequent summer visitors to Greer. The summer of 1966 Pat called to ask if we would be interested in using an August reservation they had made for a cabin in Greer, since they were unable to make the trip. We happily agreed.
Greer is a delightful hamlet with two forks of the Little Colorado River running through it. The cabin was a mile or so outside of Greer proper, surrounded by forest land — lush, green and gorgeous. We were pleased with it.
We didn’t do any fishing on that trip — just explored the area and enjoyed the cool weather.
Before leaving Greer we gathered information on rental cabins that were available in the town. On returning to Phoenix we called and made reservations for the following year--two weeks in Paradise. We returned every August for many years, ultimately purchasing the cabin we always rented so we and the kids could visit there more often.
John was Brooklyn born and bred. He did not know one end of a fishing pole from the other. He was also thrifty, not inclined to invest in equipment he might not enjoy using. So, being inventive, he improvised. He found a sturdy branch, wound some fishing line around it, attached a hook and bait and slowly twirled the branch allowing the line to unwind and drift down the stream.
One day, as we were fishing in the stream, along came Ed Benedict. He was the picture of a seasoned fisherman complete with fishing vest, hat adorned with lures, wading boots, creel, etc. And there sat John on the bank of the stream fishing with his branch and line.
“Any luck?” we asked Ed. Sadly, he opened his empty creel--he hadn’t a single fish. That was when John pulled his stringer out of the stream and proudly displayed five fat rainbow trout.
I don’t think Ed ever really forgave him.