Mar 102024

In one of my earlier posts about my small town newspaper days, I mentioned a fellow named Ed, who lived in the infamous East of Snowflake area in northern Arizona. Ed was the man who wanted me to send an undercover reporter out to his property because a UFO had landed and little aliens were running around the place.

Ed was well known in that area for his massive “diamonds.” Anybody who knew Ed knew about his diamonds, and he was always eager to show them to you. They were actually large crystals, something found quite often in that part of the country. But don’t waste your breath trying to tell Ed that. He knew his were not crystals, they were diamonds. His theory was that the engines of the spaceships that frequently visited his property generated such massive heat as they took offthat they super-heated the sand and formed diamonds. He just knew he was a millionaire with his outer space gemstones, and everybody else just kind of shrugged it off because that was Ed.

When Terry and I first met, she was running a commercial glass shop that did everything from residential windows and storefronts to automotive glass, and she advertised in my weekly newspaper. It was always amazing how quickly she could swap out the windshield on something. When the snowplows got a cracked or broken windshield, they were off the road until it was replaced, so those drivers didn’t have time to waste. They would come into her place, where she always kept several of the right sized windshields in stock and ask for one of the guys to replace it. Terry would send them to the back shop, and while they were looking for a man to come out and replace the broken windshield, she would have already climbed up onto the hood and swapped them out and was ready to hand them their invoice when they wandered back to the office.

She was also known among the local collector car crowd because she had enough contacts that she could find a windshield for anything from a 1949 Ford to a Model T, an old Chevy coupe, or a 1960s era muscle car, and she could cut flat glass windows to fit by hand.

Ed had a beautiful old 1958 Ford pickup truck with the old wrap around windshield that he acquired somewhere, and he was always stopping in at Terry’s shop because he knew she liked crystals and he always wanted to show her his diamonds. One day, when someone told him that he didn’t have diamonds, just crystals, Ed decided to prove them wrong. He walked over to the windshield of his pickup and started hammering on it with one of the fist-sized crystals, scratching and leaving chips all over the windshield and then turned triumphantly, saying, “See, only diamonds can cut glass!”

As far as I know, the Diamond King from East of Snowflake is still wandering around out there, finding more diamonds and just waiting for the right person to come along so he can strike it rich.

Today is your last chance to enter our latest Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake mystery series. It’s deer season and the mountains around Big Lake are filled with trophy hunters. But deer aren’t the only things being stalked. When Emma Moyer, Big Lake’s resident environmental activist, disrupts a guided hunt, it leads to a deadly confrontation. Now Sheriff Jim Weber has to find a killer from a list of suspects that include angry hunters, land developers, business owners, estranged family members, and others that Emma has crossed over the years. And all the while, a perilous winter storm is sweeping across the mountains, hampering his investigation and hiding secrets.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – Do something nice for someone today. Leave them alone.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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