We sit around the table talking about a plot of land in Kingston, AZ.
It’s about 9 acres and was purchased by Uncle Red Gibberson in 1930 as a “sight unseen” deal, a place for him and his wife to retire from the Bay Area. When Uncle Ray got really old, he gave the land to my grandfather Guido Degliatnoni and when he died, Guido gave the land to my father.
And now my dad wants to get rid of the land. First he contacts the local Indian Tribe, Fort Mohave Indians, leader Lisa Wayne and offers to make a gift of the land to the tribe. A white man giving land to Indians in 2012, that is a Wes Anderson movie plot if I’ve ever heard of one. But Wayne turns him down, says the tribe doesn’t want the land.
Who says “no” to free land? My mom says it’s because there’s a wash on 1/3 of the property, so it’s useless. Tells me I should save the $200 I would spend buying out my siblings and spend it on my kid’s education.
But my dad thinks Wayne and the Fort Mohave Indians must know something about the land, like a curse that makes it tainted.
Turns out Uncle Red was a mean drunk who used to be a cop in the Deep South. Uncle Red had notches on his gun to mark the black men he had killed. Maybe Lisa Wayne could see his ghost standing behind my dad at their meeting and didn’t want Uncle Red’s blood money land.
I just want a place to park my Westfalia when I get old and Kingston has such nice weather.
July 22, Dispatches from Lake Almanor