Mogollon News — Silver Creek Temperance Society


Twenty-six people attended the annual meeting of the Silver Creek Temperance Society. That is more than the resident population, let alone nondrinkers. And two of those present did appear to have been exhumed for the occasion.

Elvira Sonderfeld hosted the event, as usual. Her cooking undoubtedly drew the crowd. Everyone was on their best behavior too because liquor makes the bears ornery.

Perhaps some history is in order here: Elvira inherited the Mogollon Rooming House in the great flu epidemic of 1918. She was no relation to the previous owners. But when the epidemic struck, the Rooming House got turned into a hospital. Elvira, being an idealistic girl at the time, nursed the sick and dying.

By spring, Mogollon’s population was decimated. Only about seventy people died. However, that was enough to scare off several hundred more, including the previous owners of the Mogollon Rooming House. Elvira just stayed on.

Citizens who recovered from the flu remembered Elvira’s kindness and saw that her needs were met. When no one had asserted a claim to the Mogollon Rooming House by about 1930, someone got a deed drawn up in Elvira’s name.

By then, it actually was a rooming house again. Elvira’s cooking was already famous. When the population of Mogollon dropped off to nearly zero in the fifties though, there was no one to stay there with her - except the bears.

The Mogollon Rooming House is opposite the mouth of Dog Canyon, so named because people used to dump dead dogs there. Perhaps that is what attracted the bears.

When all the people left, Elvira got terribly lonely. Eventually, she just invited the bears in for company. So far as anyone can recall, they have been there since 1958.

The Silver Creek Temperance Society was well into dessert when someone noted that old Mortimer Walker was not present. It was soon ascertained that nobody had seen him in some time. So a delegation was formed to see that he was all right. There were twelve volunteers, including five bears. Mort lives on the shady side of the street, so he had to dig a tunnel through the snow to the mailbox sometime in November. However, we have been having something of a mild spell lately. Sure enough, with all the warm weather, the tunnel had collapsed. Everyone became quite concerned when they saw this and began to dig.

It was hard work for a bit, but before long the bears caught on to what was happening and pitched in. After that, everyone else just stood back. In no time flat, the bears were through that heavy, wet snow and in Mort’s door. There was one loud crash. And those five bears came hightailing it out of there and back up the street to Elvira’s faster than you would believe anything that big could move.

We heard old Mort holler, "Can’t a man hibernate in peace!" And the door slammed. So we knew he was all right. But no one could figure out what happened to the bears till somebody mentioned it the next day to one of the people who deliver the mail.

The response was a chuckle. "So that explains that last order. I wondered what he wanted with two pounds of cayenne."

Read more samples from the Mogollon News

The Silver Creek Temperance Society
The Balloon
Halley’s Comet
The Libyan Invasion
A Case of Religion

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