Thursday, March 3, 2011


“Good bye God, we’re going to Bodie”
“Good! By God, we’re going to Bodie”
The legendary quote of a little girl when told she was moving to the infamous town of western lore, and the town’s retort. Most likely the line was made up in the press.

USC digital archives photo

In retrospect, the decision in the late ‘70’s to move full time to the Eastern Sierras, play music and live the ski lifestyle, avoiding the ‘real’ music business was still a good one. It’s best to front load retirement. On the gig and in the nightly round of quotes and toasts was; “Ya know, 100 years ago Bodie had 10,000 people, a tile bar that doubled as a urinal, a cord of wood was as much as it is today, and cocaine for the horses was two dollars a pound.” This served as a launch into one of the songs about the substance. Following that and bringing it back home to the region was usually ‘Darcy Farrow,’ the much recorded Steve Gillette – Tom Campbell piece of tragic folklore of a girl’s death and lover’s suicide that was actually based on a not so threatening injury to Steve’s younger sister, Darcy, from a horse. Ah yes, and the night Steve’s dad, George the attorney, got the opportunity he’d waited years for. Yours truly was playing the tune for George at the Mammoth Lakes bar with a ski dude and bunny wedged in between at a two top next to the riser ‘stage’. Overheard from ski dude to ski bunny: “Yeah, that’s a true story…took place a hundred years ago…back when cocaine was…..” George had his moment and with the stagecraft of a Daniel Webster closing argument he lavished forth the facts of his son and daughter like and nothing remained of ski dude but a bar bill and a bandana.  

Though it is best to leave the details of Bodie’s past fine historical points to those dedicated to the task, it can be generally stated that due to high altitude, extreme wind and cold, and barren terrain, that water and wood were fightin’ issues.  

God pulled out all the stops for the route along US 395 from Tom’s Place to Walker River and one could surmise that when extra material was needed for architectural splendor, it was quarried from Bodie and its immediate vicinity.

Photo from the ‘secret’ campground near Bodie to the west. The clue is Bogey and Bacall in this area.

Photos were taken July 15, 1981 with a Canon AE-1

Plaque inscription: NO. 341 BODIE - Gold was discovered here in 1859 by Wm. S. Bodey, after whom the town was named, and the town became the most thriving metropolis of the Mono country. Bodie's mines produced gold valued at more than 100 million dollars. Today a state park, Bodie is one of the best known of the west's 'ghost towns.'
Location: Bodie State Historic Park, on
State Hwy
270, 12.8 mi E of
State Hwy
395 (P.M. 69.8), 19.8 mi SE of Bridgeport, Mono County
Google maps: 38.213637,-119.015493

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