It’s worth the extra mile. Just a mile west off 395 on the road that eventually winds up going to Garlock, the Burro Shmidt tunnel and all points leading to Bakersfield, the still functioning mining town of Randsburg has architecturally stood still for over a hundred years as it awaits an ever-growing onslaught of photographers, car and motorcycle clubs, and those who seek unique bed & breakfasts.
In the late 1970’s, we’d pop over from Ridgecrest when playing music there in the off season from Mammoth to the general store’s soda fountain for what was arguably the best chocolate malt in the world. Cokes were made the soda fountain way as well. Back then the town wasn’t quite as quaint and tidy (relatively speaking) and there pesky eighty year old issues with 1872 mining claim laws and land ownership that kept the town in limbo for just about all of the 20th century.
Linn Gum’s son called the other day with the news his father had passed in April and that they were to use my song. ‘Randsburg Solution’ in his memorial in
After he joined the Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey as an Environment Scientist in 1983, he transferred to the Bureau of Land Management and served 33 years as a gold mine patent examiner, renewable energy specialist, where his crowning achievement was the “Randsburg Solution.” In 1997, after several years of long weekends and hard work, he brought the entire mining town of
THE RANDSBURG SOLUTION
Now the Fourth of July was underway, festivities were thorough
Spit watermelon seeds or the old dunk tank, or pet Cupcake the Burro
Old Hord Tipton from the BLM, ran up and said ‘Have you heard?”
A lone horseman rode into town, this mining town of
Chorus) In his duster coat and Stetson hat, down
Dismounted at the general store, hitched his horse, then said lowly
“I’ve come here to settle up things, I’m a settling institution
Got a deal to offer to you, ‘The Randsburg Solution’
I’m a hired gun folks that’s for sure, but my guns are made of paper
Gonna end up all these trespass claims, five hundred bucks an acre
Mining law is fickle thing, law of 1872
Stop mining and ya’ lose your home, and be a trespassing fool
Land patents from the BLM, we’re doing for the very first time
Just give your money to Nancy Alex, and sign on the bottom line
This compromise was well received, townfolk could start anew
Not the Old West we’re talkin’ about, it was 2002
Side notes to those days in the late ‘70’s of traipsing about the hills in and around Randsburg in ‘the Moose’ (’63 Willys 4WD station wagon) while playing Clancy’s Claim Company in Ridgecrest were that firstly, there were still a lot of miners working claims in what looked like the middle of nowhere, and didn’t think much of the Willys’ formidable off road capabilities. And secondly, Clancy’s Claim Company co-owner Frank’s old west reenactment of his own when he bought the Cocky Bull down in Adelanto. It was a ‘two rock escrow’. We stood in the dirt gravel parking in full western garb for the brief ceremony which consisted of the notarized documents were placed under one rock and the cash money 40 paces away placed under the second rock. Buyer and seller slowed walked to the middle and shook hands, completing the deal and picked up the goods at the opposite rock. Hmmm, if this transaction were to be used more often, this country might find itself in much better financial shape.
This is the last dispatch for the 1993 southbound trip from
The Yellow Aster, or Rand, mine was discovered in April, 1895 by Singleton, Burcham and Mooers.The town of