ANZIO Digital Copper King - Jerome, Arizona

by Christa Brunori.
Date: 15 February 2010

Jerome, Arizona is an ex-mining town in Yavapai County, Arizona, USA, it is just North of Phoenix. Though once a ghost town like other abandoned mining towns in the US, Jerome is seeing a second lease of life as an artist community and tourist attraction. Christa Brunori pays it a visit for LincsMag ...

Main Street of Jerome - Lincolnshire Magazine -

From afar, I look. With wonder and awe as the light dims into a magnificent shadow of the palest of pinks. In their purest form of fluff, clouds emerge, casting relief upon the mountains ridge, from the harsh rays of the days sun.

Perched below the shade, the street lights of Jerome, appear one by one. Soon to resemble a cluster of stars in the nearing nights’ sky. The town is near, yet it holds such character it seems a world of its own, watching over the valley.

In the distance behind me, laughter of children and the nuisance of dogs (both belonging to me) filled the silence. A breeze had arrived unexpectedly, yet had I paid more attention to the billowing of clouds, this would not surprise.

Photograph by Christa Brunori - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Every now and again it caught a lock of hair, pestering my face. Irritated, I pulled it away, uselessly tucking it behind my ears once more.

The wind, the sun, the coolness of the evening, force my mind to a dreamland at an ocean side. My mind drifts in the curiosity of, if or when I shall return to the other land, but as I look upon the hill where the copper town rests, I am reminded of the beauty afore me.

The one horse town may not be on a map of infinite scale, but it is the heart of a valley. Longing to pay my toll to the sitter and endure a much needed visit; instead I lean back in my place and know a night will come for my allowance of entry.

Days passed. One in particular had an ample amount of events in itself, which could have accounted for an additional eight days worth. Still, I counted only three. On the eve of that third day, the chance encounter in the once deemed, ‘ghost town,’ had arrived.

Dressed in my best, but to remain in the realm of casual, there was no stalling in the ignition of my car. Curious sounds leaked from under the hood, but I had no desire to acknowledge their true existence, for I would allow nothing to keep me from a much needed dose of fun.

View from Jerome, Arizona - Lincolnshire Magazine -

The Ride

A quarter of an hour later and through much anticipation, the first flickering light of the town gave way to my destination. The road, too narrow for even the thought of two husky vehicles passing one another.

Fortunately, my little sedan hugged each turn, imitating a sports car. As I accelerated through each winding corner, memories flood from a time of my youth. A 1964 ˝ Ford Mustang in the color of candy apple red, my fathers voice instructing, and my foot on the metal.

Back in the present, I instinctively clutch, drop to the appropriate gear, and tempt myself to push that little pedal on the right to speed daringly past the lawful limitation.

Just as that devilish little grin formed from my freshly glossed lips, I realized I had entered the front door of the town. Slowing my speed to a somewhat more appropriate number, I found myself greeted by the charm and history of what was once the Jerome High School.

Now housing a variety of artists; talents ranging from custom furniture, to fine art, to tailored garments. On either side of my modern day horse and carriage, rows of quaint houses nestle themselves deep into the soil of the hillside.

A little further past the first group of houses, a stone wall appears to be holding in the earth behind its seams. Blink too soon, and the opportunity is missed.

Heart and Soul of the Town

Wedged between a rock and an iron gate, quietly sits an antique truck. The make and model are unknown to me, for I have yet to take a closer look, but the guarantee of that little welcome is a comfort upon entry.

Copper King - Jerome, Arizona - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Squeezing past the residents vehicles, my Volkswagen and I approach the last blind turn upon arriving in the heart and soul of the town. By day it is flocked with visitors, curious of what is to be learned from the mining museum and whom might possibly call this hole in a mountain, home.

Inching my way past the stop sign, I spot a parking space that I know will please my car and myself. Not too steep a spot and close enough to my final destination that I do not fear damaging my stilettos on the mixture of gravel and uneven pavement.

The crisp mountain air leaked through the top of a rear window I had forgotten to close, giving the first indication a new season had arrived.

Sat in my parked car, I took a moment, observed the scene, and approached the lever on the door that allowed my entry into a new night of Jerome, Arizona. Strategically placing my feet one in front of the other, hoping my stride would quicken and fewer steps would be needed.

Along the path, historical structures await patiently and welcoming. In between their existing walls, a hollow slab mixed with this year's growth of weeds, draws my eye in its direction.

Gated to the public, I found myself wanting to slither between the iron rods and explore what intrigued. But only the smallest of rodents were granted allowance. Once a popular structure, now gone to the effects of flames.

The town was known for the many fires throughout its history. Carefully continuing to place my steps, focused, I move past the ruins.

The sound of music, bellowing laughter, and the hint of faces appear through the windows. Engaged at the curbside across the way, my eye upon the destination, the riveting light of the infamous double doors consumes me. Loyals and Spirits, welcoming.

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