What Am I Gonna Be, When I Grow Up

If my great grandmother Vera Arnold “E” and grandmother, “her daughter” Jane Harvey aka Monna hadn’t planted in my head that I was gonna do great things then I don’t know who to blame. E told me as a kid, we was related to Jesse James somehow, she couldn’t remember how she said but we are. Of course, if that wouldn’t inspire a 10 yr old I don’t know what would. One of my kid things to do when going to grandmas, I would get out of the car, run towards the machine shed barking and howling to rally the troops, meanwhile Red, Annie and Rocky were right behind me just barking and howling as well because we was on the Big Hunt.

Those Pack Rats were ginormous in this shed, and my Great Granddad “Ted”, got a Huge kick out of this because I would knock down the rats nests from the rafters and the dogs would annihilate those monstrous Rats. One day after the big hunt, I came inside the house, while the troops got a drink and rested in the shade. E began to tell me story of a giant hotel that the stagecoach would actually pull in underneath the hotel to pick up and drop off its passengers. I then passed smooth out. I then was awoken to “time for supper”.

After eating I asked E to finish her story of this fantastic grand hotel, but instead it was evening and everyone decided to go to the Crossing for a family walk to find fossils. This is where the creek was very shallow, so’s whoever was driving could get to the other side to check cows. I didn’t know it at the time, but E would flip a quarter or two in this shallow water area and then tell me the story of a stagecoach that passed right through here back in the day. E then said that I better check the water and see if any of the passengers dropped anything when they stopped to water their horses.

Of course, I would find the quarters but not only quarters but these funny looking long round rocks with circles around them, called Crinoid Stems (fossils). This became known as “Creek Ninja Training.” I told her “I’m glad your my gma” and she would always respond with “you’re my little Treasure Hunter”

The Grand Hotel 

When E and I was just sitting on the creek bank fishing, cane pole in hand. She finally was able to tell me the story of this magnificent hotel. Three stories tall.  First floor was gambling tables, bar and a stage. Second floor was motel rooms.Third floor was reserved for the “Ladies of the Night” so to speak aka Living Quarters. E said that, Jesse James Gang was believed to have visited there as well as Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. E also said that a relative of ours had robbed the stagecoach before it arrived at this hotel and buried the strongbox in this area of the fancy hotel.

The next day we all loaded up in the car and E showed us where this Grand Hotel was. It was falling down, all the windows were busted out and boards were all over the place. We didn’t get to go in because E didn’t know who owned it now. It would be some Forty years later my Mom Tandy, Teresa (wife) and I would return to that spot with metal detectors, but that’s a whole other story.

Monna’s Expeditions

Consisted of visiting any and all museums that got in our path. We even hit the Dalton Gang Museum in Coffeyville Ks. We had several trips just walking rivers that were dry do to the lack of rain, hunting fossils. Monna and Wild Bill had their own library in there house. Treasure books, hunting and fishing magazines, fossil identification and western books. Monna and my biggest thing was seeing the newest Syfy movies out like the first Star Trek and Star Wars in the late 70’s and all other sequels that followed. When they bought their first metal detector, I was in awe. The 70’s Kansas Treasure Rush was on and I was smack dab in the middle of it. I thought at the time I had the koolest job in the world because I was the digger dude. Now you see why I was destine to be a Treasure Hunter.                                By Kelly Noeller

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