On our first day in the Sedona area we decided to drive to the Toyota shop in Prescott. The new key cost 106 dollars. To get to Prescott from Cottonwood you have to go though Jerome. Jerome was a fabulous source of gold, silver and copper at the turn of the century but became a mining ghost town in the 1950s. The hippies moved in and salvaged it. Today it has 30 art galleries and attracts tourists from afar. Imagine my delight to find this hippie VW van.
" I do what rice krispies tell me to do"
"Thanks for honking, now piss off"
"Don't make me release the flying monkeys"
"I'm already against the next war"
"Well behaved women rarely make history"
" Honk if you've had sex with the President"
"So many men, so little reason to sleep with any of them"
"Hang up and DRIVE"
"I'll try being nicer, if you try being smarter"
"If Voting Really worked it would be illegal"
"Sometimes I wake up Grouchy. Other times I let him sleep"
"Don't steal the government"
"Have you ruined your day yet?
"shut your mouth, open your mind"
"Drugs lead nowhere, but it's the scenic route"
"You can't be first, but you can be next"
"Please tailgate, I need the money"
"Grow your own dope, plant a man"
"If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk"
Anyway, Jerome has become a thriving hippie artist town with open mics, restaurants, wineries and stores that sell tourists $500 kaleidoscopes.
Back in the day, Jerome was named the most wicked town in the west. The miners were entitled to one free weekly visit to the "Cribs" and the ladies received free medical care and inspections. The volume was about 80 customers per night per lady and the price ranged from one dollar to 25 cents. Gambling and saloons were very profitable enterprises.
Starting in May 1917 there was a series of miners strikes, in part organized by the Wobblies or Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Armed agents of the mine owners roughly rounded up all the suspected labor union organizers and unionized miners, forced them on to railroad cattle cars, and shipped them out of town, letting them out on 12 July near Kingman, Arizona. They were warned to stay away from Jerome on threat of death. This event is known as the Jerome Deportation. Later that year, the Phelps Dodge Corporation shipped out about 1,000 workers from Bisbee, Arizona to New Mexico, an event known as the Bisbee Deportation.
Jerome is at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The town and houses are built on steep hillsides that reminded us both of Positano, Italy.
Today the town offers $300 wind mobiles. fine clothing and art to well-heeled tourists.