My kind of town....Quirksite, AZ

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ahhh, I think I am falling in love with Quartzsite or Quirksite as we renamed it today. I went to breakfast (that became lunch due to the long wait) with three lady rider friends. Two of them live locally, one in Sun City; two used to RV, one still does. Time passed quickly as we caught up as we waited and then ate. After that they took me on a tour of the area.

The first stop was the Reader's Oasis owned by Paul Winer. The store is new but not the merchandise. It's well stocked with magazines, books, and an assortment of music & video selections....all used and there are several spots you can pick up something free (books, magazines). For me the biggest thrill was finding an old issue of RV Companion magazine. I was a part-time columnist, initially covering health topics (Healthy Trails) and later on topics interesting Baby Boomers (like motorcycling). I also designed and maintained their website. One of the issues featured Quartzsite and had my column covering the March of Dimes Bikers for Babies charity run in Ft Pierce, FL.

Now Paul is not your average bookstore owner....not by a long shot. In fact Paul is probably world famous....for being the Naked Bookseller. He typically wears three socks, loosely defined. On really cold days he might have a long sleeved shirt or jacket as well. I had seen several photos in blogs lately, all featuring the blog owner with Paul. The first one had him wearing three red socks. Well, today was mesh day....oh yeah! Needless to say I had to get my picture taken with Paul as did my friend from Sun City. (Don't enlarge the photo if you are easily offended....)

While it's fun to talk about the quirky side of Paul, he does have another more serious side. In 1995 Paul and his wife Joanne lost their daughter Celia at age 8 1/2. Joanne calls Celia her miracle baby....first because she was conceive and second because she survived a birth weight of 1 1/4 pounds and 12" long.

After Celia's death, Paul and Joanne wanted to do something to give back to the community that helped them, a community that Celia loved. They petitioned the town for an area where they could establish a botanical garden in Celia's memory. They worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality and today it stands as a loving memorial to not only Celia from her parents, but from many others. Joanne says it best, "What started out as a small nature trail has grown over the past 6 years into a mosaic of beauty, like a patchwork quilt made by many loving hands and hearts."

Here are just a few of the photos I took there....there are memorials to family, friends, other loved ones including pets. Quite a moving experience. There is also a little miniature old west town, Adamsville, and other items of historical interest.

I hope you will take the time to read the full story behind Celia's Rainbow Garden and visit it when you are in Quartzsite.

For those who wonder how long I will be here, I am moving to the Desert Pueblo RV Park in Bouse this Wednesday morning. I'll be there a week before going back to Augie's Quail Trail RV Park in Gila Bend for another week.

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. You oughta' submit your pics of Celia's Garden to the website - they're much more flattering!! Maybe we should place a Michael Garman there in honor of dad? And the pic of Celia's dad isn't that bad, you can't see anything. I thought it was quite modest for a self-proclaimed nudist. ;)

  2. You did meet Paul. I haven't yet seen his new building but am sure it is a lot better than the old tarp covered one that gave so many problems when the rare rains came.

    Have you tried Silly Al's Pizza or the Texas BBQ? I guess they are both still in business and we always enjoyed Mark's Family Diner which is near the post office.

    I don't think I'll get to spend much time in Q on our trip next month but do think I want to stop & spend a little time there. It has a lot of good memories for me.


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