Tag Archives: anniversary

A Happy Haunted Anniversary

IMG_0641For our forty-sixth anniversary, Craig and I went to Jerome, Arizona for a night’s stay in the Connor Hotel. We had been advised that room 12 was their most popular room, so we requested it. It is decorated with antique furniture and a wonderfully comfortable king-sized bed. We found a cold bottle of champagne and a spice cake waiting for us in our room as an anniversary gift from the hotel.

For those of you who are not familiar, the town of Jerome literally hangs on the side of Mingus Mountain looking down on the Verde Valley. It began as a mining town in the late 19th century.  Soon great deposits of gold, silver and copper were discovered and Jerome became a boom town–growing from a tent city to a population of 15,000 by the 1920’s. Jerome was known as “Wicked City” due to the great number of saloons, gambling establishments and houses of ill-repute. During that time, the natural and human resources were exploited by greedy men who became instant millionaires.  When the mines closed in 1953, the population dropped to just fifty–earning Jerome the title “Ghost Town.”

Labeling a place a ghost town sparks the imagination and tends to make one’s mind susceptible to the powers of suggestion. Still, most of the residents of Jerome and many of its visitors have their own scary stories to tell. The Hotel Connor, for example, is said to be  IMG_0640 Haunted by Mr. Connor, the original owner. There are stories of people hearing laughter, parties, and things moving around.  Craig and I did not encounter any spirits I’m happy to say, but we did have an experience that left me wondering. After spending the night in our hotel room, we were getting ready to go for breakfast. All dressed, Craig was still without his shoes. I searched the room from top to bottom–even in unusual places like the microwave and refrigerator. I looked again and again in the closet, under the bed and under all the furniture. There were two large chairs in the room. After looking under them many times, I picked up each chair and moved it–still no shoes. Not sure what to do next, I was in the bathroom when I said, “Maybe a ghost got them.” I walked back in the room and there they were under the chair–the same chair where Craig is sitting in the picture above.

After breakfast, we went on a walking tour of Jerome. When I related the story of the missing shoes to our guide, he said, “I know which room you were in.” Then he told us about a man who put his wallet on a night stand. When he was ready to leave, his wallet was missing. After looking for it everywhere, he finally found it under a chair. Apparently ghosts like to play tricks on people. Maybe it’s just their way of making themselves known. I’m still not sure I believe in ghosts, but it was enough to make me keep an open mind.


Celebrating forty-five years together

me and you looking goodForty-five years ago on this day, August 1, 1970, Craig and I were married. In honor of our time together, I am posting this poem I wrote several years ago.



Of All the Men in My Life

by Rosemary Heddens

I think of him often—

That young man I married so many years ago.

Quiet, a little awkward,

But so certain he knew where he was going,

And so determined to get there,

A man with enough dreams to last a lifetime.


From time to time, I see him—

In a shy smile,

In a crinkled brow when he is deep in thought.


Now an older man has taken his place—

Strong and tender,

Rugged and soft.

He has made his place in the world,

Confident, contented with his life,

He does not mourn for unattained goals,

But holds fast to those dreams that still remain.


I wonder at the thrill I still feel

From the touch of this man

With whom I have spent

More than half of my life.


Little by little, I see another man emerge—

A man with less urgency in his step,

Wanting to be at home with his family,

More salt than pepper in his hair now,

Wearing glasses as he reads the evening paper.


I must confess a certain excitement

When I consider getting to know

The man who will share my remaining years.

He will be like the others in so many ways,

And yet different and new.


A younger friend asks me

Whether I have ever found my life dull

Married to the same man for so many years.

I smile and shrug, unsure what to say,

Unable to tell her of all the men in my life,

And how I’ve loved each one.