The Mental Traveler

In 1981 I bought a drum in Santa Fe at the crafts market.  It was a ceramic, doumbek drum with a goatskin head, made by hippies from Bisbee, Arizona.  I kept the drum for years, eventually selling it to a young woman who saw my notice on the community board at our food coop.

I wondered about those drummers from Bisbee.  What sort of place was Bisbee, that they would call it home?

I never heard of Bisbee again until I discovered Betsy Thornton's Chloe Newcombe mysteries.  They caught my attention because the second book in the series, High Lonesome Road, is about the murder of a bookmobile driver, and has a wonderful dust jacket illustration.  They are set in the fictional town of "Dudley", but it's obvious that it's really Bisbee.  Chloe Newcombe is a Victim Advocate for the Cochise County Attorney's Office, a position held in real life by the author.

In A Song For You, Thornton goes much deeper into the life of Bisbee than before:  its recent past as a haven for hippies and artists, and its makeover as an arty tourist destination.  You finish the book feeling you've lived there yourself for a little while.

I spent some time "Google Street-Viewing" around Bisbee, as I often do with books.  I found several murals near the Circle-K on Tombstone Canyon Road.  You can find better pictures of them by searching "Bisbee murals", but here are my Street-View snaps.

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