MONDAY 11-26-2012 - Lots of stories to discuss today, fiscal cliff, your calls!

Nov 23, 2012 -- 8:17pm

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Was poking around You Tube, looking for one of my all-time favorite TV ads...the "Dancing Rooster and Chicken" spots for the Denny's Restaurant chain. (Set to the Miracles' "Love Machine")

As much as I laughed at seeing the ad, my jaw dropped when I saw the "Grand Slam" breakfast price - $2.99. $2.99 for a full sit-down breakfast 14 years ago. Today that sets you back 6 bucks or more.  Such is the insidious nature of central-bank-created inflation. A little bit at a time, 2, 3, 4 percent or so per year. It doesn't sound so bad, until you see it over a decade.

While the cost of a grand slam doubled in 14 years, what happened to the typical American's wage? It's not a perfect match, but I found Oregon per capita income stats, which  in 1995 indicates an average percapita income or $22,668. In 2010, per capita income rose to $37,095 (source).

Income goes up 63%, while the price of a Grand Slam is up somewhere north of 100%. It's no wonder American's feel like they're not keeping up.

But there's minimal inflation - Ben Bernanke says so.


8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers (visit his site), with "Visiting Past and Present" - We explore Golden, OR!

The Golden Ghost Town of the Valley

By Dennis Powers


Near forgotten and desolate, the ghost town of Golden lies a few miles east of Wolf Creek. Its weathered brown, old clapboard structures stand in mute testimony to a long-ago era. At its peak in the late 19th Century, the town originally known as “Goldville” was home to 150 people--of which 1/3rd were placer mining--and deriving their income from the gold brought out of Coyote Creek that was directly across from the settlement. 


Prospectors had worked the creek since the 1850s, but it took the Reverend William Ruble and his wife Ruth to found the town in 1890. Ruble had purchased nearly all of the mining claims east and west of Golden; his sons, Schuyler and William, mined the shallow ground and leased the deep portions of the creek to other miners.


The town sprung up with a general store, post office, homes, two churches, and other wooden, thin buildings. Owing to the activity, the Oregon-California Stage Company detoured there to deliver mail, passengers, and goods; and the town was a center for miners who didn’t live there but worked the surrounding area. With religion a main theme, no saloons were allowed; imbibers headed to nearby Wolf Creek where they built a dance hall. The church-minding folks also were there to picket the hall and its rowdiness.


The miners worked the deposits until the gold finally played out. By the 1930’s, the easy-to-mine gold was gone and the town rapidly declined. What’s left now is a deserted residence, the church, general store, carriage shed, and other structures, but the old buildings still exude their charm, including the church with its exquisite bell tower. The story, however, doesn’t end here. 


A minister’s son, Melvin Davis, built a 2,800-square-foot lodge in 1930 on four acres located one mile from the now deserted town; he moved an 1880s guest house and the historic school from Golden to there, and mined the nearby wetlands. An African-American--Mr. Ivan St. John--purchased the holdings in 1989 after the site had traded hands several times. St. John was a homeopathic doctor, trance medium, and alchemist who had co-founded the Philosopher’s Stone, an occult bookstore in San Francisco. (Alchemy is the “science” of turning base metals, such as lead, into gold or silver.)


When St. John sold out his bookstore interest in 1988, he bought the Davis property, known for its precious gold holdings. St. John died in 2005, but didn’t leave any known heirs. Under state law, Oregon holds the property for ten years and will try to sell it. If an heir doesn’t step forward, the Oregon Common School Fund gets the money--that is, if the tax folks don’t get involved for unpaid real property taxes. The town of Golden is in the National Register of Historic Properties. 


To see this nostalgic town, drive on Interstate 5-South to the Wolf Creek Exit, approximately 25-miles north of Grants Pass. Wind back to the right and drive up Coyote Creek Road for 3.5 miles through the forests. You’ll find the cluster of old buildings on the left; the mined Coyote Creek area is to the right and across the paved road. The small cemetery next to the church is believed to be from a scene from the TV series, Gunsmoke, with grave marker props interspersed with real ones. Believed by psychics to be inhabited by “residual and intelligent spirits,” Golden is one of the best--if not the best--mining-era ghost town that is easily accessible in Southern Oregon.     


See Stevenson, Roy. “Ghost Towns in Southern Oregon” at Stumbo, Stacy D. “Historic Property Goes to Auction.” Mail Tribune, September 13, 2012, p. 4A. For images of Golden, Oregon, see Gary Swanson’s site, Ghost Town of Golden Oregon; for excellent articles on ghost towns, gold, and Southern Oregon, see generally Kerby Jackson’s blog: “The Old West with Kerby Jackson” at        

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