Letter: If these walls could talk

Thank you Doug McMurdo, for that sentimental reminiscence (Oct. 14) about the more-or-less doomed county courthouse. I have connections to it, as my court-reporting father worked there for decades until he and his boss, Judge Langford, retired.

Now here is a connection with the past that very few know about, unless they happened to be listening to Richard Kaffenberger's radio talk show in Kingman, about a decade ago. (Richard went on to become city manager of Lake Havasu City.)

On this unforgettable morning, Richard was discussing the polygamous families in Colorado City, and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. People were calling in with their opinions about what should be done. For the morning radio show, it was business as usual. Then came that call from an elderly woman, her voice quivering with age.

She told about how, when she was a little girl, she was waiting outside for her parents, playing with her doll on the courthouse steps. Another little girl was playing nearby, and so the two of them came together to talk about their dolls, and perhaps why they were there.

Our caller was nonplussed (that's 1915 talk for "astonished"), when the other little girl, doll in hand, confided "Well, I'm just waiting out here while my husband appears before the judge."

The caller didn't know what to say or think. Her husband? Nothing about this made sense. A little girl, like herself, playing here with her doll - and claiming to have a husband!

She never forgot that experience, and as she finally grew to reach marriageable age herself, she began to understand. Colorado City had its own reputation, and by then she had a very special appreciation of exactly what it was.

I like Doug McMurdo's creative take on utilizing this old building; but sadly, one word in his treatise may end up being changed. The part where he says, "they'll come back and spend serious money for a new courthouse." I'm afraid that the word "spend" (acceptable), will translate into "borrow" (unacceptable) - an unjustified, unwarranted, and unearned windfall for some bank - at taxpayer expense.

Norman Swartz

Kingman