Saturday, March 10, 2012

BINGHAM LOPEZ POEM


LOPEZ —FACT OR LEGEND
By John J. Creedon
  IN BINGHAM AT THE MINE

A Mexican vaquero, turned miner for a change,
Was digging for a living amid the Oquirrh range.
Discarding drill and shovel one bright October morn,
He hied him down the canyon and filled his skin with corn.
With rude outcry and warwhoop, he built a scarlet haze
About the town of Bingham and got his thirty days.
Emerging from his prison, he swore a mighty swear,
Announcing he was wolflike, and also a bear;
He called the State’s chief witness the Spanish word for swine,
And shot him there in Bingham, in Bingham at the Mine.

Next seized a brace of sweater, his pistol and some shoes
Retained his trusty rifle, his cigarettes and booze,
And beat it o’er the mountains, until at break of day
Fair Utah Lake and Valley at peace before him lay.
He got a bite of breakfast at a rancher’s humble shack,
Then busted up a posse that came to take him back.
When word of this reached Bingham, it made an awful noise;
They telephoned to Andy and Andy called the boys.
With megaphone and banner, with sign and countersign,
They sought the Mex from Bingham, from Bingham where they mine.

They chased around the foothills, they rambled o’er the plain,
With theories outpouring from many a fertile brain;
They searched the brush and gullies, they scrutinized the flat;
They photographed the footprints in places he’d been at;
They found where he had eaten; they saw where he had slept;
They heard his voice in greeting from heights to which he’d crept.
They’d bulletins from Fairfield, from Stockton and elsewhere,
But when they went to get him; he simply wasn’t there.
They sought him, without pausing–except to rest and dine—
When hark! “He’s back in Bingham! At Bingham in the Mine!”

Posthaste they tore for Bingham, that fearless, footsore crew,
Put guards at all the exits–except just one or two—
Some said he wasn’t in there; were sure he couldn’t be
Because the tale was given by a son of Italy.
Inside reports convinced them; the doubters ceased to doubt
And all began to figure on ways to get him out.
Some voted for starvation; and then the Sheriff spoke:
Villa's soldiers
Said he: “Go on your crazy! The only thing is smoke!
We’ll close up all the exits; we’ll burn incense and pine
And get this guy at Bingham, at Bingham in the Mine.

Forthwith they sealed the exits—except just one or two—
With bulkheads and with blockheads; they had a lot to do.
They piled up ash and cedar and mountain fir and oak,
They added oil and powder to a mighty smoke.
Formaldehyde and sulphur they placed upon each pile,
Then sent for grub and bedding and waited quite a while.
The fumes, they said would enter each raise and drift and stope
And make that Mex surrender or perish in the dope.
The fires smoked on bravely in tunnel and incline,
For days they smoked at Bingham at Bingham in the mine.
Pancho Villa-- General and Governor
Outside, the press was smoking, and what it smoked was hop;
The patient readers suffered and prayed for it to stop.
Came then at last a warning: “Mine opens up today”!
Brave volunteers will enter when the fumes have cleared away!
With bated breath a nation, all anxious for the news,
In spirit traveled with them in search for Mex or clues.
They scrambled up the ladders, thru cross-cut and through winze;
They fell down shafts, and boulders made bruises on their shins;
They found some ancient blankets, some candles and some twine–
But found no Mex at Bingham, at Bingham in the Mine.


Goshen Valley History      by Raymond Steele

Lopez   Quite awhile after the hunt had simmered down, a Mexican named, Morris Valdez, staying at the McIntyre summer ranch, told Sherrif  Henroid that Raphael Lopez had stayed with him.  Valdez had not known that he was harboring a murderer and a fugitive.  And away to Mexico he went.
Pancho Villa was Mexico's famous Revolutionary Generals who appointed himself the Provisional Governor of Northern Mexico.  He was quite popular with the people and maintained his hold for ten years.  There are many rumors of Lopez becoming one of his soldiers.
Lopez was wrongly arrested by the sheriff and later kicked by him while in custody.  Lopez swore he would kill him and he did.   



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