The Story of Show Low

Catron Courier - - Front Page - by Sam Palah­nuk

On the Mo­gol­lon Rim in east cen­tral Ari­zona, at 6,345 feet, is a town with an un­usual name—Show Low, which was es­tab­lished in 1870.

Liv­ing among the lush, green Pon­derosa forest­land, early set­tlers Co­ry­don E. Coo­ley and Mar­ion Clark were equal part­ners in a 100,000-acre ranch. For rea­sons lost to his­tory, the part­ners one day de­ter­mined there was not enough room for both of them on their mas­sive ranch, so they agreed to set­tle the is­sue with a gen­tle­manly game of poker rather than gun­play. They agreed on a game of “Seven Up” (also known as “Manila”, a pop­u­lar game in the days of the Old West), with the win­ner tak­ing the ranch and the loser leav­ing for­ever.

Af­ter hours of play, the game seemed to have no clear win­ner in sight. Des­per­ate for a res­o­lu­tion, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." In re­sponse, Coo­ley turned up the deuce of clubs (the low­est pos­si­ble card) and replied, "Show low it is." Mar­ion Clark lost his share of the land, his build­ings and his cat­tle and moved far away. Coo­ley named the set­tle­ment that grew up near his ranch, Show Low, in honor of the now-fa­mous card game. The main street in thriv­ing Show Low to­day is called the Deuce of Clubs. And to this day, when­ever there is a runoff for mayor, the is­sue is set­tled by the two po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents sit­ting down with a deck of cards. The first to draw the deuce of clubs is mayor for the next term.

Restau­rants in­clude Mex­i­can, Ja­panese, Thai, steak houses and plenty of good ol’ classic Amer­i­can fare.

The scenic White Moun­tains and Mo­gol­lon Rim are also nearby for campers and fish­er­men. Ari­zona's only cov­ered bridge is lo­cated in Pinedale, 15 miles west of Show Low. Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and Zuni In­dian Reser­va­tions are close by. The city has a in­door aquatic cen­ter, and five 18hole golf courses. Boat­ing and fish­ing and other wa­ter sports are avail­able at near- by Rain­bow Lake, Show Low Lake, White Mountain Lake, and Fools Hol­low Lake. Snow ski­ing is avail­able at Sun­rise Park Re­sort on the White Mountain Apache In­dian Reser­va­tion.

Show Low is fa­mous for more than it’s name. Ac­tor Dan Deublein from the tele­vi­sion series Bev­erly Hills, 90210 was born in Show Low, as was Travis Walton, the al­leged UFO ab­ductee and main char­ac­ter of the movie “Fire in the Sky”. Ge­orge Takei, the ac­tor made fa­mous by the classic TV series Star Trek owns a va­ca­tion home in Show Low. ◊●◊

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