rWMttMiONHMMO !3.1976 Grizzly, Old Prospector Strikes It Poor [AftrrwiJ With Pick And Shovel, Old Ben Looks Into The Setting Sun By CHAILE8 HOUNCti (C) lf?Â« Tkc LM AifÂ»ki TlM* Â· MT. E A T O N , CÂ»W. - E v e r y prospector worth his salt hopes someday to Find a glory hole and strike it rich. Not Old Ben. "OUt Or NV djÂ£gjjiÂ«s is full of gold. But I ain't interested in it," insists the skinny, tcraggly Â· whiskered. 72 Â· year Â· old hard Â· rock miner. "1 keep encountering a rich vein. But I keep covering it up to keep it from being found." Old Ben says he keeps burying his find. "Ain't never had no money all my livelong days. And 1 ain't got enough Ume left to mess with it now" the old prospector says. "IF I DID pull those riches out of the ground I could never lay down to sleep at night without worrying myself sick about it. Season's Hurricanes 'Missing' M r A M I ( A P ) Television stations are broadcasting hurricane s u r v i v a l hints; hardware retailers are advertising hurricane slorra shutters; weather forecasters are t r a n s m i t t i n g hurricane advisories. But something is missing -- hurricanes. ; The tropics have been unusually quiet this year, and there has been no sign of storm activity since the hurricane season began J u n e 1. The s e a s o n officially ends Nov. X. D a i l y tropical weather a d v i s o r i e s issued by forecasters for residents of the hurricane-conscious East and Gulf coasts have been monotonously similar to the brief one sent Tues- d a y : " C o n d i t i o n s are u n f a v o r a b l e for tropical s t o r m d e v e l o p m e n t through Wednesday." "We're thankful that it is quiet," said Neil Frank, director of the National Hurricane Center. "When things begin to happen, they can happen rather quickly." Almost no one who has been through a hurricane looks forward to another one, but some retailers would not mind a good scare or two. "ft has certainly slowed sales down," said Ken Bauth, a Hollywood, Fla.. distributor of storm and security shutters. "When people hear about storms, they become more apt to purchase shutters. " A l l y o u need t o stimulate business Is to know that a couple of storms are brewing." he said. "I'm not wishing for trouble, but it helps." By this date last year, t h e r e h a d b e e n two tropical storms, one of which developed into a hurricane, and five lesser weather systems known as depressions. A system is defined as a depression when it carries surface wind circulation of around 25 miles per hour; when winds exceed 39 m.p.h. it becomes a tropical storm, and only when winds top 74 m.p.h. is it classified as a hurricane. H u r r i c a n e forecaster John Hope said so far this s e a s o n a t m o s p h e r i c c o n d i t i o n s h a v e been unsuitable for development of tropical storms. "A high-pressure ridge has been a little more southerly (ban usual and that seems to be affecting things," he said. "It's unusual that we wouldn't have a depression by now." But forecasters warn Ihe current lack of activity is no indication what might h a p p e n b e f o r e I h e h u r r i c a n e season ends Nov. 30. "July has historically been a quiet month," said Frank. "Mother nature sets it up somehow that if you get an early slorm. you're more likely to gel it in June than in July. Then, into August, you pick up the heart of the season. We don't really breathe easy around here until we get to Oct. 15." WELLS ON MARCH A r m y P f c . Audie L. W e l l s , 20. of Klwood, participated June 10 in a 25-mile road march at rl Benning, Ga. A son of Mrs. Sandy Wells of 250S N. A St., and a 1374 graduate of Elwood Community High School, he is a truck driver w i t h 4 3 r d E n g i n e e r B a t t a l i o n of the 36th Engineer Group. He took his basic training al Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. His father, Waldo L. Wells, lives on N. 12th Street, Elwood. "The word would gÂ«t out and somebody'd be up here breaking down my doors to get it." Old Ben Fullinjim's prospector's camp is perched on the rim of a mountaintop 10 miles up Mt. Elton from the tiny Mother Lode hamlet of T u o l u m m e . For many years a woodchopper on the mountain, he now receives an old Â· age pension. "A1NT 1 Ll'CKV I don't sleepwalk," snorted the grizzled prospector, shovel and pick over his left shoulder as he walked into camp from his diggings. It's 1.500 feet straight down from Old Ben's f o u r shacks and observation platform. / Uke clockwork every day of the year the hermit prospector raises Old Glory a t s u n u p f r o m h i s o b s e r v a t i o n platform. "When that ball of fire disappears yonder Over Mt. Elizabeth, I haul the flag in and call it a day," muses Old Ben as he gazed at the pristine wilderness stretching for miles in every direction. FEW EVE! FIND their way to hjs remote mountain hideaway. Old Ben found his way to the raountaintop 23.yean ago -- "running from a woman." He explains: . "I bad a woman 12 years in OUahomy. We was happy enough. But my brother moved in with IB. Before I knowed what vat happening my wife took with my brother. "I LOST A WIFE and gained a sister Â· in - law." Old Ben got a faraway look in his eyes as he reminisced. "Wasn't long after me and my old lady split that ltuÂ» here other woman come over to my mamma and daddy. She told them her and me were gonna gel hitched. "That's when I started running. I never stopped t i l l I found this mountain." HE HAS LIVED on top of Mt. Eaton since 1953 working four claims --Tony One, Tony Two, Big Jay and JB. The first two are named after two of his dogs, tbe last two after two of his burros, al) long since deceased. The old prospector has homes for all seasons on his tondy perch - i log cabin and three shacks -- each furnished with an old bed he found abandoned in the Tuolumme Dump. "Variety is the spice of life," Ok) Ben says. "I move about. Sleep in one place one night, another the nest." BE HAS DUG half a mile with a pick and shovel into the side of tbe mountain al one of his claims and deep into three other holes. Like all prospectors, loners al .their c r a f t , the bard - rock miner is closemouUied about his success over Ihe years except to insist that he is leaving the best where it rests. DOMINO PURE CANE we value you SOUTHDALE EDGEWOOD MON.THRU BAT. I A.M. T012 P.M. SUNDAY 8A.M. TO Â» P.M. Â·Grocery prlctt irtd coupons good thru Tuw., July 27m *MÂ«t. 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