By Alkali Springs Correspondent
To say that Bee Lucke and C.L. Stuart believed in ghosts would simply be not true. However, in their years of going from one fishing camp to another, there were some strange experiences they had. Give them a couple of Budweisers and they would talk readily about them. Always, mind you, beginning such conversations with sentences like, "There is no such thing as a ghost. But ." With that, on they would go about the strange experiences they had in some cabins and on some stretches of Clear Creek.
Bee Lucke was not an idle dreamer. He was a practical man with a mathematical mind geared to very logical thoughts. That was why it was so strange to hear him say that there was a stretch of Clear Creek that he would not fish at all during the day but especially when dusk came rolling over the hills to the east and west of the creek. When asked why, he would respond that it was the one place he had ever been that when he went there he immediately got depressed and that depression only deepened until he left the area. Pushed on to add more after an additional beer or three, he would say that there were several murders and several suicides there and he could see just how all those tragedies could happen. So he would never go there anymore. While listening to Lucke's story, C.L. Stuart would sit in his chair, cigarette in his holder dangling from his lips, nodding solemnly in agreement.
Remember, these were very practical men, not ever even very curious men. One might describe them as meat-and-potatoes men, no frills. That was why hearing them talk about the supernatural was in itself a supernatural experience.
Then there was the cabin that did their chores for them or tried to, along with tricking them morning after morning.
This would happen at a cabin on two cliffs high above Clear Creek. Just before dawn, morning after morning, people sleeping upstairs would smell cigarette smoke, bacon cooking, and coffee along with even an occasional crackle of a log in the old Majestic range. First few times this happened, no one would get up and cook breakfast. Both C.L. and Bee thought that the other had gotten up and started cooking. After awhile, the smells would be too enticing to stay in bed any longer so downstairs one would come, only to find there was nothing cooking, only an empty kitchen and a cold range waiting to be fired up. That happened so often for a few summers that they learned not to pay any attention to smells in that cabin. At dawn it was time to cook breakfast and have a smoke even though it smelled like all that had already happened.
Then there was the summer and fall that the old Majestic adopted a personality of its own or so it seemed. Each morning when one of them came downstairs to start the morning fire, it would be cheerfully crackling as though just started about 15 minutes before. Anyone knowing about the fire boxes in those old ranges would know that they could not possibly burn through the night. However, there would be the fire and the stove was ready to cook on. That went on for most of one season in that same cabin. Bee and C.L. went to great lengths to encourage whatever or whoever was lighting the fires each morning to continue. That haunt made their lives much easier.
Both Bee Lucke and C.L. Stuart went to their graves believing those strange occurrences were part and parcel of another world they could not enter. And, as for insurance, if Halloween happened to fall on a weekend, well, gentle readers, they would stay far, far away from Clear Creek.
Might be good advice for you as well.