From A Peek at the Peak, June 1989
By Liz Stapleton Ogden
Years ago, when Pinnacle Peak Road an unmarked, dusty road leading east up to Pinnacle Peak Patio and Reata Pass and then down the long hill to the Verde River, a very colorful and rare character resided at what is now the intersection of Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak Roads. The lone, faded sign at that corner read “Curry’s Corner,” after one of the old homesteaders who along with other residents of this remote area wanted a straight connection with the road to Phoenix.
Bearded, long-haired Don Pablo ran a ramshackle museum type store on that corner. He called himself an Indian trader and usually dressed in buckskin, moccasins, and a load of turquoise and silver jewelry that would set Mr. “T” to shame. His jumble of buildings were crammed with collections of guns, Indian pots, baskets, blankets, rugs, old saddles, boots, branding irons, turquoise, iron pots, music boxes, and other items. Out back were his two “friends” in residence, enormous pet timber-wolves.
Bathing was not Pablo’s “thing.” Coupled with his belief that eating raw onions would cause him to live forever, plus the wolves; a visit to his establishment was definitely a memorable occasion.
The quarter-section of land that Pablo owned (ed. northeast corner of Pinnacle Peak and N. Scottsdale Roads) had once belonged to K.T. Palmer (ed. Who later developed Carefree with Tom Darlington). Indian trader Pablo’s real name was Paul Voelker and his brother was the former Michigan Supreme Court Justice who wrote “Anatomy of a Murder.”
About the time that Pinnacle Peak Road was paved, Pablo went into decline and was bundled off to a nursing home. Either the home was short of onions or just wouldn’t tolerate his penchant for a large daily volume of them, because Pablo eventually died there.
The dusty collections were auctioned off, the land was sold, and the old, tumbledown buildings were bulldozed nearly 20 years ago, but for me, the corner will always belong to Don Pablo and his pet wolves. They sure helped make things more interesting around here!
Liz Stapleton Ogen, a resident of the Pinnacle Peak area, was the founding editor of the publication that you are reading. She typed and laid out the first edition, the February 1983 issue, of A Peek at the Peak (The Peak) at her kitchen table. Her first creation was a six-page newsletter that was distributed to a few hundred Pinnacle Peak residents by the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association. Liz served as editor for many years and established a standard for quality that contributed to the longevity of the magazine you are reading.