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‘Hum Dinger’ is no Willcox historical treasure

I am writing to complain about the article/photograph of the motorized railcar shown in the “Times Past” column in the Feb. 13, 2009, issue of the Arizona Capitol Times.

The article states the “Hum Dinger” was used by the Mascot and Western Railroad that ran between Willcox and Dos Cabezas, Ariz., in the 1920s.

The photograph included with the article is incorrect. The “Hum Dinger” was never used here. The real vehicle used here, owned by the Mascot and Western Railroad,was called the “Black Cat” or the “Doodlebug.” The vehicle appears in all of the Willcox history books, including “Southwestern Town: The Story of Willcox, Arizona” by Vernon B. Schultz, 1964, and “The Story of Dos Cabezas” by Phyllis de la Garza, 1995.

A photo of the Black Cat is featured at the Willcox train museum at City Hall and is even done in stained glass at our Willcox McDonald’s.

All of the “old timers” around Willcox remember the Black Cat with great fondness.

The Black Cat is, and has been for many years, an important Willcox historical treasure, and the article has done our Willcox history a grave disservice by misrepresenting the vehicle.

– Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza,
Tucson

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(Photo by Ellen O'Brien)

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