Cupcakes in the Desert
Story about a family homestead at 29 Palms during the early 1920s
Recorded at Laguna Woods City Hall for California of the Past
In the early 1900's my grandfather, Guy Maddox, used to drive a mule team across the Mojave Desert. He passed through the area of 29 Palms often and sometime during the 20's he homesteaded 5 acres of land there. My father was born in 29 Palms along with his two sisters Arlene and Alice May. This story was told to me by my Aunt Arlene and took place there on the homestead. One day my grandfather and grandmother hitched up the wagon to go in to town for some supplies. This was a long trip and it meant that they would not return home until after night fall. One of the rules my grandparents had for the kids is that there could be no cooking on the stove while they were away. It was a wood burning stove and naturally was dangerous. Well, this day my aunts couldn't wait for my grandfather and grandmother to leave cause they were planning to disobey and make some cupcakes. As soon as the wagon was out of sight, they fired up the stove, mixed up the cupcakes and plopped them in the oven. My aunts had just brought the cupcakes out to cool when they looked out and down the road they saw the wagon coming back. Panicked, they ran outside and buried the cupcakes in the sand at the back of the house. Well, they could hide the cupcakes, but they couldn't hide the heat from the wood stove or the smell of fresh baking. I never did find out exactly what happened, but I know my grandparents were pretty strict so I'm sure there were some sore bottoms in the house that night. Whatever punishment they got, it was better than burning the house down.
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