I wrote this for my local forum, but I'll share here to, for those of you who are clueless as to why I am shouting out about this special man. Since I wrote this, is prognosis, isn't as good, and it's even more important that we pay tribute to him:


Many of you know that my passion is this little ghosttown in the Inyo Mountains, near Lone Pine. The silver and trade back and forth between Cerro Gordo & Los Angeles helped the sleepy pueblo turn into the metropolis it is today. Kind of amazing we're taught about the 49'ers and the gold rush, but nothing about this little mining town. In the past year the author of From This Mountain Cerro Gordo, found me via my website. We have been in communication e-mail and phone regularly ever since. I received a phone call earlier this week from one of his daughters that he was in the hospital suffering from a stroke.

I know that many people in Sunland Tujunga and surrounding areas are lovers of Owens Valley & the Eastern Sierras like I am, so I thought I would share this with you. I got woke up at 7 A.M. this morning by Bob Likes daughter. Scared me to death, I thought it was bad news. But thankfully it was good news and he will be released to rehab in the next day or so. Looks like he's going to recover pretty well. He's already laughing and harrassing the nurses, they say. So the goal is to get him well and back to California to see Cerro Gordo someday, since he hasn't been back there since the 1970's when he wrote the book.

The daughters said he would definitely be surprised and delighted to hear from anyone and everyone that would like to drop him a line. Even if you haven't been to Cerro Gordo - if you like the desert and the backcountry - he would love to hear from you. If you've kept up with my website in the past 6 months or so, I've re-published some old articles he wrote for the old Desert Magazine on Mono Mills, and on Panamint City. Since he's been away from California for several years, he just didn't have a clue until he found my website, that people were still interested in this kind of stuff, and he still has a hard time grasping that many people today even care about it. This is why I'm so desperately trying to get everyone to send him a little note - he was doing what we all do today long before it became popular - and his writings bring the past alive for all of us.

You have to imagine, in the 1960's, Bob Likes and a bunch of guys that worked on the projects that sent the astronauts to the moon got together and formed what they called a The Ghost Town Club. Every chance they could get away they were out in the western Mojave, the Owens Valley, Eastern Sierras, and Death Valley areas doing the same kind of things each one of us do. In the Western Mojave area alone he knew many of the characters like Walt Bickel, Mike Lee of Burro Schmidt's tunnel fame, Della Gerbacht of Gerbacht camp, Roberta Martin Starry. Also, Like most of us who came to Cerro Gordo, he became obssessed with it and it became his passion, thus his book was born. In the course of his research he discovered Remi Nadeau's works, and boy was he surprised - Remi Nadeau worked at the same place he did. Bob was surprised to find that Nadeau was still around, and in the past couple of months they have talked on the phone together. Can you imagine the stories the two of them could tell!

I've been trying to convince Bob to write a story about the old days and that Ghost Town Club. He thinks there's no interest in it. But what a story - the guys that send the astronauts to the moon were ghosttowners and desert rats in their off time. Kind of reminds me of the Right Stuff.

Anyway, hopefully I've sparked each of you to contact me about sending a note to Bob so he understands what a legacy he has left for each of us. He'd love hearing about your adventures out there, too. Until he got sick, I was communicating with him two or three times a week, and he couldn't wait to hear what I was doing either as a writing and researching project on my own, or out exploring the back country.The daughters said an e-mail would be appropriate too, so if you pm me I will give you his e-mail. They can print up everything he gets and get to the hospital to him. I'm just sort of amazed that he and his family have sort of adopted me into their family via the internet all because of Cerro Gordo!

cecile@explorehistoricalif.com or
directly to family Likes831@comcast.net
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Cecile
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