VALLEY Arizona and Utah
Photos by Ken
Introduction by Brewster Hudspeth
Corners is the only place where four states meet. I saw that at the
movies when I was a kid and it was one of them things you never forget
- like when what's-his-name and Mickey Rooney were in that movie where
they did something or another - anyway, you catch my drift. It's four
states and they come together - that's all you need to know.
They've paved it over real pretty now; but once it was just a little
cement square out in the middle of nowhere. Well, come to think about
it - that last part is still true. There's quite a few places called
Three Corners - including here in Texas where we meet Louisiana and
Arkansas. Then there's that place where Delaware, Maine and North
Dakota come together - but I've never been there - I'm just picturing
it in my mind.
I have been to Texas' Three Corners, though, and I notice that visitors
always seem uncomfortable - not knowing what to do with their second
hand (or leg). I will tell you from experience, don't put either of
them in your pocket - especially if you're traveling with friends
that have been drinking. You'll end up spending your adulthood entering
Karl Malden look-alike contests - and winning. (I won the Nationals
in '54, '56 and '57 and was runner-up in '60 and '62).
As for Two Corners, well, there's just too many of them to name. And
as far as I know there isn't a One Corner, but if there is one it'd
be in Arkansas. They'd find stuff like that pretty funny up there.
One Corner, Arkansas - yep, that's where it'd be. Unless it would
be that little strip of Minnesota that sticks up into Canada - what's
up with that?
Back before WWII when postage was a penny, it was a common practice
(but pretty extravagant) to mail a postcard from Four Corners to your
friends. You'd put a stamp in each corner of the card and the postmaster
would cancel them with a bold postmark that said Four Corners, USA.
This was a win-win-win situation. Firstly, the government enjoyed
the extra money, secondly, family and friends (if you had both) would
(in theory) be impressed at how clever you were. Thirdly, you could
smirk - knowing that you hadn't actually thought of it yourself.
I'm sure that postmaster could stamp the damn things with his eyes
closed - and probably did - just to break the monotony.
Even if you've never been there - the region will probably look familiar
to you - especially if you have ever seen a John Ford movie or one
of them cartoons with the roadrunner and coyote in it. There's lots
of excellent websites devoted to Monument Valley so just do a search.
They'll have park rates, geologic information, maps pictures and more
information than you can use. I'd make some links here for you, except
they're just paying me to write the intro for Mr. Rudines photos.
So since I've already gone over 500 words and I don't get paid for
going over - here's what the Rudines saw when they visited Monument
© Ken Rudine
September 19 , 2005