Sometimes Warner Dixon’s love of the Old West makes him wonder if he was a cowboy in a past life. Dixon grew up in Prescott’s Mountain Club area just a mile from downtown. His parents – both teachers – raised Arabian horses on the property.
“I had an utter fascination with those horses,” said Dixon. “My sister and I would sneak out of the house and run up the hill to the stables. We’d climb through the bars of the corral and try to shimmy up the horses’ legs. And you know, those horses never moved. It’s like they knew if they stepped on us, they would hurt us.”
Once their mother realized they were playing around the nearly 1,000 pound animals, the children’s fun would quickly end.
“She’d run out of the house hysterical and lift us off of the horses,” Dixon recalled. “Those horses would look at my Mom like, ‘Well, it’s about time.’ Then they would snort and walk over to the water tank for a drink.”
Discovering a Treasure
Dixon was born in 1943 at Prescott Community Hospital – later re-named Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) – the same year the hospital opened in a celebration presided over by Arizona Governor Sidney Osborn. Recently, while rummaging through the attic of his mother’s Prescott home, Dixon discovered a treasure.
“My Mom had kept the receipt from my birth at the hospital,” he said.
The cost was $6.50 a day for the 10-day hospital stay and the delivery room charge was $20. Dixon, a novelist who has published two books, could appreciate the significance of his find.
“I was moved that she had kept it,” he said. “And I also thought I was a pretty good bargain.”
Prescott Life Inspires Book
Dixon, a cowboy-at-heart, left the Prescott area for only three years. It turns out his adventures growing up in Prescott inspired his writing. His first book – County Law and Cowboy Coffee – was greatly influenced by those Arabians and the other horses in his life.
“I’ve had an unusual life,” he said. “I look back on it and I smile.”
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