Showing posts with label George Novak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Novak. Show all posts

Saturday, May 7, 2011

George Novak - Ridgecrest, Calif. - 1920-2011 - Daily Independent, Apr 29, 2011

George Novak

George passed peacefully in his sleep at home in Ballarat on April 8, 2011, where he resided with son Rocky Novak.  George was 90 years young.  George was born and raised on a farm in Whiting, Kan., on April 26, 1920. He worked as a cowboy/rancher.  He served in World War II while stationed at Fort Richardson.  He met the love of his life Linda Durango.  They married in 1944. 
Shortly after the passing of his wife, he and his son Rocky moved to the Searles Valley where he did construction work for KMC and also the China Lake Naval Weapons Center.  In 1972, George claimed land in the Panamint Mountain Range (Novak Camp) and is also known Chris Wickes, where George lived and worked his dream of mining and milling up until his health no longer permitted.  George is preceded in death by wife Linda; parents Mr. and Mrs. George Novak, brother Jim Salazar; and cousins Lila Hart and Gerry Chambers.  He is survived by son Rocky Novak, nephews and niece Dennis, Donna and Chris Hart; Wayne Chambers and Kennith Cole. 
He will be truly missed by family and friends. 
A potluck/campout celebration of George’s life will be held in Ballarat on May 21-22. 
Thread Inspired by Patty's Information.  Thanks Patty!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Onto Mrs. Barker... of the famous Barker's Ranch!
A friend (who would like to remain anonymous) sent these photos, and wrote the following kick-ass story for us:

She (Mrs. Barker) leased land in Death Valley (Panamint Valley) called "Indian Ranch"...just North of Ballarat...it was like a trailer park setting but kind of an Oasis type thing...they had a bar, and might have sold food...and she loved to play poker...so the people that rented space on Indian Ranch would play poker with her inside her trailer, they said it was a lot of friendly fun.

After her lease was up, Indian Ranch went back to the family that owned it (an Indian family) and I believe she passed away....but her trailer was towed to Ballarat where it sits today, and the two caretakers, George and Rocky Novak still live in it. George Novak is sitting next to Mrs. Barker to her left...this was taken in the early 70s.
Her original trailer (where Charlie visited her at Indian Ranch) burned to the ground . I always wondered if the Beach Boys Gold Record was lost in the fire, so I asked Rocky and George, but they didn't know. Her primary home was in the Los Angeles area, its been said she flew from Burbank to the small dirt landing field at Indian Ranch in her own small plane.
Bugliosi called her "Arlene Barker" in the book, but friends called her "Kirk Barker" - yes, Kirk!

I (Lynyrd) then asked: "So, Evidently, she sold "Barker Ranch", and leased "Indian Ranch" in Death Valley afterwards? Or, did she still own Barker's Ranch, and lease Indian Ranch at the same time"? "At what location were George and Rocky caretakers"?

I don't think she ever sold Barker Ranch - I think the Feds took it over and made it part of the "Death Valley National Monument" - I do know for sure though that the Myers fought and WON the Feds to keep Myers privately owned, and they still own it today. They say the Meyer Brothers are mean bastards...(Cappy's brothers I guess) they have shotguns...LOL
Rocky and George Novak are the caretakers (currently) at Ballarat. Ballarat is the ghost town (semi) in Death Valley, the last place of civilization before you turn right (the 17 miles) dirt road to get to Barker Ranch - actually called Wingate Rd...before you get to Goler Wash..
Trivia - in 1968 - Easy Rider filmed a segment there - where Peter Fonda takes his watch off and throws it in the dirt!!  Oh BTW, she lived in Burbank, Ca.
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The second picture (below) is what the cafe at Ballarat looked like in 1969 when the girls (Simi Valley Sherry and Barb Hoyt) ran away from Charlie and they were eating breakfast and Charlie gave them $20.00 to get home.