Newsletter Archive: Monti’s Steak-O-Gram: Cactus Cooler/True Grit on Ice

Monti’s Steak-O-Gram: Cactus Cooler/True Grit on Ice

Greetings and felicitations, loyal omnivores!
The Steak-O-Gram is back after an unintentional hiatus. After getting blasted with late-season snow outside of Sedona with my faamily yesterday, the chill dislodged whatever semi-loose screw it is in my skull that moves me to the keyboard so that I might disgorge some nuggets of wisdom–related specifically, in this case, to the much greater cold of Antarctica.

But first, for the sniveling whiners out there:

HOW TO GET OFF MY LIST INSTANTLY: If you do not want to receive any e-mail from me ever, please send me (Michael Monti) a message at and I will gladly remove you from my distribution group. See the end of this newsletter for more detailed instructions.

In This Issue:

The “Betsy Ross of Arizona”
Easter Special
Iron Men Run on Their Stomachs
Weekend Specials / JAMN Jazz
Wrap-up And Links

What does the South Pole have to do with the Sonoran Desert?

Well, the connection is tenuous, but within my brain case the slightest thread is enough to stuff the sausage of this newsletter, so here we go. Let’s begin by recounting the history of the unique and superior flag of the State of Arizona.

I would like to credit and profusely thank my friend–and our State Historian–Marshall Trimble for the following account of the origin of the Arizona Flag.

“The Arizona State Flag was designed by Charles Harris, Adjutant General of Arizona (1912-1918). Harris said the suggestion that the state adopt a flag came from members of the 1910 Arizona Rifle Team in attendance at the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry. All the other teams flew a distinctive flag, while Arizona was without an emblem of any kind.  In designing the flag, the first consideration was historical value; the second, the colors.  Blue and gold were Arizona colors and red and gold were the colors carried by the Spanish conquistadores headed by Coronado in 1540.
From these circumstances and from the blue of the national flag were derived the red, blue and gold (or yellow as the law names it.  I don’t like “yellow” because of what it
connotes.) Since Arizona was the nations largest producer of copper and the star might be easily distinguished.
The rays of the setting, or rising sun, was also considered appropriate for the Arizona flag. There are thirteen, for the original colonies and the colors, red and gold are from the colors carried by Coronado.

Future Senator Carl Hayden of Tempe [Our claim to fame–born here at La Casa Vieja! -mlm] was a member of the rifle team and his wife Nancy sewed the first state flag for the Arizona Rifle Team, making her Arizona’s ‘Betsy Ross.’

The official state colors, blue and gold, were approved by the legislature on March 9, 1915. The flag was adopted by the legislature in 1917.”

Now, please hold still for a moment of commercial exploitation before I continue to regale you with

Monti’s Easter Surf & Turf Special

Monti’s 5 oz. Filet Mignon & Broiled Salmon Champagne Mimosa for $3.00 All entrees come with Roman bread, soup or tossed salad with dressing, vegetables and your choice of baked potato,French fries, cottage cheese, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, or long grain wild rice pilaf. For Only $24.95 Make your reservations now! (480) 967-7594

So, back in the early 1970s my brother Steve Mitchell was in the Navy. (Some Monti’s old-timers will recall him as “Mitch” the manager.) To his surprise and edification, he was stationed as part of Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica at Williams Field, “a snow runway located on approximately 8 meters (25 ft) of compacted snow, lying on top of 80 meters (262 ft) of ice, floating over 550 meters (1,800 ft) of water.” [Wikipedia]

During Steve’s stint there, two memorable things connected with our great State occurred. First, the late Sen.
Barry Goldwater came to visit for a couple of days. The Arizona crewmen at the base, about six people, were invited to lunch with the Senator. (At the very end of this screed I will place URLs to a few AHF photos of the Senator taken at the time.) Sen. Goldwater was also known at the time for using his amateur radio rig, on a regular basis, to help isolated Arizona servicemen on the base to stay in touch with loved ones at home. Important in those pre-internet days.

Additionally, Steve also nearly got beat up over the Arizona flag. In those days, ‘photographs’ were taken by cameras using strips of flexible stuff called ‘film’, and an actual mechanical shutter made the clicking sound now provided electronically to let you know that you have actually snapped a photo. Steve had a large, boxy camera that he would tote around in his leisure time to take pictures of snow, ice, seals and penguins. Sometimes he would take pictures of penguins, ice, snow and seals just for variety. I saw them all when I was a kid whenever he came home on leave.

Anyway, adhered to the side of Steve’s sizeable camera was a very large decal of the Arizona Flag. Thus, one fine day on the ice, Cold War hysteria befell my brother. A second-class petty officer–much larger than Steve and clearly from a barbaric State where not even the rudiments of geography were taught in the schools, seeing the flag on Steve’s box camera, thought it was the flag of North Vietnam (where war raged at the time). Taking my brother for a commie symp–about as far from the truth as could be, if you know the man–the rube accosted him. Flabbergasted by the onslaught, it took Steve a few moments to register why he was under assault and defuse the scuffle with a hasty low-temp lesson in vexillology (the scholarly study of flags). Was this a pardonable, honest mistake? You be the judge. Compare our flag with this one:

Iron Men Run on Their Stomachs

Napoleon–or some bossy guy in a pointy hat–said that “an army marches on its stomach.”
Naturally, triathletes also need copious amounts of nutrition. We are pleased and honored to have been called upon to handle the following schedule of events for the Ironman: Carbo load dinner Friday April 11th for 2000 people, Sunday April 13th (the actual race day, so watch for road restrictions on that date).  On Monday April
14 we will handle the awards breakfast banquet for 1500, and then Tuesday April 15th, the volunteer appreciation dinner for about 1200 people.

Weekend Specials / JAMN Jazz

Weekend Featured Entrees:

Friday March 21 &

Saturday March 22nd
7 oz. Filet Mignon, 3 Jumbo Fried Shrimp & 1/2 Rack
BBQ Ribs $29.95

Meal includes our famous Roman Bread, soup or salad
with choice of dressing, vegetable medley and your choice
of baked potato, French fries, cottage cheese, spaghetti,
mashed potatoes or long grain wild rice pilaf.

JAMN JAZZ Continues in March and April:
“Our shows are every Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Remember, doors open at 5 p.m. (not before). Cover is
$7, and dinner and drinks are available on our special Supper
Club menu.  Monti’s Back Door is in the rear of  Monti’s La
Casa Vieja, 100 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. For further
information on dates, call 480.345.2392.
Best Regards,
Stu Siefer, Roy Hoyt and Woody Wilson
JAMN Productions”

Wrap-up And Links

Well, thanks again for your attention and patronage. I
would like to wish all a Happy Easter. As I said before,
there are a few more informational links below, and if you just didn’t get enough bloated prose in this message, try my blog at

Best regards,

(email: mmonti AT montis DOT com)

Goldwater Trip from Arizona Historical Foundation:

The Senator made a visit to Antarctica with his son
Barry Jr.

who snapped this photo of his dad with a flag of

Senator John Chafee and William F. Buckley, Jr. were

the dignitaries that made the journey.

old&CISOPTR=142&REC=8     Barry enjoys the company of a

of penguins in Antarctica.



McMurdo Station; Navy’s Days of Glory in Antarctica



Williams Field

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: