Traveling to Flagstaff across the northern Navajo Reservation, you go through Tuba City. Where did the name come from? Was John Phillips Sousa born in Tuba City? The Navajo people are exceptional weavers and silversmiths. Do Navajos also make brass instruments? When you drive through the reservation, you have time to ponder these things. – Bass Clef
Mrs. Action Line had that same question a couple weeks ago during a Painted Desert peregrination. So your Tuba City question is music to Action Line’s ears.
Which is quite shocking, since Action Line long ago exceeded safe lifetime levels for tuba exposure.
Tuba overdose is a serious problem in the Midwest polka belt. But Action Line’s deleterious dosages were administered in Utah, a place not known for Oktoberfest.
You see, Action Line’s brother played the tuba in high school and college. Mastering the tuba takes practice. And nothing can muffle that sound.
This has zilch to do with the eponymous Arizona enclave.
Action Line tried to find the Tuba City Chamber of Commerce. There isn’t one. So he picked up the horn and called the next best thing: the front desk at Tuba City Quality Inn.
The nice clerk said she gets the question “quite a bit” but didn’t want to be quoted, so she transferred Action Line to the adjacent Tuba Trading Post.
Apparently, that’s where you find a tuba troubadour.
A nice person there recounted the town’s history.
According to the trading post worker, the man instrumental in Tuba City’s unlikely moniker was a Hopi leader named “Tuuvi.” He was born around 1810 and died in 1887.
Tuuvi befriended early Mormon settlers and invited them in 1860 to come to Moenkopi, an area south of present day Tuba City. The Mormons balked.
They also had some problem pronouncing Tuuvi’s name, the trading post worker said. So “Tuuvi” became Tuba.
Tuba? Really? Talk about a low note in lazy linguistics.
Some 13 years later, the Mormons said yes to Tuuvi’s offer and established a settlement north of Moenkopi. The settlement was later named Tuba City in Tuuvi’s honor.
Therefore, the Tuba City’s papa had no oom-pah-pah.
Meanwhile, just to close the loop, John Phillips Sousa was born in Washington, D.C.
What’s does the “Yard Limit” sign mean along the tracks of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It’s by the trestle bridge. – Curious
Some people might associate “Yard Limit” with the nearby Animas Brewing Co., a great addition to the craft beer scene.
Could “Yard Limit” mean patrons are cut off after chugging a yard of ale?
“Not quite,” Animas Brewing’s Rachel Cowo said with a chuckle. “We serve beer by the pint or in tulip glasses. We don’t have those ‘yard’ things.”
A “yard” is around 1.5 liters of beer. So is that the limit? Without missing a beat, Rachel said that patrons can enjoy more than a yard of Animas Brewing’s finest “just as long as they’re walking home or have someone else driving.”
Now, that’s looking out after your safety. And speaking of which, “Yard Limit” is all about safety.
That comes from Jeff Ellingson, curator of the D&SNG railroad museum.
“The yard limit is the point at which the train slows down to 5 mph for safety, Jeff said.
“But more importantly, the ‘Yard Limit’ designates where the railroad can move equipment around without having to notify the dispatcher,” he said. “It’s from that spot into depot.”
Notifying the train dispatcher is a big deal in the railroad world.
Trains adhere to strict timetables, Jeff said. The dispatcher must grant permission before crew or equipment can be on the rails outside of the yard limit. This prevents train wrecks.
No one wants to see a train “yard sale.”
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your yard limit means there’s no more room for another bike, kayak, camper shell, trailer, pile of old lumber or any more stuff rescued from Spring Cleanup.