|A life size bronze
statue of Brighty sits in the lobby of Grand Canyon Lodge on the
North Rim. Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon Lodge South is located by Arizona
Highway Route 67, 43 miles south of junction Alternate U.S. Highway route
89. It is a national historic landmark
constructed of massive stone walls and high-timbers.
In a corner of the lodge is the memorial the friendly burro Brighty.
The Brighty statue and photos on the wall tell the story
of a dependable fuzzy little burro that inspired the book published in 1953
that also became a Disney movie both are called
"Brighty of the Grand Canyon".
comment on Brighty's statue:
" the artist captured the soul of Brighty, forever wild, forever free."
Brighty is this spirit of independence and will be remembered for years.
|Above is a Brighty
miniature burro metal statue created by Elaine J. Kember a collector item
from a visit to Grand Canyon.
started Marguerite go to the Grand Canyon to interview rangers, guides,
or anyone else who'd heard of the burro called Brighty. This was the start
of the book about Brighty who had uncovered evidence and accused a murderer
more plainly than if he had talked. But he worked of his own free will.
Just let a stranger approach with packsaddle and Brighty hid himself against
gray rock. When the need for him was over, his heehaws of laughter echoed
from the walls of the canyon.
On the book's first birthday a surprise letter came to Marguerite from
a Mr. Thomas McKee.
It read :
"In shopping for a grandchild
who likes animals, my wife found you story of Brighty. It made us homesick
because we are the people who ran Wiley's Camp on the North Rim of the
Grand Canyon. I'm enclosing a picture of the real Brighty. Sitting on his
back is his loving companion my son Bob. We knew in a twinkling that our
Bob was the Homer Hobbs of your story."
Homer was the only character she had invented.
All the others Teddy Roosevelt, Old Timer, Uncle Jimmy Owen - are real.
Marguerite had to invent a boy in the story
to help Brighty load and unload the tins when he packed water to Wiley's
Camp. Here was a fictional character who turned out to be real.