One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"
The Sulphur Springs Valley is home to a number of pioneers and entrepreneurs with quite a few stories to tell. One such man, Ken Myers has always lived a fascinating life, diving into new ventures at the deep end of the pool and often as not using his intelligence, wit and pure grit to drag sunken treasure to the surface. My husband and I have dinner with him on a regular basis. We met him through our involvement in the Sunsites-Pearce Fire District; he is a volunteer firefighter.
Ken started out in electronics and then owned a small engine repair business. Later he accepted the position of Bussing Operations Manager at the Los Angeles International Airport and stayed there for thirteen years.
Next, he moved to Wickenburg, Arizona and bought ten mining claims of ten acres each on a mountain. He lived in a cave for two years mining gold.
When he tired of the solitary lifestyle, he moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina and bought a yacht maintenance company which he built up to a very lucrative enterprise from a run down operation, expanding services and adding a retail store. His scores of maintenance personnel refurbished massive ships in the largest dry dock in the area. He sold the company after thirteen years.
He came back to Arizona, moving to his current home in the Richland Ranchettes on September 11, 2001.
For three years he was a shooter in Tombstone at the “Six Gun City” gunfight re-creation as well as a “Living History Lecturer” with a repertoire that included seven hours of material. Due to his extensive knowledge about Tombstone’s history he was formally recognized by Tombstone’s mayor, city council and official historian.
Ken started a home based business manufacturing polyurethane gun grips and built it up to be the largest of such businesses selling on the Internet. One of his offerings was a set of Colt 45 first generation grips reproduced faithfully from the priceless originals.
Ken’s current business venture is a custom graphic imprinting service. His operation includes seven printers and two computers with four graphics programs. He has a line of nearly 500 imprintable items both hard, such as mugs or ceramic tiles, or soft, such as T-shirts, hand towels like those used by golfers, mouse pads, or baby bibs. He recently invested in a new system that utilizes a process that far surpasses standard screen printing. On a cotton T-shirt, for instance, the ink used actually penetrates the fabric, modifying the chemical makeup of the cotton. If the T-shirt is polyester the colors are much more vibrant and near photo quality compared to screen printing. I have seen examples and it’s quite impressive.
Although he didn’t yet have the new process set up so he couldn’t utilize it, in December 2007 Ken imprinted baseball caps, T-shirts and mugs to be given to the Sunsites-Pearce Fire District personnel as Christmas presents. Recently, he imprinted T-shirts as uniform tops for two little league teams.
Ken can use an image in any computer graphic photo imaging format, color or black and white and will imprint single items. To get further information or for help developing ideas for a project you can contact Ken at 826-5155 or visit his web site, www.tombstonesilver.com The site has a clickable link to his eBay store.