Jerome, AZ

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Cleopatra Hill in Jerome, AZ

A friend and I visited Jerome, AZ in February 2016. We arrived mid-morning and left mid-afternoon. We spent our day learning about the town’s history and walking around looking at the old buildings and the new art.

The town’s website (http://www.azjerome.com/jerome/) says,

Located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome was a copper mining camp, growing from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community. Four disastrous fires destroyed large sections of the town during its early history, resulting in the incorporation of the City of Jerome in 1899.

Founded in 1876, Jerome was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The population peaked at 15,000 in the 1920’s.

Douglas Mansion Museum in the Jerome Historic Park, seen from a distance

This photo shows the Douglas Mansion in the Jerome Historic Park, seen from a distance. The Mansion houses a museum.

My friend and I started our day at the Douglas Mansion museum in the Jerome State Historic Park. Adults pay $7 admission to the park, but there is no additional charge to visit the museum.

The Jerome State Historic Park website (http://azstateparks.com/Parks/JERO/) has information about the mansion.

The Douglas Mansion has been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916, when James S. Douglas built it on the hill just above his Little Daisy Mine. This former home is now a museum devoted to the history of the Jerome area and the Douglas family. The museum features photographs, artifacts and minerals in addition to a video presentation and a 3-D model of the town with its underground mines.

I thought the admission fee was money well spent to learn about the history of the town. This museum was a joy to visit. The exhibits are nicely laid out and consideration obviously has gone into choosing artifacts to share. The items on display were very well-organized. It wasn’t overrun by stuff that was just old but not very interesting. Maybe because this is a state-run museum, there are funds and expertise available to do the exhibits well.

The rock room was GREAT! It housed a large variety of specimens Don’t miss the glow-in-the dark minerals in the

This piece of azurite and malachite is on display outside, not in the rock room, but it's a gorgeous specimen nonetheless.

This piece of azurite and malachite is on display outside, not in the rock room, but it’s a gorgeous specimen nonetheless.

small room on the side. Once you’re in the room, you press a button, the lights go out, and rocks light up in a variety of amazing colors. WOW!

I highly recommend  the short (half an hour or so) documentary about Jerome shown in the master bedroom. I learned a LOT about the town’s history from that video. When you arrive, ask the ranger when the next showing starts.

Parts of the documentary (like the ghost of a miner who narrates the movie) are a little cheesy, but the information I learned outweighed the silliness. (Perhaps the ghost character was there to make the film more interesting to children. Perhaps the filmmakers decided a movie about a ghost town required a ghost.)

Something I really appreciated about the documentary at the museum and the historical plaques s around town is the mater-of-fact presentation of Jerome’s rowdy past. The present-day citizens of Jerome don’t try to gloss over or clean up the town’s rough history. The good people of Jerome are proud of the town’s past as part of the Wild West. Yes, there were saloons in the town. There was gambling, yes sir, there was. Jerome had brothels and in those brothels were prostitutes, doing what prostitutes do. Jerome was a town of ruffians, and the current inhabitants want visitors to know all about it.

 The aforementioned Jerome SHP website gives more of the town’s history.
This building is a piece of Jerome's mining history visible from the state park. It is the Little Daisy Hotel, built in 1919 by the Phelps Dodge company as  housing for their employees. It's now a private residence.

This building, visible from the state park, is a piece of Jerome’s mining history. It is the Little Daisy Hotel, built in 1919 by the Phelps Dodge company as housing for employees. It’s now a private residence.

Jerome’s modern history began in 1876 when three prospectors staked claims on rich copper deposits. They sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company in 1883. The resultant mining camp of board and canvas shacks was named in honor of Eugene Jerome, the venture’s principal backer. Hopes for the enterprise ran high, but the costs of operating, especially for transportation, outstripped profits, and the company folded in less than two years.
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome,_Arizona) offers insight into to town’s past and present demographics.

The makeup of early Jerome differed greatly from the 21st-century version of the town. The original mining claims were filed by Whites, but as the mines were developed, workers of many nationalities arrived. Among these were people of Irish, Chinese, Italian, and Slavic origin who came to Jerome in the late 19th century. By the time of World War I, Mexican nationals were arriving in large numbers, and census figures suggest that in 1930 about 60 percent of the town’s residents were Latino.[54]

The ratio of females to males also varied greatly over time in Jerome. Census data from 1900 through 1950 show a gradual rise in the percentage of female residents, who accounted for only 22 percent of the population at the turn of the century but about 50 percent by mid-century.[56]

As of the census of 2000, there were 329 people, 182 households, and 84 families residing in the town.

Jerome is a fun and fascinating place to visit for anyone interest in the history of the Wild West, mining, or Arizona.

This photo shows a view of the mine from the Jerome State Historic Park.

This photo shows a view of the mine from the Jerome State Historic Park.

I took all of the photos in this post.

Even More New Collages

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I’ve been making so many collages during my current house sitting gig. It helps that I have a lot of time on my hands and not so many obligations. Finding all those catalogs at the post office and cutting out so many new colors and images and designs has really gotten me excited about making collages too. I especially like to work on collages while I’m watching food shows on TV. Oh, Food Network and Cooking Channel, how delicious you are!

Here are my latest little pieces of art, all available for purchase.

This collage is called It Is What It Is. It is 4" x 6" and is made from a postcard about to go in the recycling bin and little bits of paper. The price is $20, including shipping.

This collage is called It Is What It Is. The dimensions are 4″ x 6″ and is made from a postcard about to go in the recycling bin and little bits of paper. The price is $20, including shipping.

 

This collage is called Start Loving Yourself. The dimensions are 4" x 6," and the cost is $20, including postage. It is made from little bits of paper glued to a postcard headed to the recycling bin.

This collage is called Start Loving Yourself. The dimensions are 4″ x 6,” and the cost is $20, including postage. It is made from little bits of paper glued to a postcard intercepted from the recycling bin.

 

This collage is called Keep Growing and is made from paper on reclaimed postcard. The size is 4" x 6," and the cost is $20. including postage.

This collage is called Keep Growing and is made from paper on reclaimed postcard. The size is 4″ x 6,” and the cost is $20. including postage.

 

This collage is called Find Your True Nature. The dimensions are 4" x 6," and it's made from paper on a salvaged postcard. The cost is $20, including shipping.

This collage is called Find Your True Nature. The dimensions are 4″ x 6,” and it’s made from paper on a salvaged postcard. The cost is $20, including shipping.

 

This collage is called Peace. It was made on a salvaged postcard and is 4" x 6." The cost is $20, including postage.

This collage is called Peace. It was made on a salvaged postcard and is 4″ x 6.” The cost is $20, including postage.

The Last of the Hats

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These two large hats are for sale. Both have rolled edges, and both are suitable for adults. Each costs $13, including postage.

These two large hats are for sale. Both have rolled edges, and both are suitable for people over the age of five (depending on head size). Each costs $13, including postage.

I’m not making any more hats for a long time. I’ve reached this decision for a number of reasons.

#1 Yarn takes up storage space. While yarn doesn’t weigh much, it does take up space. Of course, living in a van, my storage space is limited. I’ve decided drawers or bags full of yarn is not space well used.

#2 The completed hats take up up space too. I have a bag intended to store a sleeping bag stuffed with handmade hats. It’s shoved in my passenger seat area. I could probably do something better with the space.

These two extra large hats have rolled edges and are suitable for adults with a large head or lots of hear. Each has a rolled edge and costs $13, including postage.

These two extra-large hats have rolled edges and are suitable for people with a large head or lots of hair. Each costs $13, including postage.

#3 Yarn cost money. Sure, I buy most of my yarn at thrift stores, so I’m getting bargains. However, a bargain is not really a bargain when I’m buying something I don’t need.

#4 I’m not really selling enough hats to make creating them worth the effort. Yes, I sell a hat every now and again, and that’s awesome. But months go by between hat sales and the hats just sit in their bag and take up precious space.

#5 A friend in New Mexico sells my hats while she is out selling the jewelry she makes, but frankly, it’s not worth the cost of sending the hats to her. It costs me about $1 per hat to mail them to my friend. She sells the hats for $10 each, keeps $5 for herself and sends $5 to me. Making $4 per hat means I’m earning around $2 per hour to make the hats. The amount of money is just not worth my effort.

These two extra large hats have rolled edges and are suitable for people with large heads or a lot of hair. Each costs $13, including postage. The hat on the right has a whimsical pompom on the front.

These two extra-large hats have rolled edges and are suitable for people with large heads or a lot of hair. Each costs $13, including postage. The hat on the right has a whimsical pompom on the front.

Of course, I enjoy making the hats. I enjoy making the hats so much, I’ve given similar handmade hats to friends. I have given my handmade hats to friends I suspect will never wear them. The joy I get from making the hats is simply not greater than the money I spend to make them and the space I lose hauling them (or the yarn they’re made from) around.

I currently have 43 hats for big people available, including the six featured in this post. I also have six hats available for small children. The six featured here are the last I am going to make for a long while, unless I take on custom orders. Get ’em while you still can.

La Reyna Panaderia

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I like the old-school style of this sign. I wonder if the lights are turned on at night.

When I was in San Francisco, I spent a lot of time walking around in the Mission District. The Mission is a vibrant, bustling neighborhood with great opportunities for watching people . I enjoyed getting a glimpse of folks living their lives in a metropolis. Being in the Mission made me remember how it feels to love a city.

In addition to people watching, I looked at the murals that are all over the Mission.  My Computer Guy says the Mission has been known for its mural since the 1970s, and and the SF Tourism Tips website (http://www.sftourismtips.com/mission-district-murals.html) backs him up. In previous trips to the Mission, I did see murals, but during my recent visit, I saw so many murals I had never seen before. Maybe I hadn’t been looking in the right places during previous visits. Maybe there really are more murals now. In any case, I spent much of my visit walking around the neighborhood, finding and admiring and photographing outdoor murals.

img_7158I spent an entire afternoon walking around 24th Street, ducking into alleys to take photos of the amazing murals located throughout this neighborhood. From across 24th Street, I saw La Reyna Panaderia and decided I would pay it a visit after lunch.

“Panaderia” is the Spanish word for bakery, and there was a wide selection of sweet treats available at La Reyna. I don’t know much about the pastries of the Latino world, but everything on display looked really delicious. I wanted to try everything!

I tried to joke about wanting to try everything to the woman working behind the counter, but she wasn’t having it. I don’t know if she was having a bad day or if she was just tired or if her English comprehension was limited and she didn’t understand my banter, but she didn’t seem amused by me in the least.

So this is how it works: Customers get a tray and a set of long tongs from the counter and serve themselves from the cases filled with a variety of pastries. Only a few of the pastries were labeled, so I didn’t really know what most of the varieties were. In theory, I guess I could have asked the woman working, but she did not act as if she wanted to be bothered by me. So I picked a big, soft-looking cookie that was obviously chocolate and another that  was sprinkled heavily with toasted coconut and had a red circle that looked like jelly in the middle. There was no indication of the price of anything, but my two cookies ended up costing $1.30. img_7159

While La Reyna’s sign does say “coffee shop,” I didn’t see or smell any coffee brewing. Maybe the lady behind the counter whips something up after an order is placed. I wasn’t interested in coffee, so I didn’t really look for it.

La Reyna also seemed not much like a coffee shop because there are no tables or chairs, either inside or out. It’s not a hangout kind of place. One goes in, buys one’s pastries and leaves. This is a great place for folks who like Mexican pastries, but it’s strictly a “to-go” situation.

Like many other buildings in the area, the one that houses La Reyna has murals painted on the side of it, including one of the Virgin Mary. La Reyna (also spelled “La Reina”) is the Spanish term for “The Queen.” The Queen in question might be the Virgin Mary (you know, as in “the Queen of Heaven”) which could explain why she’s painted on the side of the outside wall. However, The Queen might refer to someone else, and the Virgin Mary’s on the side of the building because she’s a popular art motif in the Latinx world.

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The words “La Reyna” written under this mural of the Virgin Mary on the side of the building housing La Reyna Panaderia indicate my idea that the bakery is names after the Queen of Heaven is correct.

My two cookies were big, and I savored them over the course of the next couple of hours. I ate a few nibbles while leaning against a tree outside of the bakery, listening to cops question a man sitting at a bus stop. I ate a few more nibbles while sitting at a bus stop bench on Mission Street and watching city people live their lives. Both cookies were delicious, flaky and crumbly.

La Reyna Panaderia is located at 3114 24th Street in San Francisco, CA.

I took all of the photos in this post.

Peace Collage

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My friend’s birthday was approaching, and I wanted to make something special for her. I sent her a hat a while back, and now she lives in the desert, so she didn’t really need another one or an infinity scarf either. I made a hemp necklace for one of her pendants two visits ago, and I didn’t know if she would like any of the necklaces I already had made. And oh, yeah, I’d traded her some bracelets for a copy of her zine a couple of years ago. She probably didn’t need any more bracelets. My last option was a collage. Yes, yes, a collage!

I wanted to make a collage with an inspiring quote on it. My friend is a peace activist, so when I found a good quote about peace from Jimi Hendrix, I decided to build the gift around his words.

lauramarie-collage

My friend took this photo of the collage I made for her. I forgot to take a photo of it before I put it in the mail.

Since I love my friend, I used many hearts in the piece. I hope this work of art conveys to her how much she means to me.

Happy birthday, my friend, happy birthday to you.

Maggie Kuhn

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In the third post about the Play Me, I’m Yours piano installation in Mesa, AZ, I mentioned one of the reasons for writing given on the piano presented by Phonetic Spit was this: I write to speak my mind, even when my voice shakes.

I knew I’d seen some variation of the quote before, but who’d said it? Audre Lorde? Alice Walker? I did a Google search and found Maggie Kuhn was the woman who gave us those words.

Who’s Maggie Kuhn? I didn’t know either, until I did a little reading up on her.

According to http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/a/maggie_kuhn.htm,

Maggie Kuhn is best known for founding the organization often called the Gray Panthers [officially known at first as the Consultation of Older and Younger Adults for Social Change], a social activist organization raising issues of justice and fairness for older Americans. She is credited with the passage of laws prohibiting forced retirement and with reform in health care and nursing home oversight.

The Wikipedia article about Kuhn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Kuhn) tells more about the work she and the Gray Panthers did.

In 1970, although [Kuhn] was working at a job she loved with the Presbyterian Church, she was forced to retire the day she turned 65 because of the mandatory retirement law then in effect. That year, she banded together with other retirees and formed the Gray Panthers movement. Seeing all issues of injustice as inevitably linked, they refused to restrict themselves to elder rights activism, but focused also on peace, presidential elections, poverty, and civil liberties. Their first big issue was opposition to the Vietnam War.

The Gray Panthers’ motto was “Age and Youth In Action,” and many of its members were high school and college students. Kuhn believed that teens should be taken more seriously and given more responsibility by society.

Kuhn raised controversy by openly discussing the sexuality of older people, and shocked the public with her assertion that older women, who outlive men by an average of 8 years, could develop sexual relationships with younger men or each other.

I couldn’t find any information about when or where Kuhn said or wrote her famous words advising us to speak our minds, but I did find the longer quote of which these words are part. The Presbyterian Historical Society (http://www.history.pcusa.org/blog/maggie-kuhn-womens-history-month) gives the longer quote as

Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind–even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.

I suspect Maggie Kuhn would be quite pleased to know young people remembered her sentiment and wrote it on a piano in an Arizona town for all to see.

 

Play Me, I’m Yours (Part 3)

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The last Play Me, I’m Yours piano I discovered was my favorite because it had a writing theme! This black and white piano, located at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, was decorated with flowers and the reasons why people write.  Some reasons people gave for writing:

I write to right my wrongs. img_5874

I write because the pen is my weapon.

I write to say, “I was here.”

I write because my ancestors weren’t allowed to.

I write to honor my second chances.

I write to relieve myself from pain.

I write to speak my mind, even when my voice shakes.

While researching this post, I discovered the community group responsible for this piano was Phonetic Spit. According to their website (http://phoneticspit.org/about-us/founders-artists/),

Through the intersections of Literary Arts, Youth Development, and Social Justice programs, Phonetic Spit creates Brave Space to empower young and emerging adults to find, develop and publicly present their voices as agents of societal change.

img_5873I can understand how a group of young people interested in the literary arts, publicly presenting their voices, and societal change would use this opportunity to tell the world why writing is important to each of them.

According to the Street Pianos webpage (http://streetpianos.com/mesa2016/pianos/4-arizona-museum-of-natural-history/) dedicated to this piano (#4), the artist who did the work on it was Tomas Stanton. A Phoenix New Times article (“100 Creatives” http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/8-tomas-stanton-6551318 ) from 2012 called Tomas Stanton

a poet, writer, teaching artist, and community activist. He says he’s a self-taught artist dedicated to advancing the art of spoken word through fusion with theatre and dance.

Stanton is co-founder of Phoenix’s premiere youth spoken word ensemble, Phonetic img_5870Spit. He uses hip-hop pedagogy to inspire youth to boldly express themselves through poetry, dance, theatre, and graffiti. His work and teaching style is rooted in his childhood experiences of poverty and single parent household, political issues, identity, and love.

This piano’s Street Pianos webpage also says it was donated by the First United Methodist Church of Mesa and was sponsored by Two Men And A Truck.

My favorite words on this piano read, “Your Voice Matters.” This message is important to everyone who may feel silenced in the current political climate. Every voice matters. Some will say the only voices that matter come from the throats of the rich or the males or the people with light skin. This is not the true.  The truth is every voice matters. My voice matters and your voice matters. Let’s all speak our minds, even when our voices shake.

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I took all of the photos in this post.

If you missed the other posts about the Play Me, I’m Yours pianos, here’s a brief summary from http://www.streetpianos.com/:

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over 10 million people worldwide – more than 1,500 street pianos have already been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to New York, bearing the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

Located on streets, in public parks, markets and train stations the pianos are temporarily available for everyone to play and enjoy. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated by local artists and community groups, the pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.