Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Headstone

Yesterday morning I got a call from Tomas who takes care of the family graves down in Douglas.  He told me that Teresa's headstone had come in and that he was installing it.   I asked him if he would text me a picture of it and he did. I immediately sent it to Judy.

I then sent it to Kerri as she and Chris were up at the cabin just in case they were going to come back through Douglas.  Don't know if they had planned on it, but a couple of hours later we got this picture from Kerri saying how nice it looked.  I was touched that they went to see it. 

I had ordered it when I was in Douglas earlier this month.  Judy had said to make it like my mom's and to be sure that there was a rose on it.   When Pete (who does the headstones) came over, he had a picture of my mom's and it has a rose on it.   So Teresa's is basically just like my mom's.   The one thing that I asked Judy if we could add was the word "Tia" on it because that is what Cameron always called her.  So it has Tia on it.

I want to share the story of Tomas because I don't think I have.   During the time I was in Douglas every April or May, Tomas would come to the house. Teresa would write him a check to take care of the grass on the graves during the monsoon season (roughly May through October).    He came just before we left in 2015.
I never thought any more about it after we left and the few times I went to the cemetery after leaving it was in the winter.   Last April or so, I was in Tucson visiting Elise and Jessie.  Elise and I were at Fry's when I got a message on Facebook messenger from someone I didn't know.  Turns out it was Tomas' grandson.  He said that Tomas was trying to get in touch with me so I gave him my cell number.  

Tomas called me right away and he had taken care of the graves during the summer of 2016 and as he said, "every time he went to the house to get paid, no one was home!"   I explained that we had left in 2015.  I told him that I would be down in a week or so (because of the Gilbert field trips) and I would call him as soon as I got there and make arrangements to pay him for 2016 and 2017.  

I called him and he came over and I gave him a check for both years. We talked about Teresa and how she was declining and he suggested that we cement it over after she died so we wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. And that is what we will be doing.

But the point to this story is like so many others I have told about the people in Douglas. Tomas is retired from the city and does this to make a little extra money.   We didn't pay him at all in 2016 but he still continued to take care of the graves.  And he was going to start this summer, too.

It is these small acts of kindness that will continue to make me know that my time in Douglas with Teresa was so special in so many ways.  I think that is one of the reasons that this transition of selling 858 has been so hard for me. I don't have any place to go back to there.  However, I do have the generous offering of two very special friends and I will take them up on it.   Just don't know when that will be............











Monday, October 23, 2017

On the Road Arizona - Douglas

This is an excellent article.  I tried to figure out how to cut and paste, but didn't have any luck.  I am going to try to get the pictures on here and rewrite it also. 

http://www.ontheroadarizona.com/douglas.html

Douglas

There are many reminders of what a prosperous and modern town Douglas was nearly a century ago.

G Avenue was crowded with merchants, banks and the Grand Theater, acclaimed as the best in the West when it opened in 1919. The 1,600-seat Grand hosted musicals, movies and traveling shows with John Phillip Sousa and a young Ginger Rogers.

In 1913, El Paso & Southwestern Railroad built an impressive Beaux Arts-style depot in Douglas that was busy with passenger traffic heading in every direction. The railroad added the El Paso & Southwestern YMCA in 1905, a sprawling Mission Revival building, for its employees.

Douglas’ most prominent building is the five-story Gadsden Hotel with its elegant lobby of white Italian marble, a Tiffany stained glass skylight and gold ornamentation. The original 1907 hotel was destroyed in a 1929 fire but was replaced within the year by the current 150-room Gadsden, designed by Henry C. Trost, the Southwest’s most prominent architect of the early 20th century.

Mining executives, ranchers and politicians did their business at the Gadsden and its Saddle and Spur Tavern for six decades before the decline of Douglas’ smelters and mining industry. The historic hotel has the required ghost stories and a legend of Pancho Villa riding his horse in the lobby, chipping off a sliver of marble from the grand staircase.

John Huston filmed “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean”  with Paul Newman in the Gadsden in 1972.

Gadsden embodies town's golden age

Today, the Gadsden is a bellwether of Douglas. It’s magnificent lobby is a legacy of the town’s prosperity but it clearly needs an infusion of millions of dollars to upgrade its well-worn infrastructure. The aging hotel owner, who bought the property nearly 30 years ago for $1 million, sold it to a Douglas couple in December 2016 for an undisclosed price.

Meanwhile, tourism and the town’s economy have struggled since the last smelter shut down in 1987. A state prison and the Border Patrol provide hundreds of jobs but are not exactly an inviting presence for travelers.  A Walmart and other commercial developments near the border have gutted commerce from once-thriving G Avenue.

Tourists don’t seem to make it past Bisbee, 30 miles away, and there is little to draw them to Douglas.

Growth and economic vitality has moved across the border to Agua Prieta. The Sonoran town with 80,000 residents is nearly five times larger than Douglas. Aqua Prieta’s maquiladoras, cross-border factories set up by American companies, provide thousands of low-wage jobs. 

Unfortunately, there is little investment on the American side in major industries that could revive Douglas. The town has historic neighborhoods, hundreds of historic buildings and the infrastructure to thrive if some white knight tech company came calling. 

Douglas also has a tolerable climate at an elevation of 4,000 feet with milder summer temperatures than much of the Arizona desert and a mild winter. In the first half of the 20th century, Douglas was a crossroads for tourists traveling by rail, air and later automobiles.

​U.S. 80, a southern cross-country route, was touted as the Broadway of America for motorists. Douglas boosters noted it was the “all-year high-gear” highway without the steep grades and snow of Route 66.  


American Airlines flew to Douglas after 1929 and its location on the border made it attractive during Prohibition. The pitch to tourists was “Douglas sunshine and Agua Prieta moonshine.”

That proximity to the border and the night life of Agua Prieta is in contrast to the town’s early ambition of being a wholesome, modern place, unlike rowdier Bisbee with its saloons and brothels. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Thornton Wilder, who at age 65 discovered Douglas by chance in 1962, was known to close down the Gadsden bar with his drinking buddies and head for a nightcap in Agua Prieta. Wilder was looking for an escape and rejuvenation when his 1957 Thunderbird broke down on a cross-country trip outside of Douglas in late May of 1962. 

'Our Town' author found refuge in Douglas

He checked into the Gadsden and stayed for two months before renting a three-room apartment, according to Tom Miller’s story in Smithsonian. Wilder wrote the beginning of his 1967 novel “The Eighth Day” in Douglas in between trips in southeastern Arizona and to the University of Arizona library in Tucson, 120 miles away. 

“Doc” or “the Professor” as he was known, according to Miller, eventually grew weary of the small-minded slurs of some of Douglas’ townsfolk and moved away in late November of 1963, spending 18 months in the town. “The Eighth Day” won the National Book Award. Wilder, who died in 1975, never returned to Douglas, the place where his novel was hatched.

Wilder is a polar opposite of the hard-working miners who inhabited Douglas during its half-century of good fortune. Yet Douglas in the early 1900s seems to have its similarities to the Grover’s Corner of Wilder’s play “Our Town.” 

Maybe nothing can save Douglas and the Gadsden Hotel from their decline, but it’s fun to imagine a renaissance of both.  A thriving Douglas could restore its architectural heritage, including the Grand Theater and YMCA. The town could pay homage to its mining past.

And maybe it's farfetched but how about Thornton Wilder Days? Local and visiting scholars  could pontificate at Cochise College on the brilliance of the literary lion, but the weekend event would have to include storytelling and drinking at the Saddle and Spur and a last call in Agua Prieta.

​Founded: 1901        
Elevation: 4,020   
Population: 16,989






Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Post From May, 2008--Hands Across the Border

 










(Last night after going through some boxes here at home, I found a letter from a student about this wonderful program.   I knew I had written about it before and found this post from May, 2008.  I am reposting and at the end is the letter from the student.)

Tuesday we held our Fifth and Sixth Grades Awards Assembly. This is always a wonderful assembly to end our school year. We give out many special awards in honor of former students and teachers. They are awards for most outstanding sixth grade student, most improved sixth grade student, sportsmanship awards named after a former student, a student who has displayed courage named after another former student, and a fifth grade boy and girl chosen for their kindness to others. This award is in honor of my dear friend, Ellen Widmer, who died almost five years ago. Ellen taught at Gilbert Elementary for many years. I remember when we told her that this award was going to be named after her. It was in May before she died the following October. She was so touched by this. Nancy Proffitt, one of our dear friends who taught with Ellen, along with a former student of Ellen's, presented the Ellen Widmer Kindness Award.


A few years ago when we were involved in the Hands Across the Border student exchange program, Dottie Dawn suggested that we give an award in my mom's name for the boy and girl who were the most outstanding student ambassadors. My mom was very supportive of the Hands Across the Border program. We would often meet in Douglas at the house down there to plan with our sister school from Nacozari, Sonora. When we could no longer participate in this program, I still wanted to do some type of award in my mother's name. So I decided to do a combination Citizenship/Leadership Award and name it the Margaret Shannon Award.

My mother worked for Phelps Dodge Corporation for many years. When she retired, she was the manager of the Hardware Jobbing Division of Phelps Dodge. She had always been involved in politics serving
as a precinct committeewoman and working on different campaigns. She always stressed the importance of community service. Shortly after she retired, she ran for the Douglas City Council and beat an incumbent by a wide margin of votes. She served for 12 years up until she was almost 80. During that time, she was the vice mayor. When she died in 2002, she was still a member of the Cochise County Fair Board of Directors.

Last year's recipient is a wonderful young man, Ryan McCord. As a sixth grader, he was our student council president and showed great leadership and citizenship skills. I was proud for him to be the first winner of this award. This year, Ryan was the Hatch Award winner for the most outstanding sixth grader. I know that he will continue to be a great leader in the future. We don't have to worry about our future with children like Ryan McCord!!

Last year, Kerri came to the assembly and presented the award in her grandmother's name. Since she is teaching now, I asked my Aunt Teresa to please
help me give the award. She was leaving for California on Tuesday, but made sure it wasn't until after the Awards Assembly. I know she would have helped me give this out, but this year had special significance for our family. The young lady who won the award is the great granddaughter of my Aunt Teresa's best friend, Dorothy Huber. Teresa was the Maid of Honor at Dorothy's and Paul's wedding. They had been friends since they were about six years old! The young lady's father was there for the assembly and Teresa was so proud to be giving this award. My mom would have been proud, too. She would have loved having an award for both citizenship and leadership named after her.

"T
hose we love are never really gone, as long as their stories are told." This is from my favorite children's book, The Last Dance. My mom's and Ellen's stories will live on with these awards!.

The end of the school year is always a time for tears. Relationships between teachers and families are built over the course of a school year. I believe these relationships are so important in the educational world. I believe that children learn best in an accepting and warm environment. I value the many relationships that I have built over the years, both as a teacher and as a principal. I was reminded of a quote that I really like. I concluded our staff 
luncheon today with it. "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened." I am smiling now. I hope you are, too!







3/9/03

Thank you

Dear Mrs. Rogers,

Thank you so so much for accepting my mom and i to go to Mexico in HATB.  I learned many extra things about Mexico's culture that I what I did before; such as more spanish words, and how my buddy was at home, and things like that.  I loved the copper mill and the barbque was my favorite thing of all time.

You deserve so much credit and I hope you are getting it.   Considering you've put together HATB every year well, I find that rather amazing.   You are a very unique person to be ableto withstand all of the pressure you have each and every day, and that is why you are the best principal I know.

SO THANK YOU (GRACIAS) SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING.

Sincerely grateful,
Maggie

Saturday, October 21, 2017

1992 Family Reunion Dispatch Article

From the Douglas Dispatch July 2, 1992

Under Picture:

Gathering Family

Early arrivals at the reunion of the Scott, Roughan, Nefsay family gathered around their aunts Margaret Shannon, left center, and Teresa Scott.   The nieces and nephews are, from the left, Bill Scott Jr., Kelly Kinas, Romy Scott, Sheila Rogers, and Patrick Scott.

Early Douglas Family to have reunion

By KAREN HERBERMAN
Dispatch Staff Writer

"There will be 146 members of my family between the ages of 85 and four months, here this weekend," said Teresa Scott.  "It is the first family reunion in 15 years and all of my parents grandchildren are planning to attend."

Miss Scott and her sister, Margaret Shannon, will host a well organized family reunion over the Fourth of July.  The plans include a visit to the Bisbee Mine Tour and the twin plants in Agua Prieta.  A special Mass is to be offered Sunday at St. Luke's with Father McGovern from Sun City West officiating and Father Liam from Douglas and Father Coleman from Bisbee as cocelebrants.  Some members will be traveling to the family cabin at Cave Creek in the Chiricahuas.

"It will be the Scott, Roughan, Nefsay family reunion which also includes the Reidy family who lived across the street long enough to be considered family, too." Miss Scott said.

Ellen and Matthew Roughan decided to make their home in Bisbee in 1903.  After repeated visits their daughter and son-in-law, Edward and Katherine Scott moved to the area in 1912.   Mr. Scott went to work for the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad and continued when it was later sold to Southern Pacific.

The Scotts had 10 children, seven of whom they reared.  THe remaining five will be here for the reunion:  Teresa Scott and Margaret Shannon, both of Douglas,  Matthew Scott of Phoenix, Thomas Scott of Bethesda, MD., and Bill Scott from San Francisco.  Two have died,  John B. Scott and Dorothy Park.

Teresa Scott, the organizer of the reunion, is retired from the city of Douglas where she worked for the Water Department for 40 years.   She now has a computer service which she operates from her home.  Her sister, Margaret Shannon, is a Douglas city councilwoman and retired from Phelps Dodge.

The brothers are also all retired.  Matthew from the Internal Revenue Service; Tom as the chief clerk with the Senate Appropriations Committee and Bill from the Immigration and Naturalization Service in San Francisco.

Friends of the family are encouraged to stop by and visit any time Friday or Saturday.



Friday, October 20, 2017

One of the hardest parts of being an educator

One of the hardest parts of being an educator is losing a student, parent, or staff member.  I, unfortunately, had this happen way too many times.  And each time it was so difficult at so many levels.  

Last night on Facebook a wonderful parent at Gilbert El, posted that it has been 16 years since her son, Tyler, was killed in an automobile accident.   I will never forget that day.    Tyler was one of the sweetest kids in the entire world.   He was a in one of our multi-age classes at the time.  I believe he was a second grader.

I will never forget getting to school that morning and hearing this terrible news.   His classmates were so upset as were all of the teachers.  It is almost incomprehensible to try to explain this to young children.

I will also never forget his funeral services.   Several of his little friends sang a song and it is something I will never forget.   If he had lived, he would have probably already graduated from college because I know of several of the children in his class have graduated.

I lost touch with his mom through the years but thought about her often.  I knew she still lived close to Gilbert El.   Then one day I found out she had remarried and was pregnant with triplets. She had three boys.   A child can NEVER be replaced, but I was so thrilled for Donita to have three boys.

My last year as principal at Gilbert El the boys were in preschool. They were so cute!

When I came back and decided to run for the board, Donita and her family were some of my biggest supporters.   The boys were still at Gilbert El and probably in about fourth grade.    They took signs and helped put up  the big ones for me.   They posted pictures of the boys with my signs.    It was amazing.

Tyler was a wonderful little boy who touched the hearts of a lot of people. He will always hold a special place in my heart as does his mom and her family. I was devastated when this happened and don't believe that I did anything more than anyone should do in a time like this.  However, to have his mom do so much to help me get elected meant more than words can ever explain.

Unfortunately, this happened more than one time during my years as an educator.   As a principal, we lost children to  accidents and to cancer. We also lost several staff members.  It was always a very difficult time.  I remember thinking one time that the true definition of being a leader is to be the one who doesn't fall apart when everyone else is.   I always had to remain calm and help all of my staff, kiddos, and families get through these horrible times when my heart was breaking, too.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Article My Mom Saved from the Mesa Tribune (3/12/79)

One of the greatest privileges I had as a teacher was having Wendy Aaby as a student.  I had her when she first moved to Gilbert in second grade and then when I moved to third grade, she was in my class.   Wendy was  paralyzed from the waist down after she had a brain tumor and the radiation she went through severed a spinal chord. 

Her mom was amazing.  She was so trusting of me as a teacher.  It was the first year I did my Bisbee/Tombstone trip and Marilyn (her mom) let her go with us.  Our wonderful health assistant, Mary Sisung, went along to tend to her physical needs. 

Wendy taught me so much as a teacher and she taught the students in my class so much about empathy and compassion.   Wendy died when I was in Douglas and I asked her best friend at the time, Charissa, if I could share about how amazing she was.  And she said yes.  Charissa is/was one of the kindest most amazing students I ever taught I feel privileged that we have kept in contact through the years.   She even helped with my campaign for GPS Governing Board.

When I came across this article, I was so touched that my mom had saved it.  I am sending it to Wendy's mom.

Students learn "lesson on wheels"

By Linda Schwartz
Staff Writer

Gilbert-There is no way Wendy Aaby could have felt alone.   

Usually she is the only student in a wheelchair at Patterson Elementary School but last week the second grader had company on wheels.

Using one adult-sized and one child-sized wheelchair brought to the school for the week, students and teachers took turn spending several  hours in the chairs.

Wendy's teacher, Sheila Rogers, came up with the idea to help Wendy feel more comfortable among her classmates and to give the other students an understanding of what it means to be confined to a wheelchair.

"It has been a positive experience for everyone involved," said Mrs. Rogers who challenged Wendy to what has become a frequent recess activity--a wheelchair race.   

Principal Leona Shreve was one of those who learned from her several hours in the chair.

"I found many of the things I had tried to get "Wendy to do were not that easy," she said.  "I felt very restrained because I wanted to  be able to do things quickly and I couldn't.   It has been an eye opener for the rest of us."

Several of Wendy's classmates said they enjoyed the wheelchair experience, although they complained of tired arms.

Maneuvering the chair over bumps and steering around corners takes considerable practice and strength.

Wendy's mother, Marilyn Aaby, said the child has been paralyzed for two years.   The spinal injury was the result of chemotherapy given Wendy, now 9 years old, following surgery for a malignant brain tumor.

Mrs. Aaby said Wendy has come home this week excited about seeing her classmates on wheels.   

"It has taken a long time to get used to the fact that she will never walk again," said Mrs. Aaby.

What a blessing it was for me to have Wendy as a student for two years.  I was so sad when she died at a young age.  And I will always be grateful for the lessons I learned from Wendy and from the fact that her mom trusted me implicitly with her education in all areas.   I was truly blessed to have Wendy as a student and Marilyn as a parent.   I learned more from her than she learned from me.  And I believe that the other students did, too.
It was such a privilege for met to be Wendy's teacher for two years!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kenny Chesney - While He Still Knows Who I Am - An Alzheimer's Tribute



This song speaks volumes to what Alzheimer's is all about.   It brings tears to my eyes when I listen to it.   The last two years with Teresa was so difficult.  I love the message.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Former resident selected as superintendent in Douglas (headline in Douglas Dispatch)

July 28, 2010

BY LARRY BLASKEY
DOUGLAS DISPATCH

After hours of interviews, a public forum and an additional executive session, former Douglas resident Sheila Rogers was selected as the district's new superintendent.

In a special meeting on Monday, July 26, the Douglas Unified School District Governing Board finalized a two-year contract at $105,000 annually.

Since 1989, Rogers has served as principal of the Gilbert Elementary School, and 38 years with the district.

In addition to her term as principal, she has worked as an interim personnel director, helped implement a classified and job description study and developed and implemented a district staff development program.

Earned Certificate

In 1989, Rogers earned her Principal/Supervisor/Superintendent certificate.

She has a bachelors degree from Arizona State University in Elementary Education with a Special Education certification.  She completed an additional 30 hours of graduate work in Special Education and earned a masters n Educational Administration and Supervision.

She has served as an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona University in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership since 2002.  

In 2005, she was selected as the Arizona School Psychologists' Administrator of the Year and in 2009 as the Gilbert Education Foundation Administrator of the Year.

She is a fourth generation Arizona resident. 

I also found a couple of cards that mean a lot to me.

#1

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article explaining that you had become the new Superintendent of Douglas Schools.   Congratulations!  What an honor!  They have picked an amazing leader and educator--you will be perfect for the job!

P.S.
I've been to Douglas before.  My third grade teacher took me there.  (I was her third grade teacher.)

Michelle (Jenkins) Miranda

#2

Dear Sheila,

Kerry just told me about your new position, and the move to Douglas.

I was very surprised and happy for you.  I guess you can go home--after all.  I hope your aunt is doing well.  She is such a sweet lady.

I hope all of your family is well.

I am really doing fine.   I will be 80 in September--and no complaints.

I think often of the years I spent working with you and all of the others  I felt really blessed to include all of you as friends.

I wish you much success and happiness in the coming years.

Pat O.

Pat was my aide at Patterson and Houston and then moved to Gilbert El. She was more than an IA.   She was an integral part of my classroom.   She was a dear friend.   She passed away in 2011 and I still miss her.  Ironically, her grand daughter-in-law is now teaching with Kerri.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The End of an Era! 1912-2017

I am writing this on Sunday evening and will post it at midnight tonight. Today the remainder of the furniture was taken out of the house.  The only thing left is the piano and it is being donated to DUSD in Teresa's memory.
 
There are so many people to thank who have helped me these past 2 plus weeks.   I don't know what I would have done without my wonderful former secretary AND DEAR FRIEND, Carol.  She has a lot of things that will remind her of us and I now have a bedroom at her house.   Victor from the DUSD came and moved things and took garbage.  He took some of the furniture and I had to force him to take money.    He helped us during the reunion and Teresa's 90th and helped me many times through the years.
 
I was able to see a lot of people I care deeply for but didn't get to see everyone.   I was really busy during the time I was there.   There are so many good people in Douglas and I will always value my time down there.
 
One of the most touching moments happened Saturday afternoon.  I took my favorite book, The Last Dance, over to the Hoyack's house.   Chuck, who was the Board President when I was hired in Douglas (and I have posted about this) died recently.  I was glad to be there for the funeral.   I just wanted to drop the book by, but they wanted me to come in.  So I was able to visit with Alvina, his wife and his two sons, Casey and Patrick.   We talked about many things but what really got to me was when they offered to come sleep in the house with me the last night I was there.   They are dealing with the death of their wonderful husband and father and yet, had the kindness to offer to help me.   That will never be forgotten.
 
Cecilia and Jay helped so much the first weekend.   Ken, Judy, Chris and Kerri came and got things that needed to be transported up.   Kerri came back this week and helped me.  I don't know what I would have done without her.
 
So today was the end of an era.   I locked the door and closed the gate for the last time.   Although it has been in our family since 1918, it is what I have called home for the last 68 years.   It was so hard to do that and then drive away.   But I also need closure on it. 

Our grandparents moved to Douglas in 1912 and great grandparents to Bisbee in 1903.   So our family has been in Cochise County for 114 years.  However, even though it is the end of the era in Douglas, it is not the end of the era in Cochise County as we still have the cabin near Portal in the Chirichaus which is still Cochise County.  I don't foresee that ending anytime soon.
 
My car was filled completely and there was enough room for the pugs.  They love Douglas and the freedom to run around the front and back yards and bark their hearts out.  But like most dogs, they really want to be with the humans who love them.   And they will get time at the cabin to run free.  Just have to keep them away from the skunks!
 
I made it HOME to Gilbert with a few tears along the way.   My wonderful cleaners had two weeks without the house being dirty and they did a whole lot of extra things.  Cupboards were clean, the garage looks decent and it was nice to come home.   I have a lot of sorting to go through over the next few months now that Kerri and Cameron are gone.  But not for awhile.   I am a bit burnt out in that department.
 
The one piece of furniture that I have always wanted was the desk in the hallway in Douglas that belonged to my grandfather.   Judy and Ken brought it last week and Kerri made sure it was placed in the entry way where I wanted it.   It was so touching to see this gorgeous desk when I first walked in the house.  I have  no idea how old it is, but it is still in very good condition.  Needs a bit of work, but nothing major.   So it was so great to come home and see it!
 
So tomorrow begins a new chapter in my life, which in itself seems weird after 68 plus years on this earth.   After I get some rest, I will need to figure out somethings to keep me busy.  I need to get back to my regular walking.  But the most important thing right now is to get some rest.
 
I am blessed with the many friendships I made in Douglas and I am happy to be back home in Gilbert with the many friends that I love.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Memories of 858

These pictures don't do the house justice.  I took pictures yesterday of what is now an almost empty house.    It is messy, but I decided it would be good idea to have some visual memories.







Saturday, October 14, 2017

All Class Reunion-2017

This weekend is the all class reunion for Douglas High School.  They do these every three years.   During my time as superintendent, I attended two of them.   The ladies who are on the committee work tirelessly to put this together.

This year is also my 50th class reunion. Instead of having a separate one, it is part of the larger one.   

Last night they separated it into three places depending on decades.   I attended the one at the American Legion as that was where the class of 1967 would be.   I really like the idea of having multiple classes because it was nice to visit with friends who were both older and younger.

I walked to the Legion as it is about four blocks from the house.   I had a wonderful time catching up with many people who I have not seen in years.  It was also fun to meet some  of the people that I have gotten to know on Facebook.

It was really crowded and there were so many people to hug.  I wish I had more time to spend with some of them but it is hard with an activity like this.

I had only planned on staying a short time, but that plan didn't last long and I am glad that I was able to visit with so many people.

Tonight is a dinner and dance held at the county fairgrounds.  I am supposed to go with my friends, Tom and Sandra Sanders.     I am not sure yet whether or not I will go.   I have a lot to do in the morning in order to lock up 858.

Before I went, I was sitting in the almost empty house.  It was such a weird feeling to have only two chairs, a bed, a lamp and a few things that will be picked up tomorrow.

Tomorrow everything but the piano will be gone and so will I.  I will leave as soon as everything is picked up.   We are donating the piano to the school district and it will be picked up on Monday.   

It has been an emotional two weeks and it has also been physically exhausting.   Just going up and down the very steep steps is a work-out on its own.   

One of our cousins who lives back east asked me to take some pictures, which I did this morning.  The pictures don't do justice for the beauty of this old house.  With everything out, there is a lot of dust, etc.   Next week the realtor will have it cleaned and get it ready to put on the market.   

My hope is that whoever buys it will love it like our family did and take care of it.  My mom and Teresa took excellent care of this house and kept it up.   However, it is 103 years old.   I think that whoever buys it won't need to do a whole lot.  Probably painting everything will be a priority. 

The carpet is old and underneath are beautiful wood floors.  I think that they would look amazing if they were refinished.   

So as I sit here writing this and listening to music, I am thinking that I need to get a few things done in terms of throwing away trash and getting my own things together to leave tomorrow.  

We will see what the day brings.   As sad and hard as this has been, I am ready to be done and get back to my new reality.   

When I get home to Gilbert, I have some adjusting to do.  I won't have this hanging over me anymore and that will be a relief.  For the first time in my life, I am living alone.   I had a few weeks before I came down here and it was very nice.  I look forward to going through things at my house and getting rid of a lot of  "stuff," but that isn't going to happen for awhile as I am fairly burnt out in that department right now,

Since I retired in July, 2015, I haven't really had any down time.   When I first got back, I did some work for ASU, helped Judy with Teresa, and did some subbing as a principal. From June through November, I had Teresa full time and I couldn't leave her alone during that time. It was a 24/7 job and I am so happy that I was able to do that.  In addition, that was during the time I ran for the GPS Board so I was busy with campaigning.   When Teresa went to the group home, I tried to go every day to visit her,

In January when I was elected to the Board, it became almost a full time job.   These past several months while we were doing our superintendent search, I was still busy.   Now that we have our wonderful superintendent in place, I foresee that my hours are going to be far less.

So I will have some adjusting to do with time, too.   My one goal for the next month is to get back to walking and get rest as I am physically exhausted.   And I will have to adjust to being alone and not having "work" to do every day.

I worried a little about being retired and going from 60 hour weeks to nothing, but that certainly didn't happen in the two plus years.  It may now....   But I will figure it out.

As I wrote earlier, I am sad about selling this house.    However, I am ready to get back home and have this behind me.   Tomorrow it will be over. Monday begins a new chapter in my life and for the first time ever, I will truly have nothing I have to do other than the normal duties of a Governing Board member.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Farewell Tour (Leaving Douglas)

Wednesday evening, Kerri and I went to dinner at the Gadsden Hotel.  We met Jeremy Long and his girlfriend and her niece.   Jeremy was on of the principals I hired when I was superintendent.    He is now the superintendent of Elfrida Elementary District.

We had a very nice visit and I think the world of him.  After dinner, we went up to the second floor outdoor patio.   I could not believe what the hew owners of the Gadsden have done to this area.   During my tenure as superintendent, I often sat up there to judge the "D" Day parade.  It was not very well kept up.  The new owners have made it into a beautiful area.  There was a DJ and music and the weather was perfect.




Thursday we drove up to the cabin to take a few things from the house.  The Brady's are up there so we just left the pillows, etc. and then stopped at the Research Station for a bit.   It is always so beautiful in the Chirichuas.  I am looking forward to a three day weekend up there with Elise and Jessie the first part of November.   The leaves are just starting to change so I imagine it will be beautiful by the time we get up there.   

We had a late lunch at the Portal Cafe.   There food is really good and there prices are very reasonable.   Although we still have a lot to do here at the house, it was good to get away for a few hours.



When we go to the cabin, the way the state border runs, we have to drive into New Mexico for about 15 miles and then back into Arizona.   This area is cattle ranching and farming.  There is a very small town called Rodeo, New Mexico.    There isn't much in the town but there are people that live on the farms and ranches.  There is one small cafe that we sometimes stop and eat at in town.   There is also the Rodeo Tavern.  Many years ago it was always open and I had a few fun times there.  

Over the past several years, when we have driven through Rodeo, it has never been open.   The last few times I noticed there were cars (trucks) there.  So we decided to stop on our way home and have a "beverage."

I was surprised to see a lot of people (for Rodeo standards) in there.  The new owner talked to us and said that it has always been open but that the old owners would close if no one was there.  She keeps it open all the posted hours and has a limited food menu.  It was fun to just sit, watch and listen to the locals.  

It rained quite hard on our way back.   When we got home, it was starting to get dark.  I went out to see if I could see the bonfire or the lighted "D" on D Hill for homecoming week.   I couldn't so went back inside.  A few minutes later, my friend, Julie, texted me and invited us up to their house as they have a great view of "D" Hill. The picture isn't very clear, but this was one of my favorite nights when I was in high school and then as superintendent.


We sat outside and had a wonderful visit with Julie and Carmen.  Julie's cousin braided Kerri's hair for her which was quite humorous. I always enjoy their company and Julie is a dear friend.   I also have a place to stay when I come down to Douglas in the future.

We are finishing packing up today and then I have my reunion tonight and tomorrow night.   This will be a fitting conclusion to the Farewell Tour.    

It has been an emotional two weeks for many reasons.   Packing up, sorting through the almost 100 years of "things" has been physically taxing.   The house is almost empty now and it is weird.  I am so glad that much of what we gave away to dear people down here will be used with love and friendship.

It was exactly two weeks ago today that I got down here.  I have had help from Cecilia and Jay and we got so much accomplished.  I can't thank Carol (my former secretary and still very dear friend) for all of her help.  All of the guys who came over and moved things and threw away trash, etc.  were all amazing.    Kerri and Chris have helped tremendously and Kerri is here now.  Judy and Ken were down last weekend and rented a truck and took back the very important furniture.  I am excited about the beautiful desk that belonged to my grandfather that is in my entry way.  I also have one cedar chest.    I have three or four containers filled with memorabilia that I need to sort through for blog posts and to get to family and friends.  But that will take time.  

I know that I absolutely need to rest the next few weeks as I am exhausted both physically and emotionally.    

I am looking forward to seeing old friends from high school tonight and tomorrow and I am thankful that I have been able to connect with so many dear people these past two weeks.

I am going to miss 858!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Meeting J. Edgar Hoover




In 1965, I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for the National Y-Teen Conference.   I had been president of the Y-Teen club at Douglas High.    It was an incredible opportunity.   I will write more about it in another blogpost.

My Uncle Tom and his family lived in Washington D.C. and I had never met my cousins. My cousin, Ellen, and I had been "pen pals" for several years.   She is 6 months older than I am.    After the conference, we went to New York for a few days and then my mom had me fly back to  Washington D.C. to spend some time getting to know my cousins.

We had the opportunity to visit so many of the historical places.   Because my uncle Tom was Chief Clerk of the Senate Appropriations Committee, we were able to get some special tours.  

One of the highlights was a tour of the FBI building culminating with getting to meet FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in his office.   We had our picture taken and I have looked for this picture for years.   I found it over the weekend, along with this letter to my Uncle Tom.

When Tom first moved to D.C. in the early 30's, he went to college and then went to work as an FBI agent.   That was when the FBI came to be very important fighting organized crime.  I imagine that the  bureau wasn't that big in Washington, and the Director knew my uncle.   He arranged for us to meet Director Hoover.

When I flew back from New York City to Washington D.C., two FBI agents met me at the airport and "escorted" me onto the plane.  I remember them driving onto the actual runway and taking me onto the airplane.   It was really cool to be escorted by the FBI.   Obviously, something like that would probably never happen today.

Here is what is written on the back of the picture and the letter from J. Edgar to my uncle Tom:

On August 24, 1965, Miss Ann Scott and Miss Judy Scott, daughters of Mr. Thomas J. Scott of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and a former Special Agent of the FBI, were photographed with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover during their visit to FBI Headquarters.   They were accompanied by Mr. Scott's niece, Sheila Shannon of Douglas, Arizona   Shown in Mr. Hoover's Office, left to are right are Sheila, Ann, Mr. Hoover and Judy.

Letter:

Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D. C.

August 24, 1965

BY SPECIAL MESSENGER

Mr.  Thomas J. Scott
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Room F 37
The Capitol
Washington, D. C.

Dear Tommy:

         It was certainly a pleasure to see your daughters, Ann and Judy, and your niece, Sheila Shannon, in my office this morning.   I do hope they enjoyed their tour of FBI Headquarters.    As mementos of the occasion, enclosed are copies of the photograph made during their visit which I thought they might like to have.

Sincerely,
J. Edgar Hoover 

Enclosures (3) 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Gilbert Roundup - Friday, Sept. 3, 1971


GILBERT ROUNDUP
Gilbert, Arizona
Friday, Sept. 3, 1971

School enrolment rises by 169;
kindergarten starts with 85

 With an enrolment 169 greater than last year, Gilbert's public schools opened their 1971-72 year Monday. 

High school registration was 420, up 10 from last year.   Grades 1 through 8 enrolled 901, an increase of 74.  The newly-established kindergarten started with 85 children.

There will be no school on Monday because of Labor Day.

The football season will open Thursday, Sept. 16, with a Junior Varsity game at Powell at 4:00 p.m.   The Varsity will start its scheduled Friday, Sept. 17, meeting Phoenix Christian here at 8:00 p.m.

New teachers in the Gilbert schools include Sheila Shannon and Mrs. Carol Conrad.

Miss Shannon was born and raised in Douglas, where her mother, Margaret Shannon, resides. 

She was active during high school in National Honor Society, Y-Teens, and Student Council. 

Miss Shannon attended Arizona State University for four years.   She received her BA degree in elementary education in June.   Her minor was special education, and she was active in the Student Council for exceptional children.

Mrs. Conrad, the former Carol Fincher, teached first grade at Gilbert Elementary School.

Mrs. Conrad graduated from Gilbert High School in 1967 and from Arizona State University in June.  Her family lives in Higley.

Carol was married July 7, 1971, to Darwin Conrad of Spokane, Wash.  They are currently living in Tempe.   Conrad works as an electrician and will attend school majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace technology.

I wrote this exactly as it was written in the newspaper.  It is interesting to see the misspellings, etc.    

And just another piece of information....I started teaching special education at Gilbert Jr. High.  At the time, Gilbert Jr. was located in what is now the District Office.  My first classroom is the superintendent's office now!