Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bill Scott--United States Navy-World War II

Tucson Citizen
May 28, 1945

OKINAWA BEACHHEAD - Navy and coast Guard-manned landing craft of all kinds do the sea  off the beachhead at Okinawa, Ryukyu Island 350 miles from the Jap mainland

(Newspaper article)

Word has been received here by Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Scott that their son, Bill, has been promoted to seaman first class.  He recently completed his advancement course in radar in Virginia.  Previously, he attended the radar school at Point Loma, San Diego.  This weekend he will visit this brother, T. J. Scott in Washington.  The latter is connected with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  He will be assigned to a new ship upon his return.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The BORDER BULLDOG - May 14, 1943

Another amazing find in Douglas, was this Douglas High School newspaper article about my Uncle Bill Scott.    He played in seven games, was at bat 17 times and got six hits with a .353 batting average.

Louis McKay, peppery backstop for the bulldogs, led the 'dawgs in hitting this past season collecting 24 safeties in 37 trips to the plate.  McKay, in nine games, hit a .648 clip.   Right behind the Bulldog backstop was Tony Morales who hit in the clean up spot for Coach Sancet (FYI-he was the baseball coach at the University of Arizona from 1950-1972).  Morales hit 29 times out of 47 tries for a .617 average.   Morales' blows were usually for extra bases and he collected 8 home runs in 10 games.

The Bulldogs had nine hitters over the .300 mark.  This was the most successful season Douglas has enjoyed in baseball.   Coach Sancet had his team playing head-up ball winning eight games and losing two.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Legend of Teresa and the Bear

We have had our cabin in the Chirichua Mountains since 1960.  Our family bought it with two other families.  Throughout the years we have seen many wild animals, snakes, and exotic birds.   However, we rarely see any animals right at the cabin.  We do get to see the birds that people come from all of the world to see.  They are often in the trees around the cabin.

When I was up there last year, I went outside just at dusk and there was a skunk.  That is the first time I have ever seen a skunk.   I know that one time when our cousins were up there, the left some food on the front porch and the javelina came, but I have never seen them around. We have seen a couple of wild turkeys through the years In all of the years and times spent up there, I have only seen a rattlesnake twice.  The only time I have ever seen a bear was many years ago when I was at a Girl Scout camp out and we were up at 10,000 feet.  The one animal we see a lot of are deer.

Through the years of having the cabin, we have survived a couple of very bad forest fires as well as flooding after the fires when the creek came down viciously. Bears are usually up much higher but because of the water issues that has been in the west the last several years, they have come down from the higher elevations.   

The pictures above show the damage that a bear or more than one bear has done to the posts on the two porches of our cabin.

Now to the "Legend of Teresa and the Bear...." Several years ago, Teresa took some of the kids up to the cabin during the summer.   The kids were all on a hike and she was the only one at the cabin.   In typical Teresa fashion, she was sitting back by the creek saying her Novenas when a bear appeared.   Teresa said that when she looked up and saw the bear, he was looking right at her.  So she very calmly told him to please leave as she didn't want him around.   She continued to calmly talk to the bear (while being fairly frightened) and the bear turned around and walked quietly away.

Teresa told that story for years.  She always said it was because God was watching over her.  And I believe that to be true!!!  Or maybe she was a "bear whisperer!"

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Amelia Earhart--Another Article about her stop in Douglas (From Capitol Times)

Famous woman aviator Amelia Earhart stands with a couple of spectators near her biplane – a French Avro-Avian – while the craft sits on a crude runway in the farming community of McNeal in the Sulfur Springs Valley just north of Douglas.

Earhart’s destination was Los Angeles, where a national air meet was in progress. Attempting to avoid publicity, she chose small, out-of-the-way landing fields for refueling stops. Her landing at McNeal on Sept. 12, 1928, was a surprise to the community.

The airport at McNeal had been built a few years before. According to the Douglas Daily Dispatch, there was “a smooth landing field which is rated as one of the best in this part of the west, it being clean of obstacles…”

Few pilots had landed at McNeal, so when residents heard a plane approaching at 11:30 a.m. on the 28th, many went out to the airfield to see what was going on. It was a great surprise when the famous pilot alighted from the plane.

McNeal residents were delighted to have her as their guest. The Lady’s Aid Society was holding a convention at the time and invited Earhart to attend. One resident was quoted “…we not only gave her the key to the city, but tore the gates from their hinges and then dispensed with the necessity of using a key.”

According to the Dispatch article, Earhart did “little talking” but did say she had landed at McNeal to “avoid the rush and hubbub” of larger fields. She also expressed an appreciation for the hospitality of McNeal residents and said she was falling in love with the West.

The plane was refueled during her three-hour layover. Then, without revealing her destination, Earhart took off once more.

She touched down briefly at Tucson, then landed in Casa Grande to stay the night. The next day she headed west but was unable to gain enough altitude to clear the Sand Tank and Maricopa mountains. Instead she took a southern route, following the Southern Pacific railroad tracks. She made a last stop in Yuma before flying to Los Angeles.

In reaching Los Angeles, she became the first woman to fly solo across the United States. But despite her having encountered half a dozen mishaps and overcome all kinds of uncertainties during the journey, she was too nervous to land at Mines Airfield where the show was taking place. Instead, she landed at Glendale field, where she told the press, “I don’t profess or pretend to be a flyer. I am just an amateur, a dub, flying around the country for the amusement there is in it for me. I certainly wouldn’t attempt to participate in any of the events at Mines field when I didn’t have the nerve enough to land there today around a swarm of ships.”

Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Three years later she became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu to California. In 1937, she attempted to fly around the world with a copilot, Frederick J. Noonan. Her plane was lost on the flight between New Guinea and Howard Island and her fate remains a mystery.
– Tom Vaughan. Photo courtesy Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Eulogy from Cornella Reidy Berger at Joel (Eddie) Scott's Funeral

Another find going through "stuff" in Douglas. This is a eulogy that Cornella Reidy Berger gave at Eddie's funeral.    I hope that the couple of posts I have done will mean something to his sons.   And I have actually found a few more things that I will be posting in the future.

It is both an honor an a privilege to be asked this morning to reflect on what I remember and have loved so much about Eddie Scott.   I won't bother to explain that as a Reidy I am ot an "official" member of the Scott Family, because we have been a part of this wonderful large group of people all of our lives.  Matt reminded me this morning that the Scott, Reidy and Joyce families began their close ties in 1912 on 14th Street in Douglas, Arizona.  My father, Cornelius Reidy was the best man at my parents' wedding in Bisbee, Arizona.

In God's great wisdom for us, He has used ritual and sacrament to bring people together.   And so it is today that we once again come together to remember the life of Eddie Scott.   One of my earliest memories of Eddie was visiting him as a child
with my two brothers at the monastery in Santa Barbara.  It wasn't long after that we were together for his ordination and then my two brothers, Dennis and Jerry, was serving his first mass at St. Luke's Church in Douglas.

In the years that followed, Eddie was always there for his parents, his sisters and each of us if we called upon him.  He was always there to listen, never intruding, but if you asked a question--you got a straight answer.

Through much prayer and discernment,  Joel reached the decision to leave the active priesthood and marry Carmen.   It was a decision that proved to be fruitful as they are the parents of four lovely young men:  Matthew, Joel, Edward and Daniel.

God gives each of us special gifts and talents.  Joel Scott was a very gifted  man with the special ability to call those whom he met forward.   He instilled in them a sens of self-confidence and the knowledge that they were special.  There is no doubt in my mind that Joel has arrived at that beautiful dwelling place the Lord has prepared for him because it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

It is my hope and prayer today that Matt, Carmen, Matthew, Joel, Edward, Daniel, Margaret Ellen, Pat, Marion, Cecilia, and Teresa Ann will cherish the beautiful memories that they have of their son, husband, father, and brother and that we will remain for many years to come, one large, extended, loving and prayerful family.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Father McGovern

I don't ever remember a time in my life until he died that Father McGovern was a part of our family events be they births, marriages, or funerals. He was Judy's godfather. 

I will never forget the day that Judy and I went to say good-bye to him when he was in his last days.   And I remember the beautiful funeral that was held for him when he passed.    He was part of our family and a very dear man!


Jubilee Issue                                                                          May 30, 1970

Rev. Michael A. McGovern
Silver Jubilee

In Happy Rememberance
of my  
Ordination to the Priesthood
The Cathedral Caban
and of my 
First Holy Mass
Celebrated in
Glangeblin Parish Church
June 17th and 18th 1945
Michael McGovern

To Father McGovern, the ordination Card Shown at the right (above here) may have signified the end many years of seminary training in Ireland.   To thousands of Arizona Catholics, however, the ordination of this one priest was to mean the beginning of numerous new churches, schools, and parish facilities. St. Jerome's is proud to celebrate with our founding pastor on his twenty-fifth anniversary as a priest.

Father McGovern's home in Glangevilin, Cavan

The Phoenix Bird has appropriately been chosen as the emblem for Father McGovern's Silver Jubilee.  The legendary bird represents new life.  THe wheat is used to symbolize the priesthood while the shamrock depicts his native homeland.

Born to James and Rose McGovern in Glangevlin Co, Cavan, the seventh member of a family of ten boys and two girls,  Michael Anthony grew up on his parent's farm--close to the earth and its Maker.

After seven years in the local grade school, he spent five years of high school at St. Patrick's, Cavan, where he learned his skill at Gaelic football and was introduced to Shakespeare. After five additional years in St. Patrick's Seminary, Carlow, he was ordained on June 17, 1945, int eh Cathedral of Sts. Patrick & Felim, Cavan.

 A first blessing for Mother.....

It is many miles from the gently rolling hills of West Cavan, Ireland, to the rugged desert ranges of Arizona, but the pioneering spirit which has characterized Fr. McGovern throughout his life prompted a consideration to relocate to Arizona.

The late Daniel Gercke, former Bishop of Tucson,  had appealed for help in his diocese. Father McGovern was intrigued with the challenge of life in Arizona and after due deliberation he accepted Bishop Gercke's invitation to become part of the Diocese of Tucson.

He traveled from Ireland to Tucson and he was met and welcomed by Bishop Gercke in May, 1946.

His first taste of desert living was received during his initial assignment as assistant to Fr. James McFadden in Casa Grande.  In those days before air conditioning and the relaxed Eucharistic fact, serving Casa Grande and its two missions, Coolidge and Eloy, demanded real dedication.  

In 1948, Father McGovern was transferred to Nogales to assist Fr. Rouselle.  It was in this friendly border town he acquired a knowledge of Spanish.  Three years later he moved to Douglas to become the pastor of the newly formed parish of St. Luke's. There with the aid of 400 families he transformed an old army barracks, which had served as a temporary church into the present church and hall.   Always a lover of sports, it was at this time that he learned to play and enjoy golf.

After 8 years in Douglas, Fr. McGovern became pastor of St. Patrick's in Bisbee, a parish of some 500 families.   With their assistance he constructed a new rectory and convent.

In 1962, Francis J. Green became Bishop of Tucson. Foreseeing the needs of the rapidly growing northwest section of Phoenix, he established two new parishes, one under the patronage of St. Louis, King of France and the other that of St. Jerome.   Father McGovern was named pastor of the new Church of St. Jerome.

In June, 1962, St. Jerome's existed in name only. Through the wisdom, dedication and foresight of Fr. McGovern it has become what we know today, a vibrant parish ever expanding and ever progressing.   It is hard for anyone except a charter parish member to visualize Fr. McGovern's challenge as he took up temporary residence at Most Holy Trinity eight years ago.

At that time 35th Avenue was a dirt road north of Dunlap and the present parish grounds were part of an expanse of farmland stretching from Dunlap to Cholla Avenues.   His first step then was the purchase of this property.  Next he left for Ireland in search of nuns to staff the future school.

On returning, Cholla school cafetorium was procured for Sunday Masses and Saturday confessions.  Renting the school facility involved getting signatures from taxpayers in the area, which required the help of many parishioners. Many also had to help in making the kneelers and setting up the hall each week.   The enthusiasm of his parishioners in those days has always been an inspiration to Fr. McGovern.

The first mass at Cholla was on August, 1962.  At this time baptisms and daily masses took place at the temporary rectory, 3208 W. Bloomfield.

Through detailed consultation with an architect, plans for the present church and adjoining hall were then drawn up and approved. Ground was broken for the new church on February 17, 1963.

With a sign of relief and satisfaction of accomplishment, all joined in the celebration of mass in the new church for the first time on August 4, 1963. By December, 1963 the present rectory was ready for occupancy and Fr. McGovern moved in with his assistant, Fr. Clement Hut.

Bishop Green of Tucson dedicated the new church on April 15, 1964.  Meantime, things were beginning to happen in Rome which were to have world-wide repercussions. The Renewal of the Church had begun with changes designed to renew the liturgy.  Implementing and keeping abreast of them was a constant challenge.  Our pastor was equal to the challenge and has continued to lead our parish since that time in the spirit of Vatican II.

The next step in the building program was the construction of a school.  The first half was completed and classes for kindergarten through 3rd grade were begun in September, 1965 with the help of the Loretto Sisters who commuted daily from Sts. Simon and Jude.

With the completion of the second half of the school in November, 1967, another milestone was reached.

Then the typical awareness of the needs of a parish today, Fr. McGovern in December, 1967 invited a representative group of people to form an Interim Parish Council.  When their preparatory work was completed they gave way to the present elected Council.

The next milestone for Fr. McGovern was the arrival of our present Dominican Sisters from Maine to work in our school and the parish in general.  Their convent was completed in the spring of 1969.

Fr. McGovern's vision has always reached beyond parochial boundaries as is shown by the various ways in which st. Jerome's has participated in the life of the greater local community in which it has located.  An outstanding example of Christian service to the community is the use of the Church Hall for the Deer Valley Day Care Center.

And so the story goes on. For Father McGovern's leadership continues to inspires us we continue to struggle to meet the needs of an every growing parish.

There are many other things which we are grateful to Fr. McGovern and we hope that these few days of celebration will convey something of that gratitude.  We wish him many more years of God's blessings in the service of His people.

A time to be proud

A time to reflect


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Judy's Eulogy from my mom's funeral on October 12, 2002

Margaret has been a teacher, a mentor and a genuine support in my life and the many others here today.    The past five months, especially to final four weeks of Margaret's life were the gift to the family and me.   After Margaret's last episode of strokes last May, she entered entered rehab really wanting to rebuild her failing body.   Margaret had one goal and that was to regain her independence in order to return to 858, Teresa and her beloved Douglas.  She loved this community and spent many hours working for the betterment of Douglas.

After her release from rehab, Margaret entered a group home  approximately a mile from Sheila's home.  Once again, her only goal was to continue working with the physical therapist to build her strength and mobility.   She enjoyed family visits, but her focus was still on regaining her independence to return to Douglas.

After six weeks of outpatient therapy, Margaret's physician informed her that her body simply had lost the capacity to walk and ambulate.   Therefore, Margaret would need 24 hour care.  It was at this pint that I noticed the change in Margaret.  She was not depressed or bitter, she simply brought Douglas to her.  From that point on--Margaret spent most of her time at 858 surrounded by family and friends.   

When Margaret developed pneumonia and spent two weeks at Desert Samaritan Hospital she was so  pleased that Phelps Dodge had built this beautiful state-of-the art hospital in Douglas.   While in the hospital she spent many hours working back at Hardware Jobbing.   She even turned her nurses into her beloved employees at Hardware Jobbing.  I believe that the nurses enjoyed partaking in her fond memories.   

Yet, when we spoke to Margaret about her future and available medical interventions, she was lucid and clear that she wanted to go home in the care of Hospice.   She readily stated that she wanted to spend whatever time she had left surrounded by her family and friends.   Sheila, Kerri and Patrick were at my home daily offering her love and personal care.    Of course, no one could light up her eyes like her great grandson, Cameron.   Every day he kissed her and said, "I love you, Great."   Cameron was truly the light of her life.  Mom spent most of her time in Gilbert and her presence gave Margaret such comfort and peace of mind.  Thank you Tom and Mary for calling often, she loved you.  Thank you  Matt and Glennie for visiting often, she enjoyed spending time with you.    I also want to thank my friends at Hospice of the Valley for walking this final journey with us.  Margaret loved all of you. I especially want to thank the Gilbert Public Schools District for offering me a leave of absence and the incredible support of Gilbert Elementary that surrounded us with food and support.

Margaret had three loves in her life:  1) Her faith; 2) Her family, 3) Her friends.   She actively practiced her faith and give of her time and personal resources to this parish.  I don't believe there is a single member of our family that did not feel loved and special by Margaret.  And we all know that she always had a fresh coup of coffee and an engaging conversation for her friends.   

I believe the legacy and lesson that Margaret left us is often defined as three qualities by historians, philosophers and social scientists when they speak of people that are authentic and highly functioning.  Margaret mastered these three and I would like to take a minute to review them.

1)  Margaret was independent of the good opinion of others.   She truly marched to her own drummer.

2)  Margaret was detached from the outcome of matters.   Rather, She remained focused upon the process of her mission and purpose in life.   She did not work for accolades or merit badges.   She was always surprised when she was recognized for her service to others.

3)  Margaret had no investment in  power or control of others.   She welcomed a spirited debate and continued to be your friend if you disagreed with her opinions or actions.   Unfortunately, not everyone offered Margaret the same respect.  When people were petty or critical of her, she chose not to retaliate, but to continue her service to others. 

 My favorite memory is simple but so descriptive of the value of this woman. The day before Margaret died she was too weak to talk.  She looked Sheila in the eye and mouthed one last time, "I Love You."   I believe if Margaret could leave us with one last bit of advice, she would choose the following words by the late  Mother Theresa:  "Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.  What we need is love without getting tired...Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."   

So, Margaret, I end this with an Indian Proverb that Sheila wanted to read but found too difficult at this time:  "The day that you were born you cried and the world rejoiced.  The day you died the world cried and you rejoiced." 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


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. 



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.

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!


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.


Sincerely grateful,

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

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 was so very touching.   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!!