Sunday, January 29, 2012

MEETING FLAT STANLEY IN AJO.

Yesterday morning, I volunteered in the kitchen at the VFW . They were hosting  their Chili Cook-off, Salsa Competition, breakfast, lunch, auction and chili tasting. Michelle, far right, was the head honcho and she brought Flat Stanley, actually many Flat Stanleys,  with different modes of dress. What a hoot!  Michelle made breakfast burro-itos made with burro meat, eggs and potatoes. Stanley and I are old friends, (I took him to Thailand with me) but burro meat?  That was a new and delicious experience.  Yowzer!

Around 11:oo we went sight-seeing;  our first stop was the Historical Plaza built in 1917 by Isabella Greenway. One end served as the train depot for Ajo, Tuscon, Cornelia and Gila Bend. The Spanish style square is now home to offices and retail shops.

The post office is in the plaza and I had a letter to mail, so I taught Flat Stanley how to mail a letter.

Flat Stanly accompanied us to the Cornelia Copper Mine that was once the major industry in the area.  Now it is a big pit in the ground, one and a half miles across, with a lake at the bottom that is 120 feet deep. It’s interesting that at the nearby museum, we learned  how workers got to the bottom of the pit.  To drive the pit on the ridges you see, would be over one hundred  miles. They had to get to the bottom quicker than that. Too steep to drive straight up, they found a way to cross the roads at a 3% grade and make the trip in seven miles.

Local museums fascinate me because they have special knowledge relating to their unique area you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

There was the usual implements, stoves, tools, equipment, old wagons, horse carts, branding irons and so on. In fact, we gave Flat Stanley a ride on the wagon above. But, most fascinating to me was a collection of burrs. You laugh,I’m sure. But wait until you read the description.

At home I grouse about fox tails and the invasive thistles we have.  And, numerous tiny burrs, but these. They are like killers.

I’d hate to have one of those caught in my socks. The ball at the back is impossible to separate. It was probably the burr that led to the invention of velcro.

And I loved the O’oddham Papago friendship bowl.

Ajo was home to some famous people, too. This is Harry Pollard Sr. a gunfighter friend of Doc Holiday; Spanish American WarVeteran. He surveyed the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon and later became an Ajo Deputy Sheriff. They called him “Hole In The Head” from his injuries during a gunfight and was hired by writer, Zane Grey, as a guide. He was the REAL old west.
Then there was Isabella Selmes Ferguson Greenway King the first woman to be elected to the Arizona Congress in 1933. In fact, she served two terms. She built the Plaza in Ajo, and built a house there, buried a husband and erected a cross visible for miles. But, the docent told us about her interesting marriages and her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, a college friend. Briefly, one of her husbands, Ferguson, was dying to TB. They separated their bedrooms  because TB is was then a deadly and contagious disease.   Greenway asked permission of Ferguson to marry his wife. He granted that permission and upon his death, and after a year’s wait for mourning, Greenway married her.  Greenway was an interesting guy as was Isabella.

We went back for the chili and salsa competition. This guy, with West Roselle Chili, won. This picture was taken early in the day when the teams  just started cooking.

This woman won two trophies for two different categories of salsa. Hey, what more can you ask for than excellent chile and salsa. Yum. (No one was giving out their recipes.)
For more pictures click the link: https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/AjoStanleyAndSights

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