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Thoughts from the Publisher : Road Trip (part 1)

June 28th, 2007 · No Comments · Thoughts From The Publisher

neena strichartby Neena Strichart

After graduating from college, some kids backpack across Europe, staying at hostels. Others visit the tropics thanks to generous parents wishing to reward their productive progeny. When I graduated from college last month I did neither of the above—instead, two weeks ago Mom and I took a road trip.
Before leaving on this venture, we poured over boxes of paperwork filled with memorabilia from my parents’ first years together. Items included photos, letters, business cards, yellowing newspaper articles, brochures, post cards and the odd receipt or handwritten note. Most of the treasures—we consider them treasures—pertained to Mom and Dad’s passion for their communities while living in Arizona during the late ’40s and early ’50s.
While living in Tucson, Daddy was instrumental in starting the Pima County Sheriff’s Posse—a group of volunteers who rode their palomino horses in parades and other events. Within the tattered scrapbook he had carefully assembled to memorialize those days, I found fabulous 8×10 glossy photos and scads of clippings describing the Posse’s various appearances. There were even letters exchanged between Daddy and the folks in charge of the Pasadena Rose Parade trying to negotiate for the troupe to ride in one of the New Year parades. Quickly fading were also articles telling about the Posse’s participation at the dedication of the memorial statue for movie cowboy Tom Mix near the city of Florence, Ariz. Ironically, Mix is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale, Calif.—the same place where my father was first interred before I recently moved his remains to Forest Lawn here in Long Beach.
A passion both of my folks shared was their love for San Manuel, a little unincorporated mining town, also in Arizona. My parents moved to the little town in the early ’50s and helped shape the city’s chamber of commerce and start its first library. Within the boxes of memorabilia Mom and I have housed for decades were issues one and two of the town’s first newspaper—the San Manuel Miner, as well as nearly pristine copies of the town’s first telephone books (about a tenth of the thickness of a Reader’s Digest). We also found clipping after clipping of the happenings of the town during its first couple of years.
After loading the above-mentioned items in the trunk of my car, Mom and I headed for Arizona to bring our family’s memories to where we feel they belong.
More about our trip next week.

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