Tag Archives: summer

Photo Friday: One Gila of a Workout

16 Aug

It’s not easy being a Gila Monster.

Buehman-Subjects-Animals-BN205186. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Buehman-Subjects-Animals-BN205186. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

 

This photo from the Arizona Historical Society’s Buehman photograph collection, catches a Gila Monster in a gem of a moment, trying to keep his balance and stay on this long pole. Is he doing pull-ups or trying out for the next Olympic gymnastics team? The Gila Monster is particularly special to the Southwest as it is native to this region. It seems that more than a few Tucsonans have a good Gila Monster story.

It’s hard to imagine a lizard more suited to good stories than a Gila Monster. They just seem destined for fiction, and they appear in it often. One of my beloved books as a kid in Ohio was “Gila Monsters Meet you at the Airport” by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (which we do happen to have here in the archives and which can also probably be found at your local library). This book was also once featured on the television program “Reading Rainbow,” for those of you who want to get a little nostalgic for good PBS programs encouraging reading.

Monsoon season is a prime moment to catch elusive animals like the Gila Monster out in the open enjoying the wave of cool and lovely puddles after the rain. It’s a good moment to take advantage of if you have kids. Take them on a special creative hike. Bring some paper and pens or crayons along and something sturdy to write on. When they see something neat let them stop and write about the experience or take a few minutes to draw what they see. You may not make swift progress up a hill, but you will get some good drawings or writing to put on your fridge and your kids will have something fun to talk about when they return to school. And just because you don’t have kids doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same kind of activity. Take some colored pencils with you on your next hike. Take some paper and a pen. Write things down. Sketch. You may find yourself having more fun than you first imagined. And you may find yourself face to face with a Gila Monster.

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First Photos & the Looming End of Summer

1 Aug
From one of our Western Ways Collections, MS 1255, Box 19, Folder 276, Photograph E. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

From one of our Western Ways Manuscript Collections, MS 1255, Box 19, Folder 276, Photograph E. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

I feel that this is true of most (all?) archivists: at one point or another something magnificent in their collections jumps out at them and they never forget it. Of course, I’m lucky enough to work in a place where I’m astounded by the collections every single day. But I do remember the first photo that caught my eye when I started working here, and that is the photo above. I now have no recollection of what we had pulled the box and folder for, but I found a slip of paper on my desk yesterday that said: “Remember MS 1255, Box 19, Folder 276, Photo E.” I left myself that note so I would always remember this photo. Now I’m sharing this photo with all of you so you can enjoy it as well! And there is no moment more appropriate than today, as August is upon us and with it the end of summer, the return of students to the University of Arizona and a pick-up in users coming into the Reading Room. The information on the back of this photo reads: “Women guests at Hotel Playa de Cortes on the Gulf of California, at Guaymas, Sonora have to entertain themselves during the day, even resorting to leapfrog on the beach. The men are out on Tom Jamison’s sports fishing cruisers, after sailfish and marlin and dolphin, now in season.” The women in this photo are identified as Barbara Black, Joan Hugg, and Mary Kaster.

So please, enjoy your last bits of summer Tucson! Soon enough school will be starting up and things will be hoppin’ around the Old Pueblo again!

Photo Friday: Drink Man!

17 May

The hot weather of summer has officially arrived in Tucson as our first day of 2013 with triple digit temperatures is upon us. This naturally gets one wondering how earlier residents of the Old Pueblo managed to stay cool on scorching summer days. Well, this wonderful photo from our portrait files helps answer that very question! For this installment of Photo Friday I am sharing this wonderful image of a street beverage vendor with you. According to information included with the photograph, this image of Juan Velasquez was taken on the streets of Tucson in about 1901. He is seen posing with a small tray balanced on his head. The tray holds a bucket of ice and bottles of flavored syrup which he used for making “helados”, the flavored snow-cone like drinks he sold. Juanito (as he was known) walked through the Barrio Viejo of Tucson calling out “Helados!” and when customers appeared he would stop, chop up some ice and cover it with whatever fruit flavored syrup they selected. Strawberry and lemon are said to have been favorites. According to three 1973 articles in the Tucson Citizen about the “Drink Man” written by Don Schellie, customers had to provide their own glasses and the cost for one of these delicious helados was 5 cents. You can read these articles in our clip books (a series of biographical clippings collected by AHS staff about residents of southern Arizona)—just look under “Drink Man” to learn more. You can see the photograph by requesting photo file Portrait—Velasquez, Juan (#2052). As always, if you are interested in obtaining a copy of this photograph or permission to publish it, contact us at ahsref@azhs.gov. And the next time you just have to treat yourself to one of the many options for icy, fruit-flavored drinks available around town this summer, remember that you are carrying on a Tucson tradition! Stay cool!

Portrait--Velasquez, Juan_2052. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this photograph or permission to publish it, contact us at ahsref@azhs.gov.

Portrait–Velasquez, Juan_2052. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this photograph or permission to publish it, contact us at ahsref@azhs.gov.