This weekend my uncle as usual went into town. On Saturday we went to the post office, the coffee shop, the dump, the farmers market and the general store. Like in most traditional communities the market is a source not only of goods, but more importantly information. Sometimes the best things in life really are free.
At the coffee shop I picked up the town's monthly paper, "Connection." It is also free. Mary Kasulaitis, our librarian has a really interesting article on the woman who built Arivaca's mainstreet in the 1890s, Teresa Celaya, an alleged prostitute from Sonora. The ruined adobe building next to La Gitana Cantina used to be her saloon. She also owned the building where the hardware store is now. She died at age 102 in 1937.
At the farmers market we purchased some more prickly pear glaze and jelly. We also saw a bunch of college aged girls involved with "No More Deaths." Best, I can tell they are Yankee "do gooders" making it easier for illegal aliens to cross over the Sonora Desert by providing them with free supplies. You can always spot people who are not from Arivaca by the way they dress and the color of their skin. You almost go, "look, white people." Believe it or not my uncle and I used to be white. No really, we were. At anyrate these visitors seemed to have some incorrect ideas about the people and town of Arivaca. One of them wrote an unflattering blog entry here about us. I left a comment on her blog attempting to dispel some of her anti-rural prejudices. Arivaca in particular is a unique community that really defies stereotypes. I encourage other people with knowledge of our community to also go and comment on her blog. I also request that all such comments be civil and aimed at educating rather than insulting. I am going to have more to say on the falsity of the stereotype of rural=ignorant and unsophisticated later on this week.
At the market Kyle Young, who has an incredible store of knowledge on local edible plants, informed us that the gourds growing on our property were "totally inedible." That leaves us with mesquite beans and prickly pear. My uncle got us a bucket to store the mesquite pods until we mill them at the festival on the 30th. Now, I just need to motivate myself to go out there and pick pods.
On Sunday we went to a pancake breakfest at the old school house. Prickly pear syrup goes really well with pancakes. The school house was built when Arizona was still a territory. We became the last of the lower 48 states admitted to the Union in 1912. The school shut down in 1953. Now children are bused a considerable distance north to attend classes.
I am going to start having a regular feature on the town based on our weekend excursions. I will introduce you to the town and the people that make it unique. Despite some abandoned buildings, we have a vibrant and living community. Like alot of things in the desert it is just not readily apparent to people just passing through.