A Valentine Memory of Arizona Statehood

14 Feb

Feb.14th 2018- Arizona celebrates its 106th birthday today. Happy Valentines Day. I shared in the book a Valentine remembrance Elsie loved to tell about. She received a special Valentine while teaching in Arizona that was chocolate covered soap. Her laughter when telling this story filled the room with her effervescent joy. She had a chuckle that was like none other I have ever heard. It seemed to come from her toes and traveled all the way to her heart, and out her mouth filling the room with mirth.

The Girdner Family 1913

I had the privilege to meet Eva in 1989, she was charming. In the book, I share about Eva Girdner’s memory of the first Arizona statehood celebration that occurred in Oak Creek Canyon. She shared that there were about 25 families living along the beautiful lower Oak Creek. When word arrived that statehood had been granted the Arizona territory the news was passed to all the families along the creek to meet for a picnic. The children celebrated with foot and burro races. Eva’s mother made her a unique red, white and blue dress for the occasion. I wonder which child had the privilege to ride his burro shouting the news of statehood and announcing the celebratory picnic. Somehow it seems that an e-mail or telephone call would never be as exciting as watching a child arriving breathless with the news that the territory was now the State of Arizona! I think “Elsie” would be a great movie. Much of what she wrote creates a vivid picture in my mind.
I keep thinking how Elsie would be delighted knowing that her story received 332 reviews on Amazon and has sold over 1,200 copies just in the Tuzigoot and Montezuma’s Castle National Parks.
Special thanks to all who have added a review or clicked the like button on Elsie’s Amazon page. I think those reviews really encourage others to buy the book. I am grateful and thrilled to have recently shared her story with The Daughters of The American Revolution here in San Diego.

4 Responses to “A Valentine Memory of Arizona Statehood”

  1. Rita Covalt February 14, 2018 at 7:16 pm #

    Barb, is Eva the girl in the second photo? How did you acquire these vintage photos? Love the story about Arizona’s statehood.

    • Barb Waite February 16, 2018 at 9:11 pm #

      Yes, Rita- that is Eva with the fabulous bow. Elsie took lots of KODAKS as she called them and in 1988 I traveled to Arizona to meet an elderly adorable Eva. She wrote to me for several years, her memories were so vivid of a teacher she knew 75 years before, my own treasured Elsie. We connected via a note that Curt sent to the local newspaper, asking if anyone remembered Elsie. As I remember I had 8 replies and met three of those folks.

  2. Pallas March 7, 2018 at 8:44 pm #

    John and I are going to Kentucky this summer via I 40 with a stay in Williams where we will be riding the train to the Grand Canyon and back.

    I remember from the book that Elsie spent time in Williams. I will reread the parts of her time in Williams before we go.


    • Barb Waite March 8, 2018 at 7:17 am #

      Love it, you will enjoy that! El Tovar (the hotel at the canyon) was designed by a woman and is just like it was when Elsie was there over 100 years ago. They have a museum room I liked. We ate lunch at El Tovar and that was not too expensive. Will email you a pic of school in Williams, last we were there it was still standing but not in use. Barb

Leave a Reply