It was quite a sight as the space shuttle Endeavour soared gracefully in the sky above southern Arizona and Old Pueblo. Thousands stopped what they were doing to gather together and watch it pass overhead.
Including Gabby and Mark.
It was quite sight out here in Cochise County as well.
I was at the unofficial “community center” for the Cochise-Sunsites-Pearce area, our county trash and recycling station on Birch Road. I call it a “community center” because I always run into a neighbor or old friend and stop to talk to him or her, or sometimes it’s just a complete stranger that I find something in common we can chat about. Folks are pretty friendly out here in rural communities. I was chatting with a sweet little old lady, helping her unload her bags of old magazines into the recycling bin when another fellow shouted “Hey! Look at that!” We turned to see the space shuttle atop the 747 gliding gracefully across the sky to the north. “I wonder why it’s so low?” the lady wondered out loud, “I hope it’s not in trouble”. I wondered too, it wasn’t more than 10,000 feet above the ground. And then it dawned on me “That’s the Endeavour” I explained, “the one that Gabby’s husband Mark piloted on it’s last flight. I bet it’s doing a low flyover over Tucson in a tribute to Gabby & Mark”. The lady nodded in agreement.
But it was also a bittersweet day for us out here Cochise County. That’s what I had been chatting about with the lady – the sudden loss of our Cochise County Sheriff, Larry Dever.
Sheriff Dever died this past Tuesday evening when he lost control of his pickup on a dirt road in northern Arizona, he was on a hunting trip with his family. Sheriff Dever’s death is a sad loss for all of us here in Cochise County, he was a very good man. First elected in 1996, he’d been sheriff so long it’s hard to imagine anyone else being sheriff. He was a Republican, and I voted for him. Yeah, he often ran unopposed, as he was this election. He was that well liked, he was that well respected. You see, Sheriff Dever did worry about that 47%, and didn’t think of them as “victims”. Sheriff Dever thought it was his duty to protect 100% of Cochise County residents from ever being a victim. Rest In Peace, Sheriff Dever.
And have a great weekend, Tucson Citizens. And give it to those Ducks, Go Wildcats!