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Books of regional interest

Shelf Life

‘Colonias in Arizona and New Mexico: Border Poverty and Community Development Solutions’

By Adrian X. Esparza & Angela J. Donelson (University of Arizona Press, $19.95)

Half a million people live in 227 officially designated colonias in southern Arizona and New Mexico. These communities are characterized by poor-quality housing, a lack of infrastructure, adequate water, sewer systems and electricity. Esparza is an associate professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. Donelson is president of Donelson Consulting, a group that assists nonprofit organizations and local governments with housing and community development. They provide the first comprehensive overview of regional colonias, with the aim of increasing their visibility and promoting community development. This is a seminal work that merits our attention.

‘Wings in the Desert: A Folk Ornithology of the Northern Pimans’

By Amadeo M. Rea (University of Arizona Press, $70)

In this account of the O’odham tribes of Arizona and northwest Mexico, Rea, an adjunct professor in the department of anthropology at the University of San Diego, explores the tribe’s rich ornithology about the birds that are native to their region. Through highly detailed descriptions and accounts that reflect Native voices, this is the definitive study of folk ornithology and a valuable asset for scholars of linguistics and North American Native studies.

‘La Clinica: A Doctor’s Journey Across Borders’

By David P. Sklar (University of New Mexico Press, $26.95)

Sklar, an Albuquerque, N.M., emergency room physician on the verge of burnout, leaves New Mexico to accept the challenge of becoming a doctor in the foothills of the Sierra Madre in Mexico. In this primitive region, he occupies his time performing such duties as pulling teeth, tending to sick babies, comforting a woman who is convinced she has a frog in her stomach, and caring for the ill and dying. While at his clinic, he experiences an array of emotions including fear, excitement, anticipation, and, of course, the unknown.

In this first volume in the new Literature and Medicine Series from the University of New Mexico Press, Sklar takes us behind the scenes of his Mexico practice in a memoir that is fascinating and enlightening.

‘Early Tucson’

By Anne I. Woosley and the Arizona Historical Society (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99)

Woosley, an executive director of the Arizona Historical Society, selected rare materials from the group’s photographic archives for this remarkable new book, the latest in the Images of America series. In addition to photos, there are maps and a crisply written text that help tell the stories of individuals and cultures that transformed a sleepy 19th-century frontier village into a bustling 20th-century American city. Of special note are the so-called Fergusson Map of 1862 (Tucson’s earliest street map), the interior of Charles O. Brown’s Congress Hall Saloon, and a Steinfeld’s Department Store window decked out for the Christmas holidays.

‘Love in an Envelope: A Courtship in the American West’

Edited by Daniel Tyler with Betty Henshaw (University of New Mexico Press, $34.95)

In 1871, Leroy Carpenter moved from his home in Iowa to the newly settled community of Greeley, Colo., where he planned to pursue farming. Remaining behind was Martha Bennett, a young lady he had become quite fond of. Over the next 16 months, they exchanged letters and a friendship blossomed into love. They would eventually marry. This compilation of 54 letters is more than just the correspondence of two people. They are personal documents that provide a rare glimpse into a 19th-century, middle-class, rural American courtship.

‘Pioneer Cemeteries: Sculpture Gardens of the Old West’

By Annette Stott (University of Nebraska Press, $36.95)

Stott, a professor of art history at the University of Denver, documents the cemeteries of the American West, from the unkempt “boot hills” of the mining camps and cattle settlements, to the more refined “fair mounts” of the cities that featured Italian marble statues and other impressive tributes. Illustrated with more than 80 photographs, this highly readable book shows how the pioneer cemetery emerged as a site of public sculpture. A municipal park, if you will, honoring the dead. As the author points out, each carved or molded monument was like a page in a history book in that it recorded the community’s past and values while memorializing individuals and events.

‘Tucson’s Most Haunted’

By Katie Mullaly & J. Patrick Ohlde with photography by Mikal Mullaly (Schiffer, $14.99)

According to the authors, Tucson is one of the most haunted towns in America. They cite as an example that one of the city’s neighborhoods is built on plots formerly used as a cemetery. Mullaly and Ohlde document 30 local tales of possible supernatural shenanigans and even reveal the “symptoms” of a haunted house. The rock throwing ghost at Fort Lowell, strange happenings at the Carrillo-Fremont House, the ghost at Z Mansion, and even a scary laundry are just a few of the mysterious stories in this collection.

‘Making Peace with Cochise: The 1872 Journal of Captain Joseph Alton Sladen’

Edited by Edwin R. Sweeney with a foreword by Frank J. Sladen, Jr. (University of Oklahoma Press, $29.95)

During the autumn of 1872, Brigadier Gen. Oliver O. Howard and his aide-de-camp, Lt. Joseph Alton Sladen, found themselves in the Dragoon Mountains of southern Arizona in search of the elusive Chiricahua Apache chief. Their goal was to find Cochise and broker a peace. During this pivotal, turbulent period, Sladen kept a journal. His first-person account, first published in 1997, is engrossing, candid, and, yes, essential to our understanding of this period in our national history.

‘The Best in Tent Camping in Arizona: A Guide for Car Campers who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos’

By Kirstin Olmon and Kelly Phillips (Menasha Ridge Press, $14.95)

This nifty little book provides all of the information campers need to find the perfect camp site in Arizona. Olmon and Phillips selected 50 of the sites in our region that are best suited for tent camping, both for the first-timer as well as the car- camping veteran. Driving directions and GPS coordinates are included, in addition to ratings for beauty, privacy, noise, security, spaciousness, and cleanliness of each site. There also is an camping-equipment checklist and useful sidebars on facilities, parking, pets and fees. This is an indispensable guide written by two Tempe-based campers who have camped throughout our state for more than two decades.

‘Pueblos, Spaniards, and the Kingdom of New Mexico’

By John L. Kessell (University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95)

Kessell, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, has written the first narrative history devoted to the tumultuous 17th century in New Mexico. Vividly describing the Pueblo world that was first encountered by Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate, the book brings this period and place into sharp focus for, perhaps, the first time. Insightful and engaging, this is the definitive account of one of our region’s most volatile eras.

Books of regional interest

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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