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Kathy and the Gang Blow into Arizona

–Page 2–


The '60s Live On in Bisbee

Bisbee is a mining town in the Mule Mountains. It has the quaintness of Europe, the cosmopolitanism of an art community, the feel of the 1960's, and the heart of a mining camp.

We spent the day shopping for antiques in buildings dating to the turn of the century, dining in the elegant Copper Queen Hotel, and touring the old copper mines.

Kristin wanted to see ghosts of the past haunting the present...maybe the copper mine tour will surprise her.

'Grandpa Woodstock' ambles by the coffee shop on Main
Above, "Grandpa Woodstock" strolls past the Bisbee Coffee Shop on his rounds through town. He reportedly lives in the abandoned mine entrances and caves on the hills around Bisbee.
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On the left, Kristin, Kathy, Dani, and Cherie in front of the Copper Queen Hotel prior to our lunch date.
On the right, Kathy and girls are anxious to sip their chocolate shakes at the Bisbee Coffee Company.
Above, the Bisbee "B" is seen on the hill overlooking the main shopping street.
The Turquoise Pit open mine, at over 900 feet deep, was the source of much copper and turquiose, which Bisbee jewelers sell to this day.
Standing at the entrance to the Copper Queen mine, Kathy and her girls get a 47-degree blast of cool air seeping from the mine–a nice respite from the 90-degree heat of the day.
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 Desc Juan, our tour guide, demonstrates drilling techniques in the upper left pane. Over the course of an 8-hour shift, 7 feet of rock was drilled and blasted away, expanding the mine bit by bit.

Above center, he explains the "honey pot" car...a "gas-"ly emission haunts the mine.

I was deighted to point out to Kristin the skull-like shape in the vein of high-grade ore in the pane to the right, above.

At left, Juan shows how the dynamite fuses are gathered and cut to the correct lenghts to ensure the choreographed explosions create tunnels in the solid rock.

Fort Huachuca Protects the Frontier

Fort Huachuca was established in 1877 to protect the American settlers from Apache raids in southeastern Arizona.

Kristin and Dani got an up-close look at the fort, the soldiers (hey, was that one making eyes at us?), and its history.

At left, Kristin, Aunt Cherie, Uncle Jamie, and Dani stand on a hill, with part of Fort Huachuca stretching out behind them.

Staff Sargeant O'Connor gives the girls a personal briefing on military intelligence history. Fort Huachuca is home to the Army's military intelligence center and school.
The gals smartly salute the uniformed mannikens in the Fort Huachuca musuem. Hey, they're catching on to this soldiering quickly. "At ease, ladies."
Dani and Kristin share a burger and some boogie-woogie with a WWII WAC, left, while some "buffalo" soldiers pass time by playing checkers with bottlecaps.

Kristin and Dani got a chuckle out of the small target soldiers and jeep at the grenade training range on post.
The new recruits are ready to tackle the obstacle course behind them.
Even in the old days, the Fort Huachuca ladies had to contend with the pesky desert varmits. Here one swats her broom at the scorpion laying in wait on the bedroom floor.

And things haven't changed much in the 21st century

Kathy and the kids shreeked at the sight of Arizona's monster bugs...
The family gingerly examines a spider crawling across the patio behind our house.
A small tarantula entertained the family after a storm washed it from its hole.
Mesquite beetles chew on the tree's seed pods, and occasionally land in Kathy's hair.

"Don't worry, Mom," Dani says, lifting her mother clear of the insects crawling on the patio. Eeeek!
 Desc Monsoon weather lit up the sky and filled up the washes while Kathy was here. We spent many an evening on the patio watching the storms blow through.  Desc
Some of us had better perches than others.

Sister Act!

Most importantly, Kathy's visit allowed sisters to reunite. It was a time for true sisterhood...

Cherie and Kathy share a happy moment during a barbeque spare rib dinner at home.

Kristin and Dani take a break from helping to make dinner and share a sisterly hug.
...and even some pseudo sisterhood.

Kristin and Kathy were mistaken for sisters during the cavern tour. Here they re-enact the sister act over dinner at Ricardo's.

Mike finds it a little difficult to be a sister without borrowing some hair from Aunt Kathy.

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