Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Not Funny

We are all familiar with President Obama's gaffe. He compared his low bowling score to one that a Special Olympic's contestant would have. By trying to be funny he insulted the combatants on the Special Olympics team. He had to immediately apologize.

He isn't the only one who had to apologize for an inappropriate stab at humor. I recently forwarded an ethnically inappropriate e-mail joke I received and was chastised by one of the recipients. The rebuke was justified and it made me aware of how insensitive I had been in spreading a hurtful stereotype about a group. It started me thinking about the jokes we tell.

Underneath most humor is an element of truth or it wouldn't be funny, but there is a darker element of cruelty as well.

Jokes are, by their nature, politically incorrect. Think of all the subject matter of current jokes making the rounds. 1) Dumb blonds 2) Dumb Poles (Polish) 3) Jewish Princesses 4) Irish drunks 5) Italian mafia types, 6) Welfare Blacks and many others. Elders are especially singled out for humor. We are portrayed as senile,
poor drivers, incompetent, incontinent, suffer from erectile dysfunction, memory loss, etc.

Individuals are not immune from this kind of humor. Sarah Palin jokes come to mind, George Bush provided a wealth of material with his garbled sentences, Bill Clinton was the butt of sex jokes, and now Barack Obama is getting his share of fame on the comedy circuit. Even the Pope is not immune. Is this the price of fame? Is it okay to tell jokes about anyone in the public eye?

If the joke is true about a certain individual, or a certain type within the larger group, but is attributed to the entire group it helps to spread prejudice by making an assumption that this is the normal behavior of the entire group. This is particularly true of ethnic jokes, although it can apply to 1) Political parties 2) Religious sects 3) Gays, etc.

When Jay Leno or David Letterman tell offensive jokes the audience roars. Does the guilt lie with the person telling the joke or the masses who find it funny? Or is there any guilt to be assigned?

They say that comedians are unhappy people in their private lives. Is humor a way of compensating? Do we laugh at others to soften the dissatisfaction within ourselves? These are a few of the unanswered questions I have about jokes.
  • Is humor a hidden way of stereotyping?
  • Is it okay to laugh at ourselves but not at others?
  • Is it okay if others laugh with us if the joke is on them?
  • Would comedians be able to find enough material to tell jokes if they had to be politically correct?
  • Are we too sensitive and do we take offense too easily?
  • Are we all guilty of telling offensive jokes?
  • Would it be impossible to find enough humor without offending someone or some group?
  • Is laughter, as a way of relieving stress in our lives, worth the possible hurt it might cause someone?
  • Should we just lighten up and take a joke for what it is; even though it is politically incorrect?
  • Is there a fine line we can draw?
I do not have easy answers. I can laugh at myself and even laugh with others at my expense if it isn't meant to be cruel. I do not find it funny at all if someone is using humor as a hidden way to zap me and that is MY fine line.

I have always been proud of the fact that I have no prejudice and try to always be tolerant. That makes me doubly and deeply sorry that I was hurtful in sending that offending e-mail.
I have promised myself to be more sensitive in the future. I will try to find that fine line before thoughtlessly and mindlessly parroting old jokes. Sometimes we have heard those jokes, or variations of them, so often that we think it's acceptable.

With all of my unanswered questions I will leave you with an elder joke that this old gal laughed at.

It was a small town and the patrolman was making his evening rounds.

As he was checking a used car lot, he came upon two little old ladies sitting in a used car.

He stopped and asked them why they were sitting there in the car Were they trying to steal it?

'Heavens no, we bought it.'

'Then why don't you drive it away.'

We can't drive.'

Then why did you buy it?'

'We were told that if we bought a Used car here we'd get screwed we're just waiting.

P.S. This will be my last post until I return from California April 2. It will take me a few days to catch up so don't hold me to a specific date. I will try to get organized and resume blogging as soon as possible .

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Love Story - Nama

After this story was posted I discovered that part of the text was missing. I had copied it three times trying to get rid of the HTML symbols and somehow it went missing. Those of you who have already read this might discover that the two paragraphs above the pictures make the story more understandable.

In preparing for my trip to California next week I scanned and copied the family stories I had written. Most were published in THE STORY TELLING PLACE on Ronni Bennett's wonderful blog Time Goes By. In so doing I realized that I have written about my grandfather twice, his mother, and my mother. But I have not written about the woman who was the most influential in my young life, my maternal grandmother.

When I was born both of my grandmothers were living as well as two great grandmothers. There were too many 'grandmas' so I nicknamed my closest grandmother, 'Nama.' I had never heard of the Spanish name, Nana, for grandmother. I don't know where I came up with the name Nama, but it stuck and I still call her that, although she has been dead for 65 years. I shall continue to call her that in the following story. This story is for my children and grandchildren, but I am sharing it with you.

Her name was Carrie Amanda Spencer and she was born in Ashtabula, Ohio. Nama was the oldest of five children. She was an accomplished pianist and when her 13th birthday arrived she was given a choice of a new dress or another session of music lessons. She chose the lessons and went on to give music lessons to others when she became an adult. She played the organ and led an orchestra for silent movies in Colorado Springs. The entire family had relocated from Ohio to Colorado Springs in 1904 when my mother was two years old.

Nama saved the money she made giving lessons and playing in the movie theaters and with it she purchased a very large piece of property fronting on the avenue between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Manitou is a tourist town and the gateway to the mountains and Pikes Peak. It was a perfect location for renting cottages to tourists. Rustic cottages and a restaurant building existed on the property and Nama started a cottage court.

The Great Depression hit and she was in danger of losing the place so she leased it to a man who convinced her that he would make a success of the business.
Unfortunately, that was one time that Nama did not show good judgment. The man not only failed to make it pay, he skipped town owing her money. In addition he built the Lodge building, (a building she hated until the day she died) and did not pay for the construction. Nama was stuck with the bills.

The following photos are 3rd generation copies from post cards. The top is the front facade of the Lodge building where I lived most of my childhood. The next one is the Lodge with the restaurant building in the background with Pikes Peak looming over it. The final one is the interior of the public part of the building where the dances in my story were held. >>>

Nama had two choices; lose the property and her life savings or go back and take it over again. She chose the latter.

I was probably five years old at that time and my mother and I lived with Nama and Grandpa. My mother was a single mom dating and living her own life. Nama was more of a mother to me during my formative years and Grandpa took my missing father's place.

During the Depression Nama threw open the lodge building for parties. People were hurting and had no money for entertainment. Nama knew they needed an escape from their troubles and she organized pot luck dinners every Saturday night for all the neighbors, far and wide. Entire families were invited and it became the exciting event of the week. There was always dancing after dinner with Nama furnishing the music. Anyone who could play an instrument joined her. Sometimes it was a hoe down with square dancing, other times it was ball room dancing. Once in awhile it was a costume party, but the theme was always one that didn't require money for costumes. It would be a tacky party or a hobo party.

Nama not only made the cottage court begin to show a profit, she further developed it. During the depression the farmer's from the dust bowl started a migration to California. (This migration is memorialized in Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH). The cottages were soon full and platforms were built to pitch the tents on. (That was before motor homes were dreamed of.) Some travelers did have trailers and spots with electrical hook-ups were erected for them. The cottages, tent platforms, and trailer spots were full and Nama, an astute business woman, made the business a successful enterprise.

The people who were traveling to California stopped in Colorado Springs for as long as it took them to make enough money to move on. Some stayed overnight; others were there for months. Some were unable to find any kind of work and left owing for their rent. But they always told Nama their situation and she always told them that she knew they would pay when they were able. I am sure that every single one of them did pay. For years Nama, and later Mom, received checks from California from those people.

Nama had a passion. She had a fossil and semi-precious stone collection. It was housed in a glass show case that separated the office from the main lodge building. When people came to register they usually ended up talking for hours to Nama because she knew her collection well and explained it to visitors in such a fascinating manner that they couldn't tear themselves away. She had a fossil of the first tiny horse. According to Wikipedia it is named a Perissodactyla. Nama had a smoky quartz crystal that was very large and lovely shades of violet. How I coveted that.

About a mile from our place a cut had been made through a hill to make a street easier to navigate. Fossils were sometimes found there and the neighborhood boys were always searching for pretty rocks or fossils to sell to Mrs. Norris. One day two boys wanted to go to the movies and didn't have any money. They decided to see if they could find something to sell to Nama. After a fruitless search they gave up and, in disgust, one boy threw a plain brown rock at another rock. The rock broke open and he had his movie money. It was a lovely geode. I am the proud possessor of that rock and treasure it because of the story behind it. When Nama died my mother donated her collection to the Geology Department of Colorado College.

After my grandfather died Nama broke her hip and had to turn the business over to my step-father. He was not a good business man and ended up losing the property bit by bit over a period of about twenty years.

I always think of the courage my beloved Nama showed during those last years of her life. I never heard her complain, although from my recent experience I know how she must have suffered. In those days there was no hip replacement and she was told she would never walk again. Nama fooled the doctors though. With determination and grit she was walking with a cane before she died. She did it on her own; no physical therapy was available.

Nama was a renaissance woman; a successful business woman when women were told their place was in the home. I am in awe of, and have great admiration for my Nama and still love her deeply.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


May there always be work for your hands to do;

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Education and the Single-Payer Plan


are much better qualified to tackle this subject than I am. I have never been an educator and my only experience with schools has been as a A) Student, B) Mother of students, and C) Grandmother of students.

I do have a few opinions on the subject that I would like to explore. I watched the new Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, on the Charlie Rose show. One point he made that hit home to me was the inequality of standards between states. A student in Mississippi can be 40% below a student in Wyoming and still test the same because the standards in Mississippi are so low. I had a personal experience in this disparity when I was 12 years old. I accompanied my grandparents to their annual three month winter vacation to Florida. This meant I had to enroll in school there. Much to my delight, I found that the curriculum was a piece of cake. They were so far behind the schools in Colorado that I never had to do homework. Of course I paid for my vacation when I returned to Colorado and had to catch up with my class. Remember that this was 72 years ago so I am not implying that the same situation occurs in Florida
today .

It is obvious now that our students are falling behind other top-performing nations. The "No Child Left Behind" program has failed to achieve the goal set for it due to low standards, weak tests and underfunding.

To correct this weakness in the system President Obabma proposes to set National standards, reward excellence, and raise the pay for good teachers while eliminating poor teachers.

Testing will be done to see if the States are falling in line with the National standards and to see if the students are improving, but it will no longer be done by States but by the National standard. In addition to subject matter, testing will also be for the ability of the students to think critically. I have always been a champion of critical thinking and vehemently hope this becomes a reality.

If I understand the new rules, there will be no more teaching to the test. Schools, teachers and students are to be rewarded for excellence. That alone should inspire schools and teachers to become more proficient. That's the carrot; the stick is that the failing states will not be able to use their money from the Stimulus package unless they follow the National Standard of testing.

I want more details on Obama's plan to increase the number of Charter Schools. I do understand that he will only keep those schools that are innovative and successful and will close the failing ones. My only fear is that they won't be monitored as closely as public schools. I also wonder if the money given to them will further decrease the money that public schools need. The devil is in the details.


Following are excerpts from an article in Truthout by Amy Goodman.

President Barack Obama has taken single-payer health care off the table. Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private. People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use. Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery. Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate.

Congress is considering H.R. 676, "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All," sponsored by John Conyers, D-Mich., with 64 co-sponsors. Yet even when Rep. Conyers directly asked Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting if he could attend the White House health-care summit, he was not immediately invited. Nor was any other advocate for single-payer health care.

Conyers had asked to bring Dr. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the country, and Dr. Quentin Young. Young is perhaps the most well-known single-payer advocate in America. The White House's response to Conyers' request that Young be included in the summit? A resounding no. Perhaps because Obama personally knows how persuasive and committed Young is.

After much outcry, Conyers was invited. No other single-payer advocate was to be among the 120 people at the summit. Finally, the White House relented and invited Dr. Oliver Fein, president of PNHP. Two people out of 120.

Locked out of the debate, silenced by the media, single-payer advocates are taking action. Russell Mokhiber, is joining others in burning their health-insurance bills outside in protest. Mokhiber told me, "The insurance companies have no place in the health care of American people. How are we going to beat these people? We have to start the direct confrontation." Launching a new organization, Single Payer Action (, Mokhiber and others promise to take the issue to the insurance industry executives, the lobbyists and the members of Congress directly, in Washington, D.C., and their home district offices.

Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, who told me, "I've reluctantly come to the view that it's the only alternative," to health-care providers themselves, who witness and endure the system's failure firsthand. Geri Jenkins of the newly formed, 150,000-nurses-strong United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee ( said: "It is the only health-care-reform proposal that can work. ... We are currently pushing to have a genuine, honest policy debate, because we'll win ... the health insurers will collapse under the weight of their own irrelevance."

Dr. Young has now been invited to a Senate meeting along with the "usual suspects": health-insurance providers, Big Pharma and health-care-reform advocates. I asked [Dr] Young what he thought of the refrain coming from the White House, as well as from the leading senator on the issue, Max Baucus, that "single-payer is off the table." "It's repulsive," sighed Young. "We are very angry." But not discouraged. I asked him what he thought about Burn Your Health Insurance Bill Day. "Things are heating up." he chuckled. "When things are happening that you have nothing to do with, you know it's a movement."

You can read the full plan by accessing the link below and downloading the pdf file.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reality Laws

I got this in an e-mail and I am sure everyone will agree with these laws.


& Murphy's Law - (The Mother of all Laws)
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

& Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theatre
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

The Starbucks Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors' Law
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. If you don't make an appointment, you'll stay sick.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Health Care Rant

Here I go again - another rant on health care. If President Obama fulfills his modest health care plan we may yet be able to insure everyone.

However, those of us who have studied the issue know that the most efficient and least costly plan would be a single payer system. We also know it could be done immediately if the politicians were all on board. Of course, most Republicans blanch at installing such a sensible system just as they shuddered at Social Security. Pragmatism is not their strong suit. Ideology trumps everything. Here are a few facts that bolster my contention that a single payer plan would be the best way to go.
  • The nation spent $2.4 trillion on health care in 2008, and yet 46 million Americans have no health coverage at all.
  • Attaining universal health care will almost inevitably cost most Americans - businesses and taxpayers - more. But the cost of doing nothing is more extreme.
  • The insurance industry try, most successfully, to avoid insuring the sick, or those at risk of being sick. (think pre-existing conditions). Profit is, of course, the motive.
  • Private insurers spend more than 15 percent of the money they collect in premiums on administrative costs. Medicare spends about 2 percent. Marketing is part of the administrative expenses and there would be no need for advertising in a universal Medicare plan.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people are employed in administrative positions in every doctor's office, nursing home and hospital due to the myriad of insurance forms. That would be eliminated under a universal system.
  • State and Federal agencies add to the cost of medical care by having to monitor the insurance companies for fraud and abuse. If the profit motive were gone the cost would be much less.
Perhaps President Obama's plan is the best and only path to Universal coverage. Under his plan the insurance companies will still exist if they can compete with a Medicare type government plan. (The insurance companies are already beginning a campaign complaining that they don't want to compete with a Medicare type plan. They could no longer cherry pick the healthy to insure. That sounds like a good reason to have a government plan to me.) If they can't compete, then a Single Payer Plan would emerge by default.

I know that right now someone is thinking, "where will all those displaced workers find jobs in this economy?" Some of them would switch to work for the government. Nonetheless, this clouds the issue. The economy must have health care reform or the whole house of cards will fall. The United States, industries, small business operators and individuals are drowning under the current system. Obama knows that health care reform has to be the third leg of his recovery program. "If we don't tackle health care," he said at the White House health care summit last week, "we're going to break the bank"

To read the plan copy this in your browser:

Support the single payer health care bill, HR 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act, ("Expanded & Improved Medicare for ALL").
Please write or call your Congressperson today.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jon Stewart Eviscerates CNBC and Rick Santelli

Sorry, they removed this video. Perhaps you can still see it by clicking on Comedy Central.

I have been trying to embed this video without success. Just click on the link if you want to see Jon Stewart show what idiots talking heads can be. It is 8.38 minutes long because it is the entire program. It is a great example of using humor to make points. If nothing else, it is good for lots of laughs.

YouTube - Jon Stewart Eviscerates CNBC and Rick Santelli - March 4, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Sonoran Desert

This will be the last of my series about showing Lynne the sights. The first picture was taken in the Desert Museum looking toward the Santa Rita Mountains. The middle cactus is an Ocotillo and on its right is a Cholla with Teddy Bear Chollas in the right hand corner. Saguaros are scattered throughout.

The next two photos were taken at Saguaro National Monument West. There are two Saguaro Monuments in Tucson; one on the East Side and this one on the West. I gave the details on Saguaros on the last post so if you didn't see it you can scroll down and read about them.

The final photo is a Rhinoceros found in the International Wildlife Museum. Too bad for the big guy because he is no longer living and has been stuffed; sort of like I feel after a Thanksgiving dinner. Lynne wanted to visit the Wildlife Museum en route to the Desert Museum. I was not thrilled about seeing it. Animals killed for trophies are definitely not my cup of tea.
Even though I would not want to return, I did find it interesting and well done. The Big Horn Sheep are placed on a fake mountain and all animals are displayed in their natural setting. I took a photo of a Woolly Mammoth and if I hadn't known better, I would have thought it was a real animal. I did decide one thing after visiting the bear exhibit. I don't want to go sit on the ice floe. Those Polar bears are huge !!!!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fauna at the Desert Museum

Moving right along from yesterday's post on the Desert Museum. Unfortunately I don't have many animal photos to show. They were rebuilding the cat's habitat so I can't show you any Lions or other cats. Lynne was too tired to make it to the Big Horn Sheep mountain and I was too unsure on my feet to go down to the Otter exhibit. Of course, those are the most photogenic animals, but I will show what I got.

This little guy is my favorite. He is, of course, a Prairie Dog and he isn't a dog at all. He is actually, ahem, a type of rodent. Or a type of Ground Squirrel if you prefer. They got their name because when they emit a warning signal it sounds like a bark. They grow 12-16" and weigh 1-3 lbs. I think this little critter must weigh 3 pounds because they are well fed at the museum. Their diet is all types of veggies and fruit. This chubby guy is a Mexican Prairie Dog.

The second photo shows a Docent holding an Owl. Docents give lectures
on the inhabitants of the Sonoran Desert at different parts of the Museum . They also give lectures on the vegetation that grows here. There is nothing in the Museum that is not native to the desert (The Docents and visitors are, of course, the exceptions.)

Next we have another unidentified bunch of Arizona wild flowers. I just thought they were pretty.

And last we have the wily coyote. Our town houses were built next to Pantano Wash. It is usually a dry creek bed until a Monsoon rain makes it a raging river. It was a habitat for small animals including Mr. Coyote. Since there was still some undeveloped land between our buildings and the wash, the small animals remained. However, a developer put in houses and the poor animals had very little land left. Coyotes visited our area frequently before that happened and people didn't dare let their pets out unless they were on a leash. Little kitties and doggies could have been breakfast for the predators. Last summer I saw three emaciated coyotes looking for a rabbit or squirrel. A male walked ahead followed by two females. He walked up to my corner, looked up the street, and not seeing anything to eat sadly turned around and they wandered back to the remaining desert. I am not enamored of coyotes, but I couldn't help feeling sorry for those poor animals.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

I am continuing with photos taken while I showed Lynne the Tucson attractions. We visited the famed Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and I took many pictures. Here are four of them.

The first one is of a Teddy Bear Cholla (choy-ya).

Perhaps someone can identify the second one. It's a desert flower and looks something like a member of the Lily family.

The third one is looking toward the Tucson Mountains. The
branches in the upper right hand corner are an Ocotillo (ock-oh-tea-yoh) cactus.

The middle of the photo shows our famed Saguaro (sah-war-oh) cactus. It is only found in the
Sonora Desert and Baja, California. The Saguaro blossom is the state flower and you can see them at the top of this post. (I did not take this picture as the Saguaro only blooms in April and May.) The O'odham Indians use the fruit to make jam, jelly and other things. The Saguaro takes up to 75 years to develop an arm. They live more than 150 years
and can become 75 feet tall. Some have lived 200 years (Even older than I am.)


The world renowned museum was founded in1952 by William Carr and Arthur Pack. It was one of the first naturalist zoos in the U. S. It is now a zoo, botanical garden and museum. The museum is a lab for research, education, and conservation of the Sonoran Desert.

Over 1/2 million people visit each year.

Tomorrow I will continue with the Museum

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Showing Lynne the Sights

My company left this morning and now I have time to post again. While I catch my breath I will be showing you some of the photos I took during our sight seeing trips.

The first one is of Lynne on the covered patio at San Xavier del Bac Mission. The next two are photos taken at the Mission. It is being restored and they are still re-plastering the exterior. Notice how white the left side is. The right side is waiting until they finish the back. The interior is finished and the paintings are vivid. I had photos of the interior on a previous blog. The next two photos are taken of the exterior of San Xavier.

This day was our Mission trip. If you want to view a photo of San Jose de Tumacacori you can find it on a previous post. I seem to be unable to add another photo to this post.

The last on
e is of the mountains near the Mexico border en route to Tumacacori.

Some facts about the Missions:


San Xavier del Bac was originally built on a site several miles north of the current location. The site was named Bac, meaning "Place where water appears." Between January, 1692 and 1700 a Jesuit Father Eusibio Francisco Kino laid the foundations of the first church. It was destroyed by the Apache Indians in 1770 and the site was moved to the Presidio Tucson for protection where it is located now.

Charles III of Spain mistrusted the Jesuits and banned them from all Spanish lands in the Americas. The Franciscan order then took over the Missions.

The present church
, fondly nicknamed The White Dove Of the Desert, was built in 1783-1797 with Indian labor and was established by Franciscan Fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz. (Juan Bautista must have been popular names in those days.) It is considered to be the finest example of Spanish Mission architecture in the United States consisting of a seamless blend of Moorish, Byzantine, and late Mexican Renaissance architecture.

The missing tower is still a mystery. Some say an Indian fell to his death while constructing it, but the truth is still elusive. Other legends cite that unfinished buildings weren't taxed so the last bell tower was left unfinished.

The church is an active one serving the converted Christian O'odam
tribe (formerly known as the Papagos) and is open to all for worship.


Father Eusebio Francisco Kino founded Tumacacori in January, 1691. The original mission was on a different site, but was relocated to it's present site in 1751 after a rebellion by the O'odams Indians. The Franciscans restored it to it's present form in 1828.


Father Kino was born in Italy in 1645. He died in 1711 in Mexico. His birth surname was Chino. He founded 24 missions and country chapels in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona. Father Kino traveled 50,000 sq. miles on horseback mapping an area 200 miles long and 250 miles wide. He was an astronomer, cartographer, and writer. He taught the Indians basic farming and brought seed and animals to them.

And thus ends our first sight seeing day. More tomorrow.

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