A few months ago, my brother sent me a link to an article and video in the news about a friend of ours from high school, Gene Hancock, being involved in restoring and renovating a pioneer site near Winslow AZ. It was part of the first LDS communities settled in Arizona in the 1870's. Here's the link .
Then this week, a friend in our ward stopped by to ask me to help with some lettering on a saddle banner for an event he was participating in. (Our stake was organized in 1954. It seems so young compared to the first stake in the state - 1878. That's 34 years before Arizona was even a state! )Anyway, as we were talking about it, I started to realize this was connected to the same project in Winslow. He was traveling up to the Leupp/Winslow area to participate in the 25 mile memorial ride to the Brigham City Fort. There were representatives from about 80 stakes around the state, a fireside, a barbeque, artifacts, memorabilia, children in pioneer costumes and a play specially written for this event and performed the previous evenings. Not only was there a big 25 mile ride, but a large group of young men from the Winslow and Holbrook areas rode 150 miles over 6 days or so along the original pioneer trail from Lee's Ferry.
There was a similar event way back in 1976, the nation's bicentennial year. I remember my dad and brothers participating. Now this event also celebrates the 100th birthday of our state.
This article was in the Church News last week, but somehow I missed it. I hope there will be more articles with photos now that the event has taken place.
I wish I had been aware of the project earlier. I would have enjoyed attending some of the festivities. I have fond memories of Winslow and wish we still had some family connections there or more reasons or opportunities to go visit. (yes, Terri, I know I need to come visit you more often!)