Jerome was virtually abandoned for decades in the mid-20th century until artists and entrepreneurs resurrected and revived it. To their credit, they left the old buildings, even if all that remains is a solitary wall.
When I moved to Arizona nearly three decades ago, I’d heard about this ghost town a hundred miles north of Phoenix. I thought it would be a great adventure to see old buildings and scare up some ghosts and arranged a day-trip with my family as soon as I could. At first I was a little dismayed to find a thriving community of artists, musicians, photographers, and entrepreneurs, but that disappointment didn’t last long as I explored the winding streets with their galleries, restaurants, bars, and shops.
Jerome was a mining town, and its history dates to prehistoric Native Americans who mined for beautiful and colorful stones. Enter the Spanish who spread throughout the area seeking gold, which they did not find but recognized the financial benefits of copper. The first copper mine began operations in 1883, and Jerome soon became a prosperous settlement of 15,000 people. When the mines closed in the 1920s, the population shrank to 50 brave souls who kept the old buildings safe (mostly) from vandals and marauders.
I took a solo mini-vacation this past weekend, spending part of it in Jerome, AZ. A blessing of traveling alone is that you have the opportunity to meet people, which doesn’t happen much when you travel as a couple, because you tend to focus on each other.
Jerome is a ghost town. To be more accurate, it is an old mining town that became a ghost town, virtually bereft of inhabitants. Enter the artists, musicians, and enterprising restauranteurs. Jerome now is a destination for tourists and Phoenicians aching for an escape from the heat.
I am not sure why I was so dense about this. On Saturday night, Tim said he’d give me a ride on his Spirit Tryke, and I thought, “Oh sure, like that’s gonna happen.” I saw him again on Sunday, chatted with him and some other bikers (owners of some sweet Harleys) who told me that I should let Tim ride me around town and I could get some good pictures. I commented that it didn’t look safe. When I got the images on the computer I saw some details I’d overlooked. Duh! He does this for tips (read: income). Had I realized, I would have taken the ride and tipped the guy (who really had some interesting stories to tell). Maybe next time.
When a friend suggested that a local butterfly atrium would be great place to take pictures, I was eager. Knowing how difficult it is to take shots of butterflies, I figured this would be the perfect place for me to practice. I was at Butterfly Wonderland yesterday before it opened its doors at 9 AM and did not leave until after 1 PM. I was captivated. I sat and absorbed the quiet beauty, I watched people in their delight at the exquisite creatures, and I took hundreds of shots. It was a wonderful day!
Here are a few of my shots. Do you have a favorite?
(Click on any for a larger image and greater detail.)
My blog is entitled Ramblings: Exploring the Ordinary. It is just that: a rambling assortment of photography, writing, explorations, musings. It is an eclectic mix of this and that, and it focuses on the ordinary aspects of life with an extraordinary event thrown in for spice.
What could be more ordinary, and EXTRAORDINARY, than children?
If you’ve followed this blog for even a few months, you know that I treasure my granddaughters, who are now 3 years old and 6 months old. One of the best things about retirement is that I have the wonderful opportunity to spend time with these two delightful little human beings.
Of course, I have been convinced that they are brilliant, precocious, and advanced far beyond other children (not to mention just flat out cute). It’s been 31 years since my sons were this age, and I haven’t hung around many children in the interim, so I really do not know what is typical for a 3 year old or a 6 month old.
Can you imagine my surprise (and a little dismay) when I read a handout from the pediatrician today about the normal development of a 6 month old baby?
According to the doctor’s literature, she’s right on track! She’s not leaping tall buildings or soaring above her fellow babies. But, you know what? That’s wonderful. She’s healthy, she’s happy, and she is developing just fine.
Today was the first day I caught her sweet little smile on camera. Previously, she’d laugh and giggle, and just when I’d put the camera to my face, she’d stop and so seriously study the absurd box I’d put between us.
Her older sister has always been my favorite model, but I believe that I now have two favorites.