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Postcard from Richmond

Postcard from Richmond

Richmond? Really? Yes, Richmond

      “Welding school lasted just two weeks before I went to work in the shipyard as a ‘tack welder,’” said Catherine  Morrison.  “Once on the job my supervisor trained me after my regular shift, and I was soon certified as a ‘journeyman’ welder, raising my pay from 90¢ to $1.38 per hour.”
    She recently recounted this vivid memory near the site of the former Kaiser Shipyards at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park Visitor Center in Richmond, California. Vivacious and tack-sharp at age 90-ish, Kay is one of the “Rosies” (or, more appropriately, “Wendy the Welders”) who helped build the 747 ships launched in Richmond during WWII. These women are the brightest gems of this historic park–they are living history–and were the highlight of our visit.

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Museum sign and our docent, a real Rosie

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Postcard #2 -- Exploring Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona

     Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain Park, Coronado National Forest, Sabino Canyon Recreation Area–we reveled in Tucson’s location, surrounded by these vast desert and mountain open spaces on a previous visit.  The Sonoran Dessert Museum, Arizona State Museum, 4th Avenue shopping district, and historic neighborhoods also enriched that 2008 trip, although we were underwhelmed by downtown Tucson.

             

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Postcard #1-- Exploring Southern Arizona

     The stars here seem to multiply the longer you look at the night sky.  And the silence is almost complete—at least until you gradually realize a Border Patrol helicopter is approaching! Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument adjoins the Mexican border in south central Arizona.  It is a long way from anywhere and smack-dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. We loved it here.

     Organ Pipe is one of those places we’ve long wanted to visit, and it has not disappointed.  The Sonoran Desert is full of life, including quite a few species found nowhere else on this planet.  We’ve wandered through forests of giant Saguaro, arms seemingly raised in greeting. The monument’s namesake cactus, the Organ Pipe, with multiple stems straining skyward, are found only here in the US, though they are more common down Mexico way. 

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