Yesterday, we had the immense pleasure of spending a couple of hours with Senator Stephen Farley from Tucson, as well as his assistant, Andrea. I already had an inkling of the Senator’s fondness for history. He is cognizant of his own legacy, and has already transferred some of his records to us. But his love of history is also evident in his public art, which can be seen in Tucson, Phoenix, and other places. The piece pictured below is one I’ve been admiring on trips to Tucson for some time now. (See more of his work at the Tilography website…chances are you’ve seen it if you’ve driven around Tucson, taken the Phoenix light rail, etc.)
As we toured around the building, I learned even more about his love of history. He has done much of his own family’s genealogy. He co-edited a book called, Snapped on the Street: A Community Archive of Photos and Memories from Downtown Tucson (which is conveniently located here in the State Archives for your viewing pleasure!) And when we walked past some Forestry Division Records we received a few months ago related to fires in Northern Arizona, he mentioned yet another project he was involved with – a book called i see fire: Children of the White Mountains respond to the Rodeo-Chediski Fire. (We also have this here at the Archives!)
Senator Farley is heavily involved in issues of transportation, so he was particularly excited about some images from a photo album we have on the Tucson Indian School, which feature the original Tucson streetcar, as well as a horse-drawn trolley. Perhaps my favorite part of the visit, though, was being able to locate the Pima County Assessor’s property card of the Senator’s own home in Tucson! (More on these property cards here!)
We don’t get visits from a lot of legislators, so this was a real treat! It was fantastic to be able to spend time with a legislator with such a keen interest in history. He clearly appreciates the value of preserving our historic records, but also sees his own ability to contribute to the documentary heritage of Arizona. Thanks, Senator Farley and Andrea! Stop by and visit anytime!