The quality of its museums is often an indication of the health of a town. Little Bisbee sits in a box canyon on top of over 5,000 miles of mine tunnels. We heard that from a tour guide who guided us through Copper Queen Mine, a man who actually worked in the mine before it shut down in the Seventies. He took us through the technical history of tunnel building and ore extraction. As the technology advanced, safety records improved.
WE’VE ALL HEARD THE HORROR STORES OF LIFE IN THE MINES, but there is another side. When I asked our guide what he liked best about working in the mine, his eyes lit up.
“I did the same thing every day,” he said.
You liked that?
“Yes I did. Every day, the working conditions were different.”
He never got bored. He used his brain as well as his brawn. A different image from the usual Hollywood fare.
MULES WERE EMPLOYED IN THE MINES to schlep the mine cars. When the bosses tried to add additional weight to what the mules were trained to pull, the four-legged workers went on a sit-down strike. They won!Read More»
Museums curate stories and tell history in interesting ways. On a recent trip to Bisbee, AZ, we found a gem of a museum. The Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, presents the town’s boom or bust history from multiple points of view: bankers and businessmen; waves of immigrants; engineers and politicians; and consumers like you and me who use products that contain copper, like light switches, on a daily basis.
The evening before our visit to the museum, we sat across the street at The Table and watched through the window as patrons poured through the museum doors to celebrate a gift. The Bank of America made permanent a donation of the entire mineral collection that had been on loan to the museum.
WHEN ARIZONA WAS MAKING A BID FOR STATEHOOD, their viability as an economy was in question. Wasn’t the territory a desert wasteland with a frontier population likely to burden the American economy? Arizona sent an exhibit of over 300 minerals to the Chicago World’s Fair and a few years later became the youngest state in the Continental U.S. Easy to see why the sparkle of gems like azurite and malachite and the intricate matrix of chocolate brown colors in Bisbee Blue turquoise caused Americans to reconsider.
THE GREAT DEPORTATION STORY is shocking, no matter what your politics. When the miners went off to war, recent immigrants took their place. Many of these workers were from Europe, where a workers movement had been successful and was spreading to our shores.
On July 12, 1917, a posse of 2,000 recently deputized men rounded up 1,185 strikers and sympathizers and interviewed them quickly. Seven hundred workers agree to return to the mines. The rest were loaded onto 23 cattle cars, deported to New Mexico, and told not to return. Surprisingly, the roundup was not particularly violent. Only two men lost their lives in the skirmish, one on each side.
How would such unrest play out today?
I saw something new in this week’s study in Ephesians. Being a theater buff, I had to go there. Contrary to popular opinion, creation is not a clock God wound and walked away from to pursue more interesting activities. Creation is a big cast, full-scale production performed before a celestial audience. I draw this analogy from Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, 3:7-21 (ESV).
The play, of course, is a mystery. Cast in the lead role is Jesus Christ, a member of God’s production staff. His credentials are his “unsearchable riches”–there is no limit to the “breadth and length and heights and depth” to which this man will go to shed light on the “the plan of the mystery hid for ages in God who created all things.” Rulers and authorities in heavenly places, Paul tells us, have box seats for this production, which runs for eternity.
The production staff
God has intimate involvement with this project. He wrote the script and has underwritten its production with the blood of Jesus Christ.
In addition to his role as lead actor, Jesus is involved in the whole process. He helped with the original set design and serves as director. His job is to pull from the actors a display of the “manifold wisdom of God” in ways that connect with the audience.
As stage manager, the Holy Spirit breathes life into the production. His job is to make it all work. Everything he does is designed to strengthen the inner being of the cast so they may be bold and confident in their delivery.
There are parts for everyone. Those who are willing to accept direction and learn their lines will be cast in speaking roles. Everyone else has at least a walk-on part, which, when “rooted and grounded in love,” can become fuller “according to the power at work within…”
About the script
Only the writer knows the whole story, but if the actors give it their all, they will experience “the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge,” and “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Union wages. Open casting call, until further notice.
Looking for ways to put some happy in your Halloween? Some of the fun fizzles when the children parade out the door into their adult lives, and the grandkids are too far away to tag along after. As the seasons of life change, our celebrations change. I still put out decorations, but our doorbell won’t ring on October 31. Trick-or-treaters don’t come through our community.
I miss the costume parade. The trick is to find a way to horn in on the fun that no longer comes to your door. This Halloween we will join the audience at Symphony Hall in Phoenix for a performance of Coppelia. The treat is, Ballet Arizona offered half-off tickets for the Halloween Day performances. Lavishly costumed dancers will entertain us, and I imagine there will be plenty of excited children all dressed up and milling about as well.
While Halloween has a debatable religious and cultural history, at its most innocent it is about kids, costumes, and candy. Innocent fun is hard to come by these days, which is why, I confess, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Adults are loathe to give up a holiday many associate with the old-fashion fun of childhood. I see my friends finding creative ways to stay in the game.
A short list
- Volunteer at the local haunted house.
- Hand out candy at community or church-sponsored events.
- Attend a harvest festival or a pumpkin walk.
Wishing you all some Halloween fun.
When is it time to step up your game? I’ve been in the writing game for about four years now. I’m getting sour on on clicking links and signing up for seminars that tell me what I already know. That’s my bad.
There was a time in my writing when I desperately needed to know Ten Errors Writers Make, Responding to Rejection, and Format Your Novel for Submission. Just because I’m familiar with the basics doesn’t mean I’ve mastered them, but spending time reading repackaged tips won’t help me step up my game. I have to open my manuscript, plod through my revisions on a disciplined schedule, and put into practice what I already know.
Are there times when you’ve paid for a conference or an online seminar and come away dry? You were hoping for an aha you didn’t get? Maybe you chose a familiar topic hoping to learn something new and it was the same old. “I tried that and it didn’t work,” you say.
Stop doing/paying for what isn’t working for you!Read More»