SSVEC Currents Jan-Feb 2021.pdf

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INSIDE: Who’s the best fisherman in Arizona?

Meet the teachers of the year

l o o h c S o t k c a B INSIDE: Cowboy Poetry goes “virtual” 2021 JANUARY & FEBRUARY & AUGUST 2019 JULY





Communities prepare for Christmas

Concern for community guides SSVEC

Giving back to the community is a Cooperative principle


350 N. Haskell Willcox, Arizona 85643 (520) 384-2221



Benson: (520) 586-2238 Elfrida: (520) 642-3475 Patagonia: (520) 394-2051 Sierra Vista: (520) 458-4691 Willcox: (520) 384-2221


Wireless Internet Help Desk 24/7: (877) 877-6861

Creden W. Huber

Dan Barrera, President Gene Manring, Vice President James Johnson, Treasurer Tom Goodman, Secretary Pat English Peter Gillespie Curtis Nolan Joseph Beam Kathy Thatcher Randy Redmond

After-hours, weekend and holiday outage number: (800) 422-3275

Center seeks full disability for local vets

YES Fair goes virtual

Early November & December Stories



How to vote in Cooperative elections

Cochise Stronghold Canyon

A new business, with years of experience

Community events



Cowboy Music Life at the cuttingPoetry edge ofand technology Gathering Returns

10 8

Cook with Chef Chris

‘Tis the season




Dr. Gary Packard flying high at University of Arizona College of Applied Science and Technology

IN THE KITCHEN Food Art & Feeding Fun

Touchstone Energy®

The power of human connections




Tanya Bok, a resident near Cochise Stronghold, has made adventure a lifetime experience. Read of her exploits rock climbing up Cochise GROUP READIES Stronghold.

THEATER ‘CHRISTMAS HUMBUG’ Ms. Bok is also a nurse at Northern Cochise


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Hospital in Willcox. The cast and crewCommunity of the upcoming Theater on the Move stage play, “A Christmas Humbug,” are wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

COMING IN THE JAN/FEB EDITION: Climbing the Stronghold



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Buena Light Replacement It’s that time of year again for members of the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric

Who do you call when the lights go out? Buena High School contacted Sulphur Springs Cooperative. In our March/April edition offer information on the annual Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) when will lights at the football field began to flicker. meeting, and announce the always-popular prize contest for our members. Linemen Corey Dannels and Tyler Rios ascended each of the towers in a bucket truck to change out the lightbulbs recently.

Concern for community

guides SSVEC Giving back to the community



is a Cooperative principle

Cooperative made donations to several owned cooperative in our 82-year history. tepping in and stepping food banks to assist these organization Secondly, this distribution is happening up. in providing food and other services to much sooner than in previous years. That’s been the role of those in need. In June, SSVEC joined Capital credits represent the revenue Sulphur Springs Valley with Arizona Electric Power Cooperative earned beyond expenses by the not-forElectric Cooperative he lingering spirit of giving southeast Arizona. It continued with these funds should be puta back into the to (AEPCO) in making $15,000 donation profit Cooperative. Each year the Board (SSVEC) since the hasn’t been lost at Sulphur a partnership that provided 300to distribute community and distributed current Chiricahua Community to Health Centers that of Directors decidessome whether pandemic forced Springs Valley Electric COVID tests to our members members in an effort some ofin our provided testing to to relieve 4,000 members these credits and howafter much to distribute. dramatic changes in Cooperative (SSVEC). While federal funding expired and ended the votedthe servicehardship. area, after federal funding for the Last year, for example, the board to financial everyone’s life beginning last March. program expired. were also made to – now the second Significant Thanks to the community-oriented andwith a distribute we recognize that the holidays are year program$2.2 thatmillion encouraged donations SSVEC also worked through its largest amount on record – to members member-elected Board of Directors and our officially over and most of us have moved employees to donate directly to local local food bankshas and other social service partnership with TransWorld Network with service through 1994. dedicated employees, SSVEC has helped on to get started on our New Year’s charities. More than $15,000 in matching agencies which were dramatically impacted (TWN) to offer families unable to afford Even SSVEC is a not-for-profitby the pandemic. and thousands of resolutions, the numerous principle organizations of giving back contributions fromthough SSVEC employees Direct contributions internet service a free connection to allow people endure this once-in-a-lifetime event. cooperative, we are required by the to our members and local communities and the Cooperative were distributed totaling $20,000 were made with matching students at home access to online learning. Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Donations to food banks, a contribution is foundational to our mission. to 17 local nonprofit organizations as a funds provided by CoBank, an SSVEC Beginning in April, SSVEC put a and our bankers to meet certain financial to provide free COVID-19 testing, a SSVEC is guided by principles first resultand of thisrequirements, campaign. which include recordingfinancial partner and one of disconnections the largest moratorium on service moratorium on service disconnections published in 1844 by the Rochdale So- free internet The democratically-elected SSVEC credit topower ruralto members to continueof providing a profit and maintaining enough cash private providers a partnership that provided ciety of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, Boardour of Directors has been leadingdistribution the economies across the country. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER temporarily unable to pay their electric flow to assure the reliable of services to homebound students started bill.also We worked continue with to work closely with our electricity. Throughout ourand history, SSVEC help the community earlier this on efforts England. These efforts seven tofundamental charge to help members SSVEC our partner, SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY members to providein plans that address has distributed more than $20 million TWN Communication, truths form the year. basis of decision-making communities deal with the pandemic. providing ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE financial situation while keeping in capital credits, over half of thatinternettheir Most recently, around the SSVEC BoardThe of 10-member for cooperative organizations the board votedwith unanimously service to the area, extending freethe communities is an essential on. families needing to being moratorium paid out since 2003. Directors unanimously to return $3 world. Other well knownvoted cooperatives to institute aamount temporary service power to member participation inwe theserve Sulphur Springs Valley part of the SSVEC mission. Thanks to the Meeting the needs of our members, Board members and SSVEC staff million in capital credits to members on include the Associated Press, ACE Hard- on service disconnects, preventing the connect to classrooms for their childrens’ Electric Cooperative. member-elected Board of Directors and the especially during a pandemic, is one of recognize the importance of providing record in 2019. Two facts are significant ware, USA Federal Credit Union, USAA shutoff of electric service to members education. Author’s Note: The annual process of electing dedicated staff at SSVEC, we continue to the seven Cooperative principles that financial relief to our members during about this decision. First, this is the largest members The there’s SSVEC Board along with morecapital than credit 100 highly-regardunable to pay their bill time. as a result of losing Beyond these the efforts of board “step in and has stepstarted. up” when a crisis. guide ourcontributions, organization. Concern for the this difficult Beginning in March the distribution by our member-



ed businesses in the United States. income due to COVID-19. Chief among the seven cooperative Directors also agreed on the largest principles is “Concern for the Community,” capital credits disbursement in the history where cooperatives work for the sustainableSIX YEARS of SSVEC — $3 million — and returned development of their communities throughIN A ROW! the funds to members of record in 2019. Voted #1 policies accepted by their members. Previous disbursements have closely Landscaper Recognizing that responsibility, SSVEC followed the recommendations of our in sierra Vistaand the Arizona Corporation has aggressively sought to relieve some bankers of the hardships created by the ongoing Commission (ACC) in returning capital pandemic in the communities we serve. credits to members of record after a This effort started almost a year ago number of years. During the pandemic, when COVID-19 was first identified in directors overwhelmingly agreed that

our employees to “keep the power flowing” during this difficult time deserves the appreciation of our community. Customer Service Representatives, linemen, our Information and Communication Services (ICS) staff and office personnel weathered the challenges created by this pandemic and continued to work every day to meet the needs of our more than 40,000 members. Best wishes for the new year and thank you for your membership and

Licensed • Bonded • Insured

of Directors formally appointed members of the Nominating Committee, doing so at its December meeting. Formal notice of the Election is advertised beginning in February. Seats up for election in 2021 include District 13 and District 9 in the Sierra Vista area, and District 1 in the Willcox area. More information about the election appears elsewhere in this edition of Currents. We encourage all of our members to take an active interest in their Cooperative and consider serving on the Board of Directors.

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How to vote in Cooperative elections



here are currently ten members elected to the SSVEC Board of Directors. The SSVEC service area is divided into ten different Districts with each board member elected by the members of SSVEC who reside in each respective District. A board member serves a three-year term. An election is held every year in April for the board members whose term is expiring. Whenever there is an election to select a board member, all the members within the district represented by that board member receive an official ballot listing the candidates who are running for that seat. Members vote in the district in which they reside. A business member, whether sole proprietor, corporation, association, partnership, LLC or other business entity, votes in the District which they designated when they became a member of SSVEC. Each member is entitled to one vote. Members will be sent a notice that the election is occurring and the date of the election, no later than 75 days prior to the election date. Voting is currently done by mail and votes are counted by members whose district is not up for election. How to run for the board While serving on the SSVEC Board is an important and time-consuming task, we encourage our members to seriously consider being a candidate. When an election is to be held in your District, the current Board of Directors will appoint a nominating committee consisting of your neighbors to accept applications and to interview possible candidates for the Board. The nominating committee is to review the applicants and nominate qualified people to run in the election. If you are not nominated by the committee, you can still run for the Board by obtaining a Nomination Petition and getting the signatures of 50 members residing in your district and submitting the Petition by the deadline. All candidates, whether nominated by committee or petition, appear on the ballot, which is sent out to SSVEC members residing in the District. A Credentials and Election committee will count the ballots on the day prior to the annual meeting. Members are welcome to view the counting of the ballots. A candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared the officially elected director of the district. Should two or more candidates tie in the largest number of votes received for an available term of director from a district, the tie shall be resolved by the method as determined by the Credentials and Election committee and conducted by the Credentials and Election committee. Due to COVID situation in April, we may have to limit the members viewing the vote count to comply with local, state and federal guidelines.

Cooperative members from director districts not holding elections counted the return ballots for four contested director races in April 2018. Those members from lower left and moving clockwise are Albert Fernandez of Benson, Kathy Klump of Willcox, Fred Smith of Willcox and Joanna Flores of Willcox.

2021 Board Elections & Annual Meeting Calendar Appointment of Nominating Committees December or January Board Meeting date






Dec. 22

Dec. 22

Jan. 20

Letter to Nominating Committee Notice of Election Nominating Procedure Not less than 75 days prior to the Annual Meeting

Jan. 5 4.04A 4.04B

Feb. 1

Feb. 12

Notice of Appointment of Nominating Committees Not less than 75 days prior to the Annual Meeting


Feb. 1

Feb. 12

Posting of Committees’ Nominees in Co-op Offices Not less than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting


Feb. 24 5 p.m.

Feb. 26 5 p.m.


Jan. 20

Feb. 17

Mar. 15 5 p.m.

Mar. 15 5 p.m.

Mar. 31

Apr. 7

Appoint Credentials & Election Committee January board meeting Filing Deadline for Individual Nominating Petitions Available not more than 75 days prior to the Annual Meeting Not less than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting


Mail Ballots to Members Not less than 21 days prior to the Annual Meeting


Mail Notice of Annual Meeting Not less than 10 days nor more than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting at which directors are to be elected

Feb. 12


Mar. 12

Mar. 30

Apr. 16

Deadline for Receipt of Completed Mail Ballots 9:00 a.m. of the day before the Annual Meeting


Apr. 28

Apr. 28

Apr. 28

Counting of Mail Ballots Day before Annual Meeting


Apr. 28

Apr. 28

Apr. 28


Apr. 29

Apr. 29

Apr. 29

Annual Meeting Between April 1 and June 30

Director Elections may be held in District 1 (Willcox) District 9 (Sierra Vista) and District 13 (Hereford, Sierra Vista)

Steps in a Power Outage

Do you ever wonder why power is not restored as quickly as we all would hope? SSVEC’s Operations and Engineering teams respond to and arrive at an outage within minutes of being notified. As Construction Manager Mark Roll was on his way to work in the early morning, his phone made a familiar sound. He quickly adjusted his route, and was the first to arrive at our Ramsey Substation to begin feeding information. There are a number of steps that need to take place before assessing and identifying the cause of the outage. As with everything we do, safety of our employees is our priority. After the outage is identified as and/or rendered safe, SSVEC employees begin a systematic process to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. In these photos, the scene is safe, switching orders are being developed, load calculations are ongoing and power has been restored by placing load on other feeders and substations. Meanwhile, before re-energizing a several hundred thousand dollar substation transformer, there are a number of tests that we implement to ensure safety and protection of our member-owner’s investment. Our equipment will find any issues and provide us with another layer of data to make an informed decision.


Sheriff’s Charity Ride

More than 200 motorcyclists, sideby-sides and Jeep-operators joined the eighth annual Cochise County Sheriff’s 2020 Charity Ride in November. The event is sponsored in part by the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Foundation. This year, three nonprofit organizations received proceeds from the charity event, including the Benson Shop with a Cop program, VeloVets and the Real Wishes Foundation. The Benson Shop with a Cop program provides opportunities for youth to experience positive interactions with members of law enforcement while Christmas shopping for themselves and family members in a safe and secure environment. VeloVets supports the needs of U.S. Military Veterans in the Sierra Vista area. VeloVets are cyclists, volunteers

and supporters who come together to enrich the lives of Military Veterans by sharing the physical and mental benefits of cycling, having fun and building a stronger support network. The Real Wishes Foundation is a local charity that focuses on helping those in the community in need. They help Habitat for Humanity Playhouse, Relay for Life, Halloween Fall Festival, West End Clean Up, Senior Angel Tree and Coats for Kids. They have helped over a thousand people and families in our community through the years. Pictured above are members, friends and family with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, including Sheriff Mark Dannels, ninth from the left. Pictured below are members of VeloVets who were on hand at the Nov. 7 event to provide assistance to participants.


We Care donation

Dan Barrera, second from left, presents a $10,000 check to Robin Roberts, president of the We Care Pregnancy Center, Inc., board of directors. Barrera, who is the president of the SSVEC Board of Directors, reported the funds represent a $5,000 donation from CoBank and a matching $5,000 donation from the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Foundation. CoBank is a national financial lender to electric cooperatives. The presentation was made Thursday, Nov. 19, at the We Care facility in Benson. Pictured are, from the left, Amanda Tucker, We Care Executive Director; Barrera; Roberts; Sue Karlson, We Care treasurer; Debbie Towne, We Care volunteer; Michelle Farley, We Care volunteer; and Leah Rust, member of the We Care board.

AEPCO Capital Credits Food Pantry Donation

From left, Community Food Pantry of Benson Vice President Carol Jenkins and President Najayyah Many Horses are presented with a $10,000 check Monday by Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Board President Dan Barrera.

Kathy Thatcher of the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric (SSVEC) Cooperative Board of Directors presented the SSVEC capital credits check to Patrick Ledger, president of Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) at a recent meeting. (Geoff Oldfather photo)

Boys and Girls Club Teen Room

TOP RIGHT: A ribbon-cutting in November, 2020 celebrated the renovation of the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club Teen Room. The project was funded and worked on by the Sierra Vista Rotary Club and the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Foundation. BOTTOM RIGHT: Kathy Orchekowski, a member of the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, joins the ribbon-signing ceremony celebrating the completion of the Teen Room renovation project.

LEFT: The Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club announced their 2020 Man and Woman of the Year recently. Former board members Jane Strain, center left, and Mike Strange, center right, were presented the awards. Making the presentation were Jay Hamwright, left, Chief Professional Officer at the club, and board president Sylvia Conklin, right.


Man and Woman of the Year



Pros offer players tips at SSVEC basketball camp


COVID-19 didn’t stop about 100 kids from participating in the annual basketball camp sponsored by Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) on December 5 in Sierra Vista. Players were provided their own, speciallysanitized basketball and wore masks while they took part in small group drills directed by former college and NBA players and coaches at the camp. Small groups of players worked out, showed their skills and picked up pointers during eight one-hour sessions at the spacious Buena High School gymnasium. “It was definitely different this year,” said Marcus Harston, Community Relations Coordinator at SSVEC. “We emphasized the importance of keeping the kids and pros safe by requiring masks and making it easier to social distance with small groups.” Once workouts and instruction was finished, players lined up to pick up a “swag bag” of goods, including a poster, towel and other memorabilia. David “DJ” Jones, a former European professional basketball player, hosted the SSVEC camp. Jones is the founder of “Shooting for Success,” which started in 2004 and has taught high-level basketball skills and character development to thousands of athletes. Other basketball stars at the camp included former Phoenix Suns player Oliver Miller (remembered as “The Big O’), Jeff Malone, a 13-year NBA veteran, who averaged more than 20 points per game in six seasons with Washington and Utah. Grand Canyon University coach and former player Courtney Hayes and Jody Basye, the Director of Coaching and Player Personnel for the United Basketball Alliance also provided instruction at the camp. SSVEC partnered with the Sierra Vista Boys and Girls Club for the event, donating funds to the nonprofit organization in return for additional staffing at the event.


Yee-haw! Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering Returns BY STEVE CONROY



he 29th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering is coming to Sierra Vista AND to the rest of the world on February 5 and 6, 2021. Our theme this year is “Ride, Cowboy, Ride!” If you never experienced a Cowboy Gathering or are simply curious to see what great entertainment there is, this is the year — JUST FOR YOU! So, what is a “Cowboy Gathering?” It’s like a rodeo, except it’s a different type of cowboy entertainment. Folks get together to share their talents and see who has the greatest new song or can tell the most fantastic tall tale. It’s a huge demonstration of talent and skills The artists share their experiences of life on the ranch or the range through story and song. Generally, there’s lots of good food and dance to go with it. This is one event you can share with your kids and your grandkids. Each year, for the past 28 years, the Cochise Gathering has brought some phenomenal entertainment to Sierra Vista. We have live performances in the evenings of one weekend in February and also during the daytime on Saturday. It is a magical weekend of fantastic fun and a superb lineup of great entertainers. As in the past, this year, we will have two Featured Performances with some dynamite Western Performers, and we will have a Friday and Saturday daytime show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, this year, we are presenting the Gathering as a VIRTUAL event. We will have live Featured performances on Friday and Saturday evenings (February 5 and 6, 2021) at the Arizona Folklore Preserve (limited seating) and those events will be live-streamed for your viewing and listening pleasure. The Saturday daytime shows will be prerecorded and presented throughout the days on Friday and Saturday, and you can catch some of your favorite performers on your schedule. Tickets will be $35 for an All-Event pass, and GroupWatch tickets for larger forums (e.g., restaurants, RV Parks, Care Facilities) are $100. Because we are a nonprofit, all funds go to putting on the Gathering. We will have a program and it will be available electronically for all ticket holders. Hard copies of the program will be available for an additional cost. Check out our website ( for details on the events, the artists, and ticket sales. Spread the word and let your family and friends around the world know about this opportunity to share in a spectacular event! This is a great opportunity to get in on the action without having to travel any farther than your living room. Make sure you fix up some biscuits and beans and maybe a steak or two. If you have any great recipes, send ‘em along. Come join us for a grand ‘ole time!


A Climber’s Life

Growing up with a love for adventure, the outdoors and accomplishing things “hard.”

Cochise Stronghold

Hidden away in the southeast corner of Arizona, the Dragoon Mountains are a well-kept secret waiting to be uncovered and explored. At the heart of these mountains stands a granite ridge of tall domes, known as the Cochise Stronghold, cascading down into the surrounding valleys. These domes form a labyrinth that once was a sanctuary for the Apache Tribe. Today, climbers speak of this area with reverent tones as the home of legendary routes that soar up picturesque lichen-covered granite. -Tanya Bok The Stronghold is, indeed, an awesome place. Whether you want to picnic with family, hike, ride horseback, play photographer or just hang out


and watch the birds, this is the place. The closer you get, the better it gets. Some time ago while hiking, I encountered a climber from Tucson. In his words, “I could climb here every weekend for the rest of my life and never see it all.” He explained that serious climbers, worldwide, come here for adventure most of us locals have little or no awareness of. Wow! I had no idea. Recently, to learn more, I called Summit Hut, an outdoor adventure store in Tucson, and asked for information specific to the Stronghold. With their help, I was put in contact with


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And more! The books provide a wealth of information on the ecology, natural history, geology, plant and animal life and the the native peoples of the area. Truly, this area is a wonderful destination for all of us - climbers and non-climbers alike. To visit Cochise Stronghold, Take U.S. Highway 191 south from I-10 to Ironwood Rd, just north of Sunsites, then go West to enter the Stronghold.

With the face of Cochise Stronghold in the background, Tanya Bok relates her years of experience climbing straight up the face of the mountain. (Photo by Larry Scott)

Scenes from climbs of Cochise Stronghold, as provided by Tanya Bok with photos by Trundlestone Productions.

and plunged through the ice into a deep pool and dragged my body out to then shake uncontrollably, then hiking out and moving continuously or risk being overtaken by hypothermia. That experience ended when I returned to the car we left at the side of the highway two days before. People wonder why I do this when I could have a nice house and a warm bed in this day and age when this type of activity and hardship it is not necessary and really proves nothing. I think about that each time I find myself in a predicament like the ones described above, but I keep going back for more. There is something

primitive in testing yourself physically and mentally that makes one feel alive. Just as I cannot understand why other women need 30 pairs of shoes, I cannot explain why I feel the best far away from others sleeping under a starry sky.

Why Cochise Stronghold? When I moved to Arizona, I found this same feeling of adventure in the Cochise Stronghold. This large, relatively unexplored area is a paradise of pink granite covered by the breathtaking chartreuse lichen granite domes, stunning topography, and exotic wildlife and fauna is a refuge for me. I spent most of my days crawling around and up the rock formations finding challenges that satisfied what most people in adventure sports call “feeding the rat” (“the need to get out, to test yourself, to flush

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out the system, and, above all, to have some fun.”) After 12 years of weekend rock climbing trips to the Stronghold, I started to document the rockclimbing routes and photograph them, culminating in three guidebooks that I have self-published. Sharing this knowledge is opening up local and international interests for others to come to recreate in the area. We have a treasure trove of recreational resources that people want to experience. My draw to the area has not waned and this year I bought land with the intention of building a tiny house so I can finally have a place to call home after my adventures. I have also joined the nursing team at Northern Cochise County Hospital in Willcox. I have been a nurse for 20 years and have been lucky enough to work in the specialties of the operating room, and intensive care units. In Willcox, you will find me in the emergency room learning the ropes of rural medicine at your critical access facility. I have never felt so connected to patients as I have working here. I hope that during this trying time, as COVID-19 is dealing us all a bad hand, we can support each other through this travesty that is touching everyone. Every day I encounter the community’s frustration with the regulations, defiance of the recommended practices, confusion about testing, fear of being ill and the unknown of having a sick family member. The last is the hardest but

seems to be the only experience that evokes enough empathy and understanding to bring the community together to really tackle this pandemic. I am meeting my neighbors through the hospital and building relationships that go beyond the walls of the hospital. The people in this county are some of the toughest and most eclectic I have met. From the hardened rancher who was born and raised here to the neighbor who taught me to rebuild a generator then gave it to me, to the software engineer who is teaching me to weld, to the Colorado transplant who is teaching me to refurbish an old tractor for my land. I am surrounded by fascinating people who create a complex web of community. I am grateful for each of them as I underestimated how hard it would be to try to build a home from scratch. Trying to learn everything from getting electricity, to wells, to septic. My naivete is glaringly obvious but my tenaciousness is carrying me on. This environment and infrastructure certainly do not make it easy for newcomers, but as cliche as it sounds, it is the things worth doing that are hard. So, I will again dismiss the idea of curling up and watching a movie on a warm sofa and head out to haul water, fix my transfer pump so I can at least wash off the transmission fluid that has soaked through my jeans from today’s tractor work and curl up in my down sleeping bag to rest from another day of satisfying work building a home and becoming part of this community.



loved adventure and being in the outdoors since I was a child. Though my parents did not, they enrolled me in Girl Guides which offered opportunities to do rope courses, orienteering and survival skills ( fire, winter camping, first aid). I guess this streamlined me into both nursing and mountaineering. I took outdoor survival as an option in junior high and then in high school. I became a fire and paramedic cadet. We learned high angle rescue and rope work. One of our leaders was a mountain guide so I actually learned to climb frozen waterfalls (with axes and crampons) before I ever rock climbed. My first summer job was in Banff, Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies. I bought a rope and I convinced a colleague to learn to vertical rock climb with me. It was a summer of experimentation but by the next season I signed up for a mountaineering course that taught glacier travel and large mountain climbing techniques. Since then, I have kept this type of exploration of wild places paramount in my life. It requires a large amount of dedication as the equipment, and time to be able to stay fit enough for these endeavors is essential. Big trips often require at least a month of time to get accustomed to an area and to learn the rock type, the terrain, the avalanche conditions. It’s important to wait for good weather winds, and condition your own body to prepare for “go time.” “Go time” means waking up at 2 a.m. to start a climb of a large mountain, often moving for 24 hours at a time to the summit and the return to camp. I can carry a 70-pound pack comfortably for six days with all the food, camping equipment and technical gear I might need. None of this can be translated to luxury. I wear the same clothes throughout the experience, I have one metal pot that I cook and eat from, I use my clothes as a pillow and sleep in my long johns which basically do not come off for six days. I have been so scared on a couple of occasions that I vomited at every belay station (places where you stop on a route to anchor in with the rope and rest). I have cried while a hanging glacier broke off and I got hit by a side stream of ice and snow. The only sound when that happened was a freight train bearing down on me, followed by perfect silence. I have been rappelled down a frozen canyon

Tanya Bok - climber, writer, and health-care professional who lives nearby. I quickly learned that Tanya is more than a climber. She personally wrote the book - two books actually, on the Stronghold, a beautiful documentary detailing about 600 ‘favorite’ climbs.



All new, yet all familiar

Dr. Gary Packard flying high at University of Arizona College of Applied Science and Technology


espite being relatively new to the area, Dr. Gary Packard is right at home as Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at the University of Arizona campus in Sierra Vista. CAST is the new designation for what used to be known as UA South. You can learn more about CAST at Dr. Packard joined the University Sept. 21, 2020. He has taken on the task of leading the development and implementation of a broad strategic vision for growing the college’s programs at all levels. “I grew up in a small farming community in southeast Michigan, so to me, Sierra Vista is a big city,” Packard quipped during a recent interview. Dr. Packard spent 37 years as an Air Force officer and accumulated more than 3,900 flying hours before “settling down” to a second career in education administration outside of the military service. “My love for aviation started with an airplane ride with my family to Florida,” Packard said. “Back in those days, kids sometimes got an opportunity to visit the cockpit and when I got to see the pilots, I knew

that’s what I wanted to do.” His passion for flying was reinforced by his uncle, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. “Even though he didn’t fly, my uncle told me about the Air Force academy,” Packard said. “I was in middle school at that time, and after talking with him I got serious about earning a spot in the academy.” Dr. Packard brings impressive credentials to his new position. He is a retired Brigadier General

who earned his commission and a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from the Air Force Academy. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a second Master’s Degree in Counseling from Michigan State University. He holds his Doctorate in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on social network influences on leadership and professional military development. “I’ve always had a passion for education, and I’ve been very fortunate to spend half my career in education and half as a pilot,” Dr. Packard said. Dr. Packard served as a Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Evaluator, Deployed Director of Staff, Operations Officer and Commander during his Air Force career. As Commander, he was responsible for aircraft and training resources and annually graduating more than 200 new pilots. In his role as Deployed Director of Staff, he oversaw the operations of a base of 11,000 assigned and transient multi-national personnel.

While at the Academy, he established a research center focused on helping students pursue undergraduate research with a variety of organizations and faculty. He was instrumental in forming partnerships with the Air Force Research Laboratory, United States Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Dean Packard was working as the Program Manager for the Institute for Future Conflict at the Air Force Academy Foundation. Dr. Packard said he is looking forward to implementing the strategic vision of Dr. Robert C. Robbins, University of Arizona President. “We’re in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution and it’s vital that we offer career ready degrees that are future focused and accessible to citizens in our region and across the nation,” Dr. Packard said. “Technology is all-pervasive, and our programs are designed so our students are equipped for success in an unpredictable and rapidly changing world. “Our college’s mission is to prepare students for the workforce defined by this technological revolution.”

Karwaczka takes lead in Cochise County



riven to make a difference in his community and tired of cold weather, Richard Karwaczka (Car-Watch-Ka) found an advertisement in an Arizona Attorney magazine and decided it was time to leave the Chicago area. Karwaczka, hired in October as Cochise County Administrator, started his local career as a deputy public defender and later as the director of the public defender office. After four years continuing his practice in law, he decided he wanted something more. “I felt like I could play a bigger role in the County, and make positive changes,” Karwaczka said. “I’m working with really good people who know what they’re doing, and I’m very happy about that.” Playing a bigger role in government is nothing new for the Midwest native.

Karwaczka served as a prosecuting attorney in Cook County, Illinois, the second largest prosecutorial office in the United States. After 15 years working as a lawyer, both within and outside that office, he chose to move to Arizona. “I was looking for a change, and I have a best friend who lives in Scottsdale, so when the opportunity to work as a deputy public defender here opened up, I applied,” he said. Karwaczka, now 44, served as a deputy and later as the director of the public defender office. His experience in Cook County on the “other side” of the legal system quickly made an impact in Cochise County. “I wanted to make a difference in the community, so I dedicated myself to do everything I could for my clients. As a result, the comment I got repeatedly

from people I worked with was that I was the best public defender they had ever had,” he said. Relying on hard work is nothing new for Karwaczka. His parents immigrated to the United States from Czarny Dunajec and Pieniazkowice, Poland in 1972. He started working at a young age for his mother’s cleaning service and his academic and athletic success eventually led him to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he studied for his first career as an attorney. Karwaczka earned his law degree at the Mitchell Hamlin College of Law and was quickly hired by the State’s Attorneys Office. “My second day as a law clerk I was handed a case and told to get ready for a trial in 20 minutes,” he said. “It was a sort of baptism by fire that was a standard practice to find out whether you were up to the job.” Karwaczka tried hundreds of criminal bench trials and several jury trials that were decided by a verdict. He rose quickly through the ranks handling both misdemeanor and felony cases.

In 2007, he left the prosecutor’s office to start a private practice with his best friend, Frank Serio, handling both criminal and civil law. “I found out pretty quickly that I loved the law and working hard, but I was uncomfortable taking money from people,” he said. That discomfort led him back to putting his skills to work in the public sector, first as an attorney, and now as the Cochise County Administrator. “I think it’s an advantage to have a public and private background,” he said. “I have strong leadership skills, I’m a people person, and my history provides me with a practical knowledge of how business and government works.” Karwaczka praised the work of his predecessor, Ed Gilligan, who left the position in August to work for the Arizona Supreme Court. “The directors I work with know what they’re doing, and I’m very happy about that. The leadership in this county is strong, which gave me confidence when I applied for this position.”



Surgical center funded from community donations


omplete with an operating table, special lighting and a spacious waiting area, the recently-constructed surgery room at the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center in Sierra Vista makes it possible for pets to go home the same day they are adopted, said Arleen Garcia, care center supervisor. Paid for with substantial donations from the estate of Georgette Sperry Huna, the Friends of the Sierra Vista Animal Shelter, Horse’n Around Rescue Ranch and Foundation, and other contributions from the community, the 750-square-foot surgery room and waiting area will be in use four to five times a week, Garcia said. “Previously, people who adopted a pet would have to wait days, or sometimes more than a week, until we could arrange for neutering or spaying, then getting the required vaccinations and preparing the pet to leave the shelter,” she said. “With this new facility, depending on the availability of local veterinarians, most of our newly-adopted pets will be able to go home the same day.” For the Friends of the Sierra Vista Animal Shelter, this is the second successful fundraising campaign within the past two years. The volunteer non-profit also raised money for the purchase of an “animal mobile unit,” which was gifted to the City of Sierra Vista. As COVID-19 restrictions allow, the mobile clinic will travel to neighborhoods throughout the city, and when requested to other communities, to provide care for local pets. Cost of the surgical center totaled about $286,000, none of which came from taxpayer funds, Garcia said. “We asked for permission from the city to utilize previously donated funds, and that helped us to pay for some of the construction and furnishing the facility,” she said. The care center supervisor said she expects the surgery room will be utilized four to five days a week by local veterinarians who work with the Sierra Vista shelter. The room offers everything needed to sterilize pets, implant a tracking and identity microchip, conduct basic examinations and administer multiple inoculations for rabies, Parvo, and other required vaccinations. Support from the Friends of the Sierra Vista Animal Shelter has been a vital component of addressing the care center’s needs, Garcia said. Through its “Door-to-Door, One Paw at a Time Clinics,” the “Friends” have funded more than 1,500 no-cost examinations and vaccinations to local pet owners, said Kathy Buonocore, president of the group. Spay and neuter clinics funded by “Friends” has sterilized more than 350 local pets at minimal cost to the owners — usually $20 per pet — and emergency medical care funding has paid for special treatment for pets that might not otherwise receive needed procedures, said Buonocore.

Center seeks full disability for local vets


welcomed Bob Patterson, who received the nation’s highest military award — the Medal of Honor — for heroism he performed during the Vietnam War. Patterson singlehandedly assaulted and destroyed five enemy bunkers, killed eight enemy soldiers and captured seven weapons on May 6, 1968. He was serving as a specialist four in Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. During the firefight on that day, near La Chu, Thừa Thiên Province, South Vietnam, his heroism inspired his platoon to resume its attack and to penetrate the enemy defensive position. He was the honored guest at a gathering of American Legion members at a regional meeting in Bisbee on Nov. 8 and he traveled to Douglas on Nov. 7 where he toured the museum honoring that city’s military veterans, inside the Gadsden Hotel. Patterson also handed out fish fry dinners at the Warrior Healing Center on Nov. 8, offered free to area veterans in honor of their service. It’s the second consecutive year that the Warrior Healing Center has hosted a Medal of Honor recipient. In 2019, Drew Dix visited the area and spoke at a dinner in his honor hosted by local Boy Scout troops. “We wanted to do something similar for Mr. Patterson, but both the weather and the pandemic worked against us,” Kirk said. Kirk said the Warrior Healing Center plans to continue inviting Medal of Honor recipients in the future. “It’s a great thing for local veterans and for the community,” he said.


im Kirk announced a new initiative that promises to secure disability status for more than 400 military veterans in Cochise County. Kirk is the founder of the Warrior Healing Center in Sierra Vista. Kirk announced the new effort during weekend celebrations before Veterans Day on Nov. 11, while the Center was hosting Medal of Honor recipient Bob Patterson. “There are about 9,000 military veterans in Sierra Vista and about 20,000 in Cochise County, so shame on us if we can’t get these 432 veterans the full disability benefits they have earned,” Kirk said. The Warrior Healing Center has partnered with a nonprofit, veteranowned firm that specializes in helping military veterans obtain benefits they earned during their service. Kirk said the Warrior Healing Center submitted five “test cases” and the company was able to successfully upgrade the status of all five veterans to “full disability” by the Veterans Administration. “We have a lot of vets in this county who either are not receiving any benefits, or they aren’t getting what they are entitled to receive,” Kirk said. “The Warrior Healing Center has set this goal which will have a significant economic benefit for the community,” Kirk said. “More importantly, it will benefit the families of these veterans, and also will bring in money to the country, benefiting the economy of Southeastern Arizona. It improves lives across the board.” On Nov. 7 the Warrior Healing Center

12 12


Cochise Stronghold Canyon Early November & December Stories

Compiled by Kathy Klump, President of Sulphur Sulphur Springs Society, from the archives of the Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center, By Kathy Klump, President of the SpringsValley ValleyHistorical Historical Society 127Compiled E. Maley, from Willcox, AZ. articles from the Arizona Range News and our archives located in the Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center 127 E. Maley, Willcox, Arizona.


these two firms. A semi-circle of wondering and applauding citizens watched Mr. Razee for about an hour burn up about ten dollars worth of ammunition. With pistol, shot gun and rifle he was equally clever. He shot tin cans to shreds when thrown into the air, giving them several shots before reaching the ground. He threw potatoes in the air and could peel, slice or mash them with a rifle before they reached the ground. He shot with guns upside down, 4. Spanish flu 1918 women with backward, forward, 4.-Giff Allaire inmasks tree — Judge Monk, George Gunn, Frank 1. Apache Sentinels and sideways; one Tomkins, John Rockfellow, Caroline McNair by 1885 cabin in 5. Thanksgiving day 1920 was (courtesythe girls employed in the offices at the hand or both at Stronghold Peta-Anne Tenney) Mascot Mine were housed, caught fire and celebrated with a two-day event the same time. He had 100 chickens, a 26-foot-deep well, a milk cow 1. During the twelve years of warfare followingalso the broke targets house and protect supplies for the troops. Theauspices second of J. T.They under the Clark (Rex burned to the ground. Little was saved, and two work mules. Bascom Afair in 1861, the high granite walls and acres of building was photographed by Flora Rockfellow in 1. Sells Circus poster but no one was injured. The president’s Allen’s grandfather) and Mr. Adcock. by mirror shooting huge boulders5,of1893 the Dragooon Mountains became by Charles Hart, took place at the 1. November Sells and Rentfrow’s residence caughtfor firethe and was A number of sports and lit the a match1890. She identified it as a house built 9. An old adobe used as aalso lineshack Chiricahua favorite refuge the Chiricahua Apache and a veteran of the Civil War, who ran aWillcox sutler’sFair store while First was the circus came to for Willcox. Afterwards, the people Grounds. consumed in a few minutes. A strong held by his partner Cattle Company cowboys had the only permanent wind their chief Cochise. Thus it became known as “Cochise’s paper reported, “The thieving arrangement with a .22. Thetroops were stationed at was blowing from the south, and sole it was bull riding. A young man known as water year-round hole nearby. Henry Boice was Stronghold.” Cochise placed armed sentinels on the high the Stronghold. called Sells & Rentfrow’s circus which “Cheyenne” and Tom Baker of Sunset impossible to save thethe building. Had the cleverest trick of owner for awhile, then Gifford Allaire, boy in the tree, rocks to discourage any advancement by the U. S. Army bilked the people of this valley on last wind been blowing the east or north, won the prizes of $5 each.bought The wild all was when he the adobe property in 1931.from His estate sold it to 2. S.P . rates 5. John Henry “Red” for Fair troops. The Apache have their own name for the canyon Saturday, has been condemned all practicallyinthe whole camp haveinto horse race came next. FayJohn Adams shot a cigar outWarren, of and Mary Magoffin 1952. John waswould inducted age 30, married which means “second home” or summer home.” along the line by the press. Besides its took first prize and “Cheyenne” took Cowboy beenHall wiped out. Lon Haley ran thewas Mascot Warner’s mouth. the Willcox of Fame in 2005. Mary an Lucinda “Lulu” Harris in side it carries along with & Western nicknamed “Haley’s second. Then came a pony race and a part of the That was goingMarch some.”1889, who had integral Cochisetrain, County Historical Society. 2.“snide” General O. shows O. it a lot ofmet thieves motorcycle race. The double burro riding at Pearce Comet”, back and forth Willcox The School was dedicated into her honorevery in Howard with in the shape of threejust turned 15 years old. 4. November 1918 began with the Spanish card monte Ownership offor thetwo adobe property to Helen created much merriment. Four2007. boys rode day weeks taking passed lumber and Cochise andand Tomshell game dealers and He was a woodcutter, Influenza in full force. One third of the and one Charlie in 1966. other swindling building materials up the mountain. Plans and won $1 each. The second day, of Prude Jeffords, the onlydevices. white One of our freighter, andflu. cattle Willcox population had the Eight sophisticated citizens is said to have lost the Wiley boys took first prize in the wild were to have a new dormitory completed man Cochise trusted, rancher. cameinto the deaths from the flu wereThey reported at a shell game, by Christmas. The secretaries came into horse race. The most fun was the goat at$200 Council Rocks. A and that others were the local papercanyon about 1899 and in the first week of that relieved of smallerwith sums. Several of our Willcox where they were outfitted with roping. On both evenings a dance was peace agreement madeHealth final entry onordered the month. The County Officer citizens was had their pockets picked, and one given at the Liberty Theater. A string band new wardrobes from the three mercantiles Cochise negotiated homestead at Cochise the closing of public schools, churches, in particular lost $70 by that means. Give consisting of H. E. Allen (Rex Allen’s father) in town, since all their clothes had been setting the boundaries Stronghold in October picture shows, dance halls and billiard that of a show a wide berth.” of thebilk Chiricahua burned in the fire. These stores would have of Ash Creek and two Mexicans furnished 1907. He built a three-room rooms from the middle of October to the Reservation in 1872. frame and adobe house been the Willcox Commercial, Rottman’s, the music, which was pronounced 2. Southern Pacific offered special rates middle of November. There were over thirty This included the land and planted two acres in and Huffman’s Toggery. The dormitory was excellent. for anyone traveling to Phoenix for the First deaths in the Mexican population at the from the west side of wheat. According to family 5. Red _ Lulu Warren 1889 rebuilt with a number of improvements Territorial Fair to be held December 23 to 6. On the morning of December 6, 1924, town of Johnson. Eighty cases of the flu the Dragoons to the stories, Warren lost his over the old building. The girls moved Dec 28, 1905. About 25,000 attended the the dormitory at Central Camp, where were reported at the Industrial School at New Mexico state line, homestead in a card game. into their new residence on Christmas Eve fair during the six day event. Fort Grant. Dr. Ben Briscoe cover and from a point near In July 1908,had theto land ownership was transferred to just in time to celebrate Christmas. This the whole areaAlfonse from Willcox to Bonita to Safford to the border 3. The Range News reported on November and Clemence Guitard. After Alfonse died, John would prove to be Lon Haley’s last runs as Bowie to Dos Cabezas by himself as Dr.the J. property. with Mexico. The areaMetallic Rockfellow purchased 18, 1910, “The Union Cartridge Reservation conductor of the Mascot & Western. J.L. 2. Chiricahua C. Wilson was serving in the Army during was roughly two-thirds Arms Co. and the Remington Co. sent out Perkins assumed that job at the first of the 1872-1876 area drawn byTribthe war. Over all, the Spanish Flubecame killed a well-known figure in 6. Richard Shaw, the Cochise Mr.size RushofRazee, of Curtis Nebraska, and year. al Historian Lelan Michael 9. Line shack for Chiricahua Cattle Co. 1885-1912 more people than the total lossesHe of wrote, the Cochise County. “Stronghold Memories” County. treaty of Phoenix Mr. RussThis A. Warner to represent Darrow in 2002. Great War. 10. The Stronghold school was located at the corner 7. Christmas Day 1921 beginning at of for the Spring 1994 issue of the Cochise Quarterly, made the land safe Ironwood and Cochise Stronghold Roads. Twenty-seven 2:30 in the afternoon a crowd gathered published by the Cochise County Historical Society. enough for the miners and cattle ranchers to come in. students attended during the Fair school’s firstfor year in 1912. at the Willcox Grounds harness He began, “In early February of 1916, my mother and Cochise died June 8, 1874. He was buried in a secret The school building was either torn down or moved and running races. Entrance fee was in I got off the train at Cochise. Philip Rockfellow met us location in the canyon. Tom Jeffords, the only white man the 1930s. The first the race Stronghold Farm five annual dollars.fair Theoffirst was a “Freewith a wagon for the 16-mile drive to the Stronghold, to attend the interment, never revealed the location. It Improvement Association held on Saturday, October where we rented a cabin from his family. My father For-All Pacewas with a purse of $100 to the remains a mystery to this day. In 1876, the reservation 7, 1916 at the school house and proved to be a great was teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana, winner. The three horses in that race land was taken back, and the Apaches were moved to success. The gathering was to “secure send to but because of my severe asthma, Mother (Charlotte were “Valbro”, Badinaexhibits N”, andto “Victor San Carlos. the Soil Products Exhibit at El Paso and the State Fair at J. Shaw) and I were trying Arizona. I was 11 years old.” Directly.” A three-eighths mile dash Phoenix. 3. In August 1883, John About 1920, they purchased the Warren-Guittardfollowed, also with a purse of $100. The Rockfellow, Walter Servoss, and Rockfellow house and 80 acres of Warren’s original horses who raced were “Ruth Johnson”, 11. More than two thousand Jack Spencer camped at the homestead. They planted 400 peach trees watered “Buzz”, and “Lillie J.” Five other horses people witnessed the 3. Union mouth of East Cochise Stronghold by using a 50-gallon drum, a team-drawn wagon and ran in the quarter-mile dash with a purse dedication of the Cochise Metallic Canyon. They decided to claim a three-gallon bucket. They also planted 125 almond of $50. monument in Cochise They were “Mickey”, “Bubbles”, Cartridge it by preemption, also known trees, one-half acre of grapes, walnut trees, jujube, Stronghold May“Red 12, Cloud”, “Army Boy”, “Pauline”, and Co as “Squatter’s Rights.” After a pomegranate and pistachio trees. “Keno”. 1934. The monument

close call with Apaches, who had broken out of San Carlos, they decided to homestead in the valley instead and hold the canyon land for safer times. 3. J. A. Rockfellow Spencer died in December 1883. His interest was given to his friend Joe Phy. Phy sold it to Pete Kitchen, another well-known historical character. Soon, Frank Allaire joined the partners bringing his cousin Tom Allaire and Tom’s 6-year-old son, Gifford, with him. Tom Allaire is a grandfather to the Browning and Tenney families of Willcox. John Rockfellow was a surveyor and surveyed many of the towns in Cochise County. He was also a Justice of the Peace in Willcox in 1892 and 1893. Rockfellow’s reminiscences can be read in his autobiography, “Log of an Arizona Trail Blazer.” 4. There are two buildings that reportedly were built during the Geronimo campaign about 1885. Rockfellow called one an Army Depot, adobe building used to 6. Mascot & Western Trainan 1924

6. Office girls at Mascot 7. A neighbor of the Shaw’s was Herbert Buckley. His family came to the canyon in 1907. In 1917, the newspaper reported, “One hundred tons of peaches is the estimated crop that will be raised this year on the ranch of H. S. Buckley of Cochise Stronghold. Mr. Buckley has an orchard of 4500 peach trees and is making shipments of the fruit to Douglas, Pearce, Cochise, Willcox, Johnson, and Tucson.” Buckley’s sold some of their property to Hamilton and May Kegans in 1924. The famous 30-acre peach orchard was puchased in 1923 by former Captain of the Arizona Rangers and one of Cochise County’s most famous sheriffs, Harry Wheeler.

8. The final homestead begun in the canyon was established by Mr. and Mrs. James W. Waln, who came to the Stronghold in November 1912. They built a home that consisted of two tents with floors and walls and a fly stretched between them forming a hall or breezeway.

was completed by the United States Forest Service. The dedication was sponsored by the Progressive Pioneers Woman’s Club of Cochise. Many famous people of 11. Cochise monument Arizona took part in the dedicated May 12, 1934 ceremony including Gov. George W. P. Hunt and John A. Rockfellow. Dr. Frank C. Lockwood of the University of Arizona gave the dedication address. At the close of the dedication, a copper chest containing current copies of newspapers from surrounding towns, along with copies of Rockfellow’s and Lockwood’s books was buried at the foot of the monument and incased in concrete to be preserved for a curious generation to come. (Story provided by Bob Nilson, Benson Visitor’s Center.)


Editor’s Note:


We welcome photos from our members and appreciate the contributions. Here are a few guidelines. Photos must be of high-quality for reproduction. If taken on a mobile phone, the High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting is preferred. Photos should be current, taken within the past year. Photos must originate from within the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative Service (SSVEC) area.

Anni Tiemann A turkey meeting in Carr Canyon

The photos are free of copyright and once submitted, become the property of SSVEC for reproduction. Photos should be submitted to, or mailed to Currents Reader Photos, attention Eric Petermann, 311 E. Willcox Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. Jerry Couch Blue Groesbeck, taken north of Dragoon Road by Jerry Couch in early 2019.

Edie Cundiff, Canyon Sky

Devon Christie A Mexican Blue Jay (I call it “The Snatch”), feeding on one of the many Suet, at the Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary. Nicole McBride Left: Not a Hummingbird Below: The look of winter

Rosie McCoy Johnson ABOVE: Mountain sky RIGHT: Along the lines at sunset


Mike Hartman LEFT: A gate at Sonoita ABOVE: Sunset at Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Ken Depola Halloween face


Deadline for of Deadline forthe theJanuary March2021 2021issue issue Currents featuring events for the months of Currents featuring events for the of February and March is December 12. months of April and May is February Email information to epetermann@ssvec. 12. Email information to epetermann@ com.


High Noon Bull Riding Sunizona-Ash Creek

Shoot Out Arena, TombstoneCreek The Annual Sunizona-Ash Located at 365 S. Third Street in Tombstone, Community Association Spaghetti the Shoot Out Arena is a great place to watch Dinner will be held on Tuesday, bull riding up close! Riding starts February 2, from 6 pm to 7 pm at noon, and continues through at the Association Hall2 p.m. behind Tickets will be sold at gate. are We will only Mustang Mall. Adult the dinners sell as many seat tickets for the amount of $6, children from 6 to 10 are $3, seats we have. So get them before children 5 and under are free. If they sell out!pandemic Kids age 5 permits and under free! the and theIn support of Veterans day the 11th of November. We are Principal feels that it is safe, the going to donate part of the proceeds of this students from Ash Creek SchoolLegion event to the Tombstone American will for usofattheir 7 pm. Postbe 24performing to help out some programs We have door prizes. thatwill theyalso have to support our veterans! Come join us for some good food and visit with friends at a safe NOVEMBER 28 distance. For information contact HuachucaTiuan Hiking Club Maryclare (520) 429-5580. The Huachuca Hiking Club (HHC) normally has hikes every Saturday starting at different times depending upon the time of year and the hike itself. In general, the meeting time is between 7-8 a.m. and the hikes themselves vary in length from 6-12 miles with 2000-3000 feet of elevation gain. If this peaks your interest, please contact Steve Scheumann at (520) 3784926 / to ask for the latest HHC Hiking schedule and more information about the club.


Irish bandinbrings Christmas Elgintoe-tappin’ Irish and Scottish jigs & reels, Elgin Community drinking songsClubhouse and popular The 10th annual “Christmas Elgin,” a covers to the Palace of Artinand fine arts and crafts festival, will Theater. Guaranteed to bringbe held onon Saturday, Dec. 5Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the CRAIC! in January the historic Elgin Community Clubhouse 30, 7:00pm.

located at 475 Elgin Road in Elgin. This event features local artisans, festive decorations, and unique gift items. Enjoy the beauty of Elgin, seasonal music and get a great start of your holiday shopping. Soft drinks and hot chocolate will be available, but unfortunately, no food this year. Please wear your face mask to comply with COVID-19 safety measures. Contact RebeccaDay withConcert questions at (520) Valentine’s “Amore and Mozart” comes to 455-4731.

Sierra Vista Community Theater

MORE THEATER AND ART EVENTS The National Philharmonic orchestra comes to the Palace stage with concerts recorded at the Strathmore Hall, due to a new partnership with Willcox Theater and Arts. This eight concert season highlights All American Composers on Sunday November 9, and a Best of the Messiah Holiday Special on Tuesday and Thursday, December 22 and 24. All concerts are at 2:30 pm.

Springs Valley

Thursday, January 14 – Open-Mic Night to show your talents and enjoy everyone else’s. Also February 25 Saturday, January 23 – Paint Night, where you create memories while you create your masterpiece. Also February 27

creativity and creative people in Northern Cochise County, is available to view online at, on our Creative Content page. Read about your talented neighbors and the creative scene around Willcox. If you’re a creative in Northern Cochise county, let us know about you.

The Holidays are a great time for creative expression, so take part in one of our classes or workshops: Friday, December 4 is Kid’s Art Club, for students under 18, and Monday December 7 is Art in the Afternoon for Seniors. Jam Sessions are the first and third Wednesdays of each month, and smARTMAKER Lab for creativity with technology is Friday December 18. And don’t miss Paint Night on Saturday, December 19, where you make memories at the same time you make your masterpiece painting. The High Desert Palette, our new magazine about


Check our website for a complete schedule of upcoming events, performances,Catholic films, workshops and classesand in art, Community Services the IRS photography, digitalare and computer art, plustounique currently preparing providecinema free tax help history for the upcoming filing season. offerings, jam sessions, talks and much more. Free training will be provided and experience Information and tickets at orno 520-766-3335.

Check our website for a complete schedule of upcoming events, performances, films, workshops and classes in art, photography, digital and computer art, plus unique cinema offerings, jam sessions, history talks, and much more. Information and tickets at or 520-766-3335.

Volunteer to provide tax help

is necessary. “The IRS works closely with key partners to provide free tax preparation to low-income families, seniors, disabled individuals, and limited-English speakers,” said IRS spokesman David Tucker II. “There is a role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to the community.” The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation to low-to-moderate income families. Volunteering can be exciting, educational and enjoyable. There are several good reasons to volunteer: No previous experience required, IRS provides free tax law training and necessary materials, Community Partners provide mentors for training purposes, Flexible volunteer hours, Various volunteer duty options, and It’s a great way to make new friends. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. In addition to preparing both federal and State of Arizona income tax returns, volunteers are needed to greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, manage tax sites and handle quality control, and assist with Spanish/English interpretation. We are also seeking volunteers who are willing to discuss the benefits of savings opportunities with taxpayers. It’s a great way to help families prepare for emergencies. Free training is available online with classroom style training offered during December and January. Volunteer hours are flexible. To join the VITA team, please contact Charles Grymko at 520-490-4844, Norm Wigton at 520-234-1079 or email charlesg@



December 11th at 7:00pm is the elegant Lich/ Lee Duo, with a beautiful mix of guitar and piano. Michael Lich and Ji Sun Lee are highly talented musicians, and together they bring you a holiday night to remember.


Thursday, January 21 – Retro Rewind, showing classic looking for pictures films of the past. Watch classic “D.O.A.” that capture the Admission includes popcorn and water beauty and natural of the Wednesday, January 20 – Jam session –wonders for acoustic Sulphur Springs instruments (Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday) Valley Electric Friday, February 5 – Kid’s Art Club, forCooperative students under 18, service First Friday of each month area. Please make Thursday, February 11 – Brown-Bag sure to including History Talk - “The Middle Crossing of your name, address and phone number the San Pedro” – George Whitehead Thursday, February 18 – Retro Rewind with your photo. Pictures should – “His Girl Friday” the hilarious 1940 hit be sent to epeterwith Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, Admission includes popcorn and water or mailed to Sulphur

During camp we teach basic horse care, horseback riding skills, and teamwork.

Start the new year off with a class, a club, a workshop, a

At 7:00pm, on November 13th listen to Cindy Weir. A songwriter and musician, she creates and performs original music she describes as ‘dream folk’. She has performed in and around Arizona and is an artist for “Musicians on Call” bringing music to patients and their families.

Last of the season.

Electric Cooperative, If your interests are literary, check Attention Eric out “The High Desert Petermann, 311 E. the Palace from the National Philharmonic orchestra, with Palette”, our magazine Wilcox Drive, Sierra the orchestral premier of Amore by American Composer about creativity and Vista, AZ 85635. DECEMBER 5 merging classical and popular styles. The Henry Dehlinger creative people in concert Northern Cochise Craft andconcludes Businesswith FairMozart’s Sinfonia Concertante Come join usfor for food, dancing, presents, Camp is tailored to beginner or novice Four Winds. Sunday, February 14, 6 pm. County. View online and fun at our first annual Yule Ball! Cost is atriders for children 5 to 15 years old. Camp The Mall at Sierra Vista, $40 per person or $75 for a couple. Come in onruns Monday through Thursday from 9 Hosted by the Cochise Crafters, this event Creative Content a Harry Potter costume our or formal wear. The a.m. to 1 p.m. with a demonstration and will showcase amazing local crafters and ball will be held in the festively decorated barbecue on Thursday for families to see page. Read about your businesses in Sierra Vista! Opens at 10 Mall at Sierra Vista, 2200 El Mercado Loop. what the children have learned! Cost is talented neighbors a.m. and continues through 3 p.m. For more and the creative scene $150 until Dec 14, then price increases to information, visit $165. Kid’s also receive one free follow DECEMBER 28 around Willcox. If you’re Winter Kids Horse Camp a creative in Northern up lesson with each registration. Space is DECEMBER 19 limited so register today for a fun experience Cochise County, let us during winter break! For more information, Al’s Horse Camp, Hereford Yule Ball know about you. visit our Facebook page at



Catching Up With Chef Chris


Cozy Weeknight Dinners

Cooler days call for hearty winter warmers. These quick dinners come together in under 30 minutes, are full of seasonal flavor, and keep an eye on nutrition as well. Enjoy lots of tips and shortcuts, along with plenty of helpful advice for successful dinners.


Feb 4: Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew with OldFashioned Cornbread, Feb 12: Savory Southwestern Strata (layered casserole) and Zippy Rainbow Slaw Feb 19: Spinach and mushroom risotto, alongside warm carrot salad with dill and walnuts Feb 26: Argentinian Veggie Shepherd’s Pie, and Roasted Broccoli with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Cook with Chef Chris!

Chef Chris will be teaching live at the Center for Lifelong Learning via Zoom beginning in February. Join her Friday mornings 10:00-10:30 for 30-minute classes to rev up your weekly meals and a healthy dose of kitchen inspiration. For more information: (520) 515-5492

a favorite muppet,” shared Chris. Other culinary endeavors included catering a feature film on location in Havana, IL, where she also had a cameo playing a cook appropriately enough, working as the development chef for KidFresh, a line of nutritious frozen entrees for little ones, 15 years with Williams-Sonoma offering cooking classes and demos and writing two cookbooks. Ultimately, it was teaching cooking that really got her inspired and focused. “The challenge of getting New Yorkers, who can have virtually any kind of food delivered to their door, to enjoy the kitchen more is where I really found my sweet spot,” she said. Adding, “I just love being able to demystify cooking for people, so that they can relax and savor the process, which can be both creative and stimulating.” Up until a few years ago, we had her right here in Cochise County while she cared for her aging mother. She wrote a weekly food column for the Sierra Vista Herald, taught cooking classes at Cochise College’s Center for Lifelong Learning, and could be spotted regularly at farmer’s markets and the Sierra Vista Food Co-op. With the passing of her mom at the end of 2017, however, her reason for being in Sierra Vista came to an end, and in 2018 she left to get back to her own life. Although she no longer knows exactly what’s appearing at our farmer’s markets, this chef still has a handle on what to offer up for us here. “Having cooked while traveling quite a lot, I have a good sense of what ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store, in any given season. I also use the changes in weather as a natural way to shift up the recipes and keep things interesting,” said Chris. Since her departure she’s found herself in Houston, the Catskills region in upstate New York, Bloomington, IN, and most recently Providence, RI. We’ve been lucky to continue to be on the receiving end of her culinary adventures and her wealth of experience, even after she left.

“One of the first things I check for when I arrive somewhere is the farmer’s market,” she shared. Adding,”I always find it such an adventure to see what’s growing and have a chat with the farmers about how they prepare their veggies. Then I share what I’ve discovered.” Chef Chris does her best to balance comfort and classics with new and intriguing, all offered up as “quick & easy” as possible. She prides herself on writing recipes with short ingredient lists and brief method instructions to keep them from appearing too daunting. “Even after so many years, doing my

best to encourage joy in the kitchen, I still get such a kick when somebody tells me that one of my recipes is a family favorite, or that their friends all beg for the recipe when they make something that I taught them. It’s just so satisfying,” she expressed. A small upside to the pandemic is that Chef Chris can now teach again virtually through Cochise College’s Center for Lifelong Learning. And of course, we can find her right here in each edition of CURRENTS. She’s happy to hear from you as well:

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Early Trailblazers and the Railroad (1848 – 1880) Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The New Town: a Major Supply Center (1880 –1889) Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Cattle Capital of the World (1890 – 1895) Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Toughest Town in the Territory (1896 – 1900) Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Boom Town and Women Bring Changes (1901– 1915) Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Great War Changes Lives (1916– 1918) Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tuesdays at 6:30 pm February 16 through March 23, 2021 Free Admission at the Palace of Art and Theater, 116 N Railroad Ave The series will be repeated monthly from March to August on the second Thursday at noon at the Palace of Theater and Arts Sponsored by Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative and The City of Willcox


ince 2015 here in CURRENTS you‘ve been enjoying great recipes, fun nutrition and food facts, and inspiring pictures of culinary creations, all courtesy of our very own Chef Chris. Classically trained in New York City, she has many years of experience in the art of fancy feeding and haute cuisine. But at the end of the day, she would prefer to put her energy towards eating well in day to day life, and helping others do the same. She was lucky enough to catch the pro cooking bug in the early 90s before it became a popular second career choice for dissatisfied MBA types and myriad cooking schools started popping up everywhere. “I feel like I went to culinary school at a special time. We had highly qualified instructors with genuine passion for food and the schools hadn’t yet started cashing in on the all the sudden interest. The Food Network was in its infancy and the shows were still generally the ‘dump and stir’ style — a derogatory term coined for traditional cooking shows deemed boring as the foodie revolution emerged,” the chef explained. Right out of cooking school she managed to land at a Zagat top 50 restaurant, meaning one of the very best restaurants in New York City. It didn’t take long for her to realize, however, that 6 days a week for a relatively tiny paycheck wasn’t worth it, and so she moved into catering. “Plan and execute. Catering was just my cup of tea. In restaurants you never know what you’re cooking until you get the orders, and then, bam! Make it all under pressure,” the chef shared. While catering isn’t considered as glamorous as restaurants in professional culinary circles, Chef Chris has an impressive list of noteworthy people she has fed. Lauren Bacall, Nathan Lane, Chita Rivera and Frances McDormand to name a few, and Martha Stewart twice in one week. “Martha actually took two of an hors d’oeuvre on a pass once. Something that’s not really done, as they say. I think she wanted to recreate my recipe for a potato tuile,” she disclosed with good humored dismay. Catering also took her into some spectacular locations regularly, such as the 90th floor of the World Trade Center, the Steinway showroom — practically a museum of the piano — Sotheby’s auction house for some spectacular sales, and the Dakota, the fabled apartment building known for being the home of John Lennon and other notables. A favorite venue of the chef’s was the “Muppet Mansion,” the Upper Eastside townhouse headquarters of Jim Henson Productions, which was filled with all things Muppet, some even rendered in fine art. “We catered Miss Piggy’s cookbook and perfume launches, and whatever else that called for a Muppet fete. Feeding Frank Oz was huge for me and I’d always linger around the Swedish Chef displayed in one of the back rooms. Obviously he’s




Food Art & Feeding Fun I BY CHEF CHRIS

t certainly seems like home cooking is going to be the norm for some time yet. So, I thought I ought to offer up some special kitchen inspiration this month. Ideally, something here will be a bit of a spark for you and some joyful cooking will ensue. Fun is the watchword here, and each recipe can either create a few variations, or can be made once and eaten several times. Meaning: cook once, eat thrice — it’s even fun to use “thrice” in a sentence! I’ll also remind you of the phrase, “eat the rainbow.” Not only is it good advice for balanced nutrition, but it also makes for a good palette to create with. Allow cooking to be creative, and the food will taste better, I promise. I will sometimes add a little shredded purple cabbage to something just for a pop of color. It can be eaten raw, so put it in at the last minute for the best color. Add a little diced yellow pepper to your greens for a similar burst of color and cheer. Likewise, sometimes a bit of green is needed to contrast, and for that I’ll grab a handful of peas or chopped spinach from the freezer. Get creative! You can still have pizza delivered if everything goes terribly wrong… pizza is fun, right?

Pretty Purple Soup Sweet Potato Hummus (and soup)

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I’m convinced it’s actually laziness. I had been wanting to make sweet potato hummus for ages, and due to a Thanksgiving mix-up, had leftover sweet potatoes. It was time! I loved it. The sweetness of the taters worked so nicely with the chickpeas. Then I got lazy and a light bulb went off. Soup in seconds! I heated some broth and popped in the remaining hummus, about 1 cup. I happened to have a little broccoli, so I chopped it up and threw that in too. Truly a 5 minute dinner. Other veggies you could chuck in your soup would be cauliflower, red peppers, chopped spinach or any leafy green. For a little

crunch, try slivered almonds or cashews, or for something special, some avocado slices and cilantro. Makes about 2 cups 1 can chickpeas, drained 1 medium sweet potato, 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 tsp. cumin 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil Juice of 1 lemon Peel, chop and roast the sweet potato. I toss mine in a little olive oil first and do it in the toaster oven. Place everything in the food processor, add a little salt, and puree, adding more olive oil if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a tablespoon of water to thin or smooth, if desired.

This is a big pot of pretty. The colors are just astonishing, so I consider it edible art. Important to note that overnight the colors go more violet. I think slightly blue beans simply add to the fun though, personally. Cabbage is just so good for you, in particular the vitamin C in there. Adding beans and celery to this soup clinches the nutrition deal. I happened to have the purple daikon pictured in my crisper drawer, which is something of a superfood, but is optional. You can certainly make this with white cabbage, white potatoes and orange carrots… but why not go purple? If you can’t find purple potatoes at least the leftovers will be lavender if you use purple cabbage. 4-6 servings 1 onion, chopped 3-4 stalks celery, sliced 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

Baked Egg Rolls (and Asian take out)


I was in the market recently and spotted the egg roll wrappers. I often see them (usually at the end of the produce section near tofu) and pass on the impulse to purchase, but this time I thought, yes! I could do with some fun in the kitchen. I used a plant based Italian sausage that worked, even with the Mediterranean flavor. I keep a jar of “ginger paste” from the Ginger People in my fridge at all times as it makes light work of adding ginger to whatever I’m making. As I made my mixture for the eggrolls, it was all I could do to not just stop, cook up a little rice and eat it just like that. If the effort of making rolls is too much for you, just make the filling and rice and call it a night. Or! Make a double batch and have egg rolls one night and “Asian

take out” the next.

the bottom of the pan.

4 cups vegetable broth

For 6-8 rolls

Add garlic and ginger and let cook another minute while stirring.

2 medium purple potatoes, chopped

Turn off heat and add cabbage, then stir to combine and wilt the cabbage. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and scallions, stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning.

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

4-6 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced About 4 oz sausage 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced 1 carrot, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbsp. grated ginger About 1½ cup shredded cabbage 2 Tbsp. soy sauce ½ tsp sesame oil, optional 3 scallions, chopped 8 egg roll wrappers Heat a large fry pan over medium-high, add a little oil and add the mushrooms. Season with a pinch of salt and let cook until they have thrown off most of their liquid. Add the sausage and brown well, breaking it up as it browns, then add the celery and carrots and cook another minute, scraping up any brown bits from

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil (shiny side down). To assemble egg rolls, lay out a wrapper with a corner facing you and brush the edges with water or a little egg. Add ⅓ cup mixture to the middle, as pictured, then roll like an envelope. Brush each egg roll with oil, or use spray oil, on both sides and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then carefully flip and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden. Patiently wait for them to not be so hot that they singe your tongue. Can be made ahead and reheated. To freeze, put rolls on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. When firm, place in a zipper bag and return to the freezer. Reheat in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

2-3 carrots, sliced About 2 cups shredded cabbage 1 cup cooked white beans (14 oz. can, drained) ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped In a soup pot, add a little oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt over medium-high. Sauté until deep golden, then add celery and let cook a few minutes. Add garlic and let cook 30 seconds, then add broth, potatoes, Dijon, and a little salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer 5 minutes. Add the carrots and let cook another 3 minutes, then check potatoes. When just about tender, add cabbage and beans and let heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning, then drop in parsley and serve.