Tag Archives: suffragettes

Celebrating Arizona women

Nellie Cashman (Photo courtesy of SCC)

Legend has it that Nellie Cashman, a pioneering businesswoman who settled for a time in Tombstone, had a boarder named Doc Holliday who once threatened to slay a man who dared to complain about her cooking.

There’s more to the story, of course, and I know just where you can hear it — at an event called “Celebrating Arizona Women” that will “chronicle the legacy and diversity of Arizona women, past and present.” Think song, dance and storytelling.

Folks who attend will learn about the Harvery Girls, who’ve been credited with “bringing gentility and guests to Arizona.” The pair was memorialized in film, and even a lovely bit of vinyl recorded by Judy Garland. Also can-can dancers “imported by a French madam” to entertain all those lonely early Arizona miners.

Even the Sisters of Mercy, whose primitive hospital has evolved into two modern facilities. Seems it all began with nursing tuberculosis patients during the late 19th century.

One of our more recent legends, Rose Moffard, is serving as honorary chair for the event– which she’s presenting along with Scottsdale Community College and the American Association of University Women.

They’re also partnering with several other groups. The League of Women Voters will be showcasing women in public service by rocking the suffragette vibe.

The Scottsdale Historical Society will feature “early teachers in a one-room school” free of a little something I like to call “iStuff.” And Mujer, Inc. will “illustrate how early Latina settlers worked alongside their partners as they homesteaded.”

Sisters of Mercy with an early patient (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph's Foundation)

Arizona’s official storyteller, Marshall Trimble, is serving as emcee — but it has me wondering. If the event is all about women, shouldn’t his remarks be delivered wearing an apron and wig?

“Celebrating Arizona Women” takes place Fri, Feb. 24 (7:30pm) and Sat, Feb. 25 (2pm and 7:30pm) at the SCC Performing Arts Center. Tickets are already available for just $20. Good to know if you’re still trying to shop for the woman who has everything.

The “Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail” exhibit will be displayed in the SCC Student Center mall. Net proceeds from this event will provide scholarships to SCC students.

— Lynn

Note: Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.maricopa.edu/foundation/egive (Look for the “I would like my gift to go to:” section, then select “Scottsdale CC” as the “College/Group.” Next, select “Celebrating Arizona Women” as the “Scholarship/Event” before moving to the next section to select a performance date/time.)

Coming up: What’s new in writing workshops?, My votes for holiday movie time

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NYC in Scottsdale?

My husband James stumbled on a great pizza joint last Friday night while making a pet store run. Lovebirds can’t do pizza, so Trixy got bird food and we got slices from Joe’s New York Pizza in Scottsdale. Cheese for Lizabeth and Hawaiian for me.

March for gay rights in NYC, 1976 (Photo: Warren K. Leffler)

He walked in the door with dinner just after I’d watched a CNN broadcast of a short speech by New York governor Andrew Cuomo. The occasion for Cuomo’s remarks was the passage of a marriage equality act in the New York legislature.

I already had New York on the brain because I was readying for this week’s trip to NYC for Lizabeth’s college orientation. Lizabeth starts a B.F.A. in acting program this fall.

As Lizabeth weighed possible colleges earlier in the year, I was mindful of the political landscape in the various states where she might go to school — though I never mentioned things like my Cuomo versus Christie musings.

Cuomo spoke last Friday night of New York as a “social justice” state. “I’m always proud to be a New Yorker,” said Cuomo. “But tonight I’m especially proud to be a New Yorker.” Cuomo was among those leading the fight for marriage equality in New York.

In his remarks, Cuomo spoke of New York’s leadership in several fights for equal rights — the movement for women’s rights, the push for worker’s rights after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the most recent battle — equal marriage rights for gay and straight couples.

“Social justice,” said Cuomo, “is an evolutionary process.” He recognized others who’d championed this cause for New York citizens, and praised “the advocacy community from across the nation.” I’m sure some in Scottsdale embraced the vote with a “we’re all New Yorkers tonight” mindset.

I’m thrilled to be enjoying NYC with Lizabeth this week, but there are folks in Scottsdale that I’ll be missing while we’re away. Trixy, Pinky, Rugby — plus James and our other two children, also college students. But also Lizabeth’s teachers from the Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre, where she studied theater last summer.

Before we marched for marriage equality, we marched for women's rights and workers' rights

The conservatory presents its 2011 performance at the Scottsdale Community College Performing Arts Center Wed, June 29 and Thurs, June 30. They’re presenting “Strange Bedfellows,” which is set in my daughter Jennifer’s favorite city — San Francisco. They have a thing for civil rights too.

“Strange Bedfellows” is the tale of Senator Cromwell, “a politician who keeps his women under stern rule.” His son, Matthew Cromwell, is a young congressman who “dutifully follows in his father’s political footsteps — except when he marries a beautiful and determined suffragette.”

It examines “the coming of age of a woman’s right to vote” — and features “the escapades that ensue as the suffragette converts the women in the Cromwell family to her way of thinking.” Who doesn’t love a good conversion story?

I’m told that “shades of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata and San Francisco’s brothel district come into play as each side tries to out-maneuver and out-smart the other.” Aristophanes, by the way, was a comedic playwright of ancient Greece.

I know the actors, theater professionals and teachers of Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre played a part in helping Lizabeth achieve her dream of studying and making theater in NYC — and I’m grateful.

Thanks to James and Joe’s New York Pizza, we can always enjoy a bit of NYC in Scottsdale. But this week, we’re carrying thoughts of Scottsdale with us in New York.

— Lynn

Note: Check out the “Stay Fancy Free” blog for more nifty black-and-white photos of suffragettes — plus lovely fiber arts fare. Click here to check out the site where I found the photo shot while the Democratic National Convention was in NYC during 1976.

Coming up: Shakespeare NYC-style, A stroll through the theater district, NYC: museum highlights