Long live used book sales sponsored by the Friends of Pima County Public Library. I know everyone in Tucson is focused on the gem show, But take an hour and go to the Book Barn on Country Club. You’ll find another type of treasure worth a visit.
I took my own advice and found a few real gems (at least to me). One was a 1950s manual produced by the Tokyo News Service that reviewed customs of Japan….all sorts of interesting topics, from handclapping ceremonies that arouse spirits, to the importance of first dreams in a new year. Another was a 1926 Muirhead guidebook of North-western France. Such beautiful maps and diagrams. The book is unmarked except for checkmarks on pages about Loches, a small town on the banks of the Indre River. Someday Leigh and I will travel to Normandy, and head south to see what is special about this little central-France town.
My prize from the book sale is a tiny 1980s paperback about the Tanque Verde Ranch. The booklet is illustrated with beautiful gouache paintings by Erni Cabat, a local painter who died in the 1990s. There is lovely text by Charlotte Cardon, who may still be alive and residing here in Tucson. In the 1930s Charlotte was a member of the Desert Riders, a U of A women’s riding honor society. The book says Charlotte traveled the world to write and photograph cultures and unusual places. I suspect Charlotte (in her heyday decades ago) also traveled Tucson by horseback, recording the desert’s unique people and places. The book I purchased is signed by Charlotte with this inscription: “To dear friends who now are Arizona desert dwellers and can appreciate the lore of this old ranch…”
Charlotte’s comment was not meant for me, but I take it to heart now that I own her little book. If you’re out there, Charlotte, I salute you. You’re an authentic Tucson cowgirl. You knew how to enjoy adventure here in our desert, and beyond.