Payson residents Jayne Peace and Jinx Pyle are among 10 Arizonans named Culturekeepers for 2005 in recognition of their contributions to the preservation of the state's culture, history and tradition.
Peace and Pyle, a married couple, are Payson's official town historians. They are descendants of generations of pioneer families and are well versed in local and Arizona history.
"I feel it is a real honor to receive a state award while doing what I love to do -- historical research and preservation," Peace said of her designation as a Culturekeeper.
Pyle echoed the sentiment.
"I think Jayne hit the nail on the head," he said. "When I do something worthwhile, like writing down a story that adds to our history, I feel good about it.
"It is great to be recognized for doing what you like to do. It is much the same feeling as giving a present and receiving one in return."
After writing several books themselves, Peace and Pyle created Git A Rope! Publishing in 2002, the goal of which is to record and preserve the history of Arizona and to help Arizona authors of history get published. Peace also started the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers Scholarship Program, which gives a scholarship each year to a graduating high school senior woman of pioneer heritage.
"We're proud to acknowledge these unsung heroes," said Marshall Trimble, the official state historian of Arizona. "These are longtime Arizona residents who spend their days working to better their communities, but rarely are recognized for their contributions."
Past Culturekeepers from Payson include Anna Mae Deming and Dee "Buckshot Dot" Strickland Johnson in 2004, and Marguerite Noble and Vivian Burdette in 2003.
In addition to Peace and Pyle, 2005 Arizona Culturekeepers include Jim and Dean Cook, Travis Edmonson, Garnette Franklin, Calvin Goode, Mona McCroskey, Paul Messinger, Jeri Robson, the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Suzie Yazzie.
The Arizona Culturekeepers program, now in its third year, was organized by the Arizona Historical Foundation and The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. It was developed by the late Arizona philanthropist Katherine "Kax" Herberger, and Trimble.
This year's inductees will be honored with a ceremony and reception beginning at 5 p.m., Sept. 18, at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Tickets are $45 per person. Call (480) 624-1030 for reservations. Proceeds will benefit the Arizona Culturekeepers program and Arizona Historical Foundation.
Each Culturekeeper will be presented with an award that describes the individual's or group's contributions to the state. Plaques with photos of each honoree will be displayed along the walls of Culturekeepers Hall, a special area of the hotel.
The 750-room hotel on Greenway Road features Arizona history throughout -- from its decor, to the naming of inside shops and restaurants. The hallway leading to the hotel's grand ballroom is named Culturekeepers, and has been designated to permanently honor a total of 100 individuals, organizations and entities -- 10 selected each year for 10 years -- culminating in a grand celebration of Arizona's 100th birthday in 2012.
This year's Culturekeepers were selected from more than 100 nominees. Nominations for 2006 are being accepted now.
Culturekeepers are selected based on the following criteria:
- A Culturekeeper must have worked to preserve the image of Arizona.
- A Culturekeeper must maintain the traditions, rituals and cultures that have made Arizona a home and a preferred travel destination for decades. These could be artistic, ethnic or historic traditions or activities. These could be actions taken to preserve Arizona's natural environment or animal habitat.
- A Culturekeeper must have a longtime commitment to service as a keeper or influencer of Arizona culture and have served the state through paid or volunteer efforts.
- A Culturekeeper must have demonstrated a passionate dedication to the issue, hobby or endeavor that keeps Arizona's culture alive.
- A Culturekeeper must have lived within Arizona's borders during the time for which he or she is being recognized, and must be living.
Anyone wishing to submit a nomination can mail, fax or e-mail information to: Marshall Trimble, Arizona State Historian, 9000 E. Chaparral Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85265, fax: (480) 423-6066, e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He Rode the Outside Loop
(for Jinx Pyle)
by Noble Collins
Back in the days
when they rounded up strays
‘cause cattle herds made them their living,
each cowboy was charged
with a task small or large,
and each, their best efforts were giving.
No matter who
fixed the fence, made the stew,
mended saddles or chaps, held the tether
for wild bucking horses, (the rider, of course, is
esteemed - not the one holding leather.)
Each one had his place;
each worn, bearded face
took a turn, and rode far and wide
just to find one more stray
but, at the end of the day,
into a warm bunk-house he'd glide.
There were a few, though,
who braved the deep snow,
the flooded streams, high elevation,
rode days and weeks
valleys and peaks
to save a cow after gestation.
They brought home the calf, the mother
and half of the rations they took to survive,
for they needed little - rawhide and spittle
to keep them alive.
These few were revered,
for Nothing they feared;
strong ones who broke from their group,
much like the strays which took so many days
to be found on The Outside Loop.
The brought them all in,
the fat ones and thin,
the calves and the yearlings and mothers;
shot cougar and bear that menaced them there,
but got them all home with the others.
Call no man a liar
who sits by a fire, telling
of these adventurous men.
Too humble for glories, they were larger than stories
that needed telling again and again.
The wide circle they rode,
the strong cowboy code,
the rope that they threw like a hoop
were The Mark of the Grand, they wore like a brand --
"He rode the Outside Loop."