Happy Birthday, Arizona — P/S Style


The Centennial Day Parade gets under way in Pine with Boy Scout Troop 652 and the P/S Fire Department leading the way.

The Centennial Day Parade gets under way in Pine with Boy Scout Troop 652 and the P/S Fire Department leading the way. Photo by Joy Hafford. |

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Earlier this week, a thought struck me. It was July 8. Seven days past July 1. I forgot my wedding anniversary. My husband forgot too. “Good grief!” I said, “I can’t believe we didn’t remember.” He pointed out to the tree where two squirrels were munching on sunflower seeds and birds were fluttering around the feeder. He said, “All that matters is right here, you and me happy and together in Pine. We celebrate every day.”

After 37 years not every occasion is marked by a candlelight dinner, but every day is special. Today, July 13, is his birthday, so before I forget — Happy birthday, Richard!

After 100 years of statehood, Pine celebrated Arizona’s Centennial on Saturday with a special event sponsored by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library, P/S Archaeology and Historical Society and Pine Ward LDS Church.

An enthusiastic crowd gathered along Randall Place and North Pine Creek Drive, in Pine, waving American flags and cheering as the Centennial Parade got under way. The Color Guard led the way with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 652, followed by a fire truck from the P/S Fire Department.

Library manager, Becky Waer, emceed the event. The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library (float riders dressed as children’s book characters), Rim Country Riders ATV Club, Antique Tractor Club, Antique Car Club, Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty, Rogers Family Clowns, horseback riders, babies in strollers, kids on bicycles, and a yellow Lab shared the parade route. The smartly-dressed Miranda girls, Tulsi and Raci, passed out lollipops while clowns made balloon animals for excited children.

On the sidelines, Keith Beebe of Strawberry waved a large Arizona flag, aided by Mark Bauman of Chandler. The Hunt, Fuller and Randall families participated in the parade, which elicited nostalgic feelings in all who attended.

Following the parade, the sweet smell of barbecue drew folks to the Pine ramada for a town picnic. The grand feeling of yesteryear continued as folks assembled to learn the history of the Mormon pioneers who founded the community. Descendants of the Hunt, Fuller and Randall families shared fascinating stories of the early days of Pine and Strawberry.

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Sally Randall drove the tractor for the Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty float in Pine’s Centennial Day Parade.

My ancestors, said longtime resident Mary Hunt, were asked by church leaders to come to Arizona to establish settlements. Unlike the convenient modes of transportation of today, they endured the long journey by covered wagon through the Arizona wilderness. When Rosetta Hunt, a native of Switzerland, came down through Strawberry Valley and first laid eyes on Pine Creek she exclaimed, “I’m staying here, this is too much like Switzerland!” The Hunts became the first Pine settlers. Mary went on to recount how the ill-fated, John Hunt, suffered a fatal accident while building Fossil Creek Road, as he tried to move a large rock and it fell and thrust him down to the canyon below.

The founding families suffered many hardships, but were steadfast in determination to build a community. They established a chapel, which today houses the P/S Historical Society Museum. They constructed the brick schoolhouse which is now the Community Center Thrift Store. The Strawberry Schoolhouse still stands as the oldest schoolhouse in Arizona. Many original pioneer homes and structures are scattered throughout the area, and the old barns were a fitting backdrop to the parade.

In the tradition of the early settlers, a community dance was held in perfect culmination to Pine’s memorable tribute to Arizona’s statehood a century ago.

As A. Carl Paul wrote in his memoir, “Pine Memories” — Time to say goodbye. With tears in our eyes, we did say goodbye, but we would be back, back and back again. It was always wonderful.

Please support the P/S Historical Society by volunteerism or donations and help preserve the local history to ensure that no matter how advanced the world becomes, there will still be a place in the next hundred years to get a glimpse of the past.

Pine Strawberry Thrift Store

Going to Pine has long been an enjoyable outing for many, and for the past 20 years it’s bound to include a visit to the local thrift shop. People love coming here for the amazing antique shops and fantastic restaurants, but browsing the thrift store is certain to be a highlight of their Rim Country adventure.

The thrift store in the old schoolhouse is filled with treasures old and new. You’ll never leave disappointed or empty handed! July 11 to 14 they will feature Hawaiian décor and shirts for $3, in preparation of those summer luaus. July 18 to 21, Hawaiian clothes and décor will again be featured and all items in the entertainment area will be half off. All sales benefit the senior citizens of Pine and Strawberry.

Class a must for photo enthusiasts

Whether you live in the area or are just visiting, taking lots of photographs is a given. With amazing scenery and varied wildlife — from red-headed woodpeckers and numerous bird species, to deer, elk, javelina, coyotes, and possibly a bear (watch out), you always want to be camera-ready. I’ve taken far too many photos with the “perfect shot” lined up, only to end up with the tail end of a deer, tip of a bird wing, or simply the sky. Accomplished photographer, Lynn Sankey, a contributing photographer for Arizona Highways magazine, is offering a class in Pine for beginner and intermediate photographers that will teach them how to control the outcome of their photographs. Learn how to create drama, depth, movement and more. The class will be at the Pine Library on July 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. and cost just $55. To sign up, go to www.lynnsankeyphotography.com or call (602) 790-4282.

Please follow the column for all the upcoming events to celebrate our community and Arizona’s Centennial year. Send your events to haffordjoy1@gmail.com or call (602) 790-0248.

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