A woman’s life-long search for a home through four unhappy marriages– and the amazing things she did when she found one. As a stranger in a strange land, Alma Ready’s path was a rocky one, but ultimately one that led to her career as a well-known Arizona writer, photographer, journalist and historian. “I have been very happy here. The country is beautiful, the ‘Border Culture’ fascinating, the people friendly and the climate near-perfect. This is where I feel at home.” – Alma Ready
OPEN RANGE and HIDDEN SILVER were the magnets which drew the first settlers to what is now Arizona’s Santa Cruz County. The story begins in Mexico three centuries ago when it was known as New Spain. It involves the Conquistadores, black-robed padres, uncounted Indian tribes, rugged American pioneers, all manner of military detachments and the whirlwind of change following construction of the first railroad to connect the United States with Mexico’s west coast. It includes the tale of Nogales, the town that started as a lonely peddler’s shack on the railroad right-of-way and became the county seat, with its twin in Mexico just across the street. It portrays how the county survived the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, the resultant establishment of a military post in Nogales, and a series of setbacks that would have destroyed a less resilient people. It’s quite a tale.
“Calabasas Road doesn’t lead to Calabasas any more but the town was real enough once. The reader with a jot of imagination can stand on any hill overlooking the golf course at Rio Rico and see in his mind’s eye a procession of colorful characters and fascinating incidents worth more than the price of admission to any commercial “spectacular.” The pageant stretches back in time from the arrival of the gringo and the iron horse, through the days of the Spanish Conquistador and the frontier missionary to a nebulous period before history began to be written when people of another race made their homes and lived out their lives in this same Southern Arizona Santa Cruz Valley.” — A.R.
IIn 1880, Russian immigrants Jacob and Isaac Isaacson built a trading post on the U.S./Mexican border and named it, appropriately, Isaacson. By 1980, it had grown to a bustling border town, now called Nogales, with nearly 16,000 folks. This is a bibliographic gem, especially for those who are originally from Nogales, Arizona or Somora, Mexico. Contains many evocative photographs and highly readable text. It was originally prepared as a paperback book by the Nogales Centennial Committee with generous assistance of many area residents. Photographs are by courtesy of the Pimeria Alta Historical Society. Robert Bracker was Chairman of the Publications Committee and Abe Rochlin was Research Assitant. Alma Ready was Editor.
Rave Review: W. David Laird of the University of Arizona writes, in his monthly column BOOKS OF THE SOUTHWEST: “Pardon a bibliographer’s penchant for his own field, but it would be difficult to over-praise this small book. Ready has identified a goodly list of published sources of probable interest to anyone who wants to know more about Nogales and environs. (She) divided them into 11 categories to make browsing fun, described them bibliographically, and added annotations about contents, point of view, value, special characteristics, and such…it’s an attractive publication. You’ll like it.” — RANDOM JOTTINGS, by Brendan FitzSimons – Nogales International, Feb. 7, 1990