Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries – April 2015

And the winner is… You!

Did you know that essentially 100% of the donations by Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries members are used to buy books and movies for our three libraries? In 2014, thanks to the generosity of 690 members and other supporters, we were able to give $27,821 in grants to help purchase 1,336 new books, audio books and videos.

These books and movies are accessible to the over 4,400 registered SaddleBrooke Library users. In addition, FSL makes available lectures, trips and Author’s events for our entire SaddleBrooke community.

In 2015, FSL has added new benefits for members. Households who donate:

* $20 or more receive

Free admission to Friends Lectures

Advance email notification of upcoming trips and programs

Periodic discounts on programs or merchandise

So far 680 households receive these benefits in 2015

* $50 or more are also entered into a drawing for

One free ILR (Institute for Learning in Retirement) class

Mary Berg is our 2015 winner!

* $100 or more are also named on

The donor list insert in Fall Author’s Luncheon program

58 members currently qualify

* $250 or more are also entered into a drawing for

One of two $50 gift certificates to a DesertView performance of your choice

Basil and Jane Andrew and Don and Jeannine Ekstedt are our 2015 winners!

* $500 or more also receive

Upgrade of an Author’s Luncheon ticket for a seat at the author’s table

Four households qualify in 2015

We buy the books that you read!

If you use the SaddleBrooke Libraries or attend Friends events, please consider joining the Friends of the SaddleBrooke Libraries today. Membership forms are available at all three libraries and at Your membership counts!

Did you miss the presentation about the Blond Butcher?

Jim Turner, author of Winnie Ruth Judd, The Trunk Murderess, lectured about his book while presenting slides that followed the trial of the “blond butcher.” Those photos dominated the screen at the MountainView West Ballroom before a large crowd of FSL members and guests. They saw photos of the accused murderess, her associates and, yes, the very trunks in which the bodies were shipped from Phoenix to the west coast.

The Phoenix home where the murders took place showed an ordinary house in an ordinary residential neighborhood. But Mr. Turner’s description of the events that happened there enlightened and entertained everyone.

Then he explained the police work, shoddy at times, the media interest and the horrific details. What followed was almost like a firsthand account of the murder trial and the public outcry at the conviction. Winnie had her support groups. Ultimately released from prison, she continued to be the subject of speculation and substantial assistance from those who knew her and trusted her. As a true historian, Jim Turner gave us the facts and left it up to us to determine whether she should be pitied or returned to prison. You should have heard it.

Learn about FSL upcoming events at our informative website,

FSL money fills SaddleBrooke Library shelves. Thank you for joining.

Pearl Hart is the subject of a future FSL event.

Pearl Hart is the subject of a future FSL event.

Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit: A lecture by Christine Reid

Jay Wilson

Separating fact from fiction is no easy task when it comes to flamboyant stagecoach robber, Pearl Hart. A mountain of conflicting stories abound, thanks in no small part to Pearl who was so enamored with the Wild West that she embellished her own tale to accommodate the interest of newspapers and public fascination.

Arizona Humanities’ speaker Christine Reid follows Pearl Hart from her modest beginnings in Canada through the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico and Arizona as she follows Pearl’s perilous journey from innocent teenager to a life of crime. This exciting but sad tale is littered with stories of abuse, abandonment and poor choices. How Pearl became a tough talking, whiskey drinking, cigar smoking outlaw who robbed a stage en route from Florence to Globe is classic Arizona history. The crime, the trial in Florence, the imprisonment in Yuma and the questionable release from prison are the centerpiece of this lecture.

It raises the issue, “Why does a woman who committed a fairly insignificant crime still garner so much interest that even a Broadway show was created to highlight her life?” Reid will explore Pearl’s life as both victim and vixen to help shed some light on this Arizona figure surrounded by so much mystery.

Christine Reid is intrigued by Arizona’s diverse and rich western heritage. She is a writer and researcher at the Pinal County Historical Museum in Florence and has been a Community Scholar for the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Arizona since 2007. She also serves on many of Florence’s heritage and historic preservation projects including an informative walking tour in the Florence area. Committed to sharing history in a lively manner, she presents the sometimes hidden or forgotten aspects of Arizona’s robust characters.

Learn about FSL upcoming events at our informative website,

FSL money fills SaddleBrooke Library shelves. Thank you for joining. 

Lynn Weise Sneyd and Aland Day; photo by Bob Koblewski.

Lynn Weise Sneyd and Aland Day; photo by Bob Koblewski.

Did you miss the presentation of The Horse Lovers

On March 16 H. Alan Day, Sandra Day O’Conner’s brother, and his co-author Lynn Wiese Sneyd, thrilled a crowd of over 200 with their FSL lecture about their book The Horse Lover and the adventure of writing about wild mustangs.

Mr. Day is a rancher in the largest sense of the word. His love of mustangs proved to be heartfelt and inspiring. Disappointed by the government program to merely pasture these magnificent horses, he arranged for 400 of them to be transported to his huge, newly acquired ranch in South Dakota where he was personally involved in training them to adapt to living on wide open range land. It was not his intent to saddle break them. Instead, he taught them to behave as a herd that was free, but not wild.

Many modern ranchers cannot call themselves “cowboys,” and for good reason. Mr. Day proudly identifies himself as a real cowboy because he loves horses and has devoted much of his life to protecting them. He told those stories with considerable emphasis on the non-economic aspect of ranching; the glory of ranching, if you will.

As an aside, Mr. Day told of a phone call he received one day from a man he did not know. The man’s name was Kevin Costner. The purpose of the call was to inquire about using the Day ranch and the herd of mustangs in a movie. An agreement was reached. The movie turned out to be Dances With Wolves.

Attend FSL’s interesting and informative lectures as often as you can.

Learn about FSL upcoming events at our informative website,

FSL money fills SaddleBrooke Library shelves. Thank you for joining.

Civil War spy follow-up

Jay Wilson

Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries presented a lecture by Barbara Carter, a well-respected seamstress who sewed her own authentic 1860 era dress to give even more credibility to her true story about Elizabeth Van Lew. As a devoted abolitionist, Elizabeth became a significant spy for the Union Army. Bravely, the erstwhile southern socialite engaged in her clandestine craft within the city limits of Richmond, the very capitol of the Confederacy.

A lecturer and highly qualified historian at heart, Barbara Carter, our SaddleBrooke neighbor, presented authoritative details about the risk, thrill and devotion of this extraordinary spy. To those for whom history and excitement come in the same literary bundle, Barbara’s costumed presentation was remarkable.

FSL is proud to bring fine lecturers and authors to SaddleBrooke to round out our knowledge of the arts, current events, history and literature. The overall success of our presentations is attested to by the great interest SaddleBrooke residents have shown through their ever increasing membership in FSL. Every month during the season, and sometimes more often, FSL members and guests are thoroughly entertained and well rewarded! Barbara Carter’s brilliant presentation is evidence of the reason for our growing popularity.

You may join us for the story of the nation’s first coast to coast airline on April 23 and for the over the top story of Pearl Hart, known as the Lady Bandit, on May 21. Details about these upcoming events are on our website. Or, for a more personal invitation, join us as a member of FSL. Of course, guests are always welcome to attend for a nominal fee.

Learn about FSL upcoming events at our informative website,

FSL money fills SaddleBrooke Library shelves. Thank you for joining. 

Coast-to-coast in 48 hours:  A pioneering transcontinental  air route

Friends of the SaddleBrooke Libraries present Erik Berg, another outstanding speaker from the Arizona Humanities Council, who will tell us the story of the Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) Company. Established in 1929 the TAT set up the country’s first coast-to-coast airline service from New York to Los Angeles. Assisted by famous pilots Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, the TAT established a series of pioneering airports along the route (including Clovis, Albuquerque, Winslow and Kingman) which led to the modern age of air travel.

In the 1920s, America’s fledging aviation industry was focused mostly on flying air mail under lucrative government contracts. Carrying passengers was at best a side business with a reputation for being uncomfortable, unreliable and more than a bit dangerous. If you wanted to travel long distances, you took the train. But in 1928, farsighted businessman Clement Keys teamed up with aviation hero Charles Lindbergh and the Pennsylvania and Santa Fe Railroads to found the TAT with the ambitious goal of establishing the country’s first coast-to-coast air passenger service from New York City to Los Angeles. Leveraging the latest aviation technology and railroad-style customer service, their goal was to revolutionize long distance transportation in the United States.

After making scouting trips across the country, Lindbergh selected a route crossing northern Arizona and New Mexico to avoid the Rocky Mountains. But the southwest provided other challenges with few large cities and even fewer developed air fields. As a result, the TAT built entirely new airports at Clovis, Albuquerque, Winslow and Kingman – airports that were among the most modern in the western U.S. at the time. Racing against competing businesses with similar goals, the undeveloped southwest became a battleground in the competition to dominate the future of air travel in the west. By the time the race was over, the TAT would push aviation technology to its limits, cut the coast-to-coast travel time in half and lay the foundation for the modern air passenger industry we know today.

Berg’s presentation describes the tragedies and triumphs behind the southwest’s little known pioneering role in shaping America’s air passenger industry. Based on years of original research, Berg’s presentation includes rarely seen historic photos and early newsreels as well as actual historic TAT memorabilia.

Erik Berg is an award winning historian and writer with a special interest in the early twentieth century southwest and the impact of science and technology. In addition to contributing to several books, his work has appeared in the Journal of Arizona History, Arizona Highways and Sedona magazine. A past president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, Erik Berg currently lives in Phoenix.

Come to the MountainView Ballroom at 4:00 p.m. on April 23 to hear this outstanding presentation.

Learn about FSL upcoming events at our informative website,

FSL money fills SaddleBrooke Library shelves. Thank you for joining.