Thanks to all my readers and followers of The Cowboy and Indian Icon Found Project.
Sometime during the year of 2012, I was having difficulty accessing my blog on this particular site. In fact, I thought I had lost this blog site permanently when I could no longer access it.
Now this site has mysteriously reappeared. However, I have continued the documentation of my conceptual art project at:
For blog updates, please access the above link.
Thanks for reading and Happy Trails,
The AZ Polish Cowgirl
Sunday, April 22, 2012
This adobe was one of my back road finds. The road was named after the farming family who settled here. Apparently this adobe structure was their first home. This is one of the many families impacted by the Gila River Water Act. Basically the Gila River Indians own the rights to half the water in Arizona. They are the ones who dictate how much water is allocated to our Gila Valley. All irrigation water comes out of metered water pumps. The litigation concerning water rights between the red and white man has been going on for decades. Cotton demands less water than alfalfa to grow and flourish. One never knows what they’ll be able to grow even though a farmer might have ample time to know how much water is coming their way. If one doesn’t have adequate water to grow what they may normally grow, then they have to learn to grow something else. Possibly have to purchase new equipment to sow and harvest that particular crop. According to the farmers, there is no end in sight for this water rights litigation to come to fruition.
A great deal of the roof was missing from the adobe structure. It appeared that an adobe addition was added on to the structure. There were a few sinks, stoves and possibly some kind of refrigerator left. I wanted to leave a cowboy and indian icon art piece on one of the sinks in tribute to the Gila River Water Act. However, the sinks were full of too much debris and such. So I placed, photographed and documented #138 on a stove where the debris was minimal.
When I was done all I could think about the upcoming local alfalfa hay crop. Would there be enough moisture to sustain the crop or would I have to keep buying my expense hay from Colorado? Right now I purchasing a Timothy mix hay (2 wire) at $15.00 a bale. My horses will go through that size bale easily in less than a week. Perhaps I might try doing some Native American “rain dance?” Then there could be enough water for everybody! Well, a girl can dream, huh?
About a mile from where I saw the big horn sheep graze, are two, deteriorating wooden, fake “old west” facades with small wooden plank porches. They look as if they were put up as the start of a tourist attraction. One has a rustic, orange sign Rusty Saloon and the other had a rustic orange sign Cenepil Mercantile. There are also two 3 foot terra cotta vases in front of each of the entrances.
I placed, photographed and documented #134 at the bottom of the entrance to the Cenepil Mercantile. Then I got back in my SUV and drove down Coronado back to Safford. Maybe I should’ve left the cowboy and indian art piece in front of the entrance of the saloon? At least that way if they got thirsty, it was more convenient for them for them to saunter on in for a drink. The creative process can make a soul quite parched.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
It was near this corner that I saw my first herd of big horn sheep grazing. At first at a distance, I assumed that someone’s herd of goats got loose. As I drove my vehicle closer their large horns became evident. These were no goats! After I parked my car, I got out of it with camera in hand. The bighorn sheep either got a whiff of or seen me. In a matter of minutes all I could see is hooves bounding up the rocky slope and the herd vanished.
At this corner are some large, horizontal wooden beams which reinforced the side of the rocky cliff. There are railroad tracks that run along the top of the cliff. I assumed without the wooden beams the vibrations from the trains running along those tracks could eventually make that whole rocky slope crumble.
I placed, photographed and documented cowboy and indian art piece #131 on one of the exposed wooden beams nearly - out of sight. Perhaps the plastic cowboy and indian figures on the art piece will someday witness the return of the big horned sheep. Only this time the herd won’t flee from observation.
The patient I had just visited husband was a former Detroit area native like I am. Even though I grew up in all white suburbs of Detroit, it was fun listening to his stories of growing up in urban Detroit with multi-cultural neighbors. We both expressed sorrow in relation to the blight of Detroit’s now urban decay due to not only the nationwide epidemic of home foreclosures and the downsizing of the work force in the auto industry but just plain apathy.
Recently, I purchased and reviewed the massive, photography book, The Ruins of Detroit by Vves Marchand and Romain Meffre. This book has haunting an captivating photos of examples abandoned schools, hotels, ballrooms, public libraries, hospitals, apartment buildings, dental offices, movie theaters, recreational centers and police departments. Most of photos also reveal the contents of its previous inhabitants. Personal and public belongings left as if the occupants were vaporized by toxic warfare.
One photo of the basement of the Highland Park Police Department shows the human samples left from the trial Benjamin Atkins. He was found guilty of raping and murdering eleven women. Mr. Atkins died while incarcerated four years later – of AIDS.
The photos that had the biggest impact on me were of the once majestic Michigan Theatre. I saw David Bowie, a favorite artist of mine, perform in the intimate setting of that theatre – an impressionable and lasting memory. Now one can park their car under its roof in what formerly was the lobby!
In tribute to all the local folks here who use to live and thrive in Detroit, I placed, photographed and documented cowboy and indian art piece #130 at an abandoned house on the patient’s street whose home I had just left. This was in memory for those of us who traded in our designer leather pants and facial glitter for leather chaps and the rhinestones embellishing our belts and buckles. Hail to us transformers.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The grotto where a religious statue one stood was empty. It was snuggled into a corner of the single wide, manufactured structure where the previous owner added an extension to this well lived abode. This home lost its human tenants. The grotto had lost its religious icon.
I placed, photographed and documented cowboy and indian art piece #132 in the grotto. The art piece wasn’t a religious icon. However, the “cowboy and indian” plastic action figures are – and always will be. Let’s have an "amen” for the wild, wild west.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Across the street from the Cochise Church was a small, wooden home that appeared to have no human activity around it. One of the indicators that I look for to see whether or not a home has inhabitants is whether or not there is a garbage can outside. Most folks who leave an abode for good may leave behind an assortment of furniture, clothing, toys and kitchenware strewn about. However, there is rarely a trash receptacle remaining at the abode. Don’t have a clue what that is all about.
Since there was no garbage can anywhere in sight, I headed over there. Behind the house was a wooden and tin garage with no doors on it. I placed, photographed and documented cowboy and indian art piece #129 on an empty shelf in the back of the garage.
It was time to get on the highway and head back to my home at the RocknW Ranch/ Art Studio in the southern part of Graham County. Back to an abode that had a few trash receptacles. One in particular for “harvested horse manure” - just calling my name.