***Yesterday I received news that two of my high school classmates Neil Asting and Karen Berousek were killed in an airplane crash on April 1. Karen’s family moved to Kingston when her father took a teaching position at URI my junior year in high school and they moved three houses down from me on North Road. Karen taught all of us to twist way before it came to the east coach. She was a good friend and her family built a house two years later right in back of my house in a new development
. We lost contact during the college years and then when my mom moved back to Richmond, her father decided he wanted to move back to OK where he had taught before at the University of OK. She had a little sister who was handicapped. Six years ago when I had back fusion and could not go to my reunion Karen went and she met Neil again (both of them had dated a little our senior year in high school but then married other people and divorced). A year after the reunion they married and moved to Colorado Springs. Neil had his own plane so they flew to our reunion last June and Neil was a good pilot. It seems they visited her relatives in OK City for Easter and flew out April 1 in the morning. His brother contacted the authorities by Wednesday when he had not heard from them and noted that the plane had been dropped off the radar. After search parties looked in the panhandle of OK one pilot spotted a plane down and it seems someone had seen the plane go down and it went straight down and exploided. Both were dead when the search parties found them. It is such a shame they were both so happy being married to each other and when I saw her last June it was like we were still good friends from our high school days. The only reason any one knew about this is because one other member of the class read online about a plane crash in OK and names were posted, then it was all over the internet. My class is very close and emails were sent out! It’s sad and I will miss both of them. It seems conditions were icy on Monday and it was a single engine plane but I don’t think they will ever know
Now, we left Tombstone and drove about 22 miles to Benson, AZ. What a pretty drive and we saw so many RV parks that the snowbirds occupy until April 1. We were able to gas up and purchase some supplies. We went to the Depot which is the Visitor Center in Benson where the history of the town was shown in exhibits. The two people working the visitor center were very informative and George got so involved with the male speaker who was telling him about making dynamite and how they will eventually have a museum just about the making of dynamite in this area. Benson has about 5000 people living here full time but in the winter the population increases by another 6000 snowbirds. Very popular for having warm days and cool nights and being in the center of Cochise County.
We also went to the Benson Museum which was interesting and they had an old school bus on display. One of their buildings is all about quilts and women were in there making quilts and every room had quilts on display. Fascinating!
The quilt I took a picture of being held by two women was a first place winner sewn by hand by five women (only two still alive) showing Cochise County
. This quilt was amazing –all hand sewn showing every river, railroad track, animal, town, plants and mines that are and were in this county. The borders they had sewn in every Ranch Brand from the county (it took some research to find all of them). They also had a section where migrating birds were shown all flocked together. This is a big bird migration area. The woman showing it to me said the quilter that had all the roads, railroad tracks etc to sew said don’t ever take that job – it was so difficult. The quilt shows the Mexican, Cowboy and Yankee influence in this area. It is a beautiful quilt and just amazing!
We could have gone to the Observatory at night but the semifinals of the NCAA’s basketball tournament were tonight and we had cable so we could actually watch it.
Tomorrow we head to Tucson!
Saturday, April 6 – Butterfield RV Resort and Observatory, Benson, AZ There are so many parks around Benson because of the snowbirds but this is one of the nicest. They take Good Sam and PPA (some months), so it cost us $37.15 which is one of the most expensive parks we have stayed at in the last two months
. It is nicely laid out with all sites paved, full hookups, cable and Wi-Fi. You can see the mountains in the distance and every site seems to have one tree on it. There is an observatory at the park and every night there is a show which is free but one needs to sign up to make sure there is room. On site they have a pool, spa, library/computer lab, wood shop, laundry room, fitness room, card room with pool table, large clubhouse and banquet hall. One can walk to restaurants, post office, hospital and the center of town. Benson is centrally located in the center of Cochise County and an easy drive to many of the must see sights in the area. It is only about 21 miles to Tombstone! You do hear trains come by but I have found that in the West – trains are so valuable in moving goods that almost every town has trains passing by. It is a good place to stay and we would return to this park!
Saturday, April 6 – The picture I posted from Tombstone showing the sheep head to the right of it was the area that Cochise had his stronghold and where he is buried but no one knows. The women at the jewelry store said that when she first moved here about thirty years ago Cochise's grandson was alive and he used to walk down the streets of Tombstone with his scarf around his head and proud as a peacock. He was about 102 when he died.