Ash Creek School and Alice Woods/Sunizona Library Celebrate Arizona’s Centennial

On February 14th, Tucson based story-teller, Glenda Bonin, performed a chautauqua of an Empire Ranch girl, Dusty Vail, at Ash Creek School. The event was hosted by the Alice Woods/Sunizona Library and attended by Ash Creek pre-school through eight grade students and staff. Community members also attended, including one history buff who came all the way from Bowie on a cold, windy day.

All attendees were rapt while Glenda, as Dusty, recalled the twelve years of her youth spent on the Empire ranch when Arizona had just become a state and was still considered part of the wild west. Dusty, a confessed tomboy, recounted many thrilling adventures she had on the ranch at a time when girls were supposed to be “proper”, wear dresses, and learn to cook and sew, rather than wear jeans and chaps and ride, rope, and shoot as Dusty did.

These are stories that Dusty Vail herself shared with Glenda in interviews before she passed away, and that Glenda has been telling since 2007 at the annual Roundup celebration at the Empire Ranch. For more information about Glenda, see

Everyone enjoyed the performance, and the questions students asked Dusty showed how thought-provoking her stories were to them. It was a fantastic way to say Happy Birthday Arizona!

Story-teller Glenda Bonin in the Ash Creek gym

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