Today’s odd fact learned from a quilter

Tucson quilter Karen Fisher

Tucson quilter Karen Fisher

About five years ago I was attending a “video for journalists” course at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. We split into groups from the Republic and Tucson Citizen and went out to shoot stories wherever we arrived.

My group went down to Tempe Lake around sunset, figuring we’d get some folks walking, some cool sunsets and that sort of thing.

Instead we happened to stumble upon a Hawaiian community teaching the younger generation its rowing culture. One of the coolest accidents of my career, and it made for some great footage.

So today I was transcribing an interview I did in December with Tucson quilter Karen Fisher and she brought up Tempe Lake, so I told her about the Hawaiian rowing team I’d seen. She posed the question I probably should have asked five years ago – what was a significant Hawaiian population doing in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona?

And then she offered an explanation. It turns out she had applied for a job in Eloy, Arizona south of Tempe, where she learned there was a Hawaiian state prison full of Hawaiian inmates. So were the Phoenix folks family members of the Eloy prisoners?

Good question.

~ by Daniel Buckley on January 15, 2012.

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