Visit to Tumacácori National Historical Park

Today I drove down to Tumacácori, a Spanish mission founded by the Italian-born Father Kino, a remarkable Jesuit combining religious zeal, scientific interest, compassion, and courage. He founded this mission at a village of the local O'odham people, who had begged the Jesuits come help them, apparently mainly to introduce agricultural advancements.

Spain replaced all the Jesuits with Franciscans, which unsettled whatever order the Jesuits has established. The mission was under constant threat of Apache attacks, there were internal cultural clashes, and mission was under constant strain. After Mexican Independence, the Spanish were booted in 1828, but the mission kept going. In 1848, the Tumacácori mission, its church tower never finished, was abandoned for San Xavier del Bac. The abandoned mission slowly decayed, helped along by vandals carving their names, including John J. Pershing.

Today there is a nice museum, a very pleasant small garden, the incomplete church, mission ruins, an orchard, plenty of trees, and paths, including one to the Santa Cruz River, which provides water year-round. One of the booklets notes that the placename Arizona is a Basque phrase meaning "the good oak tree", thanks to a Spanish soldier who was a Basque.

It was a very pleasant couple of hours! I look forward to another visit.

Grocery Item Deathwatch

My local grocery store tends to quit selling products my wife and I like. We occasionally ask the store employees about this pattern, and they say the disappearance of even popular items is noted by both employees and customers alike. Here is our growing disappearance list:

  1. Marie Callender's Key Lime Pie: This disappeared from our grocery store for almost a year. The next closest grocery is a Safeway, which continued to sell it. Some weeks after complaining to a store manager, this item returned.
  1. Private Selection Black Bean and Corn Salsa: This delicious salsa was a slo-mo disappearance. It would disappear from the shelves, then return in a few weeks, but always in ever smaller quantities. In its stead appeared a new similar product with a name like Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Smoky Taste, which I bought by mistake, to my regret, as it was strongly reminiscent of bile. Since Private Selection is Kroger's own brand, I wrote them a letter, which yielded a
  1. Tillamook Cinnamon Horchata ice cream: The best ice cream we have ever eaten, such that I wrote the company a letter praising the flavor and asking that they make sure to keep selling it; the next week it was gone and my step-brother encountered a Tillamook stocker who said the company had terminated that flavor.
  1. Lundgren Butternut Squash Risotto: This tasty risotto is still sold by Lundgren's, but no longer stocked at our grocery.
  2. El Mexicano yogurt drinks, individual: These have been sold out and had their shelf size reduced, which suggests they are trending toward deletion. Our grocery never stocked the piña colada; our Walmart primarily stocks the piña colada and the strawberry, with occasional mango, so we'll buy them there.