Two Arizona Cities Ranked as Best Places to Retire Nationwide

Each year, Money Magazine ranks the top places in the U.S. to retire. This year, editors considered opportunities for adult learning as a major factor, and two Arizona cities managed to crack the top 10.

Prescott (No. 4) and Tucson (No. 10) are being recognized for weather, recreation and educational opportunities at Yavapai College and University of Arizona, respectively.

Navajo Legend of Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Geologists like to say this vast land of dramatic salmon hued sandstone spires was once buried 3,000 feet beneath ancient seas. Over the next several million years, layer after layer of sediments were deposited, then hardened, followed by an uplifting of the land. It’s difficult to imagine, but the tops of these mountains and spires were, at one time, ground level. As the land continued to rise and the sea abated, the forces of wind, rain and time, or simply said, the rough hand of nature etched and sculpted the spectacular sandstone monoliths that we call Monument Valley.

A Tribute to a Reluctant Hero in Sacaton

Ira Hayes Tribute

In a small park in Sacaton on the Gila River Indian Reservation, a bronze statue of a young man wearing a military uniform stands next to a bas-relief plaque affixed to a tiled wall. It is a replication of Ira Hayes. He was a U.S. Marine. And a reluctant hero. The plaque depicts six men raising a U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, a small island in the South Pacific, during World War II. Ira Hayes was one of the six men.

The moment was captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, and when it was published in newspapers across America, it gave a war-weary nation a much-needed surge of hope and pride.

What’s With All the Backyard Concrete-Block Fences in the Valley?

Concrete Block Fence

Q: What is it with the “wall phenomenon” around here? Who invented the idea of backyard concrete-block fences and why?

A: Funny you should ask.

We are just back from a trip to the ancestral estate in the Midwest, and one of the first things our charming traveling companion asked—after she asked why Grandma didn’t get MTV—was why nobody had fences around their yards.

We were taken aback by her question, because we hadn’t really noticed until she asked. (We were also taken aback by a rather alarming shortage of pie in Grandma’s refrigerator, cupboards, car, closet, under the beds and everywhere else we looked, and we are wondering if, in addition to not rocking out on MTV, the sainted woman has abandoned rhubarb. We had to make do with cookies.)

Anyway, your query was on our desk when we got back, and we immediately called Max Underwood, a professor of architecture at Arizona State University, who is really, really smart and whose specialty is Valley architecture, and we riddled him your riddle.

Does Tumacacori Hold Buried Treasure?

47 tumacacori (2)

According to those who search for buried treasure in Arizona, there’s a fortune hidden beneath the floors of Tumacacori, the old mission near Tubac. The legends say that the church was once not only a place of worship, but also a mill and smelter for a gold and silver mining operation run by Jesuit missionaries in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The prospectors’ hopes hinge on two scenarios. In one, the missionaries learned they were being exiled back to Spain so they loaded nearly 3,000 burros with precious metal, carried the treasure to the mine, then buried the entrance in the hope that they’d come back and retrieve it. But they were never allowed to leave Spain, so now an estimated $25 million in gold and silver may lie hidden beneath the sacred ground.