Old Friends and Ghosts

A Visit With Old/New Friends

September 25 proved to be a delightful day. It was my first day off from duties at Kitt Peak. I woke up at noon to meet with two friends I last saw when I was only 2 years old. They were Don and Elaine Braden. Don was one of my brother’s school teachers in Barstow, California in the 60’s. Of course, I didn’t remember Don and Elaine from that long ago, but Don and my brother Dean have kept in touch over the years. Dean recently re-introduced us via email since Don has been writing and was seeking some publishing advice. Don had come to Tucson to attend a writing workshop and I offered to give him a tour of Kitt Peak.

We had a great visit and it was wonderful to make friends as an adult with someone I last saw when I was only a toddler. During the visit, Elaine happened to mention that I look like my father. I’ve been told that before, however what struck me this time was that I’m currently about the same age my father was when Don and Elaine knew him 40 years ago in Barstow, California.

All in all, the visit served to remind me that lives have a way of connecting and reconnecting in ways that aren’t always expected.

Ghost Tour

After giving a tour at Kitt Peak, I went to Tucson and took a walking tour of haunted sites around the Old Pueblo. Now those that know me, know I’m something of a skeptic when it comes to the paranormal. However, I do find the paranormal fascinating and I learned quite a bit about Tucson’s history from the tour. I especially enjoyed seeing buildings designed by Henry Trost in Tucson. Henry Trost was an architect who lived in Tucson from 1899 to 1903, then moved to El Paso and had a home in Las Cruces. I’ve actually been in Trost’s Las Cruces home, which is across the street from my daughter’s school.

During the tour, I managed to get several photographs of “orbs” around several of the historical sites around Tucson. Some folks believe that orbs are manifestations of spirits. Others say they’re simply dust or other particles caught by the light of the flash. What is interesting is that I’ve taken other photos using the same techniques with the same camera in similarly dusty areas as downtown Tucson and not seen orbs in the photographs.

When people discuss the paranormal, especially from a skeptical point of view, they can be very dismissive. They might look at orb photos and say “that is only dust” or “those are only rain drops” or something similar. However, this misses an important point of science. Whatever they are, I think the orbs are kind of interesting. If they’re dust, I think it’s interesting the way it ebbs and flows and is in some photos and not in others. If the orbs are spirits, that too would be interesting for obvious reasons. Perhaps the orbs in this case are something else altogether like stray charge on the CCD chip. Whatever the orbs are, they tell us something about the world we live in, even if it is a fairly simple something.

Without further ado, here are some of the photos. (Note, you can click the photos for a larger view).

This first shows the Reilly Funeral Home in Tucson.  Definitely not every day that you see a funeral home with a marquee.  Note the first photo shows no orbs, but the second does show orbs near the window on the right.

Reilly Funeral Home Without Orbs

Reilly Funeral Home With Orbs

This next photo shows a hotel designed by Henry Trost.  Lots of orbs here, couldn’t get a photo without them!

Hotel Designed by Trost

Finally, I’ll wrap this section up with a couple of photos of the Indian Village Trading Post, one of the oldest buildings in downtown Tucson.  Notice the very bright orb in the second photo.

Indian Village - No orb

Indian Village - Bright Orb

As I mentioned before, I had a great time on the tour and learning more about the history of Tucson.  If you would like to take one of these tours, contact Rebecca Petithory-Hayes at tuazghostgirl[at]q[dot]com (remember to replace the [at] and [dot] with the appropriate characters!)

Wicked Kitty Productions

While we’re on the subject of old friends, I wanted to take a moment and share some exciting news. Nick Rose, who was Tales of the Talisman’s first art director has just announced the formation of Wicked Kitty Productions. WKP will specialize in film documentaries, graphic art, and non-fiction memoir books. They hope to expand their menu to include short fiction anthologies in December. Their first feature film, Scream Kings: Bonded by Blood, a documentary film featuring HG Lewis, Philip Nutman, Alan Rowe Kelly and Ramsey Campbell, among others is scheduled for release in 2010. WKP CEOs David Byron and Nick Rose have a vast background of knowledge of the horror genre in its many forms and hope that WKP will give them a chance to broaden the horizons for horror genre fans all over the world.

Be sure to visit Wicked Kitty Productions for more information.

They have done me the honor of asking if I would be in one of their documentaries. I’m working to get the interview filmed and will keep everyone posted as things develop.


2 comments on “Old Friends and Ghosts

  1. Vana Roth says:

    Congratulations on the documentary invitation! You’ll have to keep us all informed of its progress.

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