Anyone who has lived in Jerome for any period of time knows that its women are strong, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, accomplished at what they set out to do and passionately engaged. Many are artists that have served the town politically and are business people. A triple header combo that is hard to beat. And they’re smart. Very very smart.
Here’s an honor role of a dozen, in alphabetical order, who live or have lived in Jerome and some of their contributions. Most moved to Jerome in the seventies and early eighties and many were, and still are, irreverent hippies!
Anne Bassett, for documenting the town through her intricately detailed illustrations and her service on the Jerome Town Council. http://jeromeartists-bassett.blogspot.com/
Patty Bell, for singing Joni Mitchell’s song, “Pave paradise, put up a parking lot,’ in a particularly rancorous Jerome Town Council meeting
Barbara Blackburn, the wild woman who became CEO of Jerome Instrument Corporation and served on many of the town boards. She helped put together the Jerome Defense Fund to help members of our community that were arrested in 1985.
Mimi Currier, for running for US Senate in the eighties as a liberal Democrat with special interests in the arts, for her long-time service on many boards in Jerome, and for her incredible Netsuke carvings.
Nancy Driver, a wonderful fiber and leather artist, who served on many boards, and helped start the first artists’ cooperative store in Jerome.
Katie Lee, who wears her advocacy for freeing the Colorado River on her license plate (Dam Dam), and speaks eloquently and emotionally about them in her books and in her music. And for bringing a smile to everyone’s face when she streaked Jerome on her bike when she was in her eighties. www.katydoodit.com
ML Lincoln, photographer and producer of the film, Wrenched, honoring the legacy of Edward Abbey and the decades of wilderness activists he helped inspire. www.wrenched-themovie.com/
Jane Moore, for her long-time service on the town council (12 years, not all consecutively) and on many boards, with special advocacy for water rights, and her incredibly lovely ceramics and paintings. www.madeinjerome.com
My cousin Deni Rapp, the woodworker, for her lovely cribbage boards and wooden furniture, her courage in dealing with many physical ailments so graciously and positively, and for her service on many boards.
Ivy Stearman, one of the first women midwives in the Verde Valley (against the ire of many doctors) and founder of Nurses Network. nursesnetwork.net/
Sue Tillman for having the gut to start the first AIDs organization in the Verde Valley at a time when even the funeral homes wouldn’t dress someone who died of AIDS.
Sharon Watson, cofounder of Aurum Jewelry, a wonderful designer and jeweler, and long time member of the Fireman’s Auxiliary and board member of the Jerome Historical Society. www.aurumjewelry.com
Kathleen Williamson for her lifetime advocacy of human rights, including LGBT people, her astute legal head and her musicianship. www.kathleenwilliamson.com
Okay, there are a lot more women, who have started their own business and shops, but I have to go teach tai chi right now. Post your favorites. Make a list for your hometown. Today’s the day.