/ Modified sep 16, 2021 2:22 p.m.

Chasing legends in the desert.

Also on Arizona Spotlight: Some history about Jesuit missionaries in the time of Padre Kino; "Looped", a play about Tallulah Bankhead at Invisible Theatre; and the unique film "A Shape of Things to Come" catches Chris Dashiell's eye.

kino statue unsized A Tucson monument to Father Eusebio Kino, who founded Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1692.

Supported by Arizona Theatre Company
Arizona Spotlight

September 16, 2021

This episode is supported by the Arizona Theatre Company.
NPR

Featured on the September 16th, 2021 edition of ARIZONA SPOTLIGHT with host Mark McLemore:

  • In a new edition of “Archive Tucson”, listen to an oral history of a not exactly legal, or even well-planned expedition. Journey into the desert near Tumacacori in 1962, as a group of amateur fortune seekers - using a combination of dowsing and dynamite - try to find missionary Padre Kino’s mythical stash of silver treasure. Eye-witness Jon Miles tells producer Aengus Anderson the details of the plan. “Archive Tucson” is a project of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries.

archive tucson logo hero “Archive Tucson” is an oral history project of Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries. You can find many stories from Tucson's past at archivetucson.com.
courtesy Special Collections

  • So, about that hidden treasure… I have heard many stories about Father Eusebio Kino, the Jesuit missionary, explorer, cartographer, and astronomer who founded the San Xavier del Bac mission in 1692. But somehow, the legend of his hidden stash of purloined treasure never came up. So I made a call to the Patronato San Xavier, and was soon put in touch with Father Greg Adolf, pastor at Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Sierra Vista, the president of the board of the Southwestern Mission Resource Center, and a member of the Kino Heritage Society of the Diocese of Tucson. Father Greg kindly added some much needed historical context to the many erroneous legends about treasure hidden in Jesuit holy places.
Tumacacori Mission SPOT Visitors from all over the world go to Tumacacori National Park to visit the beautiful mission and its other priceless exhibits.
AZPM
  • “If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” Going by her many memorable quotes, Tallulah Bankhead thoroughly enjoyed her decadent life as a thrill-seeking Hollywood film star. “Looped”, a new production at The Invisible Theatre, focuses on a time near the end of Bankhead’s life when success was fleeting. Mark talks with star Betsy Kruse-Craig about this play's unusual mix of comedy and drama.

Betsy Kruse Craig onstage hero Betsy Kruse Craig portrays star of stage & screen Tallulah Bankhead in the 2021 Invisible Theatre production of "Looped", a play by Matthew Lombardo.
courtesy Invisible Theatre

invisible theatre looped postcard unsized "Looped", about the longest 8 hours in the life of Hollywood legend Tallulah Bankhead, was also featured on Broadway in 2010.
courtesy Invisible Theatre

tallulah bankhead hero "Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it." - Tallulah Bankhead.

  • And, film essayist Chris Dashiell looks at "A Shape of Things to Come". It is a hard-to-categorize film that seeks to immerse the audience in a starkly beautiful desert landscape, contrasted with drones and surveillance towers. The filmmakers evoke the inner state of a man who has turned his back on a civilization he considers hopelessly corrupt, choosing to live in the shadow of what he believes is its imminent collapse. Currently, the best way to see the film is as a rental from Grasshopper Film.

a shape of things to come hero Sundog, collecting natural herbs for medicinal purposes. He is the central character of "A Shape of Things to Come", a 2020 non-fiction film by Lisa Marie Malloy & J.P. Sniadecki.
Grasshopper Film

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