Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feeling Safe - The Arizona Rangers and Me

photo: Darlene Danehy

Last week's Stroll and Roll was an unmitigated success. Throngs of Tucsonans joined GRIN and the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation for three hours of exercise and side-walk chalk and hugs. It was a magical way to make lemonade out of lemons, and TBG and I were determined to do just that.

Photo : David Sanders

I admit to a certain level of trepidation, though.  My last outing on a sunny Saturday morning in early January didn't have a happy ending.  This year, though I would be more wary, I was carrying a heightened sense of alert... alarm... okay.... fear.  I was scared to go out in public.  I was going to do it, but I was going to be scared.

That was the case until I ventured west of the freeway to the offices of the Pima County Department of Transportation, home of some of the loveliest public servants with whom I have ever had the pleasure to work.  After rolling up the maps and finalizing the list of things I had to do before the sun set, I couldn't resist any longer - I had to ask Marshall Beaty about the badge and the pictures on his wall. 

 The photographs he had were similar to this one
which I copied from the website of the Arizona Rangers just for you.  Mr. Beaty had one with his granddad (or great grand.... I was so awestruck that the facts are just a little bit blurry)... a real original Arizona Ranger. 

Yep, I was sitting across the desk from a real Ranger, a Ranger descended from Rangers, and he has the shiny badge on his wall to prove it.  This is real history, denizens, and I'm here to share it with you today.

Plagiarizing once again from their website, the Rangers were created because
(w)hile some of the criminals (who escaped detection by law enforcement and civilization) continued to operate as lone wolves and others work in bands, certain isolated areas of the Southwest - by reason of their location - tended to become gathering points for outlaws. Frequently there was a sort of loose organization among those who gathered in a given area and sometimes the organizational setup became so well formed as to constitute a gang.

It was for the purpose of ridding Arizona of such individual criminals and criminal gangs that the Arizona Rangers were created. Their objectives were to hunt down and capture the lone wolves and members of the gangs, to clear the areas in which criminals congregated and make them safe for settlement by law abiding citizens and to discourage the riffraff of the rest of the country to seek refuge in Arizona.

The Rangers also acted as a state police force to help enforce law when local authority was overtaxed. And they supplemented the activities of the then inadequate United States Border patrol.
I especially like the part I highlighted  - discouraging the riffraff is a damn fine idea if you ask me. 

I imagine it's 1903 and Sgt Clarence Beaty is chasing desperadoes through the wash behind what is now my house.  I looked at his son's son's son and saw the same determination, the same confidence, the same desire to make my town safe for settlement by law abiding citizens.  Marshall suggested that I assuage my fears by calling Lt.Col. James (Spud) Hester, the State Adjutant.  The Rangers, he was sure, would be glad to help.

And they were, denizens.  Yes, they were.  All volunteers, who supply their own uniforms and weapons and transportation, they are committed to providing support for those youth organizations and activities which contribute to the development of youth in matters of good morals and good citizenship (and) to support activities which, in the judgment of the voting membership, are deemed to be of benefit to all parties involved.

 Look at my husband's face as he is thanking the Rangers for being my personal protection detail.  Is there any doubt that there is benefit to all the parties involved? Those guys in the big black hats totally understood why we needed them there.
photo: Darlene Danehy
We're talking to Captain Leigh Lundberg, the Company Commander and my personal hero of the morning.  He and his men never left my side. 
photo: Darlene Danehy

The last tenet of the Rangers' creed is to engage in activities which tend to keep alive the traditions of the Old West.  How's this for an old western photo?
photo: Little Cuter

Thank you, Arizona Rangers.  You had my back and I appreciate it more than words can say.

photo: Darlene Danehy


  1. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful post and tribute to the Rangers. I didn't realize they were volunteers. What a legacy too for past Rangers.

    I love all of the pictures too.

    Hope you had a good weekend.

    Megan xxx

  2. I really, really like those guys. Between them and TBG, a lert doesn't stand a chance. (Neither does a larm.) I wonder, would we feel braver if we had uniforms and badges and cool hats?


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