A Day at the Ranch

By Tony Sedgwick

The day dawns cool and clear, Antony, Dean and Hillary are out early getting stuff ready for the group of Special Ed Lincoln School kids that will soon arrive.

They bring in the sheep and the goats that the kids will play with, set up textures and touches in the butterfly garden and make sure that there is nothing that will hurt or scare these special kids.

Hillary is a Wellesley graduate with experience teaching special ed kids in Rio Rico, she leads in the activity and explains to the guys some of the issues that these kids deal with as well as her goals for them, to touch new things, to hear new sounds in a safe environment that will encourage them to explore their worlds with a little less fear.

The children arrive around nine thirty and soon the kids engage. They laugh, play, shout and crowd around the corrals waiting their turn to go in and brush the animals.

They will only stay for two hours, but what fun! You can see it in their faces! Kids, who despite their disabilities, are much like us.

I’m at the Tubac Community Center attending the first meeting of the Friends of Las Lagunas, a group led by Don Clemans that we have set up to protect more wetlands in the area as well as to support our programs.

The board elects officers and directors ( a list follows) and then determines that it will create a power point presentation about Las Lagunas that they will present throughout the County to civic groups, schools, and such. They will be a powerful allay expanding our reach in the community as well as providing a highly talented pool of volunteers for our events.

I return to the office about noon. Drive through this hard beautiful land, its colors, the feel of the high desert all around.

Antony and Maria are there fussing over a virtual fax machine, what ever that might be!

I slip into my office, notice all the awards, mostly Dad’s. Look at the photos up on the cork board, in a few weeks I will step away from the most important and exciting work I have ever done in a long and exciting life!

Antony comes in, we review next year’s budget, think about what we will do, he will do, next year.

He leaves, I remain as the day winds down in the peace of the ranch, farm noises, light changing, I have been so privileged to run a foundation for good, for peace, for children, for nature and for those oh so special, oh so cool kids that came visiting this morning.

Night has fallen, time to go home, where are my dogs? A useless assortment bequeathed to me by the dubious graces of my progeny.

They are down by the camping area past the humming bird garden, of course!

Dean is hosting the annual Rio Rico ROTC who will do their recon, practice thing running around in nature, getting exercise, connecting with their origins, their land.

Momo, Pigs (Sonora is his Spanish name) and Florence are gathered next to the BBQ, Dean is cooking and mothers, dads. Kids, little brothers and sisters mill around, laughing talking.

I stop, collect my miscreant beasts, shake hands with a few, with Dean and then head out in my pick up, headed home, what a life!


FYI- The Board of Friends of Las Lagunas are as follows:

Don Clemans, our super volunteer for Las Lagunas, is president

Sherry Saas, long time president of Freinds of the Santa Cruz is secretary,

Mary Dahl, recently retired as Community Development Director for the county,is Vice President

Liz Negrete, office manager for the County Assessor’s Office,

Sandy McMahon- a birding guide and adult ed teacher in Green valley

Alan Clemans, Don’s son and employee of Az State Parks

Antony Sedgwick- representing SF Ranch