C.A.L.L. unearthing spies, colorful characters at CAC Corporate Center

October 6, 2008

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Arizona’s history includes Syrian camel drivers, female stagecoach robbers, Civil War spies, and a cast of colorful characters that make today’s eclectic personalities seem rather vanilla.

To acknowledge this rich desert history, Central Arizona College’s Lifelong Learners Program (C.A.L.L.) has selected popular instructor Karen Cook to teach several classes on the subject.

“I have been fascinated by Arizona’s history since my dad began bringing home True West and Frontier Times magazines when I was a kid,” Cook, the longtime C.A.L.L. instructor, said. “We lived in Chicago and the stories about Arizona miners, cowboys, and gunfighters took me about as far away from big-city life as I could imagine.”

Cook, who went on to become a curator of education at the Arizona Historical Society Museum and an historic re-enactor, will teach Women Spies in History at the Central Arizona College Corporate Center on Nov. 12.

“The spy class will include a segment on Casa Grande’s own Major Pauline Cushman,” Cook explained. “It also will include information on well-known female spies like Mata Hari, and some recently discovered ones like Josephine Baker and Julia Child.”

On Nov. 19 from 10 a.m.-noon, Cook will teach the intriguing Colorful Characters in Arizona’s History also at the Corporate Center.

In addition to her November offerings, Cook will provide a half-day class at the end of October on El Dia de los Muertos, a three-day Mexican holiday that celebrates the dead.

“The first part of the class will be educational,” she said. “I will cover the ways in which the beliefs and practices of ancient Aztecs and other Mesoamerican people were blended with Spanish Catholicism to form the present-day holiday, as well as all the rituals associated with it. The class will have lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and then return to the classroom to build an ofrenda – an altar which is an integral part of El Dia de los Muertos.”

The class is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the CAC Corporate Center, just in time for participants to celebrate the holiday which is held Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Fees for Cook’s classes range from $5-15 for C.A.L.L. members and $10-25 for non-members.

For more information about the C.A.L.L. program, to sign up for classes or to receive a current catalog, please contact Vera Walters (480-677-7707 / vera.walters@centralaz.edu) or Joel Beck (480-677-7721 / joel.beck@centralaz.edu).
The C.A.L.L. office can also be reached at 1-800-237-9814.

C.A.L.L. is an enrichment program for adult learners of any age that provides a variety of informal, low-cost, high-quality classes, study groups and field trips. Visit the C.A.L.L. program on the web at www.centralaz.edu/call.


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Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814