Blue stones smiling at me

Lander Blue turquoise, photo from Turquoise in America by Mike Ryan II and Philip Chambless

At one point in their new book, Turquoise in America: Part Two 1910-1990, Mike Ryan II and co-writer Philip Chambless tell a story about lucky miners (or “lunchbox workers”) who happened to find the sought-after gem as they unearthed copper, say. But the mining companies didn’t much like the practice, which involved removing the miners’ equipment and traversing dangerous slopes. (Also, the miners slipped the gems into their lunch pails.) “It’s an interesting little side story,” Ryan says. “Which we have a lot of in the book.” He talks about Turquoise, which chronicles the mines and miners, the growth of the Southwest and the official state stone, in a virtual lecture at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17. Sponsored by the Friends of the Wheelwright Book Club, the event is free.

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