As summer paints the western sky in burnished shades of yearning; to save the carefree summertime and autumn leaves from turning, my heart urges time to a standstill. Though the past has come; a midnight moon while stars were deep in slumber, a spirit rode on wings of loon and tore the dates asunder. Reluctant is the tiny bird that knows it must take wing, though winter songs are not yet heard as garden birds still sing. The time is now as winter nears; the anxious hummer knows, and late one balmy August night, he’ll spread his wings for home.
Whoever said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow” had it right, don’t you think? As you know, at many of the places I visit folks simply never leave. And they can get a bit testy when someone new moves in and wants to make a few changes; as we saw in my Cottonwood post, where at one home the ghostly resident repeatedly ripped up newly laid tile and dragged construction materials out on the lawn during renovations.
As one might think, refurbishing a home or building that isn’t still “occupied” is a relief in itself. But can you imagine what could happen if sometimes, they come back?
When purchased by the former Sonora State Senator Carlos Velasco, back in 1878, it was no more than a three room adobe hut. By the time of his death in 1914, Velasco and his wife had lovingly transformed it into one of the finest manors in El Presidio; boasting 15 ft. ceilings with many fine Spanish and Old Mexico gildings that enhance the elegance of the enduring abode that spans nearly five acres in the middle of downtown Tucson, Arizona.
It wasn’t until renovations began in the late nineties on this 150+-year-old home that reports began circulating of a certain distinguished looking gentleman with a mustache, appearing out of nowhere with a keen interest in the on-going project at the old Velasco Pueblo.
Workers reported being watched at all times, only to turn and find not their supervisor, but the floating upper torso of a man with a direct, discerning gaze that seemed to express approval before the apparition vanished. He watched with particular interest as walls were refurbished in the burned-out room that had served as his office when he created and printed Tucson’s first Hispanic newspaper, and as the project neared completion, Velasco’s presence was further revealed in rearranged furniture, reset clocks (a particular fascination for Velasco in life), and pictures being moved from wall to wall.
Throughout renovations and for years to follow, Velasco’s appearances continued; ever imparting a sense of contentment at his return home. There have been no reports of anyone minding his presence, and the privately-owned home is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.
Are you ready for summer’s end? Could you live with the ghost of Carlos Velasco? Might you be hanging around at your house to see how newcomers treat it?