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Arizona Highways MagazineArizona Highways Magazine

Arizona Highways Magazine April 2018

For more than 90 years, Arizona Highways has delighted readers with award winning journalism and photography, reflecting Arizona’s stature as one of the top vacation destinations around the globe. Every issue showcases the most amazing photography and valuable information you need to enjoy the unique and diverse travel destinations in and around the state.

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access_time6 min.
editor’s letter

Someday, somewhere down the road, my young daughters are going to ask me about Arizona Highways. One of their questions will be about best memories and proudest moments. I won’t have to think about the answer. I already know the answer. “The best part about being editor of Arizona Highways,” I will tell them, “was Jerry Jacka — working with him, getting to know him and, most importantly, calling him my friend.” I lost my friend last December. I knew it was coming. “I’m going downhill pretty fast,” he told me, just before Thanksgiving. There was sadness in his voice, and brave resignation, but that’s not why he called. He’d gotten wind that we were planning a special issue based on his extensive portfolio. “You must be pretty desperate for content down…

access_time17 min.
the performance of a lifetime

THE HOMESTEADER Of all the trees on the Sun-Up Ranch, the pine stands out. It grows amid saguaros, chollas and palms on a desert parcel north of Phoenix. Dense and green, the tree’s branches grow east and west, reaching, reaching, toward a nearby ironwood that belonged to the land long before the land belonged to people. On a winter morning here, the wind blows with such fire, it shakes the trees in the orchard, where fat grapefruits and oranges and lemons provide food for the woodpeckers and thrashers and sparrows that nest nearby, somewhere in those resilient trees. There are water tanks. A windmill. An old stove inside. Hats above the mantel. These are the remnants and memories of nearly 90 years of family history. This is where Jerry Jacka grew up. His parents drove…

access_time1 min.

As writers and as journalists, we’re expected to maintain objectivity and distance with our subjects. With Jerry Jacka, that was impossible. I met Jerry very early in my career, when I had the distinct honor of profiling him for this magazine. I made an error of fact. I was humiliated. But when he called me to talk about it — I was driving, on Interstate 17 about 10 miles south of the Sun-Up Ranch — he chuckled in that reassuring way of his and said, “Don’t worry, Kelly. You have a lot more words ahead of you.” In the years since, I’ve been privileged to visit Jerry and Lois at their beautiful ranch on the Mogollon Rim. We shared meals and laughter, and Jerry spun his stories. He became someone…

access_time5 min.
photographs by jerry d. jacka

“Jerry’s iconic images of Native America and the Southwest are as powerful as ever. Yet, despite his success, he remained one of the kindest, gentlest and humblest individuals I have ever met. We have lost a legend and a pioneer, and personally, I’m heartbroken to have lost a great friend.”— LEROY DEJOLIE, PHOTOGRAPHER“Jerry Jacka was a wonderful photographer and loyal member of the Museum of Northern Arizona for as long as we’ve been keeping records. His photographic vision helped shape how the world viewed Arizona for a generation. His legacy will certainly live on here at MNA. Shortly before his passing, he made arrangements to contribute some of his photographs to Native People of the Colorado Plateau, a new permanent collection that will open April 14, 2018.”— CARRIE M. HEINONEN,…

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the miracle of hopi corn

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a general rule, photographers tend to focus on one of the various disciplines of the art form: landscape, portrait, macro, lifestyle. There aren’t many who excel in all of the above. And there are even fewer whose words measure up to their work behind the camera. Although Jerry Jacka was humble about his writing skills, and he’d be the first to tell you that his wife, Lois, could write circles around him — she can write circles around most people — his command of vowels and consonants was on par with his ability to capture a sunset over Walpi village. As you’ll see, Jerry could photograph anything, and he could write a nice story, too. There is an uncanny balance between man and nature in the Hopi country.…

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hopi farming today

Although Hopi people have been farming their land in much the same way for centuries, things can change. To get a sense of what may have shifted in the 40 years since this story first appeared, we asked Steven Lomadafkie to take a look. Mr. Lomadafkie is a teacher and the greenhouse manager at Moenkopi Day School, where, among other things, his students nurture cottonwood seedlings for restoration projects on Hopi tribal land. Here’s what he had to say after reading Jerry’s story: “I was impressed with Mr. Jacka’s knowledge, and his understanding of how important heirloom Hopi corn is to the Hopi way of life. I also appreciated his sincerity. I believe stories like The Miracle of Hopi Corn can inspire future generations of Hopi farmers to carry on…