The Jarritos were on ice, the pan dulce piled high and not a cloud in the sky as more than 100 people filed into the San Xavier Mission del Bac plaza to celebrate the debut of James “Big Jim” Griffith‘s new book, Saints, Statues, and Stories on Saturday, September 28.
Griffith’s latest from the University of Arizona Press, is a collection of stories on Catholic community traditions from his 60 years of traveling through Sonora. Tradiciones, a local band that performs Andean and Mexican folk music, opened the event and moved many a Griffith fan and friend to dance.
UA Press Director Kathryn Conrad, who welcomed attendees, said the Press is proud to partner with the Southwest Center to publish Griffith’s latest book as part of the Southwest Center series. Thanks also went out to the San Xavier Mission for hosting the event at a location meaningful to Griffith and his wife, Loma Griffith.
Thomas Sheridan and Francisco “Paco” Manzo both spoke about Griffith’s new book and their collaborations with the folklorist. Sheridan, a UA Press author, is a research anthropologist with the Southwest Center. Manzo, whom Griffith acknowledges in the book, emotionally reflected on the trips through Sonora he’s taken with Griffith.
Missed this chance to get Griffith’s book? Griffith will be at the Tucson Meet Yourself store booth on Saturday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday, October 13, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase, and Griffith will be there to sign your copy, and maybe, tell you a good saint story.
Photo credit: Mark Corneliussen