One quiet day in the office as I was searching through files for something I cannot now remember, I found a replica of the first issue of SaddleBag Notes. It had been reproduced on the front page of the December 1992 edition.

The first issue dated December 1988, with a hand scrawled note in blue ink that reads “1st Issue – 40 homes” gave me pause to read the three paragraphs that make up that very first issue. The fully italicized and capitalized “VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1” clearly had the markings of an old typewriter that was used to lay the words on the page. I could almost hear the tapping of the keys. The shape of a Christmas tree over which the words were laid made it difficult to read, but it was obvious the spirit was there just the same!

The December 1988 issue reads:

“From April 1860 through 1862 the riders of the Pony Express galloped a total of 659,999 miles, carried 34,753 pieces of mail and lost only one mail sack. That the job was dangerous and demanding is borne out in a newspaper advertisement seeking riders who would take ‘small, daring young men, preferably orphans’ and who would take an oath not to ‘swear or drink whilst on duty’. The mail pouch which was thrown over the Saddle was called a “mochila”…that is Saddlebag to gringos."

“The staff of this publication are neither young nor especially daring, generally prefer saddling up to a golf car in preference to a pony and have even been known to swear and sometimes nip the hard stuff while on duty. We have, however, set a goal of providing NOTES of interest, EXPRESSLY for residents of SADDLEBROOKE. We plan to furnish columns of pro shop gossip, outstanding golf scores, tennis tournaments, social gatherings, introduction of new residents, weddings, grandchildren, bar mitzvah, quincineros … any item of interest … you name it! Items to be included in future SADDLEBAG NOTES are to be directed to June and Bill Hill. We cannot print it if you do tell us about it (in writing). All positive suggestions (please, no poison mail so soon) will be gratefully accepted.”

“Our thanks to Mary Crowfoot of the staff for the outstanding masthead ... and also to John Evans for underwriting the cost of printing this newsletter.”

That was it. That was all that made up the first issue, but what a find! To mention names of people I wouldn’t know but who came together to create SaddleBag Notes to bring news to what was then, I imagine, a small and fledgling community.

Things have changed as they always do and we are proud today to bring you news about your community, advertising messages for your needs and some articles we hope you find of interest. Our goal hasn’t wavered too much from the original one set forth!

We’d love to hear from you. How long have you been in SaddleBrooke and what changes have you seen? We’re looking for residents who’ve lived in SaddleBrooke the longest, and those willing to share their stories. Please do tell us! Submit your stories and photos to Carol Poole, editor. Her email is saddlebagarticle@tucson.com. One never knows, you might just see your story in print in the coming months.

Happy Reading!