My parents moved to Phoenix from El Paso in 1918. We lived in the vicinity of 12th St. & Indian School Road, which was a long distance from downtown Phoenix.
I was born in 1926, a few years before the beginning of the Great Depression (who said it was great?) Mother and Dad and their family of six knew how to treasure every item that was owned.
Dad had been in the construction business and obtained a job as a carpenter in the remodeling of the Arizona State Capital Building on West Washington Street. There was a remodeling in 1918 and another in 1930; I do not know which one he was involved in. He retrieved (I say retrieved rather then something less honorable) a pair of solid brass doorknobs with the Seal of the Great State of Arizona deeply embossed in each of them. These were placed among his treasured rock and mineral specimens in his workshop behind the house. He knew how often I looked at and admired those door knobs.
He would bring home various pieces of lumber and other reusable items from almost every job he worked on. He was a pack rat and our yard looked a private junkyard most of the time.
He mounted one of the door knobs on a piece of beautiful, polished ironwood from the black root of a dead ironwood tree in the desert. This was presented to me for some special holiday (now forgotten by me.) Shortly before he died he gave me the second one because he felt they should be kept together. The doorknobs are my legacy. These were admired by my Daughter when she was growing up and then by my Grandchildren when they came to visit.
In 1999 there was an article in the Prescott Courier about work going on at the State Capital Building to restore it to its original beauty. I immediately thought of my favorite conversation pieces, the Sacred Doorknobs. I called the museum at the Capital and ask if they would like to have them to use in the restoration work. They were interested, so I mailed them to be displayed at their original home – after the hiatus of seventy or possibly eighty two years. They are on display in the Capital Museum – with Ray E. Pringle’s name and the story of their past history.
I did not want to leave this world and the Sacred Doorknobs until I could rest assured that they were a permanent piece of Arizona History.