July 11, 2018 — Host Karyn Foley talks with author Mary Contini Gordon about her latest book, "Chiriaco Summit, Built by Love in the Desert." It's a fascinating
story of a family business started in the 1930s in the desert area between Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Host: Karyn Foley
Guest: Mary Louise Contini Gordon
Executive Producer: Deborah Steller
Producer/Floor Director: Arvin Petros
Camera Operators: Adam Hawley and Carson Lysik
Editor: Jason Mier
©2018 The Calabasas Channel
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Business and Innovation Leader, Speaker, Writer/Researcher and Author Dr. Mary Contini Gordon is a meticulous researcher with years of examining organizational issues in the public and private sectors. She was the executive director of the Hughes Institute for Professional Development and oversaw professional and executive development across all five Hughes Companies. After retiring at the end of 2008, she became the facilitator for the Arizona Technology Council's CEO Network in Tucson, mostly small companies, some family businesses.
Her latest book, "Chiriaco Summit, Built by Love in the Desert: Wine was free, but we had to pay for water."
Joe Chiriaco and his thirteen siblings heard this from their Italian immigrant father as he recounted his ocean journey to America. In the face of limited water and rudimentary dirt roads, Joe and his Norwegian wife, Ruth Bergseid, founded Chiriaco Summit in the 1930s, a desert travel oasis on today's Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Los Angeles, promising to serve the world on wheels.
The twenty-four-seven challenges are lightened with the courtship of two feisty lovers, the frolicking of youngsters in the desert, more loves, and the juxtaposition of some very imposing personalities, including those of Joe Chiriaco and General Patton.
After moving through new aqueducts and highways, military camps, societal upheavals, and a welcome new set of hard-working immigrants, the twenty-first century brings provisions for electric cars, modern aircraft, and ATV facilities outside Joshua Tree National Park from whence the first Summit waters flowed.
Dr. Gordon is dedicated to telling the stories of those who may not be well known, but contribute mightily to the fabric of this country.
[Order the book on Amazon]
Archived on SCVHistory.com by permission of Dr. Mary Contini Gordon and Arvin Petros, Media Supervisor, City of Calabasas.