Emily Creigh

Profile Updated: April 11, 2016
Residing In: Tucson, AZ USA
Spouse/Partner: Tom Poley
Occupation: Educator/Musician
Children and Grandchildren: Nicole, born 1985
Max, born 1988
School Story:

My main regret is that there was no girls’ basketball. I would have loved to play basketball and be remembered as a jock rather than a cheerleader! (No offense intended for my cheerleading friends … cheerleading just wasn’t me.)

Fortunately, I got to play on Sahuaro’s fledgling girls’ softball team, with Mr. Lopez coaching, which was totally awesome as I finally got to experience playing on a team (I rode horses, a very solitary activity, until I was 15, which explains why I was socially inept!).

A few memorable high-school moments:
o Having both algebra and geometry – two years! – at 6 AM at Palo Verde
o Taking Hebrew sophomore year at PV to get on the morning session
o Getting rides to school with Denise G and her sister at 5 AM in their big, warm car
o Studying about the environment on Earth Day and realizing that we were pretty much doomed
o Competing with Dave H in typing class to see who would be the first to get to 60 WPM … I believe I won and he still owes me a hamburger!
o Sitting in Mr. López’s Spanish class with Carl and Billie … who knew they were secret sweethearts?
o Cringing when Miss Ott’s parrot would shriek as the class got too loud (i.e., pretty often)
o Going to Phoenix for the championship basketball games when we won State and, yes, getting into a little "skirmish" with a girl from Phoenix Union … thanks, Denise, Merilee, and Jeannie, for saving my ***!

My mom let my yearbooks get away, so for the last 30 years I haven’t had one to look at to jog my memory. However, MANY THANKS TO CAROL H AND STEVE C for hooking me up with a 1969 yearbook – I’ve been having some good laughs over it with my family.

A special thanks to everyone who served in our Armed Forces.

Take care, friends, and see you at the next reunion. Please let me know if local folks want to get together on a regular basis. ¡Ciau for now!

If you are no longer in Tucson, how often do you get back here?

Greetings, friends.

It’s been so much fun reading other people’s profiles that I’ve been unable to break away and write my own. Thanks to everyone who has put time into this reunion and the website. What an amazing way to catch up on everyone … and to think I thought I’d never know anything about anyone any more. Who knew?

Warning: This is kinda long, so feel free to stop here! Thought I’d add a little more info as I won’t be able to attend the reunion to defend myself, haha. I am sorry to be missing the chance to see all of you.

After Sahuaro I attended the University of the Pacific (Callison College, one of the cluster colleges) in Stockton, CA. It wasn’t in the mountains (that’s putting it mildly), which had been my vision for my college experience, but UOP at least satisfied the wanderlust: I was fortunate to be able to study in Mexico (the Yucatán) and Japan. It was at Callison that I became a Buddhist and took a vow of poverty.

I emerged with a BA in International Studies and promptly joined the Peace Corps, a lifelong dream (though I came close to joining the Navy first). Spent 2½ years in Paraguay working in agricultural extension and returned to Tucson in the summer of 1977 to get my masters in Teaching English as a Second Language, with the express purpose of “going everywhere and learning every language.” No surprise: I ended up staying right here, putting down roots in the hometown I was always so determined to leave, and have been loving it ever since. Natch.

Got my masters in 1980 and my secondary teaching certificate in 1984. After doing “odd jobs” (editor/writer, desktop publisher, public information officer for state agency, commercial video producer, others), I joined Pima College (then County) Adult Education 12 years ago and have been teaching there in the Family Literacy Program; hope to retire at the end of this school year. The Spanish I learned at Sahuaro and Palo Verde has served me well over the years.

I had children in my 30s so am a recent empty-nester. Daughter Nicole, skilled at getting scholarships, managed to get a full ride at the UA with a major in Geography. She’s currently enjoying a Fulbright Scholarship in Curitiba, Brazil, where she’s making a film on city planning. (Tom and I will be visiting there during the reunion). A musician and Capoeira enthusiast, she’s also active in a local circus there doing acrobatics – something I was never able to do.

Son Max is in his 5th year at the UA in chemistry. He likes being a student and keeps changing his minor (hence the 5 years) … loves to regale us with tales of quantum chemistry and other cool stuff I can’t comprehend. Best of all, my life became complete a couple of weeks ago when Max announced that he’d bought a banjo … for himself! He has never held back his disdain for our bluegrass and country music, and now he’s one of us. Hallelujah!

I started playing guitar in college when my roommate found one on the beach in Northern California. Twenty-two years later a divorced me met my current husband, and the next thing I knew I was playing in a band. For a while we did bluegrass as Out of the Blue, and for the last few years we’ve had a trio, Way Out West, focusing on Western and cowboy music. It hasn’t been easy because I’m basically still shy … especially about getting up in front of people and singing! Fortunately, the voice is another instrument and gets better with use. My musical passion is actually the fiddle, which I unfortunately will never master as I started way too late (was too cool when I was younger).

Some not-so-fortuitous events along the way: As some of you know, my dad took his own life in January of 1974. I was out of my mind for a while. My mom died in 2000, and in 2002 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My nodes were not involved so I had a good prognosis. Did chemo and radiation, picked myself up, dusted myself off, and got back into the race.

I was able to come out of it a happier person. Yoga helps. Now I’m healthier than ever. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel – did a couple of tours in England and Europe with Way Out West. Overall I have been very blessed, for which I give thanks every day.

NEW STUFF: I was laid off in July 2011 and retired, which is fun, like being a kid again--especially the no money part--except you're old. Oh well. I started writing a book about my experience in the Peace Corps, which has led to some surprising discoveries and relationships. I'm still writing and looking for a publisher. In April I will have the honor of being part of a delegation to observe the presidential elections in Paraguay after the impeachment-slash-coup there last year. Other than that, everything's pretty much the same ... except that my hair is gray again, woohoo! Sure hope to see folks at the Bambi on March 30, 2013, with Dan Ferguson and others.

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Nov 25, 2018 at 2:33 AM
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Posted on: Nov 25, 2017 at 2:33 AM

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Nov 25, 2016 at 2:33 AM
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Apr 11, 2016 at 8:07 AM

Greetings, Cougars. You are cordially invited to my book launch this Thursday, April 14, from 6–8pm at the Dusty Monk Pub in Tucson (part of La Cocina at Old Town Artisans near the Tucson Museum of Art). Would be great to see you!

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Mar 08, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Posted on: Mar 07, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Friends, Romans, Cougars ... In case you were ever wondering what it's like inside my head (and really, who wouldn't? haha), I've just published my book! It's part Peace Corps memoir, part political prisoner exposé (my co-author was the prisoner ... I'm only a prisoner of, well, what goes on inside my head). In case you're in Tucson and bursting with curiosity, I'll be at the Festival of Books on Sunday, March 13, giving a 10-minute "Tent Talk" at 1:15 and sitting at a table waiting for YOU from 2:30 to 4:30 in the Central Author Pavilion. If you'd rather avoid the face-to-face, it's available on Amazon. Thanks and ¡hasta la vista!

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Nov 29, 2015 at 9:34 PM
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Oct 05, 2015 at 5:49 PM

Posted on: Oct 05, 2015 at 9:19 AM

Dear Nancy, I was sorry to hear you had a recent health scare but am very happy you've beaten it. We missed you at the reunion and look forward to seeing you at the 50th. Love, Emmy

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:10 PM
With some friends at the 2010 Tucson Folk Festival ... my husband's (with hat on banjo) and my ensemble, Way Out West, played in the rain.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:10 PM
My family and me, Christmas 2009
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:10 PM
The String Bean Folk Orchestra at a recent event at Old Town Artisans ... I'm second from right.