Special Collections and Archives blog

Elizabeth M and PT Reilly Intern Confessions: Week 2: Jerome and Q

This week, I have been writing about Katie. This includes her life in Hollywood as an actress and folk singer, where she lived, her relationships, and her writings. As part of the internship, I visited Jerome with my project managers (Kelly Phillips and Sean Evans), where Katie lived from 1971 until her death in 2017.

Katie Lees House, Jerome, AZ. May 2019.

Our first stop in Jerome was Katie’s house. It was amazing to see the view from her back porch looking out over the valley. Her house is a bright turquoise and can be seen from many places in Jerome.

Jerome Mining Museum, Jerome Historical Society, Jerome, AZ. May 2019

Our second stop was the Jerome Historical Society’s Mining Museum. The Mining Museum’s exhibit on Katie does her justice and is a fitting tribute to a person who was beloved and cherished by so many of her friends and neighbors. Seeing Katie’s house helped me better understand her and get a sense of why she loved Jerome so much.

The best part of visiting the Mining Museum and meeting with the museum staff who showed us some the amazing material they’re caring. They passed along several humorous anecdotes about working with Katie. It was a treat learning more about Katie from those who knew her well.

An unrelated highlight of the internship was having lunch with Richard Quartaroli, The Special Collections Librarian emeritus. Richard was friends with Katie and shared several stories about his time with her and his experiences as a river runner. Thanks, Richard, or can I call you “Q”?

As an interesting aside, one of Katie’s more popular songs – “It Must Be Something Psychological” – from her album Songs of Couch and Consultation (1957) was used in an Axe/Lynx men’s deodorant commercial in 2012. It is interesting to see how music can be re-used over time. See the commercial on YouTube here.

Photos taken by Britney Bibeault.

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