Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reasons to love Tucson

When son, Ron, visited Tucson during the holidays he was lamenting the fact that he could not find any of the Sonoran Hot Dog stands.  The colorful stands used to be all over the city but we searched everywhere and were unable to find one.

Well, Ron, they are not all gone.  This one is in the parking lot of Lowe's.  And, the friendly owner dished up an excellent hot dog.  There is something special about the Sonoran Dog--it has a huge fluffy bun and enough condiments to satisfy the hungriest 'gringa'.  Okay, I can hear the groans--but you really oughta try one sometime.

I truly enjoy having visitors and there have been quiet a few since returning to Tucson.  Old friends, George and David, came aboard to see what life was like living in a space the size of a (small) walk-in closet. "Hmm, cosy.  But efficient."  Is the usual comment.

I stepped out of a restaurant the other day and the nicest couple stopped me and motioned toward my rig.  "Do you live in that?"  "How long have you been traveling?" "Is it expensive?" A half hour later and many more questions, they left--on their way to the RV lot to start pricing the market.  They also took my card and said they hope to be on the road themselves--very soon.  Ahh, another convert.  It is very satisfying.

Tucson is a natural for displaying artwork--and it is everywhere.

This is in front of a small strip center...

And it made me smile.

And I love the picturesque houses here.  I guess the kaleidoscope of color is partly because it is so very difficult to grow vibrant hued flowers and lush green lawns. Not a bad substitute, I would say.

And the backdrop to every neighborhood is always breathtaking....

Whether you enjoy it from the ground or in the air.

I recently finished this amazing book and I highly recommend it for anyone who may be interested in the early settlement of the west.  It follows the Comanche tribes, primarily in Texas, and centers around Quanah Parker, the last, great Comanche chief.  Parker was a half-breed whose mother Cynthia Ann Parker was captured as a child and later married one of the chiefs. The old movie, "The Searchers" was based on this incident. 

The reason I mention it here is because it was such an eye-opener for me--the author does not take sides but presents it all--the conflicts, brutality, broken treaties and tragedies.  

The Indian tribes of Tucson and Arizona were not as war-like as the plains Indians but they suffered the same fate. Could there have been any other outcome?  Probably not.  But there is still an Indian culture here in Tucson that is vital and though small,  somewhat in tact.  On the radio last night I listened to a regular broadcast from the Tohono O'odham reservation--broadcast in their language and with their music.  And I felt a window open to the past--for just a moment.

The lovely wall in these photos surrounds a small community garden in the heart of old Tucson....

Two years ago, when our congress-woman, Gabrielle Giffords was shot and fighting for her life in the hospital here, people began bringing flowers and laying them at the scene of the tragedy and at the door of the hospital.  

One of the keepers of this garden, collected those flowers and plants after they died and brought them here to compost.  He saved the bulbs and planted them throughout the garden and used the compost to nourish them.  I want to come here some spring to see what blooms.

And the city has a small park dedicated to the little 9 year old girl, Christina Taylor Green who was shot and killed that day.   I like to go here for a picnic lunch once in a while and I always think of her --how sad that a child, born on 9/11/01, with a willingness to learn, and a drive to make a difference,  had to die so young.  We simply have to do better for Christina and for all those children in Ct. 

And finally, Arizona has the most spectacular sunsets, an explosion of color to finish the day;.


  1. Enjoyed....great off the beaten path Tucson the weird art work.....


  2. Thanks so much for the book recommendation- so far it is fascinating! I'm struck by how crucial the introduction and proliferation of the Spanish horse was in North America for the Plains Indians, and in such a short time.

  3. Sonoran hotdog stands are on virtually every block in the Mission and Ajo area, especially between Mission and the freeway. The best fixed location we've been to is El Guero Canelo on south 12th. They're really good, and the condiments bar is also good.

    1. Wow! Thanks, Allison. I'll alert Ron. He will be pleased to hear.

  4. I love reading about your adventures. And this post is so affecting . The memorializing of the shootings is very beautiful.