Quiet Day – Day 23

Day 23 – April 23, 2003 – Wednesday

Quiet Day

A quiet day.  I didn’t do a lot, and I didn’t meet many people.  The morning was spent at the hotel – resting my eye and writing.  The work by Dr. Miller and the medication are definitely working as the eye feels much better.


I headed for downtown Tucson a little before noon.  I found Café Poca Cosa, a highly-regarded Mexican restaurant.  Yvonne was my waitress, and she recommended the Chef’s Special – an assortment of three entrees.  All were very good, though much fancier Mexican food than I am used to.  The hot sauce was great – probably the best I’ve ever had, and the quantity of food served was most impressive.  The place was packed.  I met Heather standing in line waiting for a table.  She said the best thing about Tucson is the downtown area.


After lunch, I followed Heather’s advice and walked around downtown.  I saw a beautiful church, a great old theatre that is being restored, and some nice murals.  Downtown Tucson is very clean, but I passed a lot of empty storefronts.  Since several people told me downtown Tucson was cool, I’m sure it is, but I didn’t stumble upon the cool part.


I did meet some heavily-tattooed dudes who were skateboarding.  Two punk rock bands passing through on the way to a gig in San Diego.  I’d not normally strike up a conversation with young guys with tattoos and rings in various body parts, and they’d probably not normally talk with a gray-haired guy wearing Rockport Walkers and love beads, but the three I spoke with were very nice.


From downtown, I headed to Miracle Mile.  This is an area that is home to all of the old motels built in the 40’s and 50’s.  A significant number still exist, and I took photos of the great old signs.  While the sign was poor, I loved seeing the No-Tel Motel.  The Sahara appears to be undergoing a complete restoration.  I applauded that, needless to say.  I ran across a couple of rough-looking guys as I found myself in a dead-end alley when I pulled off to take two photos.

I saw an extremely interesting woman near the Pueblo Hotel and Apartments.  She was all draped in layers of clothes (on an always hot Tucson day), wearing sunglasses, and a scarf wrapped over her hair and most of her face.  Her shoes were silver and gold slippers and didn’t look to be a street person’s shoes.  She wore bold-striped socks.  She was carrying a shopping bag, but again, it didn’t appear to be a street person’s bag.  She had on earphones – not sure if she was listening to something or simply using them to cover her ears.  I’d love to know the story there, but I didn’t feel comfortable approaching her.  She might have been a well-dressed street person, but she could just as easily have been an eccentric movie star.  I’m bettin’ on movie star.

I don’t feel nearly as comfortable in Tucson as I have felt in the small towns.  There are a lot of street people, and the drivers are the worst I have encountered.  I get honked at repeatedly for driving the speed limit.  Very annoying.


The highlight of the day was the miles and miles of old airplanes at the Davis Monithan Airfield.  Grady Harrell, our daughter’s father-in-law, told me not to miss it.  It’s unbelievable – airplanes for as far as you can see.  Great, old airplanes of all types.  It is the world’s largest airplane graveyard.  It’s always good to see that there’s a place for old stuff.


I didn’t chase the sun today.  I know the sunset would have been outstanding from Mount Lemmon, the big ski area outside Tucson, but I still have a lot of writing to do.


Tucson is a really nice place.  I’ve been here several times before, so I’ve seen most of the sights.  I’m sorry I didn’t get out to see them again so I could photograph them to share.  I have loved visiting Old Tucson, the site of many of the great old western movies.  Sadly, much of it was destroyed by fire, and while it has been rebuilt, I understand it’s just not the same.  It’s bad enough when great old buildings and other stuff gets destroyed by neglect or “progress,” but to lose these treasures by fire, flood, hurricane, and the like is especially sad.


After the huge lunch, I wasn’t at all hungry at dinner time.  But I had to see Little Anthony’s Diner, so I went for a late pie about 10 pm.  The HamburgerMobile had caught my eye.  The whole place has been really well done by local entrepreneur Tony Terry.  I had Mud Pie, but the highlight at Little Anthony’s was the people who work there.  Brooklyn, the hostess, was very nice, and when she heard about the trip, she called out to one of the waiters, and the next thing I knew, there were four young people seated with me — Brooklyn, Kyle, Greg, and Dawn.  We just talked, and laughed, and told stories for an hour or so. They are all proud of where they work and who they work for.   I didn’t meet Tony Terry, but I like him.  He’s a very sharp entrepreneur.  He does things with creativity, and he obviously attracts great people.


The kids asked me what the lesson of the day was, and I told them I hadn’t decided yet.  I guess my primary thought today is quit the honking!  Everyone would be better off if they weren’t in such a hurry.