Picture Post #8, Tucson Edition

We spent a few days visiting family and friends in Tucson, Arizona and here are a few shots from that trip. The rest are in the Flickr album.

Mountain Snow

The view out the window of our hotel was of Mt. Lemmon with snow from the recent storms. Winter weather like that is enough to cause traffic jams as people flock up the roads to the peak.

Courthouse Dome

The distictive dome of the Pima County Courthouse in downtown Tucson. Built in the 1920s, it’s a unique structure and they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.


With high temps in the lower 50s, it was cool for a normal Southern Arizona winter but still nice enough to get outside and sit in the bright sunshine for a little reading.

Dillinger Days

Every year the Congress Hotel celebrates the January 24th capture of the nortorious 30’s era gangster John Dillinger. One of many quirky stories Tucson has to tell.

Not Exactly The Hometown

In the title of a book, Thomas Wolfe declares “you can’t go home again”, and many other writers and philosophers have expressed a similar idea in their works. That sentiment has been running around my warped little mind during a visit to my chosen hometown, Tucson, Arizona.

I say “chosen” because, as a cold war-era military brat, I don’t really have one of those picture perfect GOP-endorsed small hometowns where kids grew up in some kind of idealized past. The military hospital in which I was born was torn down many years ago and the base housing area I first came home to is now an industrial park.

Besides, my family only lived there for a few months before moving on to my father’s next posting. Followed by seven or eight additional transfers before I left for college.

None of this is presented as an appeal for sympathy. For me, my siblings, and many of the kids around us, it all seemed pretty normal – packing up every few years and heading for somewhere else. Not having a “real” hometown and eventually selecting one from the many stops along the way.

At two times during my stream of childhood we landed in Tucson (for a year each). Then I returned to the university here for most of my undergraduate program1 and graduate school. Add in the fact that my in-laws live here, and I acquired an adopted hometown.

I'm pretty sure all of this is a contributing factor to why I don't do much dwelling on the past – here or anywhere else. And why I feel Americans in general spend way too much time memorializing that past (much of which is heavily fictionalized), energy that would be better used in planning for the future. I know, I would be a real downer at reunions.2

Anyway don't get me wrong about this trip. It's fun to wander through the university campus and to visit landmarks around town about which I have hazy fond memories. Places that have changed ownership and been remodeled more than a few times in the decades since (with the possible exception of my dorm :-). And catching up face-to-face with family and friends (as opposed to whatever happens on Facebook).

A few days every so often digging into the past is nice. I just don't want to live there.