Tucson – Our Big-Little Town

Our thoughts are with those families whose loved ones were taken too soon and so awfully, and that those who were wounded be healed swiftly.


Tucson is a beautiful place. Sunrises and sunsets that make you swoon. Mountains that rise majestically from a fabulous bizarre desert landscape. In summer, thunder and lightning roll in from the East and provide us with both relief from humidity and spectacular evening entertainment. For most of the year, the high altitude, dry air, clear and dark skies allow us sweet glimpses into the celestial heavens that this transplant, from a country known for its constant cloud, still gets goosebumps from.

There is something else too. Something that can’t always be seen. The city has a population of over a million now, more than twice what it was 22 years ago when I arrived. Yet, despite its size this is a small place. A place where typically it isn’t six degrees of separation but one, or maybe two, degrees of separation. And so here Green and I sit this evening talking of the lovely Ashleigh Burroughs who I only know through her writing, and Tom & Mary who we know IRL, hoping they’re okay and that their path to healing is swift. We know we’re not alone in that hope. Across this big-little town we’re all trying to process what has happened. These people are our friends, our colleagues, our family.

From Dream Within Reach - Rebecca

Others have talked more articulately than I ever could about the factors that have contributed to the state we now find ourselves. At some point, very soon I’m sure, I’ll return to this topic, but today it is still too raw. Instead, I want to share a little bit of the Tucson I love, a video of Calexico, one of Gabby Gifford’s fav bands playing at the Festival en el Barrio Viejo 2010. This is the song Gabby picked for the Shuttle Astronauts to wake to: Crystal Frontier.



Filed under Tucson

14 responses to “Tucson – Our Big-Little Town

  1. Such a terrible event in such a beautiful place. So sad.
    Hoping for full recovery, and answers.

  2. I was saying the same thing to a friend from back east — everyone knows SOMEONE personally or one degree away that was directly involved with this tragedy. So sad for Tucson. Our city grieves.

  3. I too keep reminding myself of all the wonderful AMAZING things about tucson and how difficult it is to have something so horrible happen to our town and people we know.

  4. Can I just ditto your comment on my blog?

    Yesterday a FB friend posted a rather hateful comment regarding the Westboro Baptist Church members who allegedly plan to come protest the funerals and I was upset about it all afternoon. So last night I posted a plea to my circle of friends on FB: “We’re angry. We’re sad. We’re worried. I’m asking you now to choose your words carefully. They are so powerful. Be respectful. Don’t contribute to the hate. Rise above. It starts with us.”

    I really think we all need to do this. As the Sheriff stated, it’s time for some soul searching. We cannot contribute to the hate that has brought us to this place. Our words are so powerful. I think we need to use them in a respectful, productive way. We need to make sure that we are contributing to a solution, not the problem with what we say and do.

    I’m so sad today… Yesterday felt a little better, as we shuffled off to work and school and dinner making and laundry doing. But today, I caught the press conference on the radio on my way home and sat in my driveway and cried as I listened to the husband of the woman who took Christina Green to meet Gabby. It’s just.so.sad.

    • I thought Sheriff Dupnick spoke from his heart and hit the nail on the head, but boy is he catching awful heat for it. He really is of the old school that calls a situation as he sees it. I hope he stays strong, I hope we rise to the occasion and support him.

      Yes, I watched that press conference too. I thought her husband spoke so clearly and with so much grace. My heart goes out to her, Suze, and to all the others who have such a long road to go.

  5. deserthomespun

    i agree with all the comments – and am too saddened by the state of our town and country to really want to comment further on it, other than to say, stop the hate, watch what you’re saying in anger now, and be kind to one another.

    i really like how you’ve focused on the beauty we DO have in this town, even if it’s hard for us to see that right now. we need to focus on the good right now. thanks for posting this…

  6. I was checking your blog obsessively over the weekend because I know you are active and was worried you may have been there. So glad you weren’t. It’s hard being an Arizonan right now.

  7. Thank you for this post. You and your “neighbors” have been in my thoughts so much.

  8. Rebecca

    Lovely post, it made me even more homesick than I have been the past few days. I wish I was there to hug and be hugged!

  9. We chose Tucson for retirement because of the wonderfulness of the melting pot and the warmth of the people. From my hospital bed, Tepary, I thank you for helping people to focus on the beauty of our town. Leah, thank you for listening to my husband and sharing our love of a very special little soul. Your kind thoughts and healing vibes are lessening the pain every single day.

    • a/b
      Thanks for stopping by. Your husband spoke so eloquently at that press conference. Like Little Cutter’s comments on your blog, his sharing a little of who you are confirmed what I suspected from your writing about your warmth toward your fellow humans and passion for life. May peace, solace and strength carry you through this time. We’re thinking of you, of CT’s family, and all those impacted.

      Let us know if you need anything. I’m at UMC several times a week and it is close enough that I can just pop over.

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