Visit To Tucson

On Friday 10/15/10, Daryl and I traveled to Tucson. I was hoping to revive some memories of my youth and maybe bring back some of the feelings I had while growing up in Flowing Wells. It would be interesting to see what I recognized from over 40 years of absence. It seemed like such a long time ago, and amazingly still only just yesterday.

Most of the buildings I remember as a boy had been torn down and replaced with something else. Our house was no longer there, instead an apartment building with paved driveways. Daryl and I drove around the parking lot and tried to imagine where the shop and pool once were. Many hours were spent shooting at the basketball rim on the shop, and grass out front of the house would never grow because of our play. I thought about all the circles we made on motorcycles around the driveway before we had licensees.

Even Kilburn road seemed different – more rundown and strange. I thought I remembered more grass in front of houses and less trash scattered about. Maybe I just wanted to think that.

Some of the classrooms at Flowing Wells High School were as I remember them but that was about all. The football field was in the same place and I found the old cafeteria, understandably now used for something else. The parking lot was different and there were new buildings jutting from all sides. I had a desire to look inside some of the buildings and browse through the trophy cases, but in this day and age it is not a good idea for strangers to wander around a school. Donna later told us that school was probably closed because of a winter break and it might have been OK to ask if we could look around.

One thing that seems to stay the same is the names of roads. It was reassuring to know that most of the roads still went where they used to, or you still took this road to get here, or we could find something by going down this road. Oracle Road Rent All was still a business although the building is much larger. We drove out to see the area where Shamrock Dairy was and still is in business – an area where I loved to play, collecting wax to make melted hands and riding bicycles with my friend Wayne.

Before we left, Daryl drove across town to Davis Monthan AFB. One of my favorite things to do in Tucson was drive along the fence by the base and look at all the stored aircraft. You used to be able to drive for miles and view row upon row of obsolete airplanes abandoned to the ‘bone-yard’ of the dry Arizona desert. There were a few places where we saw planes but mostly now they keep you back and away from them. We did however find one spot by the fence, along an off road, maintenance path, and Daryl tried out his 4WD SUV.

It was a good nostalgic trip. Daryl and I did a lot of reminiscing and I want to thank him very much for taking me there. Maybe someday I’ll go back, but for now I’ll leave the past behind and try something new.

6 Responses to “Visit To Tucson”

  1. Mom says:

    As Donna says, the whole city of Tucson is run down. They didn’t get with Freeways soon enough, and now the whole place can become a parking lot, especially at “Rush(?)Hour”. Neighborhoods are not kept up; the best parts of the city are the outlying areas.
    I never thought I wanted to live in a metropolitan ares, but it sure is handy when I am no longer able to drive or own a car.

  2. Don says:

    I’ve gone back to Tucson quite a few times since I left over 25 years ago. Many of the things I remember are different as you noticed but some things are exactly the same.

    On our last trip we drove up A Mountain and looked at the city. From up there it looks very much the same.

    I think on my next trip I might drive up Mt. Lemmon although since the last big fire I suspect that is different now too.

    It would be cool to go to the caves on the backside but I’m quite sure It wouldn’t be at all the same if you are even able to go into them.

  3. Daryl says:

    I was in the Peppersauce caves about 4 – 5 years ago, and they seemed about the same as they did 40-some years ago.

    The Croy’s house seems the same; junk in the back, “Beware of Dog” signs on the fence. Deja-Vu there.

  4. Dick says:

    If you have not already done so you MUST plan to spend a day at the Pima Air Museum. It is one of the best aviation museums in the country, and it owes much of its rich collection to the bone yard.

  5. Don says:

    I second Richard’s comment. I would like to go back on a cooler day with only people that are interested in planes. It was very cool but I had to leave before I was really done.

  6. Daryl says:

    Dale left yesterday for points north. Payson, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Arches, and who knows where else. He promised to blog whenever he could. He also promised to be back by Thanksgiving.

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