Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Family Passings

I moved to Tucson upon the passing of my beloved mother and also to to take care of an aging father who was in the dispassionate clutches of the medical and care-taking industry because of his dementia in Surprise, AZ. I had spent almost a decade in the East valley of the Sun in the greater Phoenix area but due to a job change found myself weathering many more difficulties in the Hudson Valley of upper NY state. With the tragic family issues falling upon me, the only child, I also found the saving grace to escape an eastern environment that was literally doing me in. So with the struggle of my own life-threatening illness, I returned to the Southwest region I had come to know and love but stressing between saving myself and saving my father from his own issues.

Although I had never before become familiar with Tucson, I found that the fast growing city had simple roots going back 10,000 years on the banks of the Santa Cruz river. With a million people it still seems like a quaint western town in many ways with a definite Spanish decor. The foothills region has no fences, sideways or lawns using the natural desert as landscaping. Nestled at an elevation of about 2500 ft between three main mountains, the Catalinas, Rincon and Tucson mountains the climate In Tucson seems to be slightly cooler and less stagnant than the greater Phoenix area with consistent winds to keep any noticeable air pollution in check. Not typical of most Arizona cities, there are few big dust storms in Tucson but the heat can stick at triple digits for days at a time. Usually this pattern will break with a quick refreshing rain storm. The monsoon times in July and August transform the area into an almost desert tropical paradise that rivals any other rainier region. The smell of rain from the Sonoran desert is like no scent more uplifting or more tantalizing. The flowering of the different varieties of cactus will memorize your eye balls on nature’s diversity of bright colors and shapes. Yes, it has its sticker and thorns but the delight is to see not touch to enjoy.

For myself, I started with the desert going to school many years back in New Mexico and although my life has taken me from California to Hawaii to Arizona to New York and back, my better memories are with my time in the Southwest. Alas, like the twists and turns of life I will have to pack away all my experiences of Arizona into memories as I laid my father to rest next to my mother last year. I look now to resettle in the colder regions of central Oregon and begin another hopefully fulfilling legacy of the last of the golden years.

Sent by David from Tucson, Arizona

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