Tucson – A Gem of a City

I suppose I should talk about Tuscon, Arizona and why I love this town so much.   It can only be because it is home the largest gem and mineral show in the United States.  Every year in the month of February.  The event is so large that it takes 3 weeks to host all 40 shows that comprise this event.  This event is for amateurs and professionals alike.  There on display are sales for both retail and wholesale buyers.  I am in the jewelry making business, and many of my supplies for the year are purchased at this event, as are most of the supplies for gem and mineral stores across the country. I am able to find everything from the most expensive mineral ready for a museum to the perfect equipment to fasten the stones in my artistic jewelry.   One of my favorite shows to peruse is the American Indian Exposition.  I will cover more on the amazing Native American history, culture, and art in this area in another blog.  If you don’t believe that rocks and minerals can be art, just take a look at some of the pictures on one of the most prestigious vendor sites. http://finemineral.com/minerals.html.  This is an event for the lonesome traveler looking for an adventure, or the family get away for the kids looking to uncover a fossil digging adventure.  While you are there make sure to appreciate the beautiful golfing experiences at La Paloma Country club.  This is one of Jack Nicklaus’s prime golf locations.

I Love Me Some Tucson!

Life is all about perspective.  How we view the world around us and how we view others.  There is no place better to reflect on the magnificence of pure existence than in Tucson, Arizona.

Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ

Somewhere between the Saguaro cactus that look like you have just stepped into a Looney Toons Cartoon and the remote desert wilderness where you expect a wild west gunslinger to approach on horseback, stands the immense beauty of an area surrounded by the remains of a once active volcano.  I happened upon this beautiful city out of unfortunate circumstances after the death of my father.  Spending a little time reflecting on the mortality that is part of all of us, I was amazed by the amount of art and culture in this little sleepy town in southern Arizona.

One of this most important art mediums in this area is the diversity of movies that have been filmed in the area.  I guess I am not the only person to find the scenery inspiring.  There have been over 20 movies filmed in this area including…  600 Miles, Goats, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Boys on the Side, Tin Cup, The Quick and the Dead, Away We Go, Bodies, Rest and Motion, Revenge of the Nerds, and Major League. My two favorite ones being Tombstone and The Three Amigos.  Now where can I find that Singing Bush?  It is not hard to understand why this area is the focus of so many films.  Tombstone, Arizona is not far from Tucson.  We happened to stop by on our way out of the area to catch a blazen reenactment of the gunfights in the movie.

Speaking of the Saguaro cactus…  these amazing cacti are the trees of this area.  Right outside the hotel we were staying at there were several of them with holes burrowed in to the sides.  We inuired with the staff as to what caused these large holes.  Apparently the local bird residents peck at the cactus until they make room to make their nests.  Talk about the amazing innovation of animals!

Well the quiet time in the desert brought back the memories of a DISC personality assessment I did once for my job.  It noted that I loved aesthetic things.  This really made me stop for a moment.  I have no interest in modern art or the “finer things in life”. i love old houses and things…the rustier the better.  How in the world could this be referring to me?  Standing in the middle of Saguaro National Park I understood.  It isn’t the artificial beauty that I revere… it is the wonder that is found naturally in life.  It is the mountains, the myriad of stones that had all been deposited millions of years ago on the desert floor, and the amazing innovation of cactus bird nests.  Isn’t life amazing?