Nothing makes my heart go pitter-patter quite like the low, ferocious growl from the engine of a fully restored 1969 Ford Mustang GT.
Classic car lovers can relive the automotive golden age of the '40s, '50s and '60s this weekend at the "Hot Rods at Hangar 4" car show at the Pima Air and Space Museum. Sixty street rods and hot rods from the Arizona Street Machines Car Club will be shown at the largest hangar of the museum.
The museum will give five awards for the best show cars, and the drivers of each car will be available to answer any questions about their cars, says Brian Ewenson, director of education and programs at the museum. Ten other awards will be given out by the car club, and visitors will help vote on the winning cars.
The AZ Street Machines Car Club, started in July 2005, includes members with all types of classic cars and trucks, at different points in the restoration process. This will be the first show the car club has hosted at the Pima Air and Space Museum, Ewenson says.
It's a good chance for the mechanically inclined to come out and see both the airplanes and the cars. From Chevy Camaros to Ford Mustangs, all different types of classic cars, street rods and hot rods will be housed between a B-29 and a C-47, Ewenson says.
A hot dog and hamburger stand will be set up. The car show is free with paid admission to the museum. The summer admission prices to the museum are $9.75 for adults; $8.75 for seniors, groups and military; $6 for children ages 7 through 12; and free for children 6 and younger. --J.K.
I kill plants.
Not intentionally, of course, but it just seems to happen. I'll finally remember to water them one day and find them in pathetic brown heaps.
But plants from the Eighth Annual Weird Plant Sale at the Tucson Botanical Gardens might be right up my alley. These oddities of the plant world are perfectly suited for the dry Tucson heat, and they make great conversation pieces, too.
Take, for instance, the Stapelia gignatea, a plant that, when in bloom, emits the lovely odor of rotting flesh. The pungent smell and hairy brownish-red flowers attract flies, the plant's primary pollinator. It's a popular buy at the plant sale, says Tana Jones, director of communications for the gardens.
Or, if your thumb is more black than green, you might try out an adenium plant, which doesn't need to be watered five months out of the year, Jones says. It is a little frost-sensitive though, so be sure to bring it indoors before you ignore it all winter long.
Unusual plants such as these help to promote the gardens' mission of "responsible desert landscaping," Jones says.
Most of the plants deviate from the root, stem, leaf or flower norm, Jones says, and the deviations are all because of natural adaptations to arid environments.
More than 20 vendors will be there selling these bizarre plants, and a percentage of the profits will go toward maintaining the gardens, as well as the children's programs and educational programs, Jones says.
Admission is free, and for members of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, a special members-only presale will be held on Friday, June 9, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you're looking to check out more normal foliage, admission to tour the gardens is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children 6 though 12 and free for children 5 and younger. --J.K.
The Tucson Theatre Ensemble, a community group that strives to bring plays to those who aren't able to come out to the theater and see them, is closing out their third season with a comedy by Neil Simon.
Simon, who has The Odd Couple, California Suite, Lost in Yonkers and I Ought to Be in Pictures in his repertoire, explores the pitfalls and follies of marriage in Plaza Suite, a 1971 play about three different couples who have checked into the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Intertwining tales of love, lust and the sometimes flexible rules of marriage should keep the audience laughing.
Emil Lamanda, who will be directing the Plaza Suite performances, says that the couples bring along all sorts of luggage to the hotel, both physical and otherwise. The play even includes a wedding scene where the bride has locked herself in the bathroom while all the guests are listening to her mother scream, "I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!" Lamanda says.
The ensemble has been performing at the Cabaret Theatre at the Temple of Music and Art for the last two years, when they're not working on their outreach programs at senior communities in the Tucson area, Lamanda says.
The ensemble has performed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tartuffe, Dial M for Murder and their most recent endeavor, Deathtrap, Lamanda says. This performance has some adult themes, but Lamanda says it would be rated PG-13.
Tickets are $15 for both evening shows and matinees, and a group rate of $12 is available for parties of 10 or more. On Friday, June 9, a discounted student rate of $10 will be available to high school and college students with identification. --J.K.
What's more fun than pirates, splash zones and the ocean? Dressing up like a pirate, getting soaked in the splash zone and learning about ocean environments at the Tucson Children's Museum, of course!
In celebration of World Ocean Day on June 8--an annual observance created in 1992 at the United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to highlight global ocean awareness, education and action--the museum will be hosting its second annual "A Day at the Beach" with the Sonoran Sea Aquarium.
The SSA, which is not built yet, is a work in progress concentrating on the conservation and preservation of Arizona's rivers and the Gulf of California.
The event, during which admission will be free, is appropriate for children 3 through 12 years old, says Lynda Schuler, director of development at the museum, but anyone who wants to learn about the ocean and have fun will enjoy it.
"There will be lots of activities involving water play and educational activities about the Sea of Cortez, but primarily, it will be fun," Schuler says.
Children will be able to make clay dolphins and "shark art"--art made with foam shark-shaped cutouts--while beachcombing for shells, watching scuba-diving demonstrations and playing on the 16-foot pirate ship. Pirates will be greeting visitors at the museum entrance.
Most of the activities will be outdoors in the museum's courtyard, so be sure to wear your swimsuit and bring a towel, a change of clothes, a camera and lots of sunscreen, Schuler says. It will be a fun and interactive event for Tucson's hot summer, she says.
All children must be accompanied by and supervised by an adult. Regular admission to the museum is $3.50 for children 2 through 16, $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors.
So, go cool off in the splash zone and learn about ocean life in the Sea of Cortez. --J.K.