Mark Christensen Booksigning
7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23
311 E. Congress St.
To Ken Kesey, tripping on acid was more than a recreational activity; it was the apparatus that launched his life's philosophy—a philosophy that inspired an entire counterculture in the 1960s.
In Mark Christensen's new book, Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD and the Politics of Ecstasy, readers are taken back to this freethinking era through an account of first-hand experiences by the author and an in-depth view into the life of Kesey through interviews with people closest to him, including fellow Merry Prankster Paul Krassner.
"It's a biography of Kesey as well as a personal memoir interspersed," said Tim Schaffner of Schaffner Press, which published the book. "A lot of Christensen's life was somewhat parallel to Kesey's. He followed a similar kind of trajectory, and Kesey was a major influence on his life—both personally and as a journalist."
Christensen's extensive research, interviews and personal accounts have resulted in a book that he hopes will not only highlight the sociopolitical contributions that Kesey made to his generation and those following, but will also clear some of the misconceptions that plagued him.
Christensen's book has already met positive reviews from multiple publications and acclaimed authors such as Chuck Palahniuk.
"It's written in a very energetic, flowing narrative, very descriptive, a lot of humor," said Schaffer. " It's stylistically a very exciting book to read."
Christensen will be at Club Congress for the booksigning, a reading and open Q&A followed by a performance by the Woolly Bandits, which includes members of the Seeds, a garage-rock band from the '60s. Admission to the booksigning is free.—E.A.
Haunted Zombie Car Wash
7 to 10 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26 to Saturday, Oct. 30
Metro Car Wash
5150 E. Speedway Blvd.
Experience the sights and screams of a haunted house right from your own car and receive an express exterior car wash while trying to avoid being attacked by zombies!
Metro Car Wash is putting on its first-ever Haunted Zombie Car Wash to raise money for the new Metro Car Wash Harkin Scholarship.
The scholarship, which aims to provide at least one Tucson graduating high school student with the funding for at least one full year of tuition at Pima Community College, was founded in 2010 by Metro Car Wash and Jeremy Harkin, a Tucson High School English teacher.
"We had the idea for the haunted car wash about eight or nine years," said Sean Storer, Metro Car Wash owner. "Every time we wanted to put a haunted house in our tunnel, but the idea never came together. When we started working on the scholarship, we knew this would be the time to get the idea rolling."
The Metro Car Wash Harkin Scholarship aims to support the dreams and aspirations of college-able students who do not have the means to pay for college tuition. "It aims more at a student with the ability and work ethic appropriate for higher education who really deserves a shot at a college education," said Storer.
"As your car rides along the conveyer inside the tunnel, it is like an interactive ride," said Storer. "While your car is being washed, it is like you are watching different scenes from a zombie movie."
All proceeds go toward the scholarship fund.
Pre-sale tickets are available for $10 at both Metro Car Wash locations leading up to the night of the event. Event nights, tickets are $10 per car (Speedway Boulevard location). To find out more information about the scholarship, or apply for it, visit www.metroscholarship.com—K.M.
Annual Celebration of the Cowboy
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23
Empire Ranch Historic Site
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area
Roundup time is coming! The annual Celebration of the Cowboy Roundup and Open House at the Historic Empire Ranch is taking place this Saturday.
The public event, which is also the anniversary of the founding of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, celebrates Arizona's Western history and culture. In addition, the event showcases the Bureau of Land Management and Empire Ranch Foundation's efforts to preserve the Empire Ranch for future generations to enjoy.
It is the 10th anniversary of the founding of Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and the roundup, which was started to thank the people who had interest in the Empire Ranch effort. According to Christine Auerbach, administrator of the Empire Ranch Foundation, the event started out very small, but has since grown to almost 2,500 people. "It gives the community a chance to see what a working ranch is really like," Auerbach added.
When the ranch started in 1876, it had little more than a mud-and-adobe home. It now features active ranching of 950 cattle and a 22-room house filled with history.
The roundup and open house includes Western music, cowboy exhibitions, storytellers, food and auctions.
"These are people are not professional presenters—they are cowboys and cowgirls, and this is what they do for a living. This is a time for locals and city folks to come and see what these individuals are all about," said Auerbach. "We really want people to come out and enjoy themselves, and in the end we hope people will join our effort. This event is really a 'friendraiser' more than a fundraiser," Auerbach added.
Free admission. A $10 parking donation per vehicle is requested, which includes a wagon ride, raffle ticket and program.—K.M.
Fundraiser for Christina Robinson and Leo Mirocha
2 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24
100 S. Avenida del Convento
Former Tucson Weekly contributor Paul Mirocha and his wife, Christina Robinson, shared their first tango before they even knew each other's names. It blossomed into a marriage and the birth of their son, Leo. (Paul's daughter, Anna, is a current Weekly contributor.)
Last May, after giving birth to Leo, Christina, a multicultural English literature teacher at a charter high school for underprivileged barrio kids in Tucson, suffered an unexplained stroke that rendered the left side of her body paralyzed.
"She'll probably never be able to flamenco dance again," Paul said. "But we're hoping she'll be able to tango again. It's a partner dance so it's more possible."
Paul said that Christina's determination to recover, paired with a variety of physical therapies, has given hope to the couple that one day she will be able to return to a normal life—to dance again and hold her son.
"She's a very strong person; she's not someone who's going to give up," Paul said.
In celebration of their shared passion for Spanish music, dance and food, and to help raise money for the high costs of Christina's treatments, Paul has helped organize a fund-raising event with a large lineup of entertainment, including performers Combo Combo, Leila Lopez, Púca and Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo.
"We ended up with a great variety of performers," Paul said. "It turned out to be kind of a dream that I had—having a big party with all sorts of music and dance."
General admission is $35, which includes a variety of Spanish tapas and all performances. $60 tickets are also available and include a three-course sit-down dinner. There will also be a free dance lesson from 7 to 9 p.m.—E.A.