ANOTHER TED: If ever there was a creative paradox, Ted
DeGrazia filled the bill. As an artist, he shamelessly peddled
his most mundane work in every cheesy motel gift shop on the planet.
Subsequently, his legacy lives in trailer parks from here to Hoboken.
But Ted DeGrazia was also a creative spirit of great talent, and an ornery, delightfully crusty desert rat. He was tight with the indigenous folks of this region. He spent much of his life in crumbling, adobe shacks; and he once torched a stack of paintings to protest the insatiable IRS.
Not exactly the image of your garden-variety marketeer.
And he made movies. That's right, movies. Though never to be mistaken for a Capra or Ford, DeGrazia wrote, directed and often starred in movies that today provide a delicious glimpse into Arizona's past.
The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun reveals this little-known side of the man with screenings of his 16 mm short films on the hour between noon and 3 p.m. Sundays, continuing through July 26. The presentation on Sunday, July 12, is titled From DeGrazia's First Movies to Television, and features "In the Beginning" (Bisbee, 1939); "Watch the World" (NBC, 1979), "Chiaroscuro" (KVOA, 1954), and clips from 1964 national and local Today shows.
Admission to the screenings and ongoing exhibits is free. Gallery in the Sun is located at 6300 N. Swan Road. Reservations are required. For details, call 299-9191.
NOCTURNAL RHAPSODY: Saguaro National Park East lights up summer evenings with Special Night Walks, ongoing through the summer months. You'll be able to observe a flurry of activity by small mammals in the hours just after sundown, when heat's grip is finally broken. Park naturalists will discuss and point out some of the critters' nighttime adaptations, and they'll also have an audible bat detector on hand to scan the skies. The free programs are held the second and fourth Fridays of each month, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. They're suitable for all ages, though small children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required. For registration, directions and other information, call 733-5151.
TRUE TREKKIE: At age 97, Harvey Butchart may be old, but he's certainly not forgotten. And he's not about to sit back and rest on his laurels. In fact, he's going to be out on Saturday, July 11, to sign copies of his new book, Grand Canyon Treks.
A retired Northern Arizona University math professor, Butchart knows of what he speaks: He's logged more than 40 years of hiking on some 12,000 miles of the inner canyon. His latest book compiles three earlier monographs--Grand Canyon Treks I, II and III--into a single volume rich with knowledge and personal anecdotes.
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