A Fresh Breath of Tucson

Share in the lesser-known pleasures of our little pueblo.

What is Major Carter's Harley? It's what you would do if you had an unexpected day off. Worry free. Or it's about what life could be if we gave it a little more of our time and attention. The Italians have the notion nailed: richness.

Enriching lives in the Old Pueblo is especially important now, in late April, as we are sucked irrevocably into summer--the interminably long, quiet summer while we watch our nation fight evil by resembling it. It's a perfect time to force all those reasons for wanting to live in the Sonoran Desert to the surface.

Here, approximately monthly, you will not find reviews of programs at Centennial Hall or exhibits at the Tucson Museum of Art. You won't find many of the things already listed in the Tucson Convention and Visitors' Bureau guides, because those things don't really need me to talk about them; they have advertising budgets. Here, hopefully, you will find news of the unexpected, unnoticed and under-appreciated.

This is a community venture. If you feel that readers of the Tucson Weekly's Arts section absolutely must know about the new lamp fixtures at Tucson Auto Mall, sell me. Make me believe it needs to be written about. E-mail me at majorcartersharley@hotmail.com. I can be persuaded.

Send tips about extraordinary gift shops such as the Native Seeds/S.E.A.R.C.H. shop on Fourth Avenue, where I just spent an hour shaking gourd rattles and patting fat little seed sacks. Or tell me about worthwhile cultural events, like the doings at Raices Taller 222 this Saturday. This is the kind of place you'll find people like Dolores Huerta (co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the AFL/CIO United Farmworkers Union) hanging out, passin' time on her way to give a reading in Cuba. On Saturday, you can hear previous ACA fellowship recipient Sylviana Wood and local political and arts activist Molly McKasson performing various feats of spoken word at a closing reception for Explorations in Black and White. A friend told me about this event saying, "I don't know why more people don't know about it!"

One of my own little secret pleasures of living in this Sonoran Desert city is cupping my hands around greasewood, breathing on the leaves and inhaling the fragrance. The moisture in your breath unlocks the scent, and it suddenly smells like monsoon season. Don't inhale any particles, if you can help it.

So, what haven't you noticed lately? Tucson's full of those things. What would you do, given the gift of an unexpected day off? People should know about these things. Send me a line.

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