Tucson desert rat, raconteur, and great gentleman Julian D. Hayden died in the spring of 1998, having spent much of his 89 years searching out the mysteries of the Sonoran Desert and writing about them in obscure archaeological and ethnographic publications (which, it probably goes without saying, never reached the wide audience he deserved). He'd been working for years on a lovely little masterpiece on his favorite haunt: northwestern Mexico's forbidding, volcanic Sierra Pinacate. The Sierra Pinacate
a book released this year by the University of Arizona Press, is accompanied by photographs by Jack Dykinga and essays by Charles Bowden and Bernard Fontana. Hayden's wise and eloquent memoir is a fitting testimonial to a homegrown original -- a man whose like is all too rare, and who was one of our city's unsung heroes.