With Veterans Day on the horizon, this week we're running an excerpt from Kill the Gringo: The Life of Jack Hood Vaughn, a fascinating biography of a man who was a Marine, a boxer, the second leader of the Peace Corps, an ambassador to Panama and Colombia, and a whole bunch more. His biography, assembled from his own journals along with a whole bunch of interviews and research by his daughter, Jane Constantineau, was published earlier this year. It's a terrific read about some turbulent times (and the crazy situations Vaughn found himself in). I encourage you to pick it up, if only for the anecdote about the time, at age 67, that he landed enough punches to leave a mugger down in the gutter on the mean streets of New York City.
Big thanks to the vets out there. I have two Army veterans I'd like to thank this year: My father, Lloyd Nintzel, who served in WWII, and my stepfather, Robert Tilton, whose transfer from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Fort Huachuca brought me to Arizona when I was in the third grade. I was lucky. They both had a lot of love for me, and I owe them thanks for all they taught me.
And while it might seem premature, we're also kicking off our 2017 holiday celebration this issue with a shopping guide to some great local shops, as curated by UA School of Journalism interns Leah Gilchrist and Tirion Morris, as well as TW staff reporter Danyelle Khmara and Tucson Local Media managing editor Logan Burtch-Buus. As convenient as Amazon Prime is, I'm gonna try to do my holiday shopping locally this year. Speaking of which: Local First Arizona is gonna have a big ol' Super Shop Local Saturday party on Fourth Avenue on Thanksgiving weekend, so get on down there and show the charming downtown merchants some love, why don't you?
We've also got a guide to all sorts of fun you can have this holiday season, assembled by our own Emily Dieckman. And that brings us to a big of sad news for us here at the Weekly offices: This is Emily's last issue as our full-time feature writer. She's following her bliss—or at least a better benefit package—to the UA College of Engineering. Emily has been a delight in the few months she's been with us, penning engaging features alongside our City Week calendar, the new Reel Indie movie column and our food news. I'm happy to report that she has agreed to continue writing City Week for us along with whatever else she can squeeze in, so you haven't seen the last of her. And if you haven't been reading Emily's City Week calendar, you're missing out on a laugh-out-loud guide to all the fun this city has to offer.
Elsewhere this week: Danyelle Khmara tells you how you can sign up for health insurance, despite the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder; Tom Danehy has a new collection of questions he'd like answered; Eric Swedlund explains why Deer Tick is two bands in one—and why you should see their show at downtown's Rialto Theatre this week; Reel Indie reminds you that the Loft Film Fest is underway, so go see some groundbreaking cinema; Bob Grimm worships Thor: Ragnarok; Mark Whittaker finds tender smoked barbecue in a southside RV park; Matt Russell introduces you to some cocktails that capture the taste of Tucson; the expanding Nightcrawler gang highlight the best rock shows of the week; Linda Ray has the details on Creative Tucson's upcoming live comedy show; Rocky Baier explains why downtown's Jewish History Museum is highlighting LGBTQIA+ victims of persecution; and there's a whole bunch more. Enjoy!
— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor