In honor of the gem shows that are lighting up Tucson, we're bringing you the story of Ron Ratkevich, the proprietor of the Tucson Mineral & Gem World, a one-of-a-kind curiosity shop on Tucson's west side. Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith introduces you to Ratkevich, a local paleontologist who has spent a fascinating career collecting all manner of strange ephemera from across the world, and now sits next to a pharaoh when he watches TV. You're gonna love it.
In our Currents section, Danyelle Khmara has a bizarre story about the mysterious Honeybee Hucksters, a group of mountain bikers so upset about new routes accessing the Honeybee Canyon trail system that they are literally tearing newly planted cactus out of the ground so they can maintain their old trails. You really don't want to miss this whole strange tale.
In other news, I'm sorry to say that music writer Brett Callwood's story on violinist and singer/songwriter Gaelynn Lea will be his final contribution to our pages for the immediate future, as he's taken the job of music editor at the L.A. Weekly. We wish all the success in his new gig but we'll miss his words.
Elsewhere in the book: I talk with Republican Frank Riggs, who is running for Superintendent of Public Instruction this year; Christopher Boan catches up with Daniel Contreras, the owner of El Guero Canelo, the legendary Sonoran Dog eatery that won a James Beard award last week; Margaret Regan says the Tucson Museum of Art's Dress Matters show is fine fit; Bob Grimm unspools his thoughts on Phantom Thread; Xavier Omar Otero guides you through the upcoming week in music in XOXO...; and Nick Meyers wonders if the federal law preventing the U.S. Justice Department from cracking down on weed dispensaries will soon go up in smoke. There's also the usual guide to fun in our City Week, Reel Indie, Quick Bites and Nightcrawler sections.
See you at the Calexico show at Zia this Saturday!
— Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor