Sometimes it's difficult to remember our past. This issue of the Tucson Weekly is a fine example of that, from Brian Smith's cover story on the rise and fall of Tucson band Gentlemen Afterdark to Margaret Regan's story on Tucson: Growth, Change and Memories, a UA Libraries Special Collection exhibit of our city's lowest points with the sanctioned destruction of Barrio Libre to make room for government buildings and a convention center.
Read Regan's review, and please, please, go see this exhibit deftly curated with love by Bob Diaz. While we ran Smith's story as our cover because this weekend is HOCO Fest and Club Congress' 30th anniversary, it also happens to be a brilliantly written account of what happens in the music business. I also happen to think it's wonderful that Smith went on to craft a writing career in the alternative newsweekly universe and has a book of short stories out soon.
People from broken and beat up Tucson bands that were the soundtrack to our '80s youth, well they heal and move on (most of the time), and people once from the ruins of the destroyed barrio do the same—cheers to Diaz for telling this important story that relates his family, mine and many others. So, if not for that healing part, this issue is full of heartache and sometimes it is difficult to see current situations we find ourselves and wonder why, as a city and community, we don't always learn the lessons history provides.
The Sun Tran strike could be the latest example, as the City Council figures out how it can get this strike to end and perhaps figure out the wisdom behind an operating agreement with a French company. Maria Ines Taracena has done a great job keeping us updated on the negotiations on our blog, The Range. So lick those wounds and keep history in mind. Regan suggests going to the panel discussion, Growing Up in Tucson, Thursday, Sept. 17, 6 to 8 p.m. at the UA Libraries Special Collections. Panelists include Lydia Otero, UA professor of Mexican American studies and author of La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City; former city Councilwoman Molly McKasson; Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias; and business owner Katya Peterson.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org