Superior, Arizona looks like a movie set from the 1950s. It’s perfect for a science fiction movie in which something terrible has happened! An atomic bomb just went off! Or Godzilla just thumped through town.
Hey, lizard, lizard, lizard.
There’s a town here and all the people have vanished! Nobody’s home!
Nothing ever dies on the desert, not even towns like Superior, Arizona, which is only a half-ghost town. Although parts of Superior are still going, most is boarded up and empty.
Superior, Arizona dates back 120 years to the opening of the Magna Copper Mine. It closed in 1994 but you can still see it if you stand on a certain hill.
Today the old Magna Copper Hotel is boarded up and propped up by big concrete blocks, like an old man with two walking sticks.
Shop after shop is for sale. Some have a 50s vibe.
Some are from an earlier time..
Some are later.
But they’re all on the same chopping block.
The town got some governmental money for renewal and you can see the spots where it helped. The young people in town painted a mural that shows they love the place.
It is nice to think Superior will come back someday, but meanwhile, it’s like desert plants that can look dead for months and yet they are really alive. What Superior needs is some sugar-daddy movie star to buy it, the way Kim Bassinger once bought an entire town in Georgia. It’s such a nice town! Everybody’s so sweet there! Don’t let it fade away!
Hey, movie star, movie star, movie star.
Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · AZ · Jane St. Clair · Superior · Tucson
Our Lady of Guadalupe is everywhere in the Southwest.
I have even seen her image over a bar next to a velvet Elvis painting.
She is of course in chapels
but people also name schools and businesses after her.
I have seen Our Lady of Guadalupe earrings, bumper stickers, baseball caps, throw blankets and tote bags
mouse pads, spaghetti strap tee shirts, ipad cases, cups, garden statues,
murals, clocks, coasters, magnets,
Those who say it is wrong to do that — don’t understand it. We keep images of Our Lady of Guadalupe near us all the time the way you hang up pictures of people you love around your house.
Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared to St. Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. When he opened his tilma, roses spilled out of it even though it was winter! Her beautiful image remains on the tilma today. Scientists have analyzed the tilma with carbon dating and such, but it’s not a scientific thing. People believe God the Father made the image the way God is doing in this painting:
Our Lady of Guadalupe has the titles of Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas and yet she is so very young – maybe just 15 years old. Instead of a halo, she has aura of light surrounding her whole body .. an aura like the golden aura of rays around a happy Southwest sun.
She did not come as an Anglo mother –the way the Europeans paint her, but as a beautiful Aztec princess who speaks the Aztec language.
If she were music, I don’t think her song would be Ave Maria. It would be happier lighter music full of light because she is the one who brings the hope of the world. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Gracias! Te amamos!
Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley · Our Lady of Guadalupe · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism
It snowed this day, and Arizona desert snow is rare.
I have forgotten the sound of snow because even rain is rare in the desert. I remember that rain makes little plip plop sounds like the trotting of little fairy horses. But snow is rarer than rain
and I have forgotten how quiet it sounds when it falls. I have forgotten how snowflakes fall in white ballerina dresses, small dancers alighting on the spines of cactus, and twirling with blades of grass as their partners.
I have forgotten how snow makes outlines, the way children outline the edges of their drawings, and how snow makes outlines so that everything stands out in a black/white panorama.
I forgot how snow makes trees as proud as if they were wearing their fall splendors,
and I forgot how snow settles into spaces I ordinarily overlook,
and I have forgotten how snow transforms the mountains into some icy moonscape that belongs in a galaxy far, far away.
But just as quickly as it falls,
desert snow melts away.
It is a rare desert moment that faded too fast.
I remember snow.
Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
The other day I found out that Europeans are crazy about tumbleweeds from Arizona. They’ll pay $25 for a small one and $50 for a big one — as long as they are genuine Arizona tumbleweeds.
So -today at the Tucson Mall when I saw a great big humongous tumbleweed nestled next to a potted plant in front of Sears and about to roll into the parking lot, it was just like finding $50 cash! I couldn’t let it go tumbling to waste!
At a great risk to myself and my reputation (people were staring after all) (in fact, one woman looked like she was phoning Mall Security), I tried to stuff this tumbleweed in my back seat. I got covered in nasty little prickles that are probably poisonous, and finally gave up and stuffed it in the trunk. My dog is mad at me because he was sitting in the back seat and now he is covered in tumbleweed stickers too. That’s the sacrifice we are making to bring YOU genuine Tumbleweed that was genuinely tumbling in Arizona! So here it is! For Sale! $50 cheap! Free shipping!
I will throw in this beautiful picture of your tumbleweed in its natural Arizona habitat! For Free! Now you won’t get this deal on eBay.
I have since learned that people in Japan are crazy for jeans worn by cowboys out West. Well, we Arizonans love cowboy jeans too! –in fact, my best friend has a bumper sticker that says “Cowboy butts drive me nuts” which pretty well sums it all up. Arizona Cowboys wear nothing but Wranglers, available at Walmart’s everywhere. Nevertheless, I am offering these jeans for sale -because they were used out west — in Arizona!
These Wranglers are the same price they are in Japan — $500 a pair! These are rare Arizona jeans, folks! Genuine Wranglers worn out West! Go for it!
Another inspiration came to me! Last year I bought this genuine Native American turquoise necklace from an eBay seller in China. Although I paid only $3 for it from China, I am offering it for sale here at $1300 because it is a genuine turquoise necklace worn in Arizona! Well, it’s turquoise-colored anyway.
(Disclaimer: The beads may be made of wood)
I am also selling genuine Mexican tortillas! Tortillas may go for eight for a dollar, but since these were made here in Arizona and are usually eaten by cowboys, I am selling them at the fantastic price of $20 a package.
I am now totally inspired! Let’s see if I can get my genuine Arizona pick-up truck that is sitting on blocks in the yard right now and hasn’t cranked up for years — well, let’s just see if I can get that baby started up.
Remember: for all your Arizona needs, you come right here, pardner — right here at TUMBLEWEEDS-R-US!
Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · Humor · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
September 21st, 2012 · No Comments
Tucson, Arizona … The other day I was in Tucson’s iconic Bookman’s bookstore (where they discount Walk Me to Midnight WAY too much) and I saw a poster from the National Lizard League. It was called “How to Resuscitate a Lizard.
As a public service, especially for those of us here in Arizona, I pass this vital lizard information on to you, even though it is all over the Internet.
Lizards in Arizona don’t do much except stand around and sun themselves, and they do their little push-ups all day long.
However, occasionally lizards get energetic and fall into swimming pools.
When this happens, and it will definitely happen to you, you will need to resuscitate your lizard-friend. First, put on your SCUBA outfit, dive heroically into the pool, and pull him out. Then hold him by the tail and shake him until all the water comes out of his little mouth.
If your lizard is still not breathing, you will need to do chest CPR or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Place the poor little thing on his little lizard back, and stick your fingers on either side of his ribcage, and press gently with your fingers until more water spurts out of his mouth and he is breathing again.
If your lizard friend is still comatose, you will need to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Yes –you do too need to do this, and you will do it because it’s the kiss of life, and after all, this is a fellow creature.
With a little luck, your lizard will turn into a handsome prince and POUF! ….
…. You’ll be set for life.
More likely your lizard friend will wake up terrified of you and jump back into the pool. In this worst-case scenario, you have to repeat all the above steps one more time or into infinity, as lizards never learn their lessons.
Lizard Power in 2012 and forever!
Tags: Arizona · Humor · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
Tonight there is a blue moon, as in once-in-a-blue-moon moon and blue-moon-you-saw-me-standing-alone moon. I want to get a picture of it over Pusch Ridge, my mountain in Tucson, Arizona. It is clearly very blue…
… but only if I use a blue filter, and I decide that’s cheating.
Here it is without the filter, you can see some blue anyway.
I snap many more pictures and they all turn out with a white moon on top and a blue moon on bottom.
I mess around on Google to figure out some scientific reason why I am getting two moons until I decide I don’t care why.
I really like the pictures and I really like the news headline “Blue Moon Shines Throughout the World.” That’s just such a nice thought.
Okay, one more blue-moon picture and then it’s …..
Good night moon.
Tags: Arizona · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
Artists paint pictures of Southwest doors because they are unlike doorways anywhere else.
The sun is so strong out West that buildings look two-dimensional. As if they were made out of paper. You open them up and you walk into nowhere in particular or just into nowhere.
Southwest doors are strange and look as if they lead into simple space.
Southwest doors must be passages to something wonderful and interesting. Open them and where do you go? You could go this way, or you could go that way or you could just find yourself somewhere strange.
Southwest doors can be powerful and mystical and from somewhere very old and long ago.
Southwest doors can have wild colors so you notice them.
Or they can be hiding so that you discover them unexpectedly.
Even the ones that are for business ….
Even the doors that are for business are magic in the West.
Christopher Morley said if we did not have doors everything would be a hallway.
He said the meaning of a door is to hide what lies inside and to keep the heart in suspense.
“The opening of a door may bring relief: it changes and redistributes human forces. But the closing of doors is far more terrible. It is a confession of finality,” Mr. Morley said.
But I say …
I say … one two three … Open Sesame.
Tags: Arizona · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events · Uncategorized
Here in Tucson, Arizona, when it’s a frosty 110 degrees outside with no relief in sight, some of us from back East do the California dreaming thing and wish we’d kept driving further west. Hot and desperate, we visit the International Wildlife Museum, which could be called the International Dead Life Museum. It is a devotion to the exploits of safari hunters and a tribute to the art of taxidermy.
The outside looks like a castle with a moat. And it has big statues of lions and tigers and elks! It’s in bad taste but hip at the same time, like Lady Gaga.
Inside it’s truly an educational experience in that you get to learn just how dead animals get stuffed in a step-by-step process. The air conditioning is great!
Where else can you see the bones of a rattlesnake? Or an alligator?
Or an entire roomful of dead moths and butterflies?
Where else can you see a room that contains the bodies of every variety of deer in the world (even little bitty Dik Diks)?
And a huge rock with all kinds of sheep on it! Wow! Impressive!
And it’s cool inside!
The International Wildlife Museum has dioramas of animals living everywhere
from the Arctic …
to Africa …
I grew fond of this fellow:
And the dude with the big grin:
The thing is the stuffed animals have eyes that seem to follow your every movement. Here’s looking at you, kid.
Enough already, you’re giving me the creeps.
Great White Hunters like Teddy Roosevelt are not politically correct anymore. Whatever.
The International Wildlife Museum in Tucson is an interesting Sunday-afternoon-place when you can’t stand another moment at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
And did I mention —- it’s cool inside??
Tags: Arizona · International Wildlife Museum · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
St Francis Canticle of the Sun in Arizona
Someone once said that there are only two Christians: Jesus Christ and his follower St. Francis of Assisi. We love St. Francis because he was radical in his faith, but also because he was a lover … of animals … of the earth … and God. He felt kindred to everything in nature and he spoke about Brother Sun and Sister Moon and Brothers Wind and Air and Sister Water. Here is his Canticle of the Sun, set in Arizona where Brother Sun shines all the time.
The Canticle of the Sun
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun who brings the day; and you give light through him – And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms,
and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you;
Happy are those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned. Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve Him with great humility.
The above is a picture of the earth from outer space. I’m positively sure that he would have liked it. For you, Brother Francis.
Tags: Arizona · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events
Here at the old Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee - the staff is troubled by strange noises in the night and dread feelings when they go in the basement or up on the fourth floor ….They’re seeing spooks, specters, and ghosts all the time…
Who you gonna call for all your paranormal elimination needs?
Ghostbusters of the Copper Queen Hotel!
Luckily, on Thursday nights, you too can become a professional ghostbuster and spend the entire night using the hotel’s thermometers, drowsing rods, Electro-Magnetic Field detectors, K2 Meters, and pendulums to detect paranormal activity.
Sixteen ghosts and counting are living there.
The interior of the hotel is always spooky, but especially at two in the morning when the ghosts are walking around.
It doesn’t help that the hotel’s designers, like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, decorate with antlers.
While the entire hotel has a history of psychic turbulence, most of the ghosts are up on the Fourth Floor down this spooky corridor.
Billy the Ghost was a little boy whose mom worked at the hotel,
and one day he drowned in the San Pedro. He’s still afraid of water -
especially the showers and pool in the hotel. Billy steals candy and
jewelry, and he tickles the feet of kids while they are eating dinner.
Uh oh! We’re getting a hot reading in the Theodore Roosevelt Room of a focused non-terminal repeating phantasm or a Class Five Roaming Vapor.
We’re pretty sure it’s the ghost of the Old Man with the Cigar because we can smell his nasty tobacco smoke. The thermometer is jumping around as he appears near the bathroom door there …
Our EMF detector is going nuts as the door slowly opens… and here comes a shadowy figure of a man in a cape and top hat. Errr– uh …. Hi. there.
It’s the bewitching hour and time to tackle the ghost of Julia Lowell. She worked at the hotel in the evenings, and her job was to take care of the male guests. Nowadays she goes to the beds of male guests, pulls off their blankets and does a little shimmy for them.
At the end of a terrible love affair with a married man, Julia walked up these stairs on the fourth floor and hanged herself.
This was the last thing she saw that night and it’s scarey, scarey to see.
Many have seen sad Julia walking up these stairs at night, and she smells of old lady perfume like lavender and roses.
It’s very very late and we’re freaking out, but the hotel staff understands and serves us ghostbusters soothing milk and cookies. Nice touch. It calms us down. The sun is coming up and everything is oh-what-a-beautiful morning.
New guests are checking in downstairs, and we must warn them about the fourth floor and the Lady in Black and that Billy will take your jewelry…
“So you think ghosts really exist?“ they ask. “You cowboys believe in UFOs, astral projection? Nessie, Big Foot, mental telepathy, ESP, the theory of Atlantis — or in general— you believe in spooks, specters, wraiths, geists and ghosts?”
Errrr, uh … well. We back off, not wanting to look weird.
Just don’t check into the 4th floor, pardner.
Tags: Bisbee · Jane St. Clair · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events