When in Tucson, if you’ve been to Toro Loco and you understand – burrito, taco, ensalada, frijole, caldo, arroz, and huevo, then you can eat burrito, taco, salad, beans, soup, rice, or eggs.
This place still has a very Mexican presence and it’s had names like “chuk shon” (1698) as an Indian village, “San Cosme del Tucson” (for 70 years as a mission, “San Jose” ( as a Spanish settlement, then “San Agustin del Tucson.” As it all shook out, the hard “C” in Tucson was dropped and all that remains today is Tucson, with a San Agustin cathedral downtown.
As far back a 760 B.C., Native Americans farmed corn, smoked tobacco and hunted here. There has been Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and American transition here to evolve into this world class retirement village we call Arizona.
The theme today is golf, hike, bird-watching, tennis, etc., far more than hunting and gathering. Today’s world has A/C, highways, irrigation, and electronics to “civilize” Arizona (for better or worse). After the 1854 Gadsden Purchase, Tucson served as capital of the Arizona Territory. In 1862, it flew the Confederate flag, until the war’s westernmost battle changed that. The railroad arrived in 1880 and Geronimo surrendered in 1886. In 1912, Arizona becomes the 48th state, in 2002 the Buckeyes win The National Championship in Tempe, Arizona and that’s pretty much Arizona history in a nutshell.
Tucson has the “Second City” status now, due to the huge growth of Phoenix, where corporations, retirees, Major League sports, highways, residences and money have gathered.
“Tucsonians” will tell you the real heart and soul is right here. Their take on Phoenicians would be “no appreciation of the desert and an affinity for smog, politicians, asphalt, and Bermuda grass.” Tusconians look upon Phoenicians as slick, pretentious, and shallow. The state line may as well be somewhere between. It’s sort of like “that team up North” thinking or maybe The Mason-Dixon Line.
When to visit? The temps are triple digit in June, July, August and they’re 90 degrees plus in April, May, September, and October. In January, February, March November and December, you will probably see a high of 75 -85 degrees and a low of 45 – 65 degrees. We visit here in February or March each year – lots of sun bloom and birds.
Famous people like Bob Dole, Linda Ronstadt, Gary Shandling, Geraldo Rivera (aka Jerry Rivers), John Denver, Barbara Eden, Don Knotts, Linda McCartney, and Valerie Perrine have called Tucson home.
Now, about 50,000 people move to the Greater Tucson Area (Pima County) each year, giving it a metro population of over one million. Tucson is about 196 sq. mi. and 600,000 people. The Anglo population here still outnumbers the Spanish population. Asian and African-American populations here are very small. My daughter, Amy and her family live in Oro Valley, a little town north of Tucson. It’s in a valley at 2000 feet above sea level, with 4 mountain ranges surrounding it at 8000 feet above sea level. This is a nice little oasis in the dessert, with snow and pines within sight and a one hour drive.
The space, beauty, and weather are all in your comfort zone here. Call Southwest Airlines at 1-800-435-9792.
Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.