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Old 08-25-2008, 12:50 PM
 
36 posts, read 234,211 times
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Hi folks.

Tucson native here, would like to start a thread for those of us who have been here a while can post and talk about some of our favorite experiences in Tucson growing up in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

I personally grew up in the 70s here in Tucson in the area of 22nd and Alvernon right behind the DeAnza Drive In. I fondly remember as a kid sitting in a tree house my brothers and I built, watching movies and eating popcorn, the original owner of the drive in even let us wire up our own set of speakers right to the tree house, I remember sitting up there watching Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta and couldnt wait till I was old enough to go out and do the Disco duck thing myself. When that time did come I recall going to the old nightclub called Cowboys. Anyone else remember that? I also recall fondly as a child playing miniture golf at Goony golf on Alvernon, anyone remember that? Or hanging out at the old Cactus Bowling alley or Rollers skating rink and every summer walking to Hi Corbet field and watching the Cleveland Indians during spring training and even getting to be a bat boy and play catch with the great Bob Feller who was always in town during those days. After school we would go to a little store on 29th street called Easy Stop and play the arcade games.

Anyone else have any neat experiences to share about our Tucson long gone?

Also, I would like to clear up a big misconception people on here have about South Tucson. You can read all the crimes stats you want to but until you actually go down there and spend some time with the people who live there you really dont know what it is all about. I have been going to that area to visit friends and family for decades and some of the finest, warmest and most welcoming people I have ever known live in that area, sure there is a lot of problems like drugs and prostitution and gangs, but if youre down there minding your own business none of that will have any effect on you, there is a lot of old culture and tradition in South Tucson that people miss because they are seemingly afraid to visit the area and I think that is very sad because the people down there are wonderful hard working class folks who have always been good to me over the years and I have never once had any sort of problem going there to visit them or spend the day walking around the shops on south 6th or 4th avenue, my father used to work at the old Spanish Trail Motel and having grown up hanging out there, which is in the heart of South Tucson, I can tell you that you are missing a lot if you simply avoid this area out of fear or misconception.

I have my own handyman/masonry business and have done a lot of work in that area and sure, all sorts of shady people will wander by while im working trying to get some money out of me or something, but if you mind your business they do you no harm and go on their way, there is no way that I would ever let people like that rob me of the opportunity to spend time down there with those old South Tucson families that I have grown to love over the years, almostly monthly they have huge BBQs where entire neighborhoods gather and eat the best Mexican food you will ever have and listen to the best Marachi music you will ever hear. Dont let a few bad apples rob you of a such a wonderful little place full of rich culture, diviersity and tradition. I am as white as they come and the hispanic community in South Tucson has never been anything other than welcoming, loving and supportive to me since the time I was a child.

Last edited by Stonemasonry; 08-25-2008 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Baja Arizona
2,916 posts, read 7,627,302 times
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Excellent post, Stone Man! I could go on and on about that little mile square city, but, for now... just know that I was born there, grew up there, and have many fond memories about life there.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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Thats cool man! I basically went to work with my dad every day I could when he worked at the Spanish Trail motel all through the 70s, he started working there in the early 60s back when Sinatra and the brat pack used to do shows there, that Motel was the heart of South Tucson for many many years. I love South Tucson and it pains me to no end to see people bad mouth it, especially when they have never even been there and gotten to know the people who live and work there.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,835 posts, read 82,066,861 times
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Nice to read your sweet memories. Remind me of my own normal childhood in a distant land...
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:48 PM
 
36 posts, read 234,211 times
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Another interesting note re: South Tucson. My father had the pleasure of being part of the entoruage that gave President Clinton a tour of South Tucson during his last Presidential visit to Arizona and he really enjoyed the rich history and tradition of the area and made a pledge at that time to help rebuild and revitalize the area. This was late 1990s and plans immediately began to be drawn up to rebuild the entire south 4th and 6th ave corridors with new markets and shops and resturants and new murals and artwork along the streets to pay tribute to the rich history and cultural traditions of the area, sadly those plans never came to fruitation due to the money drying up before it could be spent when the Bush administration was electedand used all the earmarked money for urban city revitalization projects to fund his family's private oil war. Yet another great thing we can thank the Bush adminstration for.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Great post!! I'm not even close to being a Tucson native, but I would love to see any old pics of town that anybody might have.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:59 PM
 
602 posts, read 1,899,028 times
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Well, just want to chime in too. Great post. Neat to hear your great memories. Particularly liked the tale of your tree house behind the theater. Awesome. Good times.

I'm thinking that Clinton actually went to my favorite taqueria there, Pico de Gallo.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Tucson
522 posts, read 1,440,653 times
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Very nice post Stonemasonry! I especially liked the part about South Tucson. It has been my eperience that most Hispanics are just as you state. I work with quite a few and they are all like that. Rarely have I met one that was not.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Baja Arizona
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Hey, Stone Man, speaking of south 4th Ave - do you recall Lou's Plumbing... and Sue's Fish & Chips?

Also, Bogard GMC used to be right next to Crossroads Restaurant at 36th St before it became Jimmy GMC! There was also a Mary's Cafe at the corner of 36th St and south 6th Ave!

Maybe I'm going back a bit further than you'd like, but I continue to see these places in my mind's eye!
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:12 PM
 
36 posts, read 234,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZonyPony View Post
Hey, Stone Man, speaking of south 4th Ave - do you recall Lou's Plumbing... and Sue's Fish & Chips?

Also, Bogard GMC used to be right next to Crossroads Restaurant at 36th St before it became Jimmy GMC! There was also a Mary's Cafe at the corner of 36th St and south 6th Ave!

Maybe I'm going back a bit further than you'd like, but I continue to see these places in my mind's eye!

Absolutely, I still go to Lous plumbing almost daily to get plumbing stuff for my handyman business, thats the only place in town to go for good plumbing materials. Sues fish and chips is still standing, I ate there about a month ago, GREAT FOOD, did some some handyman work for the new owner a few months back also. That place used to be the place to hang out back in the day, I think its been there since the 50s, still very good quality food and very reasonable prices, that place was sort of the forerunner to Lucky Wishbone I think, very similar menus.

Remember the old EL Grande grocery store? My mom used to work there in the produce dept when I was a kid, I used to hang out and stock shelves for candy money when I was about 10 lol. And then there was the Southgate shopping center which was the only place in town to shop long before we had MALLS and the CARNIVAL that always set up there every year.
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