The Cactus Patch
Volume 12       August 2009      Number 8

C.S.S.A. Tours
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

On 19 June Polly and I celebrated 45 years of marriage. We had dinner at Macaroni Grill and then went to FLICS at the Fox for “Man on Wire,” the story of the 1974 wire walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center. It may seem like an odd film for an anniversary, but that year I received my Ph.D. from NYU and we celebrated 10 years of marriage. We also watched the twin towers go up. Polly also made the day memorable by presenting me with an anniversary quilt showing the seven states and three African countries we have lived in. In case you somehow missed it, there was an article in the Californian:

The Fresno Cactus Club had a BBQ on the 1st of July with the usual silent auction, mating of Adeniums etc. Of course we also went to the Bakersfield meet which ended at Paul’s fabulous collection.

But back to Tucson:

Monday the 13th of April was devoted to tours. We chose the Kartchner Caverns and had a leisurely morning when we were shuffled to the afternoon tour. We had lunch at Eegee’s, a local chain before joining the tour bus. Polly is writing about the cavern. That evening we had a so-so meal at the Safron Indian Bistro.

On Tuesday Polly and Anne went on an Audubon tour to see Arizona birds. Anne is writing about that. The tour was extended by two hours, so we were late meeting Margaret Villanueva, James’ mother-in-law who now lives in Tucson. We eventually had ice tea at her apartment. At 5 we returned to the conference for drinks (margarita’s) with the Fresno bunch at Herb Thorne’s room. We have known Herb since he was a fellow member of the Kern Cactus and Succulent Society back in the 60s. As we left the party, we saw a great horned owl in the nearby trees.

On Wednesday, we all three visited historic sites south of Tucson. Sam Williams of Carmichael (Sacramento area) whom I met in 87 at the Phoenix convention was also on the bus. I am writing about that.

We started with a tour of Tumacacori, an old mission an hour and a quarter south of Tucson. The mission is being restored but is no longer used. Gloria Moroyoqui demonstrated tortilla making, but her “hot” sauce was mild.

Next we went 40 minutes back north to Tubac where there is an old Presidio. It is now a sprawling artists’ colony. We looked at a shop which had a display of artifacts from the Huichol which had bright colors which reflected the visions from the Peyote cacti eaten in their rituals. We then had an excellent lunch at the De Anza Restaurant. After lunch we visited the Tohono Village which exhibited the Tohono O’odham (formerly misnamed Papago) culture. Polly and Anne even found a quilt shop, although it sold finished products and not the starting materials they were looking for.

Finally we visited San Xavier del Bac, a Mission in great shape which is still used by the Tohono O’odham. The artwork inside included paintings of humming birds on ocotillos and chollas, baskets with saguaro designs, and a prickly pear in metal by the gift shop. This was in addition to all the usual saints etc. We returned to the convention in time to see Woody and others packing up their goods. We did not stay for the closing banquet. As we left the convention we saw a Cooper’s Hawk among the trees.

Herb Thorn (right) and Fresnans

Gloria Moroyoqui, Anne and Polly at Tumacacori

Polly at Tubac

Polly and Anne at San Xavier del Bac

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