What started as a conversation between myself and Lead Pastor James Ruiz 10 or so days ago led to today's makeover of the triangle of property adjacent to the Oracle Post Office. A team from his church worked hard all morning to weed whack, prune and haul away the cuttings.
As pictured here the Living Word team really got after it. Their skills were applied to multiple tasks including the pruning of trees and shrubs which requires delicacy and even artistry. Pictured below is Fina Guisinger who rose to that challenge along with others she coached.
There's more to this story than meets the eye and what meets the eyes is quite strikingly beautiful. As owners of the land (really temporary stewards) today's work raised our sights in the direction of a parklike setting with trails suitable for wandering, reflection, bird watching and appreciation of the glory of Creation.
Otown has done a pretty good job of promoting the arts of all sorts. The two day event coming up this weekend is a prime example. Visitors and some locals will look at and sometimes buy the works of local creatives.
Rancho Linda Vista set the arts and crafts world in Oracle spinning several decades ago - think Charles Littler, Fox McGrew, Andy Rush, Pat Dolan and a host of others. And we have Sharon Holnbach/GLOW/Triangle L, OrCA/Oracle Piano Society and the Oracle Historical Society with its inspiring "historical" story telling. There's more but you get the point.
Writers are a different kettle of fish. A mostly solitary bunch who think, gaze out windows and tap away on a keyboard - mostly by themselves. That makes Oracle authors a curiosity. They are for sure a diverse cast of characters that includes the aforementioned Rush and Dolan, the inimitable Michael Moore, architectural wizard Jeff Zucker, yours truly and, we hope, a few others of note waiting on confirmation. So while you're touring Otown save another date: December 10, (probably) 3-5 PM at OrCA.
Everytime I enter the Oracle Community Center (OCC) I recall the adventure residents shared in getting it built. That old time feeling surged again at the gathering yesterday. It occurs to me now that revisiting, even briefly, the whole construction experience may help inform current projects including efforts to promote tourism.
Other stories are also important. One I try to narrate in a chapter in my book (Sometimes David Wins) references a community survey that was conducted door to door in the 1980's. (Kaz mentioned it at yesterday's meeting.) The survey was designed by a local team headed by Ann Woodin with the help of Jim Sell from the University of Arizona. I suspect resident views haven't changed much since then. Among the takeaways were attachment to "dark skies", minimal traffic, peace and quiet, "small town" scale and a slow to moderate rate of population growth. What these desirables have to do with "tourism" is an open question well worth considering.
Our last visitors from distant places dropped anchor in Oracle in March of 2020. After that the covid plague killed appetites for travel and raised the risks of local hospitality. Plus covid deepsixed a lot of what we used to take for granted - community activities that visitors would enjoy along with us. Well, guess what, fingers crossed, those days seem to be in the past and a new day may have arrived.
The two adventurers pictured above, one of whom just happens to be my cousin, spent the weekend with us. They helped usher in this new era which may be dawning. We were uncertain what would appeal to them but figured Glow was a pretty good bet.
Glow as we know it is one of a kind - the creation of Triangle L impressario Sharon Holnback. Even for locals it just doesn't get old with all the fresh creatives pitching in.
And our visitors loved it.
Kaz and I signed up for Covid vaccine # 5 at our local health clinic - Sun Life. When we showed up Friday the parking lot was nearly full.
Several friends were in the waiting room for the same reason we were. A neighborly welcome for sure including from the folks who work there.
That got me thinking about the importance of easy local access to health care. Would we have driven 30 minutes or more to Oro Valley/Tucson for the same purpose? Or, as in my case, likely put it off? What about routine blood tests? Another long drive? Maybe put it off til next month or longer?
At age 76 I've had plenty of blood draws and watched many more (of parents and in laws). One time I was jabbed three times by a sweating nurse who finally gave up and sent me up the street to a place with the ambiance of a methadone clinic. That was in Tucson. So I was a bit apprehensive about the jabbing and drawing my first time at Oracle Sun Life. Guess what? Easy in, easy out, vials filled, done. Next time - same drill. Same outcome. What's not to like about that?
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.