Somethings Wonderful This Way Came

Somethings Wonderful This Way Came
1970's Vintage Caftan in At Play

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spreading the Word

Tubac Village, itself, is little more than a six block by six block square.  New Tubac runs from the Frontage Road to the east for about three blocks.  This is where most of the galleries, restaurants and shops are located.  Old Tubac is closer to the river and includes the Presidio, St. Ann's Church and a smattering of private homes, artist work spaces, and a few shops.  I started out in the most populous areas to spread the word of my book project. 

Stopping at the deli for a latte, I chatted briefly with the counter clerk while she prepared my beverage.  No.  She'd never heard of Harwood Steiger (How could she?  She was so young!).  But, sure, go ahead and put a flyer up on the bulletin board.  There should be some push pins up there.  Leaving the deli, I headed across the street to the arts center.  I asked to see the Executive Director, to whom I'd spoken a few weeks ago.  But, alas, she was not in today and not expected.  Again, I left a flyer.

Hmmmmm.  Where next?  I just started walking east and stopped in at several shops and galleries.  All the people I met and talked with were friendly, interested in what I was doing, and willing to pass the word onto others because they, themselves, neither knew Steiger nor owned any of his textiles.  This was not promising.  Finally, I happened into a shop where the owner and staff all knew Steiger.  In fact, they had a banner Harwood Steiger had created for the arts festival years ago.  And, oh yeah, that building across the street was his studio.  But, of course, it looked a lot different back thenYou should talk to...and they gave me a list of folks who'd been in town a long time and who had known the Steigers.  Accepting a flyer, they wished me luck and on I went.  I worked my way through the list, but mostly didn't connect with a lot of folks.  Many were away or simply unavailable.  But, please leave one of those flyers.  So, I did, basically papering the town with my flyers.  People were polite, generous and accommodating and before the day was over, I had flyers in every major space in town:  post office, community center, business services centers, galleries, the Chamber of Commerce, shops and grocery stores.  I even drove down to Amado and Tumacacori to post flyers there.  By the end of day, my flyers were in nearly every establishment in and nearTubac. 

When evening arrived, I returned to the Pink House to pick up Nancy Valentne.  I wanted to take her to dinner as a way of thanking her for the hospitality.  As it turns out, it was Nancy's birthday, too.  So, off we went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant, owned and operated by a multi generational family.  We gorged ourselves on absolutely delicious tamales, all the while sipping great Margueritas.  Nancy told me of her plan to turn the family properties into affordable work/live space for artists.  One of the buildings on the property is so important to the history of Tubac, I could hardly believe it.  Nancy's family home while growing up, at one time had been the first store in Tubac, its first post office, first telegraph and telephone line, and so on.  Loew's Store, as the structure is known, was the center of Tubac's community for over a hundred years.  I had read about it in Elizabeth Brownell's book, They Lived in Tubac.  She explained her plans for developing it and her dreams of bringing more working artists to Tubac.  It was a wonderful dnner, passed with lively conversation and belly laughs.  By dinner's end, Nancy and I were good friends.

The next day started out early.  I had an appoinment with the good folks at the historic society.  They were ready and waiting for me.  Laying on the table was a file folder full of newspaper clippings, ads, magazine stories, photos and other ephemera on Harwood Steiger.  Some of the ladies told me that they had visited the Steiger studio when it was still open.  But, none of them actually knew him.  Most of them were snowbirds who only came after the oppressive heat of summer had passed.  But, they had been Tubac showbirds for decades.  They were a fun group and so full of information.  I really had a good time visiting with them and learned a lot about the town, its history and Harwood Steiger.  I was reluctant to leave, but I wanted to get on the road and get home early enough to cook dinner for my husband.  Plus, I missed my four pawed girls. 

On my way out of town, I gassed up at the convenience store on the frontage road.  After paying , I picked up a copy of the Villager, the monthly newspaper of Tubac, in a rack near the door.  I stuffed it into my computer case and headed north to Phoenix.  I was happy with all of the great people I'd met and felt the expedition had gone well.  One thing I learned about Tubac is that the people are nice and far more accommodating than folks you'll find in a city.  Yes, I liked Tubac and was glad for the time I'd spent there.

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