Friday, January 21, 2011

Tales of Tucson

It hurts when people are killed for no good reason. Our hearts broke as we watched the victi ms' families in shock. The tragedy in Tucson two weeks ago was especially heartbreaking because a child was involved - a child, eager and curious about things she learned at school, a child who loved the neighbor who took her to meet the local congresswoman, a child, innocent of creating any off the resentments that caused the shooter to pull the trigger over and over.
I've never been to Tucson, Arizona, but some people we love know it well. An aunt and uncle of our sister-in-law, Marianne, moved down there a few decades ago. They were an eccentric couple, both now deceased, and they returned to Milwaukee to visit family every July. Every July, they would drive their homemade truck/camper loaded with things they had accumulated through the year. They would bestow the articles on the various family members. Fortunately. thanks to Marianne, they included Bing and me in their collections. We were the only Xl and XXL"s in the receiving group, so we had our own category. I have some pangs of guilt because we kind of made fun of the fact that the couple was "dumpster diving" way before it was considered cool and "green". They made most of their big finds near the University of Arizona where college students tossed excellent clothing, shoes, hats, sheets and towels as they moved in and out of the dorms and housing. They also collected aluminum cans and recycled them for money. Now, from a wiser point of view, I see that these two practical people were visionaries. They knew that absolutely usable items were available for the taking. They knew that their loved ones could use the items and save themselves the cost of buying like items. They acted with no regard for what others would think of them and they gave freely of their pickings. Bing is still wearing many of the t-shirts they brought for him and I have never bought a pair of underwear in the last twenty years because I taught myself to make underpants out of the material of the t-shirts they brought for me. I think of them and thank them often in my prayers. And as I've watched Tucson on the news, I picture them moving around that desert town, "green" pioneers.

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