Magazine article Sunset

Tucson

Magazine article Sunset

Tucson

Article excerpt

* To me, the West was a hopeful slant of light. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, but turned toward that Western light like a sunflower. When I was 2, my grandparents moved for the sake of my grandmother's health to Tucson, Arizona. That city and state were among my first words; my first memory is of riding on a train to Tucson. For years it was our family's chief destination. My parents, indefatigable drivers, could leave our house on Friday afternoon after my father got off work and drive straight through, taking turns, until we reached Tucson on Monday morning. We were entering the Western light from the moment we got onto the Ohio Turnpike just past exit 12 near our house: the highway came through a road-cut spanned above with the arch of a high bridge, and ahead lay the valley of the Cuyahoga River, and the landscape spread before us, and the cinematic Western light that heroes ride into was suddenly all around.

And the farther west we got, the more of it there was. I remember the nights of driving to Tucson as a series of dawns brightening to the final, glorious megawattage of blue above my grandparents' little adobe in the brand-new development at the foot of the Catalina Mountains. …

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