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February 19, 2008 / chrisisgross

back from arizona

though since i only mentioned that i was going to arizona to a few people i guess that comes as a bit of a surprise.

i was down in the phoenix area for my aunt’s wedding and that area is a really odd. there are a number of cities all in the same valley. all with different names and feels. my dad’s side of the family resides down there and i have not been down in that area in about 10 years. spent the first day in scottsdale. the rest of the weekend was spent in surprise and the sun city west and sun city west retirement areas. all very odd.

it was a pretty good time. got to see members of my family that i have not seen in a while and to meet some folks who are now members of my family. i was most entertained by my little second cousins. the three of them could not be anymore different for three kids from the same two parents.

i also got to meet a guy who seriously could become my guru. the dude has life figured out. he is a judge up in alaska who went to law school just cause he could. he does law to support everything else that he wants to do.

specifically, he is really big into music especially in the areas of calypso music, steel bands and trinidad. he’s got a radio show up in anchorage that i am going to try to stream when i can remember. i mentioned my interest in hill country blues and he talked about meeting mississippi fred mcdowell, roosevelt sykes and a bunch of guys who i really like. that topped off with a record collection he estimated at about 20,00o+ with movie reels, dvd’s, posters etc. thrown in there too. we also talked about going to hardly strictly here in san francisco. he gets the state to send him to judge school in reno and he picks his classes so that he can come here for hardly strictly. that sealed it for me.

for such a developed area there was plenty of wildlife. the communities are all gated and on golf courses(if i was older and had trouble driving at night i think i would get really lost out there. every house in the sun city areas looked the same and there were very few streetlights), but still i was able to see gambel’s quail, hummingbirds, a heron, a coyote, some mourning doves, woodpecker’s. missed out on seeing a bobcat though my uncle said he had seen them in his backyard.

as for the wedding it was very nice and both sides added a great touch of surreality to the whole thing. bride prices, cow hides and much more.

made the whole thing pretty odd. flew out bright and early yesterday and my sense of time is really out of whack.

and its going to rain all week.

great…

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