Flashback twenty five years…

With the summer dwindling to a close (Meet the Teacher is tomorrow!!), I have to wonder if my recent mini-obsession with Tucson summers will end too. Virtually every summer of my childhood included a week or two in Tucson, but the summers I remember most are the ones in which my brother and sister and I flew out alone and stayed without our parents–whoo-hoo!

In an effort to get us out of the house for my grandma, my grandpa would load us up in his bottle green Mercury for a trip to the city pool every afternoon. The pool opened at one, and for a quarter we could swim as long as we liked, keeping in mind that it was summer monsoon season, so it poured every afternoon about four o’clock. This was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I never wanted to leave, but on the other, by that time I desperately had to pee. You see, the geniuses that designed that pool didn’t put any doors on the girls’ bathroom stalls, and I was a one-piece kinda girl, if you get my drift. Not only that, but the view into the stalls was the first thing you saw as you walked into the girl’s dressing room. I often tried to get my sister out of the pool to come stand guard, but she remained completely uncooperative and unsympathetic. In the event that my bladder simply couldn’t hold out for the thunderstorms, I was frantic that some oblivious boy would wander in and get an eye-full. Talk about your stress. [Deep breath…whew] But I digress. Let me just say, that that pool will live on in my memory as the absolute best swimming spot–I took a peek down memory lane on Google Maps recently, and I’m happy to report that it’s still there. I can only hope they’ve updated the bathrooms.

Okay, so I assume these memories are flooding back to me because I’ve spent the vast majority of my summer mornings at the pool. But it’s not just the chlorine-tinged memories of those summers–it’s all of it. It’s dragging ourselves back from the pool, exhausted, and spending the afternoons reading Agatha Christie novels. It’s the mountains and saquaros and the gravel lawns. It’s trips to the mall and the drug store for ice cream, it’s roller skating and mini-golf, not to mention evening walks, penny blackjack, and Mrs. See’s candies. The memories have all resurfaced, and they’re making me yearn for another visit (and some good Mexican food).

I don’t have any grandparents left in Tucson, and they were the reason I visited every year. Now I don’t really have a reason to go back, and I know if I do, it won’t be the same. I treasure the memories, and eventually I will go back. Not sure I can manage the summers though. I’m still a little skittish about bathroom privacy.

Posted in Uncategorized on 08/24/2009 01:52 am


  1. Keri Mikulski

    What wonderful memories, Alyssa.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. My grandma lived in AZ as well, ahh gravel lawns

  3. My grandma lived on a lake and when I think of summers I think of the time there, swimming, building castles and peeling the burned skin off my shoulders in giant strips. sigh…

  4. I've always wanted to go to Tucson. Don't they have the largest used bookstore or something?

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