Memories of Dad – Photography

One of the constants of my youth, and spending time with dad was his camera. Most often, he had a twin lens reflex camera (sadly, I don’t know if it was a Rollieflex, or one of the Japanese variants (like the Mamiya), but I do recall him loading the 120 medium format film, and doing his own developing and printing of black and white.

Wherever we went, the camera went too. Hiking, to the beach, to the park, or whatnot, we were photographed.

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Early Memories of my Father – The Outdoors

As I continue this trip down memory lane, it is odd the things that stand out from my early memories. Today, I will talk about hiking and spending time outdoors.

As I mentioned in the first post, we were in Sunnyvale, in the south San Francisco Bay Area. This was before Silicon Valley really rose to prominence, but the early whiffs of the greatness of that movement were in the air. Being in the area meant that we were close to a lot of outdoor recreation, and the population hadn’t grown to the density it is today.

My dad enjoyed hiking and spending time outdoors. From a very early age, I remember hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains, places like Castle Rock for short trips, or Big Basin park for longer (all day) hikes. Of course now, my memories are fond, but I am sure that I was a complaining tot to have to walk all that distance.

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Pleasant Memories: Necco Wafers

The memories flood back in when I see these
The memories flood back in when I see these

My grandfather on my mother’s side passed when I was pretty young. I don’r remember when, but I do remember fishing trips, and an annual weekend in Yosemite to play in the snow.

Driving the big Ford pickup truck, with a camper on it, we would head out. And there was always an adequate supply of Necco wafers in the cab. We would probably go through 2 rolls each way. All us kids would jockey to sit in the front, and partake in the ritual.

A couple weeks ago, I was at the airport, and I spied a display of Necco wafers. I had to buy a roll for good ol’ times sake.

Good memories. (ok candy)

What I miss about Tucson

After being in Chandler for a year, I do have some things that I miss from Tucson.

The weather – The predictable, and at times wild summer Monsoons. The smells of the desert after a storm is intoxicating.

The critters – The den of gila monsters near our house, the snakes (gopher and diamond back rattlesnakes). The Colorful banded lizards, the cotton tail rabbits, the javelinas, the coyotes, the bobcats, well, you get the picture. Suburban Chandler is nowhere near as diverse.

Cafe Poca Cosa – A local gem that I have yet to find a replacement for.

Tucson Int’l Airport – Nothing like a small, local, easily accessible airport. Phoenix is typical big metropolitan, and chaotic (but we do get to most destinations non-stop)

Living at the edge of town – We had a lot of privacy, and great neighbors who were friendly and supportive.

Coffee Xchange – local coffee house that was vastly superior to any big chain.

Mount Lemmon – 25 minutes away. A short drive, and you were at 9,000 ft. A different world.

Hiking trails – Sabino canyon, window rock, finger trail, Douglas Springs, Saguaro Nat’l park. All within a reasonable drive, delivering world class hiking.

Cycling – Saguaro East was always my favorite loop. Or head out Old Spanish Trail and into Vail for a longer ride.

Tucson McGraw’s – a cantina/grill on the hill with a fabulous view. Decent drinks, good food, and great views.

The Grill at Hacienda del Sol – Probably the best restaurant in town. Great views, entertainment, and fabulous wine list coupled with a great menu. A good splurge!

Ah well, it is only 2 hours away…