Once in a while I'd leave for some fry bread or coffee from the vendors, but the heat lamp at that moment was the greatest invention. However, the folks I talked with under the lamp decided someone out there could come up with a better design that had heat radiating from the bottom up. Just a suggestion.
In other places I've lived, the winter season can offer a community opportunities for bonding and getting to know your neighbors — digging folks out of the side of the road during a snow storm, pulling over to help someone put on tire chains, not freaking out when the person driving in front of you slows down as snow beats down on your window giving you the feel of experiencing warp speed in a Star Trek episode.
These things don't happen often in Tucson, although I sometimes wish they would — could be just what we need. Instead we have these once-a-year arctic blasts and if we're stupid enough to be out during them wearing our version of winter clothes, we bond under heat lamps.
OK, so yeah, there I was under this heat lamp when I struck up a conversation with a guy to my left who joked that he had to go buy a jacket at Buffalo Exchange. He's not from Tucson he explained, but visiting from Connecticut where folks experience real winters. He didn't expect it to be this cold. He mentioned the company he worked for has offices in Connecticut and in Tucson.
"Is that why you're here? Working?" I asked. "Well, yeah, but I'm also looking for someone," he answered. He mentioned his sister lives in Tucson and he had been in our Moldy Pueblo a few months ago and it was the most amazing three-hour flight from one side of the country to the other.
"Oh, you don't want to hear the whole story. It's long and ...," he said."Try me, I'm a reporter. I listen to people's stories all the time," I said. OK, ready, here is his story. His name is Paul by the way.
On that flight from Connecticut to Arizona, he sat next to a woman and they talked for three hours. He'd never had that kind of conversation before. They said good-bye at baggage claim, but Paul never got her phone number and more importantly, he never got her name. He went home and kept thinking of their conversation, and how he wished he knew how to get hold of her.
On this trip to Tucson, Paul decided he would look for her and from what he remembered in their conversation he started to go to places he thought she might frequent or where they might know her. He knew she studied art at the UA, so he frequented a lot of art galleries, but no luck. He was disappointed he was heading home not being able to find Tucson's Boomer.
I shared this story with friends that night, who shared the story on Facebook hoping to create a love connection, hoping to help Paul meet his Boomer. No luck, yet.
Here's what we know about her from Paul: She's about 29, obviously of Asian descent, studied art at the UA and was between jobs. Perhaps you know her? Perhaps you're Tucson's Boomer? Anyway, Paul's looking for you and wouldn't mind sitting down for another incredible conversation.
One of those moments I don't mind being a middle-woman. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.