Casa Maria mission was part of the lay Catholic worker movement founded in the 1930s. Liberty, Social Justice and Peace—just words? Sure, but with each year they become more important to the health of a city and its residents and those visiting or just passing though. Like many of you, I used to see Brian Flagg on television in a role that was and is uniquely his. I liked his gentle yet direct voice on the radio, defining issues for the poor, for minorities, for those whose very life is affected by the smallest increase in the bus fare, the closing of vital neighborhood schools, and always to feed the hungry—the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. He's been an advocate on our streets for thirty some years. This is a week for gratitude, with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
Gabriel Sullivan is a Tucsonan, a very gifted one at that. A few years back, following a brief tour, he left me in Austria to fly myself home while he headed on to Denmark to make what would be a very different record—JVPITER with Desoto Caucus for the most part. On arriving home, he played me a track called "Mr. Flagg." When it was through, I asked to hear it again. A few days ago I asked Gabe about the song. He thought and said that he took inspiration from Brian—a man who walks his talk, a man who has given so much to others. The song is a lullaby, comfort in its words, the chorus a mantra (Where do you find the will/Where do you find the will, Mr. Flagg/To hold the hands of all these good men). By its end, it transcends a song and become reassurance of those who love and those who struggle to be loved.
This Monday, Nov. 21, is the annual Thanksgiving benefit for Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. a tradition that has been kept alive for the last 13 years thanks to Rich Hopkins. The event will be held at Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress). Doors 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested, and please bring some cans of food if you can spare them. I would like to ask you all to come down and join us for this event, and if you can't make it, please consider taking a moment to visit the Casa Maria website for instructions on how to make a donation.
Cesar Aguirre will begin the show, RIch Hopkins and the Luminarios will kick up the decibels as always and I am looking forward to sharing a couple songs with Gabriel Sullivan and his band who will close out this beautiful night. Hope to see a lot of folks 'there who don't usually make it out. God Bless.