I first came across Emil Franzi's byline in Chuck Bowden's sadly short-lived City Magazine back in the late '80s. It was the kind of name that sticks in your head. In those days, Franzi wrote redneck restaurant reviews (I remember those hunts for the best chicken-fried steak in Southern Arizona) and tales of political intrigue. He could make anything interesting, even the opera.
I was lucky enough to meet the man himself when Dan Huff took the reins of the Tucson Weekly. Huff brought along Franzi, who injected a whole new burst of life into our struggling little newspaper with his searing contributions to The Skinny and features like "The Adventures of Dim Bulb" and "The Flakey Waffleman" (a brutal series of excerpts from the depositions of two Pima County supervisors embroiled in a lawsuit). And I'll always remember the headline on one of his stories about development on the northwest side: "Screw the Desert—We're From Marana!"
Franzi died last Wednesday, June 7. As you can see from the many folks who stepped up to write tributes to Franzi in this week's cover story, his long list of friends ranged from his fellow travelers in conservative circles to some of the most left-wing folks in this town.
Rest in peace, old friend.
Other highlights in this issue: Logan Burtch-Buus tells us about how the Tucson City Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisor teamed up last week to oppose President Donald Trump's plan to lay his horrible erection between the United States and Mexico; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith takes us out for a night at The Chatterbox; up-and-coming hip-hop meastro Lando Chill is dropping a poetic and socially conscious new recording and is primed for world domination; Alice Cooper talks Tucson; and Margaret Regan reviews the annual tiny works show at downtown's Davis-Dominguez Gallery.
Finally, in The Skinny, I'm taking a point of personal privilege as editor of this rag to wish my father-in-law, Michael Hard, a Happy Father's Day this Sunday. As you'll note in my column, Michael has had a remarkable career as a banker here in Southern Arizona and he's given generously of his time both during his career and in his retirement, but his greatest accomplishment, in my humble opinion, is the wonderful family he's raised. I'm lucky to be a part of it.