It All Started With All Soulsby Logical Lizard on Jun. 03, 2009, under Tucson Arts
Anyone who knows me knows that I find our All Souls Procession to be the weirdest and most glorious ceremony in Tucson’s weird and glorious annual catalog of events. And that catalog includes the gem show, which is actually how I came to be a resident of this fine city, but that is a tale for another day.
I witnessed my first All Soul’s Procession in November of 2004 shortly after moving here. Unfortunately that was all I did; witness it. My friend Cindy, a long-time Tucson resident, suggested that I view the procession from the south side of the Fourth Avenue Underpass, and as I watched the parade of ghosts, ghouls, monsters and mythical figures emerge from that tunnel it was as if the Underworld had opened up and propelled its inhabitants out into the land of mortals. At first I felt stunned and amazed, but after a few minutes I started asking myself why I was looking at this extraordinary spectacle instead of immersing myself in it. Every year since, I have made my own elaborate mask and costume and walked with the revelers all the way from Epic Cafe to the old loading docks near Toole Avenue, savoring every moment.
During the 2007 procession I was happily accosted by Tucson Citizen journalist Ryn Gargulinski. She asked if I’d care to share my thoughts about All Souls and I went on to exclaim that it was not only a unique and vital Tucson experience but also one of the most important arts events in the country. It reminded me more than a little of Burning Man — another extraordinary arts event that I have attended repeatedly. Ryn took down plenty of notes and asked if I had anything else to say. “Well, yes I do actually,” and I continued on at some length. Ryn authored a terrific piece: “Eclectic event honoring dead lives on,” which included several of my quotes, and ran on the front page of the November 4, 2007 edition of the Citizen.
Over the next couple of years Ryn and I occasionally corresponded about writing and the arts. Last week I received an intriguing invitation from her: Would I be interested in becoming a blogger for TucsonCitizen.com? The print edition is much-missed, but hearty congratulations are due to Ryn and editor Mark Evans for keeping the online edition alive. How could I possibly resist such an offer? And that is how The Logical Lizard came to be basking on your screen today.
To learn more visit the All Souls Procession’s excellent website and I hope to see you down on Fourth Avenue in November. Just look for the giant gila monster mask.