Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

The Citizen, my friend for 47 years

In June 1962, the Citizen became part of my family, newly arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, fresh from the plains of Kansas, replete with new baby, mother-in-law, two cocker spaniels, and a Titan Ballistic Missile analyst technician and, oh yes, me.

You were with me in the moon landing, training of puppies and kitties, through the Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, the Tucson missile flap, the birth of a baby in 1963, desegregation, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society emergence.

A two-line newspaper ad led to a 27-year career with the Department of Economic Security: “Help Wanted: Help people to get off Welfare,” and where to apply.

The columns of Don Schellie, the accident of Bad Boy Jeff, a recipe for cherry pineapple cheesecake, lost, never found, but trying to duplicate. The death of my mother, the Little League baseball times of my boys, the All Star Team with Tom Pagnozzi at the Little League World Series.

Eddie Vosberg, the boys basketball team of Rincon High and pictures of my son flying up and in the air to sink the basket. The mention of my son as a candidate for National Merit Scholarship, mention of the son as having joined the Air Force.

You were there for the Lute Olson era and gave me much pleasure in reading about and watching our team.

I can recite almost all of who played and with better eyesight could probably identify one or two of the tall ones, or the ones who wore knee socks, short socks and baggy drawers. I loved them all, still do.

You were there with me when the government decided to part the Arizona Daily Star from the Citizen. When Mountain Bell had to partition itself, through times the various political notables did a no-no thing.

Example, Jim Corbett, the Water Problem and the CAP, the monsoon floods, the raising of the historic downtown to erect La Placita. The closing of Ronquillo’s Bakery, El Rapido, Woolworth’s, the Pioneer Hotel fire, the demise of El Conquistador, the beginning of El Con Mall, followed by Park Place, and ultimately the Tucson Mall as well as the Foothills Mall.

You were there with the departure of all the downtown stores that ultimately linked with spaces at the mall. The closure of the Myerson’s White House, leaving of the newspaper offices to larger quarters, all of this leading to the no longer historic downtown.

Always in the public eye, activists, the homeless advocates, the speakers for all the people they claimed to be the voice of making their presence known far and loud.

The changing of the Papago Tribe to Tohono O’odam, NAFTA, you were with me during all of the above.

You and I coped with the strikes of the needed of our society, teachers, bus drivers, plant workers. We wept over the fallen, cheered everyone, and hissed the villain.

We had fun living these 47 years together. We expanded together, shrunk together as times got lean, but were never apart for any great length of time. I still outweigh you by a couple of hundred pounds, but your memory storage is greater than mine. Mine is a CD Rom, on a good day; yours is a cached storage.

Old friend, I am going to miss you! I won’t be around for 47 years with the Star, but you and I had a run of our lives.

You were there when I came home, worn out from coping with life in the fast lane of users of the services of DES.

You, folded and pristine, patiently waiting for me to cook supper for growing boys and then with the minutes I had left over, enjoy your newspaper stories of the day.

You were there in spite of missed deliveries, the carrier driving over my newly raked gravel yard in his car, my subsequent canceling of the service due to this mishap. My anger lasted the sum total of one day. Could not do without my paper.

There are other memories, other stories, but 47 years of total friendship and compatibility with a periodical is hard to match.

Sometimes I agreed with your point of view, sometimes I didn’t. We still managed to co-exist comfortably and enjoyably.

There was the era of Old Tucson, Petrocelli, Lee Marvin, John Wayne, the casting calls, the filming, the stars, the commercials, the long running TV series, High Chaparral. The gawking when a star was spotted downtown, followed by the conflagration marking the end of an era, Old Tucson burned!

Memories won’t burn though. They are in that Rom.

Thank you; you will be missed. I am 81 now. How quickly time doth past. One day you are 34, and the next 81.

You are a great newspaper, and I am angry that you must be sold or close shop. Why doesn’t the government bail out newspapers?

Mary Patchett is 81 chronologically but young in spirit. She has lived in Tucson and subscribed to the Tucson Citizen for 47 years.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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