January 03, 2014

Tubac, Arizona ~ not necessarily a recommended stop

There are tourist towns everywhere, and Tubac, Arizona is just another. Sometimes they can be fun for kids, or offer something unique and local. Perhaps there is a restaurant of note. And maybe Tubac doesn't offer any of these things. Maybe it's just a tourist town, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Tubac does figure prominently in tourist brochures, and the landscape is attractive. A one hour drive south of Tucson, the town is nicely appointed and it is great to park the car and walk around the village. Tubac is promoted as a town of artists, and that could be true, though there is great duplication in many of the wares offered for sale. IKEA comes to mind.

Restaurants were few and mainly of the dine and dash variety. We ended up eating a light lunch at one place, where the wait staff were clearly unhappy and it showed. At the table next to us a couple were complaining about why gays and lesbians had to make such a fuss about things. "Can't they just keep quiet about their lifestyle?" ... "and why do they get to use the rainbow for their flag?" Hmmmm... what year is this?

In one establishment, the signs promoted "native-inspired" artworks and drums. I can't help but wonder why the store doesn't offer the real thing? Or is there more profit to be made in, as the price tags displayed: "A non-native, American made product." To the store's credit they were honest in their product descriptions, though ultimately in rather small print.

In another business, the merchant, identifying himself as being "Indian," displayed several  posters by the store's entrance. One showed a stern Uncle Sam pointing his finger, and the caption: This finger wasn't made to press "one" for English.  Touchy subject that, but can any retailer risk alienating even one customer in this economy? Not to mention about thirty percent of the Arizona population who speak a language other than English in their homes. Another poster suggested the best way to deal with terrorism was simply to kill them first. Well yes, but wouldn't that be terrorism?

So Tubac, or some of the people in Tubac that day, and some of the stores and merchants, might have made us feel a wee bit uneasy. Maybe even downright grumpy.

As it turned out, the cigar store wasn't open, and the cat wasn't all that happy either.

Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2014.

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