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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: April 12, 2012

A Weekend In Tucson, Arizona

I always sneered at people who boarded planes with tennis rackets. Who comes into this crazy environment at the airport with a gawky thing like a tennis racket? People are disrobing, taking off their shoes and belts. This is no place for a fine tennis instrument: it surely doesn’t fit into your luggage.

However, last week I succumbed and joined the ranks of wannabe jocks flying with a racket. My daughter Cara had arranged a Greenberg family get-together at the Hilton Conquistador Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Tennis is a great family game, so I brought my racket. It was not my new one, but one that had served me well for many years. The hotel was magnificent, but I discovered something grim in my life: My family members all played better tennis than I did. Even 14-year-old Eli, who returned everything hit to him, was superior to me. It was a sad plight for a 77-year-old.

I then decided that I should engage myself in the gorgeous countryside. The Oro Valley, with its craggy mountains, was a pleasure to view each morning. Actually, I have never seen so many cactuses on mountainsides before. No trees are present, but cactuses dominate the scenery.

A cactus does not spring an arm until it is 70 years old. The odd shapes that emerge are sometimes comical and sometimes downright sad. The flowers that emerge from the cactus plant have radiant colors. Oh yes, and each plant has numerous quills.

On the hotel grounds we spied some road runners darting about. The male (I think) had an extension on his head. They are odd and humorous to see, with their walking, then running gait.

The restaurants were eclectic. There were some western places, some beer palaces and some fine food and drink. The Congress Hotel featured stories of the Dillinger Mob, who had hid there from the law. It was a mob museum.

A trip to the Desert Museum is certainly a “must see and do” on a Tucson trip. Walking the nature trails and observing wildlife is fun but tiring. Trying to climb those rugged hills is better left for the young at heart.

Arizona, the last state to be admitted into the territorial U.S.A. in 1912, is harsh and rugged, but also fun and effortless if you adjust to Southwestern ideology.

News

After surviving the “Cold Blooded” episode last week, the eight remaining contestants on Ink Master faced off in a “Flash Challenge” testing their ability to use finesse. The tougher the situation, the more finesse an artist needs to create a masterpiece, and this week was no exception.

Artists were given five hours to tattoo amputees. The residual limb left behind after an amputation can be badly traumatized, unusually shaped and scarred. The artists were challenged to create a phenomenal tattoo on the residual limb to make these amputees love the part of their body they are missing. Although all of the contestants created beautiful designs, Bethpage’s Erik Siuda’s incorporation of the scar tissue and pre-existing tattoo into his design showed the most finesse.

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano recently announced that the annual “1863 Thanksgiving Holiday Celebration” at Old Bethpage Village Restoration will be held on Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors to Old Bethpage Village, the re-created mid-19th Century village, will be able to enjoy the sights and aromas of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving including decorated pumpkin pies baked in a beehive oven and turkey roasted over an open fire. In addition, each afternoon, traditional fiddle music will be played, and children’s stories will be read several times each day.


Calendar

Concert Performance

Friday, November 21

Craft Barn Open House

Saturday, November 22

8th Annual POB Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Tuesday, November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com