Keeping Calm & Carrying On

And what better way to face down an act of terrorism than to go for a walk in a city with hundreds of other people?

Last night was the 4th anniversary of the weekly Meet Me at Maynards walking and running event in downtown Tucson, and the organizers had signed up bands and combos to entertain people along the route. We took our doggies, as we nearly always do, and enjoyed a lovely evening.

School mariachi band in Tucson’s Old Presidio
Bagpipers at the Masonic Temple

We left early, thinking parking would be a problem in light of all the walkers and runners showing up for the anniversary, but it wasn’t. Yes, there was a crowd, but it was smaller than on previous anniversaries. I hope people didn’t stay home because of the bombings in Boston.

When we got home we turned on CNN hoping for some new information. We were appalled at how CNN was handling it, running an endless loop of explosions, bleeding marathoners and spectators, running cops, and eyewitnesses telling the same stories over and over. MSNBC was no better. You’d almost think the media is working with the terrorists, trying to keep everyone at a fever pitch of fear. Hint, people: that’s exactly what whoever planted those bombs wants. Get out. Go for a walk. Sit down at a sidewalk cafe. Be with people, show you’re not afraid.

Somewhere in amongst hysterical descriptions of severed limbs on TV I heard some commentator trying to make a big deal out of Obama not saying the word “terrorism” in his brief statement earlier in the day. Jesus. As Digby points out on her blog, “Yeah, and he didn’t read ‘My Pet Goat’ either.” AFAIC, Obama set the proper calming tone, one CNN and MSNBC and the rest of our pants-wetting media should emulate.

Back to Meet Me at Maynards (yes I know there’s no apostrophe and it drives me effing crazy but that’s how they spell it). It used to start and end behind Maynards (ditto) Restaurant on Toole Street, but for the past year it’s been starting and ending across the street at the Hotel Congress. Both locations are right in the heart of downtown Tucson, where the streets are currently torn up for the installation of streetcar tracks. Yes, our town is putting in a streetcar system, and every week when we go walking we see changes to the downtown landscape. A lot of people are grousing about the new streetcars, predicting no one will use them, but I’m looking forward to seeing them. Streetcars are so cool! Will they help revive downtown? Maybe. I hope so.

© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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