I left Las Cruces after the Farmer’s/Artist’s Market on Saturday, because I wanted to be in Tucson by 6 or so, so I had to get going. I made my rounds and said “Bye” and “Merry Christmas” to all of the people I met and made me feel so welcome. I have more pictures to upload, but until I can figure out how to get them on my computer, it could be a little while. I just got a free upgrade and I am having a little trouble. I have some pictures of the people I met as well as some more shots around La Mesilla. I will put captions under all of them when I do!
I got into Tucson a little later than I wanted to and of course, immediately got lost. By the time I found a place to park it was almost 7pm. I got right out and walked all down 4th Ave. Everything I have read said 4th Ave and the Farmer’s Markets were the places to be. So I walked all up and down 4th Ave and there was so much going on on that Saturday night. There was music coming out of speakers on almost every corner and honestly, I didn’t even see any other buskers out there. There must have been a reason. As I was walking, I saw Father Winter(i think) and a bunch of other people in costume. They were on their way to a Solstice Celebration complete with a fire show. I found that out later. With all of this going on, I knew I couldn’t compete with it so I decided to put my gear away and watch the fire show. I enjoyed the show, it was about 30 minutes long and there were all kinds of things they did. They were dancing with fire rings, blowing fire, poi, fire hula hoops and staffs and even a little acrobatics. It really was a fun show to watch! By the time the show was over, it was getting late and as I looked around it was the kind of crowd I just didn’t want to deal with. (I was actually missing La Mesilla Plaza at this point)
Sunday, I went down and I wanted to get right to work. About 30 minutes into my shift, a homeless man stopped and said he liked what I was playing, he really enjoys the saxophone; He stood across from me for the next 30 minutes. As much as I enjoy talking to people, including homeless people, I didn’t want him hanging around because it is bad for business. Maybe that sounds like a mean thing to say, but it is true. I love it when they walk by and nod in appreciation, I even like to have a short conversation, hell, sometimes they throw a coin or two in my tip box. Even though he was a nice man, I don’t need him or other homeless hanging around during a busy time. Sometimes that is the risk when one is busking in any given city or town. I can either stay out there and waste my time or just leave, I left. I decided to use that time to write some and get back to reading a book I started up again in Cruces. I also got in touch with a friend of mine in Tucson and a friend in Phoenix.
While I was writing, a woman at the coffee shop asked my opinion on which mug looked better. I gave my opinion and she thanked me. She grabbed a couple more and went to pay for them. About 7 minutes later, she came back and said “I just wanted to say thank you for your help, Merry Christmas!” and handed me a gift bag with one of those coffee mugs in it! That really surprised me, so I got up and gave her a hug and said “Thank you, Merry Christmas!” Then she left. I was just so surprised. I mean all I said was “That one” and pointed. It was very sweet.
I was talking to my friend in Phoenix later that night. I am thinking I am going to stay in Tucson or Phoenix for a couple of months and regroup. I need to wait to a little while until the weather warms up before I head further.I also need to get a job and save some more money before I go further also. My friend in Phoenix, was giving me some kind of idea as to what rentals are there and I am looking in the Tuscon area. I am not making any decision until after the Holidays are over. I have much to do in the way of research.
Today, I got out in full force on 4th Ave. I did my first shift in the early afternoon. It was about average. I found I was in a pretty decent place. However, for my second shift, I had to be in a different place, because they would be open. I found myself in front of a Dia de los Muertos type of store. They were closed for the day, so I set up there. It wasn’t as good as my first shift, but it was okay. During this shift, my friend in Tucson gave me a call. We will be meeting up tomorrow and that will be very cool! I went out for my third shift, just after sundown. I stayed out there for about 30 minutes, it was super slow out there this evening, weird. I talk with a man named Brody on the way back to the Pearl and asked him about it. He said “It was slow for a Monday, probably on account of the Holiday.” “If anyone gives you any trouble, come get me” I said “All right!” It is nice to know that is there- just in case. I got to the Pearl and went to get some food. I am no stranger to Holiday busking, in Savannah, it was a crap shoot year to year. I am sure it is the same everywhere. I will be out there tomorrow, after I meet up with my friend and I will play my heart out! For Christmas, I will probably go to the movies and enjoy the rest of the day reading and writing. I will also be reflecting on how fortunate I am. I will be doing a post here at some point on things we take for granted. There are things I used to do pretty frequently, that now are like a real treat. For example, eating a meal in a restaurant. Man, it really is the little things!
For now, to you- my readers, my friends- old and new- and of course and especially, my family,
Merry Christmas to all of you, please know how grateful I am to all of you and how much I love all of you!