Hi, welcome to our Q&A with Fred Araiza. He took the "now" photos that are in our "Then and now around Tucson gallery."
Jim, Some of the photos dropped off the gallery. I have added them back ion. Thanks for letting us know they were missing.
It's funny you should mention those Christmas lights. My first and best recollection of downtown was when my parents used to drive westbound on Congress and seeing the Christmas lights along the street. It was magical. I hope the city one day brings the lights back. To answer your question, I have not found photos taken at that time....yet. I may in the future.
My mother used to work at Ruben Golds furniture. She used to walk there along Meyer which went all the way through there. Another neighbor-friend used to work her way through high school at Jacome's. I would go there with her brother and walk around.
I have not... yet. I have not found any photos of the brickyard. It all comes down to luck and more luck in finding some of the historic photos. The Citizen's photographs are categorized alphabetically while the Star's archive is numerical. In either case, if the photographer did not mention say the "brickyard" at the time the assignment was taken then it may not have been catalogued under that name. Or if the "brickyard" was photographed along with other buildings or businesses... then it may be catalogued under the other business. If that makes sense.
The party was at the Plaza International on Speedway and Campbell. I guess were are even, i didn't know about the party at the Aztec.
I remember the Johnnie's as well. I only remember two of them though. The one on Craycroft and Speedway and the other on 22nd and Alvernon. Would love to find images of those places in our archive. As far as the drive-ins, I remember the Midway on Speedway. It was the closest to where I grew up on the (old) eastside.
Anyone who wants to share memories from "back in the day" is free to do so here. We love them.
There are a number of difficulties reproducing the older photos. It is impossible to stand in the same place in many places because that would require I stand in the middle of a busy street, or in the case of the reproduction of the Sabino High School photo I would be photographing a wall. In taking another photo of La Placita Village last week I came to the realization the photograph was taken from the scaffolding of the building. The reason I say that is because I was near the top of a building and it was impossible to move over any further .
I have little recollection of the Mickey Mouse Club at the Fox. Trips to the downtown area were few and infrequent for us unless I went with my cousins. I do remember the weekend matinees and going to see the movie "El Caballo Blanco" at the Plaza with my parents.
I remember the mixed reaction when Drachman was turned into a housing project but I like the way they preserved the facade. To my knowledge it now serves a good function.
The interesting part of the series has been seeing the reaction of those who have helped me accomplish this task. That includes building supervisors, janitors, receptionists and building owners. Once they realize what I want to accomplish they are more than eager to help out. They are always amazed as to how much the city has changed.
The way the series even came about was quite by happenstance. I was recovering from an injury and was placed in limited duty. When I first started back I noticed my photo editor, Rick Wiley, was scanning a bunch of photographs into the system so there would be a digital record of buildings in the downtown area. On a whim, I asked him if I could take the old photographs downtown and try to replicate them. Once I had a series of photos he suggested we post them. It developed into the Then and Now series.
This project has changed my perspective of documenting, photographing the city and its occupants. As I drive around town I try to look for major changes that are taking place, an old building is being torn down to be replaced with a new structure. A new building is going up where there was a parking lot before. I see the importance of documenting the changes that are taking place here. We are here for such a relatively short time and I try to think of how the photographs I take now will be received in the future.
Thanks for joining us. Look for more additions to the "Then and now" photo gallery in the future.