“Rein,” she would have said. “Let’s go for a drive today.”
“Bill,” I said. “Let’s go for a drive today.”
And just as Reinie would have said, “Sure,” so, too, did Bill. After all, the sky was blue and the weather was perfect for a lovely day trip. And with no kitchen to build and no hospitals to be admitted to, why not go for a drive?
Globe, Arizona, is about an hour straight east of our house in Mesa, both as the crow flies and via Highway 60. Since we neither are crows nor do we fly, we chose to drive. Superstition Freeway narrows a bit just east of Gold Canyon to a divided highway, and then narrows even more to a two lane highway that winds through the Superstition Mountains and Tonto National Forest and finally into Globe. The desert is in bloom and the drive was spectacular.
I would like to tell you that Globe was as pretty as the little villages we visited in our travels throughout western Europe, but it simply wasn’t. And yet, we saw some really pretty things in the small copper mining town, met some friendly folks, ate some good Mexican food, and since the population seems to be largely Hispanic, the atmosphere felt somewhat international.
No question the best way to find good restaurants is to ask a local resident who has no vested interest for a recommendation. We stopped into a store called Good Junk. We saw very little good junk and a lot of just plain junk. Still, Bill pointed out an appliance that looked a bit like an old 1950s refrigerator with a hole at the top.
“Do you know what this is?” he asked me.
“It’s an old steam cabinet,” he said. “You sit inside and your head comes out the hole at the top. You press the button and it fills with steam.”
Sweet heavens. I’ll pass.
The Good Junk proprietor recommended La Luz Del Dia, warning us that it was nothing fancy.
And it was just as he described. The menu was small, the prices were reasonable and the food was tasty. Our waitress, who seemed to also serve as cook and cashier, was friendly, but led me to believe that La Luz Del Dia perhaps didn’t offer a dental plan. Oh well. Teeth are overrated. And the food was good.
We made our way up the hill to Holy Angels Catholic Church. The doors appeared to be locked, but we were greeted by an old man who happily led us into the church. The church was old and very pretty. Bill commented immediately on the beautiful stained glass windows that adorned the walls of the church – four on each side and one in front and one in back. The man told us this wonderful story….
A number of years ago, the windows, which records indicated had come from Germany, were getting old and had been damaged by naughty boys who had used BB guns to do their dastardly deeds. The man began calling places that repaired stained glass but couldn’t find anyone willing to work on these particular windows. He finally called a place in St. Louis, explained about the windows, and a man said he would like to come out to look at them. He did, and after careful inspection, he said, “Yes, I certainly can repair these windows because they were made by either my father or my grandfather’s own hands.” There was some sort of signature on the windows that he recognized.
We continued our trek around the town. A couple of things stood out. First, the gardens were ablaze with colorful roses. This would have been a surprise to me if my sister Bec hadn’t recently told me that Arizona grows hundreds of thousands of roses for commercial use. Second, there was a plethora of something we haven’t seen since we left Tuscany – cypress trees. I have attempted to find out if these trees are indigenous to Arizona. What I learned is that the Arizona Cypress Tree is indigenous, but not the cypress we saw yesterday all over the town of Globe. Don’t know what to say about that, but they sure were pretty. It took me back to Italy.
After spending four days in the hospital without even a window from which to see the sun, our day trip through the Arizona desert and our time in small-town America was just what I needed.