The woman swore that the Arizona State Museum (ASM) in Tucson was open. She said further that she lived near it and it was definitely not closed. We went there. After parking our car in an ASU campus parking structure, Ruth & I walked to this renowned tourist attraction that we had never been in. It appeared closed. I went up to the door and peered in. A guard saw me and came to the door. After opening it a crack, he told me that the museum was closed by order of the President of the University and was not going to reopen until at least September, maybe even later, because of COVID. It was mid April.
I saw that Ruth had wandered over to a bench near some flowers. I walked to her and found that behind her was a memorial devoted to native American women. “This is a fine and appropriate place for a tribute,” I told her. I walked around it and didn’t recognize a single name. This did not surprise me. One arch had the name Louise Foucat Marshall on it. “Who was she?” I wondered. Names of many women were etched under several arches in tributes to them. It was impressive but unvisited in the heat of the day. There were few students about, and we were the only people paying attention to this memorial. I went back to Ruth who was focused on the flower, not the names. “It’s very unusual,” she told me, “to find a display of snapdragons standing alone without an assortment of other types of flowers nearby.” I walked around the beds of flowers taking pictures of them. They were mostly yellow snapdragons and indeed unusual. I looked again at the memorial and decided it was both well done and needed. It was a good find across the street from the closed museum. “I’m not surprised to find it was not open,”I said about the ASM. “Did you notice the unusual plants in front of it?”
We wandered back to the museum and examined spiky rows of plants that looked like cactus. “What do you suppose they are?” I asked Ruth, who is usually able to name plants, even in the Sonoran Desert. “I have no idea,” she said. We later saw more of them and learned that they were Queen’s Agave plants and fairly common.
It was lunchtime. “Should we find food?” I asked. “We passed a Student Union building that looked open,” she said. “Let’s see if they have something to eat.” It had several fast food outlets and a new type of food vending machine that The New York Times raved about. We dined well and in welcomed coolness while discussing what to do with the rest of our afternoon in Tucson where only outdoor activities were possible. At least there were plenty of these to choose from.